On the 16th of August, it was announced that Finnair would be renewing its current loyalty program, Finnair Plus, and instead are planning to introduce Avios as its new currency in early 2024. They describe these changes as “a new era” for the airline following in the footsteps of their oneworld alliance partners – a more premium and larger scale loyalty program that currently partners with 13 of the top world-class airlines such as British Airways, American Airlines, and Iberia Plus.
A bit about Finnair Plus
The majority of airlines have loyalty programs in which members can earn points and reap certain membership benefits, mainly only when flying with the airline. Finnair Plus is no different. It is recognised as Finnair’s own loyalty program, one that anyone who flies with Finnair can use, even if you’re not a frequent flyer. Currently, the program offers two types of points: award points and tier points, and these are both earnt simultaneously when you fly with Finnair or with any of the airlines that are a part of the oneworld alliance. Award points can also be earnt in other ways, such as making bookings with their hotel and car rental partners.
Why the switch to Avios, and what are the benefits?
Partnering with IAG Loyalty, from 2024, Finnair will use Avios as their point currency instead. This is huge news for those who enjoy collecting Avios points, as despite already being able to spend Avios points to buy reward Finnair flights, there is no way to use them to upgrade your flight.
But why Avios?
Adam Daniels, the CEO of IAG Loyalty, explains that “Finnair’s adoption of Avios is a recognition of the global significance of the currency and the incredible value it has for members worldwide.”.
Furthermore, the program will also become spend-based, meaning that customers will be rewarded directly for their spending. They can collect their Avios and reach certain tiers based on the amount of money that they spend on flights and travel expenses with Finnair. This differs from Finnair’s current system of award/tier points being earnt through the number of flights that have been flown.
The new program will include many more benefits for members, including “milestone benefits,” which will allow members to receive extra rewards. These could include potential flight upgrades if they reach a points limit within their existing tier.
Finnair has also included an extra incentive for members. Those traveling on short-haul European flights operating on the narrow-bodied Airbus fleet can enjoy complimentary internet access for things such as messaging, regardless of their tier status. This is a wonderful benefit as only those flying in business class currently receive half an hour of internet access, so it makes it well worth your while to become a Finnair Plus member if you frequently fly Finnair.
The number of award seats available on Finnair flights is also increasing. Finnair guarantees that at least four award seats will be available on flights from within Europe and eight on their long-haul fights.
What does this mean for existing Finnair Plus members?
Finnair has stated that the benefits that Finnair Plus members are already familiar with will remain unchanged. Those who have already accumulated awards points on the current program will have their points automatically converted to Avios when the new program starts. These will be converted with a 3:2 ratio; however, Finnair has ensured that existing customers are reassured as the value of their existing points will stay the same after it has been switched to Avios due to the prices when spending with Avios being updated with the same ratio.
Brand new Helsinki Lounge
Lastly, it has also been announced that the airline will be investing in a newer, more spacious lounge on the Schengen side of the Helsinki airport. This lounge already allows access for those with a Platinum or Gold status, though from 2024, with specific dates still to be confirmed, it will feature a dedicated area for those with these top-tier statuses. Until the new lounge is open, the current lounge will continue to operate as normal.
What do you think about Finnair’s new announcements? Let us know in the comments!