Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Book Avios-earning £1,040 Finnair business flights to Bangkok – or £835 ex-Stockholm

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It’s just like the old days on HfP, with multiple excellent cash flight deals turning up this week.

The snag on this one is that you are taking a punt on Thailand opening. The odds are looking pretty good for next month, however, and you can book this deal until well into 2022.

Finnair is offering some very aggressive pricing to Bangkok from across Europe. Even with Air Passenger Duty, the UK fare is very reasonable – and you can also fly from Manchester and Edinburgh as well as Heathrow.

Finnair A350 business class

Finnair has a very decent business class product which is a substantial step up on British Airways Club World – see above. Our review of Finnair business class on their A350 fleet is here. There is no guarantee that you get an A350 but the seating on their other aircraft is also better than Club World.

Finnair’s website is terrible at showing you the flight details and total fare in one convenient place, so I can’t cut and paste any screenshots. Trust me that the flights are definitely there at £1,040 from London and SEK 9,984 (£835) from Stockholm.

There is a snag though ….

These are VERY restricted Business Light tickets.

We covered the new Finnair Business Light fares here and, to be honest, we don’t like them.

Be very clear what you are (not) getting here though:

  • no lounge access (I’m not sure if oneworld status would allow this)
  • no checked baggage (unless you have BA status – this is definitely OK)
  • no advance seat selection
  • no fast track security
  • no fast track boarding

You will earn standard Avios and tier points.

In terms of tier points, Heathrow to Bangkok would be 80 + 140 + 140 + 80 = 440 tier points return, which is an excellent return on a £1,040 ticket. You would earn 80 fewer tier points from Stockholm because of the shorter hop to Helsinki.

Be aware of the terms and conditions of the fare. You can change the dates if necessary, but your ticket will reprice. If Finnair isn’t selling any dirt cheap flights to Bangkok at the time you come to reprice, you could face paying a substantial sum on top.

From the UK, the best way to pay is with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which gives double points – 2 per £1 – on airline spend. If booking from Stockholm or another starting point not priced in £, you should use any card you have which does not charge FX fees.

The Finnair home page is here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee 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.

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 sign-up 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 (61)

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

  • AndyC says:

    Decent business class deals from Finnair notwithstanding, perhaps I might suggest that comments in the various blogs by expats resident in Thailand be read before committing to travelling. Many bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues around the country remain closed, either temporarily or permanently.

    • Paul says:

      Surely you mean migrants! The English don’t call those living here temporarily expats, they’re called immigrant or migrants. Indeed this country was the only EU nation that called FOM immigration, and uncontrolled immigration at that!
      Need to decide on the correct term. Economic Migrants or expats?

      • Catalan says:

        Expat = white migrant
        Immigrant = non-white migrant

        Isn’t that the formula the media use?

        • Nick says:

          Not colour, but nationality. Poles and Germans (for example) are white but still called migrants, ‘expat’ is reserved for Brits and Americans.

          Your concept is sound though. And it’s similar with other words. ‘Cronyism’ applies to British politicians, everywhere else it’s ‘corruption’.

          • BJ says:

            We are talking Thailand here and to the natives we’re farangs, a term with derogatory origins, and which may still be the perception dependent on context and users.

      • Mike says:

        The definition of “Expat” is someone who moved to a country with the intention to eventually go home. Immigrants to the UK from the third world generally have no intention to return home hence we call them immigrants. UK citizens going working in the middle East, for example, would generally intend to return home hence Expat. To conflate the two because SJWs are ignorant and disingenuous isn’t helpful. Deliberately misusing the language, ignoring definitions, to attempt to make a smug point is a typical tactic.

      • the_real_a says:

        Ex Pat – someone who`s financial contribution to the country outweighs their direct apportioned financial consumption of public services and externalities such as rent/housing inflation and lagging health liabilities.

        Economic Migrant – someone who’s financial contribution to the country is less than their direct apportioned consumption of financial consumption of services and externalities.

        • the_real_a says:

          *Economic Migrant – someone who’s financial contribution to the country is less than their direct apportioned financial consumption of services and externalities.

          • Catalan says:

            So the Polish immigrants who contributed more to the British economy than they consumed should be re-designated as ‘Polish Expats’. Cool!

        • Gavin says:

          Expats – a person who is sent by their employer to a posting in a foreign country, and will eventually rotate back to either their home country or a third country

          Immigrant – the person who’s probably driving your Uber, has come to the UK to better their economic situation. Will most likely not return to their country of birth.

  • riku says:

    no checked baggage unless you have BA STATUS: I know head for points lives in a world of Londonders with children taking holidays in Dubai but there are other airlines in One World and Finnair recognize other membership programmes too.

    • Doug M says:

      Yes, it’s disgraceful marginalisation of those with Fiji and S7 status. Why on earth would a UK based site with a large BA focused audience not recognise that.

      • John says:

        I don’t think you get extra bags on AY (or any OW airline) with FJ status

  • Lewis says:

    I live in Thailand. Anyone wanting to come here should know… it is probably not the Thailand you remember. Whilst things do seem to be improving, bars remain closed and lots of covid restrictions everywhere – masks included. I would suggest next year is probably more likely for things to be back to normal.

    • meta says:

      That’s great! Some peace and quiet. Hope they open up next month then without testing and COE.

  • Graeme says:

    I live in Bangkok as well. Yes the country may open up to vaccinated tourists but not confirmed yet. Until then it’s 15 days ASQ in Bangkok or one of the Phuket/Samui Sandbox 7 day programs, and all visitors require COE from Thai Embassy, which in true Thai style requires a lot of paperwork.

    The rules on restaurants and bars and clubs may change, either way. Many of the tourist facing businesses have closed forever.

    However, life here is getting slowly back to normal. Yes you will have to wear a mask everywhere, even when walking along an empty street and certainly on public transport.

    • ChrisW says:

      You mean you have to wear a mask outdoors at a times even when walking down the street? That would be unbearable in the Thai heat and humidity.

      • BJ says:

        In East Asia wearing masks outdoors has more or less become part of life from time to time, many people doing so willingly (even enthusiastically) in response to mere rumours of bird flu, and smoke or other pollution. Heard quite a few Thai’s complain bitterly that Western tourists put them and themselves at risk by not doing so and that was pre-covid. One thing I recall here in Edinburgh was that back in February-March 2020 quite a large proportion of Asian people were already wearing masks walking around the streets at a time when cases were just beginning to trickle into the UK. No idea how many of those were locals and how many were tourists though.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          So they all like doing something which is a complete waste of time (masks outdoors) and complain others won’t do it?

          • Numpty says:

            Comes from years of dealing with various viruses, paying for their healthcare and a shared sense of social responsibility rather than individualism.

            And despite that waste of time precaution they’ve been far more successful than the UK at dealing with Covid.

          • BJ says:

            Reputable research shows that masks reduce transmission; reductions are small but can be significant when scaled up through population levels. That is not in dispute but is a different question to that which you pose which is more precisely I guess is the small benefit of wearing masks outside worth the downsides of doing so ? In my opinion the answer is no. My point was more a question of attitudes and behaviour differences possibly between societies and nations, but there as here I’m dure every opinion is reflected. No doubt there are many Thais, Chinese or whatever who are sick fed up with masks too when if use is more common and/or mandated in their communities.

          • BJ says:

            @Numpty, generally agree. That the UK has a broadly similar population to Thailand but an order of magnitude greater deaths from covid says it all.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The magnitude of covid deaths globally will
            Be measured in a few year time when they look at age adjusted all cause deaths.

            Not the daily headlines pumped out

        • Polly says:

          As BJ says, we were seeing locals all over Asia wearing masks for years. In the streets. It’s not surprising the locals are upset at people not wearing masks even outside.
          In France recently everyone wore masks outside in the local markets, in the middle of the country. We were v impressed with such high compliance. Masks work.

      • meta says:

        @Graeme ASQ has been reduced to 7 days for vaccinated as of 1 October.

        @ChrisW then don’t travel and leave the space for someone who doesn’t have a problem.

        • Nick says:

          It was the same in Spain over the summer just gone – or at least in the Spanish parts away from the ‘Brits abroad’ tourist resorts. Mask wearing in the street was compulsory, and everyone did it despite the heat and without complaint. When the rules were relaxed most locals carried on even outside, and those who didn’t still carried one on their wrist ready for when they went somewhere busy.

          Unlike the UK, nowhere else has a wide set of self-declared ‘exemptions’ either, so you should expect to have to wear them in large parts of the world for at least another year.

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            Flying out to Spain start of this month a frankly chavvy couple and misbehaving sprogs were all unmasked at LBA with their ‘ I’m exempt ribbons’. They suddenly could wear masks when challenged by Spanish cabin crew and were curiously compliant in the immigration queue at Alicante

      • Jeff Greene says:

        You’re not wrong but if people don’t like it they should go elsewhere. There’s a lot of other places to go on holiday

      • Graeme says:

        Yes. Mask at all times. Just don’t walk very far, that’s what Grab is there for. You need a mask in the car as well though.

  • BJ says:

    Further potential snags:

    1. Latest news from Thailand is that wider less restrictive reopening will be January not next month.
    2. At these prices overbooking and downgrades may be a real concern.
    3. IME Finnair played extreme hardball on EU261, even pre-covid.

    Might be worth a look to see what less restrictive fares are on offer. Even £500 more would still be a good deal. Around 2015-18 my target everyday cash fare from EDI-BKKrtn in J was £1500-1600 but this had increased to £1700-1800 by 2018-19.

    • meta says:

      Less restrictive tickets tickets can be had for £200-300 more.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks Meta, I’ll have a look next month. I need to wait until then to at least give BA the chance to move my cancelled Xmas flights and decide then how to proceed.

        • meta says:

          Another snag I just read is that Finnair covid policy only extends to 31 Dec, so even with less restrictive ticket it’s a bit of a no-go at the moment.

          • BJ says:

            Why the £35 flexibility of BAEC redemptions is so significant. As long as that remains I’ll never complain about the fees. The problem with people complaining about those is they are comparing a BAEC redemption to a cheap restricted fare when in reality it is comparable to something so much better.

          • Doug M says:

            This. Always very lopsided comparisons.

  • Paul says:

    Great price for a quality airline. However I would give Thailand a wide berth until they decide how to handle tourists. At the moment Tourists face heavy restrictions and are not free to move around the country the same way locals do. I hope they sort themselves out soon as yet another high season with no tourist will kill of the few businesses that have managed to cling on. As others have said do the research on Thailand before booking this fare. Lots of good info on Twitter by people like Richard Barrow

  • Paul says:

    Qatar offering £1100 to BKK ex ARN
    560 tier points and better covid protection policy. Remember insurance (Amex platinum at least) will not provide cover if you booked while the travel advice was not to travel

    • Phillip says:

      As well as from AMS and BRU.

    • Ben says:

      I think Sweden still has an exclusion for non-EU non-residents entering? So ex-ARN is maybe a gamble?

      I booked one-way BKK-HEL-EDI for just over £500pp, a week into January. Felt like the price and convenience outweighed the risk.

      • John says:

        Fully vaccinated British citizens living in the UK can enter Sweden from Monday 11th

        • Ben says:

          This is good to know. I priced by ARN-BKK early December and it was £350 one-way in J. I’m still undecided whether to bite, as there’s a lot that can change.

  • Aston100 says:

    Presumably not during any UK school holidays, right?

    • riku says:

      what are “UK” school holidays? I thought Scotland for sure has different school holiday dates to England and Finnair is a Finnish company and don’t price their flights based on school holidays in countries they fly TO. They do have different prices in July / start of August since that’s school holiday time in Finland though. This pricing logic is what i’ve seen so far in the 20 years i’ve lived in Finland.

      • John says:

        Well it would make sense for them to price tickets originating in the UK according to demand from the UK. Their long-haul flights are not solely targeted at Finland residents, who seemed to me to be a minority of the passengers on board, which is unsurprising as Finland has a small population and plenty of people from Europe and Asia choose HEL as a transit hub

        • Riku says:

          When you look at the fare rules (visible in something like expertflyer) they have not blacked out england/scotland school holiday times. I don’t think AY want to put in the effort to adjust their ex-UK fares based on school holidays in the UK, ex-France fares based on school holidays in France, ex-Ireland based on school holidays in Ireland etc.
          BA do exactly the same as AY. BA fares HEL-LHR-rest of the world are not linked to Finnish school holidays. Even IB redemptions from the UK are based on spanish school holidays, not London school holidays.

          • John says:

            Interesting. Maybe they adjust the number of seats available at these prices? Or maybe they don’t and this may be useful to me when my son starts school

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