Finnair Announces New LAX Route

Finnair has announced an exciting new US destination today. While the airline operates many longhaul flights, their focus has long been on Asia, and they haven’t operated many longhaul flights to the US.

Their only year-round flight to the US is to New York, and then they operate some seasonal flights to Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco. At least they’ve been expanding the amount of seasonal flying that they do. The airline is now adding a fifth US destination.

Finnair will offer 3x weekly flights between Los Angeles and Helsinki as of March 31, 2019. The new flight will operate with the following schedule on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays:

AY1 Helsinki to Los Angeles departing 4:40PM arriving 5:40PM
AY2 Los Angeles to Helsinki departing 7:50PM arriving 4:05PM (+1 day)

The ~5,600 mile flight will take 11hr westbound and 10hr35min eastbound.

The new flight is already bookable, and there’s some great news on that front. Finnair has plenty of award seats on the new route, with many flights having three business class award seats and five economy award seats.

This is an especially good option if you’re redeeming American AAdvantage miles, since it would cost you just 57,500 miles, and there are no carrier imposed surcharges.

Alternatively you could choose to redeem Alaska miles. They charge 70,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe, and you’re allowed a stopover on a one-way award with them. Still, in general my preference would be to redeem American miles, given that they’re less valuable.

Perhaps what’s most exciting about this is that Finnair will use the A350 for the LAX route, making it their first US route to regularly be operated by the A350. This is excellent in terms of the passenger experience.

Finnair’s A350s feature reverse herringbone seats in business class, and in general I find the plane to be smooth and quiet, so it’s a joy to fly.

As a point of comparison, Finnair’s A330s (which they use on all of their other US routes) feature staggered business class seats, which aren’t quite as good.

Finnair has also announced that in the summer of 2019 they’ll be increasing service to San Francisco, and they’ll operate 4x weekly flights rather than 3x weekly flights. Between LAX and SFO, this means that they’ll operate a daily seasonal flight to California.

All of these routes are operated as part of Finnair’s transatlantic joint venture with American, British Airways, and Iberia, whereby we see the airlines coordinate schedules and fares. Finnair was the last airline in the joint venture not to fly to LAX, so it’s cool to see all the airlines now represented there.

Anyone snagging an award seat on Finnair’s new flight between LAX and HEL?

Comments

  1. Thanks!

    Funny, I saw HEL-LHR on the web, but not TATL.

    I like it better this way as it makes availability stay around a little longer.

  2. I’m excited about this one! I was an exchange student to Finland in the 90s, and haven’t been back since. A stopover using AS or AA miles seems like an excellent excuse!

  3. AY launched LAX back in 1981, with DC-10-30, and a stop at SEA. It’s good to see them relaunch. But I don’t necessarily agree about the differences on seat comfort on A330 vs A350. AY has crammed in a row too many on their new A350s, making the seats extremely cramped. They are also very hard and sleeping in any position except on your back is difficult and uncomfortable.

  4. Having flown both, I actually think I prefer the A330 seat, assuming you can get an L seat or 2A, 4A or 6A.

    The A350 is a more comfortable plane, but the J seat for some reason is not that comfortable in my opinion, particularly as a side-sleeper.

  5. Another route to Europe with AA miles. Big win for us with AA miles stashes. This helps a lot after losing Air Berlin last year.

  6. Finnair award availability does show up on AA.com. There used to be lots of phantom availability, too, but I believe the issue has been fixed.

    The reason why you don’t see many TATL flights available is the AY policy of not making them available to the general public. If you have any kind of status with AY+, you can call and have your preferred flight waitlisted. Depending on status, there is a very good chance of flights clearing within seconds, or in some cases, hours. However, partner programs don’t have the same possibility, so for partner programs, it’s not very easy to catch a TATL award on AY.

  7. @ SG — It is bookable for 70,000 miles. Will update the post to reflect that. In general I’d prefer redeeming American miles, though, given the lower costs and less valuable miles.

  8. Interesting! I use chase UR and really only for TATL from LAX in J. So far I’ve never found helpful availability (no stop in US) on either flying blue or avios. So it has been all United MP on staralliance: Swiss, sas, Austrian. If this means maybe avios availability that would be great. Does anyone know what the miles cost would be? And, importantly, what would be the charge for cancelling or changing an award ticket?

  9. Just snagged one for Memorial Day. Didn’t show up on AA or Expert Flyer but saw the space on BA and called AA.com to book. Thanks again Lucky you rock!

  10. I think this is great for people that want to fly OneWorld to Europe from LAX and don’t want to connect in London. HEL is such an easy airport to navigate, and I’d 100% rather connect through there.

  11. Can’t get availability to show up on BA with avios for May 19. Too far away? Am I just missing something?

  12. just goes to show,most Americans couldn’t care less about visiting Canada,wish it were other way around,LOL. Obviously all those canuck wannabes to Hollywood flyAC

  13. @Tiffany — thanks! I do see it now. Unfortunately, I cannot see any availability on Finnair if I ask to go from LAX to TXL. Of course, Finnair does have lots of flights on that route, but maybe they don’t make business class awards available on that leg, and the system won’t show a mixed-class ticket?

  14. RIght now no connections with points available. But flights dont seem to be fully loaded into the system, ie no connections showing up on Google flights either.

  15. This is awesome, thank you, just picked up a couple seats in June, 115k miles and $19!

    There has been nothing available outside BA for summer with AA miles, huge win! I did have to call, but they saw the same availability as the BA site. Looks like they loaded 3 award seats per flight.

  16. Guys I would not book any travel.

    With both Manafort and cohen guilty trump is likely to start a war with Iran or north Korea to distract.

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