Finnair, as a oneworld alliance member, is a British Airways Executive Club partner. This means that you can earn and spend Avios on Finnair flights.
Finnair is more useful than you might think. Helsinki is ‘on the way’ to Asia from much of Europe, meaning that a connection there is not a lot slower than flying direct.
The airline also has a decent Business Class seat which is better than ‘old’ Club World, and is on a par with Club Suite. Here’s the A350 seat:
Over the Summer, Finnair removed ‘carrier surcharges’ from its long haul flights. A couple of weeks ago it also removed them from European flights.
The latter doesn’t make a lot of difference, but stripping out surcharges from long-haul Business Class flights makes then exceptional value.
How good are the deals?
Here is an example, from Helsinki to Singapore in Business Class.
Using Avios and booked at ba.com, this is what it costs:
Yes, just £44 of taxes plus 185,500 Avios.
Let’s compare that to a British Airways flight from London to Singapore on a peak day:
The taxes and charges are a crazy £607 and you need more Avios – 210,000 in total. This is because the flight is longer from London and it pushes it into a higher Avios pricing band than Helsinki to Singapore.
This is a big saving
If you are a solo traveller or a couple without a 2-4-1 voucher, the saving here is huge. The Finnair flight requires 24,500 fewer Avios and £563 less tax per person!
There are snags, of course:
- the Avios difference would change if your BA flights were on an off-peak day (cost falls from 210,000 to 175,000) although the huge tax saving would remain
- you need to get to Helsinki, which will cost you in cash or Avios (BA has dropped it but Finnair flies from Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh, various low cost carriers also fly it)
- because your flight to Helsinki would need to be on a separate ticket, you will need to build in a big gap to ensure you don’t miss your connection
- you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher on Finnair
This doesn’t work on all routes
Finnair operates a number of joint ventures. It is, for example, part of the British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia joint venture across the Atlantic. These JVs restrict its ability to remove surcharges.
You will not find deals as good as Singapore on routes to:
- North America
Your best bets, based on routes that Finnair is currently selling, are:
- Seoul (now dropped by BA)
- Phuket (not a BA route)
- Krabi (not a BA route)
- Hong Kong
Here is Seoul:
Yes, just £30 of taxes in Business Class.
Here is Bangkok:
Again, just £30 of taxes in Business Class.
Finnair is now exceptional value for anyone looking to redeem Avios for long haul business class flights to much of Asia.
You will have to jump some hurdles – availability is patchy and you need to get yourself to Helsinki – but if you can get over this you will get a good quality seat and an exceptionally good value deal.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
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:
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:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)