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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 ba.com, 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.

Conclusion

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2022)

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.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(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.)

Comments (62)

  • Lady London says:

    Who was it that said the “Transatlantic JV” if approved by regulators, wouldn’t restrict competition and keep prices higher for consumers when they might otherwise be lower?

    Currently the Transatlantic JV includes BA, AA IB, Finnair and will soon include Aer Lingus i look forward to the “JV”, which is apparently not a cartel, considering such a move for Transatlantic.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Article suggests it’s Taxes being cut, not the sundry charges imposed by the carrier – so whatever it is AY have managed to do here it is a local thing – whether reduction in taxes constitutes state aid seems an open question though.

      • ChrisC says:

        Rob hardly ever calls surcharges surcharges but lumps them up there the single heading “taxes”.

        Here he used taxes in the headline then a couple of sentences on says it’s surcharges have been reduced then goes back to taxes so no wonder people are confused.

        • ChrisC says:

          Bit here it is the carrier surcharges that have been reduced so no state aid issues.

  • riku says:

    it seems they have also removed the block on business class redemptions more than 60 days in advance, something they introduced early last year https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/01/24/finnair-restricts-avios-reward-bookings

  • Andrew says:

    Of course 185,500 Avios has a value of £1480 so not exactly a steal for a flight you also have to buy a return to Helsinki. Could get a similar price with a European carrier, going indirect without the need to pay for that connecting flight. And not beholden to Avios availability, and earn Avios/miles back.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Looking at the Finnair site, you have missed the real value here. Using Finnair Plus points (Amex partner of course) DXB prices up at 25k each way in business, not just from HEL but also from the UK. Taxes £30ish each way.
    Availablity is there but it is slim.

  • Simon Cross says:

    Does this also mean a corresponding reduction in cash fares making corresponingly good savings for cash ticket buyers?

  • Prince Charles says:

    AY are now flying some direct long haul flights from ARN (including BKK). The cash business class fares seem better value than SK too. A stopover in the Swedish capital may be a better option.

    • Ben says:

      We booked one way ARN-HKT for £450pp a few weeks before Christmas. Could have got it as low as £350 but that was early December. Return leg (BKK-HEL-EDI) was £550pp, retuning after new year.

      So I’d be looking at cash prices first and foremost, especially if you need to get to HEL for the avois option anyway. Although you need to spend your avois eventually!

    • Sam G says:

      Yes – easier to get to Stockholm cheaply. The lo-co options are pretty limited – little bit of Ryanair & Norwegian but if you end up with an overnight & having to pay bag fees likely you’ll wipe out a lot of your saving – especially on an off peak date.

      Shame BA isn’t still flying – CE fares were often a bargain & 80tps e/w would have make this a great tier point run/redemption combi!

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    Off to Helsinki in a couple of weeks. When looking at flights last week, Ryanair were £18!

  • Vasco says:

    Flight to HEL doesn’t need to be on a separate ticket if you also book it with Avios, right?

    • marcw says:

      You can book LHR-BKK-SIN but remember your taxes will increase significantly.

    • Rob says:

      Depends if you want to pay £180ish of APD.

      • Ollie says:

        £180 for a protected connection and a long haul business seat to helsinki doesn’t sound awful. Ryanair is going to be £100 if you need a checked bag.

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