Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Finnair slashes taxes to £30 in Business on many long-haul Avios redemptions

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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:

Use Avios on Finnair

We reviewed Finnair A350 business class here.

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, this is what it costs:

Book Finnair business class with Avios

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:

Book Finnair business class with Avios

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
Finnair business class Avios

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
  • China
  • Japan

Your best bets, based on routes that Finnair is currently selling, are:

  • Singapore
  • Seoul (now dropped by BA)
  • Phuket (not a BA route)
  • Bangkok
  • Krabi (not a BA route)
  • Hong Kong
  • Dubai

Here is Seoul:

Book Finnair business class with Avios

Yes, just £30 of taxes in Business Class.

Here is Bangkok:

Booking Finnair business class with Avios

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.

(PS. If you collect Finnair Plus points directly, instead of redeeming for Finnair via Avios, our guide to earning them from UK credit cards is here.)

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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

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 £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 a huge range of valuable 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 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 (62)

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

  • Wollhouse says:

    I’m on the ba site, using Avios, finding availability but when it comes to pricing, I keep getting “sorry there is a problem booking this journey online. Try selecting other flights”. I’m looking at 20 jan and 12 April and flights are showing available. I tried dates in jan in case it was too far out, same thing. Tried on chrome and safari. What am I doing wrong!?? Thx

  • lostantipod says:

    Apologies for being Captain Obvious, but travellers would be well advised to check covid immigration rules too.
    Eg. While Singapore is accepting UK tourist travellers, currently they have to arrive from a “Vaccine Travel Lane” destination on a direct flight. Helsinki is not an approved point of origin, nor Finnair an approved carrier. However there is a range of other , more flexible rules for Singaporeans, permitted residents, relatives….YMMV…..this might make AY a valid option for you. Happy travels !

  • B Bjorn says:

    Finnair might be ‘cheap’ but be careful what you ask for.
    Trying calling the airline and see how far you get. On customer service it does nt care and you’ll be lucky to ever get through to Finnair within an hour.
    From experience, unless you know your plans won’t change, or be changed on you, I’d avoid this airline

    • Rob says:

      If they answer inside an hour, they beat BA!

      • B Bjorn says:

        BA normally answer for gold guest list very promptly. Finnair have no equivalent line and don’t. Nor can BA GGL assist with finnair metal.

  • A Traveller says:

    Agree with others. These are fees, not “taxes”

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

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