Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get A350 Business Class to Dubai using Avios points for just £116 in taxes ….. on Finnair

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Here is something I came across by accident this week when preparing an article on something else, but I thought it was worth mentioning in its own right.

Finnair runs a seasonal service to Dubai.  As a British Airways partner, you can earn and redeem Avios on this route.

What was VERY interesting is that Helsinki to Dubai is under 3,000 miles.  This means that it falls into a cheaper Avios pricing band than Dubai flights from London.


Finnair (Helsinki-Dubai) costs 75,000 Avios in Business Class, 365 days per year.  British Airways wants 120,000 Avios on peak dates and 100,000 Avios off-peak.

Finnair also has very low taxes.

Here is an example:

Finnair to Dubai with Avios

Yes, you can fly Business Class from Helsinki to Dubai for 75,000 Avios and just £116 in charges, return.

Obviously you need to get to Helsinki in the first place, but Finnair has regular services from Manchester and Edinburgh (bookable on Avios or for cash) and both BA and Finnair fly from Heathrow.  There are presumably also low-cost options.

Remember that return cash tickets to Helsinki from the London earn 160 tier points in Business Class too!

Historically, there was a snag ….

Finnair used to run a short-haul A320 on this route which is why I never talked about it much.  It was pretty pointless going to Helsinki just to fly on a short-haul plane with a British Airways Club Europe-style seat for five hours.

This seems to have changed.  Whilst shows a blank when you select aircraft type for these services, a quick look at shows that they are now operated on some days by a brand new Airbus A350-900.

Finnair Avios to Dubai A350

I have reviewed Finnair’s A350-900 in Business Class – click here – and it is an impressive service.

I have also reviewed the Hilton at Helsinki Airport (click here), if you are on the day flight to Dubai which leaves at 08.10.  There is also an overnight option, leaving at 20.40 from Helsinki, which could be done in the same day from London.

Here is Finnair’s A350 business class (click to enlarge) – you can find out more in my review:

Finnair A350 business class

Obviously this sort of routing is not for everyone, but if you are up for a bit of adventure and wouldn’t mind a quick look at Helsinki too then it is well worth a look.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (68)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ankomonkey says:

    I flew HEL-BKK on a Finnair A350 a couple of days ago and thought it was a great product. Really good food, drinks and service, and the plane was good too. Great experience all round and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again on other routes. They exceeded my expectations 🙂 !

    • Andrew says:

      And Helsinki is well worth a look if you have a little time.

    • David says:

      I flew the same route but on an a330 a couple of weeks ago. Great crew and HEL airport is easy to navigate esp if you cut your connection time a little too short for comfort! My only gripe on board was the vegetarian food which was just awful. Like the worst I’ve ever had on any airline. I did however snag throne seat for the way back which was nice, though I really wished it was the A350. Next time….

  • John says:

    Just remember to check if your passport has expired and if it has, don’t get drunk and pick a fight with an Emirati civil servant.

  • Jo says:

    Sorry how do you search for these flights? It keeps showing a stopover from hel in lhr to dxb and no hel to dxb direct.

    • Lumma says:

      Are the flights daily? Looking at the example in the article, I get availability at least in economy for the 10th of Feb (as in the article) and also the 3 days before but not the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday

    • Rob says:

      It will show if available.

    • BJ says:

      That is because tgere is no AY availability, when there is it will show. I have not managed to figure out any pattern to AY releasing longhaul business award seats, just keep trying.

  • Lumma says:

    These are the articles I love on hfp, especially for me adventurous travellers like myself. Are there any other bargain routes on Finnair?

  • filipino_chino says:

    slightly OT, I was looking at booking Cathay flights via last night and i could not get any to come up (search HKG to MNL)….. Anyone else noticed an issue?

    • BJ says:

      It has been an ongoing issue. I believevit is showing ok at AA again so search availability there and call BA. Remind them you could not book online so that they waive the fee.

    • Michael C says:

      Hey Fil – this has been happening to me with HKG-PEN. Don’t know if it’s an internal Asia thing. Cathay not too helpful on the phone (“If availability’s not there, it’s not there”), nor BA (“maybe not released yet?”).

      Will check out AA as BJ suggests!

    • Leo says:

      Its the same HKG -DAD (Cathay-Dragon). I’m just working on the basis that there is no availability….

  • Andrew says:

    And Helsinki is a useful tier point run destination – 160 return in Club.

  • BJ says:

    The same is true with Helsinki to Bangkok which just manages to stay in zone 6 compared to zone 7 from London.

    • Rob says:

      Didn’t know that, thanks

      • BJ says:

        You might be in for a pleasant surprise then if you check out other Finnair south east Asian destinations 🙂 But getting fro KK to Helsinki is not so cheap.

  • Nigel says:

    An interesting post…. The screen shot doesn’t look like part of a BA web site. Was this from the Finnair web site ? I don’t think you can transfer Avios over to the Finnair Plus Points system so I don’t understand how this can be booked with them ?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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