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.

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 ba.com shows a blank when you select aircraft type for these services, a quick look at finnair.com shows that they are now operated on some days by a brand new Airbus A350-900.

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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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

30,000 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

  • BJ says:

    OT; MARRIOTT TP CONVERSION RATES POSTED IN BITS COMMENTS

  • Omar says:

    I did finnair business on the London to Helsinki route on the a350 and even on that flight it’s a solid product, and leaving from Heathrow t3 means the lounge selection is better than t5. Great flight and crew. Would fly them again for sure.

  • Alex W says:

    As another option, you could book Finnair using Alaska miles, from LHR to DXB via HEL. 80k Alaska miles plus $300. Free stopover in HEL.

  • JohL says:

    The A350 flights are on Fridays and Sundays starting from early November. Flight numbers AY1961 and AY1962.

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

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