Finnair launches Sapporo (bookable on Avios)

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Finnair, a British Airways partner in the oneworld alliance, will launch flights to Sapporo in Japan this Winter.  It becomes the first European airline to fly to the city since KLM dropped the route back in 2002.

The service will only operate for a short period between 15th December and 27th March 2020.  Flights will depart from Helsinki on Thursdays and Sundays.

Sapporo will be the 5th Finnair destination in Japan following Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.  The direct route from the UK to Japan takes you over Scandinavia which is why the flight time from Helsinki to Sapporo is only 8hr 55 min.

Booked with Avios, Economy seats are 50,000 points + £254.  Business Class is 150,000 Avios + £362.

Finnair appears to have released two Economy and two Business Class seats per flight, and availability was good when I looked yesterday.

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  1. Note that Hilton Honors will only status match you once, so choose your timing carefully as to when to apply for a status match.

    • Not technically true, I’ve done it twice. However, the underlying scheme changed between the two matches. The plan is to gift Mrs S IHG Platinum when I hit Spire next year and then for her to do it to see us through for another few years.

      • Hi Craig you seem to know what you’re talking about so feel free to ignore my thoughts, but isn’t it better to take 25k points rather than gift Plat as you can earn that easily with the credit card.

        • Genghis says:

          Agreed. I’d value the 25k points at £100. The credit card costs £99 but then opens the door to the sign up bonus and the free night at £10k spend.

        • I’d generally agree that the points are more valuable than the status gifts. However, I’m spending over 100 nights a year at a HI with work so to say I’m flush with points would be a major understatement.

        • Stuart H says:

          Once you hit spire how/when do you get the choice of the points or gift platinum.. I became spire on Dec 27th, heard nothing. Thanks

        • IIRC there was no email, just hit the my rewards section on the left of the account page or somewhere like that.

        • Stuart H says:

          Solved it thanks…. The mistake i was making was that i was relying on the app to show it, which it didn’t…i find the app really good but not in this case

          • The IHG app is decent but lacking certain things – this is one, proper breakdown of points earning is another (something that is clearly laid out on the website).

        • Lady London says:

          @Craig as you seem to really know about the IHG scheme, with your stay pattern would there be any use to you or Mrs. S in signing up for Ambassador? Platinum comes with, from Feb…?

        • @Lady London, I already have Ambassador, it’s more than worth it for the 57k rebate in points I’ll get this year. The weekend certificate is an added bonus.

          @Genghis, I have the IHG card and hit the £10k spend each year, as I’m also churning HSBC WE I think hitting that as well as IHG and 2 BAPP might be tricky if I sign Mrs S up for the IHG with the intention of the free night. What I hadn’t though of was just signing her up for the bonus, status matching her and saving my 25k points which seems like a better plan.

      • I have also matched to Diamond twice. Second time was in September 18 but I’m not sure if that was before or after the changes you refer to.

    • You can always close and open a new account like someone suggested yesterday to improve their IHG promo targets

    • Not true – on my 2nd stays match challenge to Diamond in 3 years and this one is for HH Gold to Diamond if I do 10 stays or 18 nights in next 90 days.

      • I’ve just been turned down for a second status match in the last 10 days, so there appears to be inconsistency as to how Hilton treat people.

    • Thanks for highlighting this, 5000 MR for a Plat supplementary card will be useful

      • Yep, I got 5000 for supp gold, from plat account, (they had already sent me a plat supp when applying)

        • Qwerty Bertie says:

          I would like to do this, but I don’t have anybody other than my wife I would trust to be added, and she has a plat supp from the time of application. Could I give myself a gold/green supp and get the points?

        • Genghis says:


    • Sweet nice one, just added to my new BAPP.

    • Rob Walker says:

      This seems to work even if you added a supplementary card at the time of application. I added my mother in law to my platinum despite having added my wife during the application and received 5k.

    • Data Point. BAPP has been open for several years and I haven’t added a supp card for yonks. Applied today and got 3000 Avios. Thanks for the info.

    • Good one! I’ve just applied for a BAPP sup card and the 3K Avios are already in my Amex account.
      That was quick! 🙂

  2. OT. Is anyone else seeing delays with the £200 off £600 at Amex travel posting to their account? Transaction made 4/1 with instant email confirmation. Transaction posted 9/1 to statement, and offer is showing under the ‘savings’ tab but not on statement. Getting twitchy as we want to cancel the plat card before anniversary in a couple of weeks…

    • Last time it took some time (more than a week, touching ten days from Pending to Processed.
      However once processed the cash back was paid out within 5 days or so.

      • Yes – myself & OH. Chat told me to wait 30 days. Unusual as all my offers have always posted pretty much immediately

        • Very unusual for them to post instantly IME over lots of offers over the past few months. Emails still come through instantly though (if they’re going to, sometimes they don’t!)

    • Took about 10 days to post last time around. Just used offer again last night. Got instant email confirmation that offer was used.

    • Andrew M says:

      You’ll be fine. Even if anniversary passes, Amex refund prorata. And likely in full, if no spend post anniversary on card.

    • As a date point. I triggered this offer yesterday in two separate bookings – £236 and £366 – and got the email as soon as second booking got me over the £600 line……

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Mine posted last night. About 14 days between spend and 2 x £200 on mine and supplementary card. That’s my Platinum annual fee almost zeroed out in one hit.

    • rams1981 says:

      Mine hit the savings tab yesterday and the credit has appeared this morning. Between me and wife’s cards and supps saved £800 which nicely covers the fees paid and then some including shop small and other offers (plus will cancel wife’s Plat now credits have posted)

    • That’s pretty much par for the course I’d say. Has been much slower in recent months. Once it’s showing up in savings I find it’s normally only a day or so away from showing on main statement.

  3. Rob,

    A month or so ago, it wasn’t posted about VS Aero Mexico Joint Venture.
    Any further updates on this about miles earning on each other’s flight.

    I have an AM J flight next month and might consider crediting to VS particularly in conjunction with using VS 241 miles if my business class flight earns enough miles for VS Silver or higher.

  4. OT. Any sales coming up to Asia on the horizon that anyone knows of? Thanks

    • There’s just been quite a few! Check if Finnair are still offering good fares from Manchester to Bangkok – we fly on Thursday and looking forward to trying out the A350 J product.

      • ankomonkey says:

        I flew AY A350 J LHR-BKK last summer. Food and service were both excellent. Seat was fine for me, but I know taller people are less keen. Enjoy!

        • Yeah I found the foot cubby/coffin a bit claustrophobic on their service. Was still nice for LHR-HEL though!

        • Lady London says:

          I’m 5ft 7in stretching and only just found it long enough. Plus foot cubby drove me nuts. It effectively stops sleeping on your side.

          Give me the A380 anyday over the A350.

    • Qatar apparently launching something tomorrow I believe. Not sure what.

    • Qatar sale may launch tomorrow.

      • Will it be for flights from UK or ex-UK? I’m holding a flight from Stockholm to Singapore over the summer for 72 hours – runs out 10am Friday.

        • The sale will be global. I am only guessing it launches tomorrow, based on the fact that all of Qatar’s current global fare sale promotions end at midnight tonight. They don’t have any ads booked with us.

  5. Bits OT: Upto 10000 VS Miles available booking Avis car hire.. 1000/day

    Guess who booked FL car hire with Alamo a couple of days ago, oh well, price was 10% cheaper and customer service is reasonable. However I would also recommend Avis too.

    • on dummy quote, rates are pathetic.
      Tried, mexico for next month and they want close to £300 for a week

    • Florida small SUV seems to be minimum of £220/week now.

      Alamo quote through Virgin Travel Plus was <£420 for a fortnight, Avis ~£460.

    • Terrible prices from AVIS via VFC. Double the price on the AVIS website. And then even better applying their new year discount. Paid £220 (pay on collection) instead of quoted £450 (pay now) for a five day mid range rental in May.

  6. Interesting question. Would love to know the answer to this as well.

  7. Wondering those who recently have closed their spg card, how log did it take to transfer points?
    I’m considering self referral before I close plat, but don’t really want to be waiting ages for the points…

    OT: still waiting for hilton gold from plat, have called both and they said it’s not showing yet on their system and to just wait…any ideas..?

  8. On topic!!! Can anyone confirm that purchased points extend the life of Hilton Points? I.e. count as activity. Rob has said so before – want to check if still the case.

  9. Genghis says:


  10. What is the point of holding both? You get 1.25% for the fee paying one anyway

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