Finnair to switch to Avios in 2024 as part of major overhaul
The airline will also guarantee two Business award seats per flight.
What we'll be covering
Come 2024, Finnair will join fellow oneworld member airlines Qatar Airways, British Airways and Iberia in adopting Avios. By sharing a common frequent flyer ‘currency’, members will gain more flexibility in earning and using their Avios for flights and rewards. Finnair will also guarantee a minimum number of Classic award flights for its members.
It’s all part of a sweeping change to the Finnair Plus loyalty program. Starting in 2024, the program will move to revenue-based earning for Avios and tier points. Here’s what we know so far.
Finnair Plus award points to become Avios
When the change happens, Finnair Plus award points will become Avios at a 3:2 rate. But Finnair promises that any accrued points won’t lose their value when the switch happens. The number of Avios needed for reward bookings via Finnair Plus will similarly be adjusted by a 3:2 ratio.
With Qatar Airways, British Airways and Iberia Avios being freely interchangeable at a 1:1 rate, one could expect that Finnair Avios will be similarly integrated. We’ll know more in the coming months.
Minimum Classic award seats guarantee
With Finnair’s new Airbus A330 and Airbus A350 cabins now flying high, reward seat availability is limited. It’s also a popular choice for savvy frequent flyers because Finnair doesn’t levy carrier charges.
The good news is that Finnair will guarantee a minimum number of Classic award seats per flight. We’re not yet sure whether it’ll apply to partner airline availability (i.e. booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points). But the good news is Australian-based frequent flyers can now convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club, so we imagine you’ll be able to then transfer those Avios to the Finnair Plus program in due course.
Here are the minimum Classic award seats Finnair will make available:
|Flights within Europe||at least 4||n/a||at least 2|
|Flights to/from Asia, North American and Dubai||at least 4||at least 2||at least 2|
Some exceptions will apply including flights between Helsinki and Doha and flights that don’t depart from or arrive at Helsinki.
Other incoming Finnair Plus changes
Finnair Plus is also changing in many other areas, though they won’t be as relevant for Australian-based readers. In a nutshell, some of the major changes are:
- Avios and Tier Points on Finnair flights will solely be based on the price of the ticket, rather than booking classes and distance travelled. This includes spend from travel extras such as meals and extra baggage, but not fees or taxes. This doesn’t apply to flights booked before the changeover happens.
- Partner flights will continue to earn based on booking class and distance flown. However, the earn rate will be based on miles instead of kilometres. This is effectively a devaluation as a mile is longer than a kilometre, though it’s worth noting that most airlines use miles for calculation already, including Qantas and Virgin Australia.
- Current status tiers will remain, although the tier thresholds will change to match the new rates in Avios. It’ll no longer be possible to earn Finnair Plus status by reaching a number of flights. It’ll solely be based on Tier points (and thus, how much you spend).
- New milestone rewards will be introduced between tier levels. Travel class upgrade benefits for Finnair Plus Gold, Platinum and Platinum Lumo will change to become system-wide, with more credits needed for longer flights.
- All Finnair Plus members will be able to enjoy complimentary messaging Wi-Fi onboard most short-haul flights within Europe.
Big changes are in store for Finnair in 2024. The change to revenue-based earning for Finnair flights is unlikely to be popular with its members, as it means that Avios and Tier Points will solely be earned based on how much you spend.
For Australian-based readers, the two most relevant changes are positive ones. The swap to Avios means we’ll likely be able to convert Avios from partner airlines, such as British Airways and Qatar Airways, to Finnair. And the minimum Classic award seat guarantee means members have a shot at getting the elusive Business rewards on every flight – you’ll just have to be very quick!
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