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More chances to fly a Finnair flat bed seat to Helsinki

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It’s always a special treat when you take a European short haul flight in Business Class on a long haul aircraft, because it means you’ll get a flat bed seat – even if it is only for an hour or so!

For oneworld cargo reasons, Iberia runs at least one long haul aircraft per day into Heathrow from Madrid, bookable with Avios or cash. Finnair does the same from Helsinki.

Finnair is currently running TWO flights per day from Heathrow to Helsinki on long haul aircraft – the 10.20am and the 6.10pm.

Long haul aircraft have also been added to Amsterdam – Helsinki (five flights per week) and Brussels – Helsinki (one flight per day).

Finnair is rolling out its new ‘no recline’ business class seat which I reviewed here and liked. It has gone down well across the industry and it will be interesting to see if other airlines adopt it, given that it is lighter and cheaper than a typical reclining seat.

You need to check the seat map for any London to Helsinki booking to see what seat you should get, although the old Finnair seat which I reviewed here (similar to what Aer Lingus uses) is certainly not bad.

As a oneworld member, you can book Finnair flights using Avios via British Airways no longer flies to Helsinki directly.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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

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 £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 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

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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 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 (31)

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

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    I do like the AY ‘sofa’ seats.

    Note that for cash fares the AMS/BRU – HEL route gives only 40 TPs unlike the LHR route which gets you 80.

    • BJ says:

      +1, best business class seat around IMO. I get that some may not like it as a seat but as a bed it is easily the best.

  • Phillip says:

    I managed to book the 18:10 on the A350 a couple of months back, for next year. Fingers crossed it won’t change. The A350 flights LHR-HEL are definitely harder to find availability for using Avios – not sure if they release less seats or for obvious reasons they disappear faster.

    • BJ says:

      They release them but AFAIK not in a regular guaranteed way like BA and some other airlines. London’s lucky, in the regions BA does not let us book Finnair flights operated by NORRA which is very frustrating. This is also a problem if flying LHR-HEL-otger regional European airports. I haven’t checked but I think I read there are similar issues for Aer Lingus flights operated by Emerald.

      • Phillip says:

        Oh yes, I realise I wasn’t clear – I booked them with Avios, but the two flights operated by A350s had a lot less availability compared to those operated by narrow bodies.

        • BJ says:

          Probably because, lije you, most want to fly the a350. Also 10 and 18 departures from LHR are probably popular due to schedule too.

  • BJ says:

    I think Finnair has been running longhaul aircraft to AMS for yeas I think, I don’t know about BRU.

    • riku says:

      The same for BRU – using the A350 for that route goes back years also. This is all related to flight timings Helsinki – Asia. The planes would otherwise sit empty in Helsinki, so they are used for short trips to/from LHR/BRU/AMS.

  • Nick says:

    Note the evening HEL is normally the old seat not the new one, though sometimes you get lucky with a substitution and as the rollout continues these will grow. The morning flight is consistently the new seat given how it’s scheduled.

    IB have two wide bodies most days, A330 in the morning and (often) A350 in the evening.

    • Phillip says:

      Currently my seat map for February is showing the new seat but as you say, that could easily change.

    • BJ says:

      Increasingly lijely that all flights will be SofaLounge though as retrofit must be nearing compketion this year.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      There are two morning flights so make sure you pick the right one.

      The 10am ish one usually has the Sofa Suit but the 7am ish one is more club Europe style seat on an A320.

    • riku says:

      Last night the flight was the old A350 seats with airbag lump on the seat belt and lump on the floor where your feet could otherwise go. Check-in at LHR was two desks, both marked “business priority”, which is a strange way of showing that there is no separate business class check-in and everyone must queue together.

      • Robert says:

        Agree, I don’t think the A350 has the new seat, only the A330? I’m looking to book this for Feb as a TP run and guess I’ll go for the A350 in the hope it’s replaced with an A330.

  • cc-not-bcc says:

    btw, has anyone else experienced delays with the credit of HH points after purchase? I bought a few this weekend, to make use of the 100% bonus for a 4+1 nights, and unlike previous purchases, typically credited within minutes, I’m still waiting for the credit into my account. I did get an email (saying they would contact me once my account had been credited), and my credit card has already been charged.
    I wonder if related to some security issues reported elsewhere.

    • Phillip says:

      I had the same last month – the first 2 went through instantly, the third not at all, and the fourth I had to follow up. After 48 hours, they opened a case and within 12 hours of that they credited. It felt that it was a result of multiple purchases but that’s just my assumption.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    “As a oneworld member, you can book Finnair flights using Avios via British Airways no longer flies to Helsinki directly. The headline Business Class rate is 40,000 Avios + £1 return, off peak, but you’d get better value by choosing to use fewer Avios and more cash.”

    As BA no longer flies to HEL then how can you get RFS pricing?

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Because BA is selling you the ticket they can price it how they like.

      I’ve just some a dummy booking and RFS does indeed show up.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        How odd… Only thing I can think of is because my BAEC account is currently registered in Italy (but to be clear I was searching for LHR-HEL, no connections). It does seem odd if it’s included in RFS though considering even Iberia doesn’t get RFS pricing (or has that changed again?)

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          Have you earned at least one avios in the past 12 months as that’s the criteria for them being offered?

      • Rob says:

        It was a mistake by me – I copied that off an old pricing chart before BA dropped it. The direct Finnair flights are not RFS.

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          Mine as well.

          There are several pricing pointe which I assumed were RFS but checking again there isn’t a £1 cash option.

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            To be fair the points and cash options are quite decent considering how much a cash fare is on Finnair usually.

  • Lady London says:

    Seen elsewhere today a report that Finnair has slashed luggage allowances on business longhaul most routes to just 1 checked bag of 23kg, also stricter enforcement of hand luggage limits. Not sure if they’ve done this on shorthaul yet but coming for sure.

    Those with OneWorld status will still get extra but apparently even in Business, those without status won’t.

    • riku says:

      yes, EVERY time I fly with Finnair (and I live in Finland) there is some argument at the gate about hand baggage limits (some newer economy tickets include only a small bag that can fit under the seat, a regular sized carry on bag costs extra). They are enforcing this both at check-in and at the gate.
      32kg luggage allowance has also been removed for business class & emerald card holders, it is now 23kg.
      Seat allocation has also changed. Unless you pay or have status you are assigned a seat at check in and must pay extra to change it (even if there are still many empty seats left)

      • Phillip says:

        My Avios booking made in June, is still showing 2 x 32kg for business. That said, everything else seems to be getting gutted even for status holders.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      The new allowacnes kicked in from 1st June.

      There are some exceptions according to executive traveller for flights to / from Japan, China and North America where it wll be 2 or 3 x 32KG

      But AY have been messing with baggage allowances for a while now and there is no checked allowance with their cheapo unbundled ‘business lite’ fares.

      Just checked a booking I made last month for next May which has 2 x AY flights (LHR- HEL-ARN) and it’s listed on the BA Hols emailas 2 x 32KG (not that I’ll be using that as it’s the last two legs of an ex ARN trip.)

  • @mkcol says:

    Devastated to see Nectar Connect closing.

    How will I survive without that random dribble of points appearing months after the transaction?

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

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