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?