In August 2023, major changes were announced to the Finnair Plus program. Finnair is continuing to reveal more details about what exactly we can expect with the new program, and the timeline for it being implemented.
In this post:
Finnair Plus making major changes in 2024
As of March 9, 2024, the Finnair Plus program will be overhauled. This represents a slight delay, as we were initially told the program would be implemented as of some point in January 2024. Let’s go over the details of what’s changing.
Finnair Plus will adopt Avios as rewards currency
In 2024, Finnair Plus will adopt Avios as its rewards currency, which is the same currency used by transatlantic joint venture partners British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia, as well as Qatar Airways and Vueling.
When Finnair adopts Avios as its rewards currency, Finnair Plus points will be converted into Avios at a 3:2 ratio, and Finnair Plus tier points will also be converted into tier points with the new program at a 3:2 ratio.
Finnair Plus Avios & tier points earning rates
With Finnair adopting Avios as its rewards currency, the program will also start awarding Avios and elite status based on how much you spend, rather than how much you fly. This will factor in both ticket revenue and ancillary revenue (though surcharges on award tickets won’t qualify toward this).
Finnair Plus members will earn anywhere from 6-10x Avios per €1 spent, as follows:
- Finnair Plus basic members will earn 6x Avios per €1 spent
- Finnair Plus Silver members will earn 7x Avios per €1 spent
- Finnair Plus Gold members will earn 8x Avios per €1 spent
- Finnair Plus Platinum members will earn 9x Avios per €1 spent
- Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members will earn 10x Avios per €1 spent
Not only is that the rate at which you’ll earn Avios that you can redeem toward awards, but this is also the rate at which you’ll earn tier points toward status. Starting in 2024, elite requirements will be as follows:
- Finnair Plus Silver status will require 15,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Gold status will require 45,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Platinum status will require 80,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo status will require 300,000 tier points (250,000 of which have to be collected on Finnair)
One unique aspect of the Finnair Plus program is that you can redeem your points for elite status. With the new program, you’ll be able to redeem three Avios for one Finnair Plus point. This could be an interesting opportunity for those looking to earn oneworld Sapphire or oneworld Emerald status, given the lounge access perks that this offers.
We’ll see what the limits are on these redemptions, but this potentially means you could redeem 135,000 Avios for oneworld Sapphire or 240,000 Avios for oneworld Emerald. I wouldn’t say that’s a slam dunk, necessarily, but at the margins I could see that being worthwhile.
Finnair Plus Avios redemption rates on Finnair
Finnair Plus has published its new Avios redemption rates. You can expect to pay the below number of Avios for one-way award flights.
Awards also have surcharges, though they’re at least mild. If you have a connecting itinerary, you’ll only be charged the surcharge correlated to the most expensive segment flown.
A couple more things to be aware of:
- When your award booking includes a connecting flight, Avios will be charged separately for each flight, except for flights within Finland and Northern Europe; for example, a Frankfurt to Helsinki to New York business class award would cost you 82,500 Avios (20,000 Avios plus 62,500 Avios)
- Keep in mind that Finnair Plus points are converting into Avios at a 3:2 ratio, so a redemption rate of 62,500 Avios is the equivalent of 93,750 Finnair Plus points; that means some awards are going up in cost pretty considerably
Finnair Plus Avios redemption rates on partners
Finnair Plus has published its partner award pricing now. Finnair Plus will have separate award charts for travel on each partner airline, which is… interesting.
For example, below is the Finnair Plus one-way redemption chart on Alaska Airlines.
Below is the one-way Finnair Plus redemption chart on American Airlines.
Honestly, in some cases the award pricing seems not bad? For example, 30,000 Avios for a one-way first class award on American anywhere within North America (continental US and Canada) could be a good deal, compared to what you’d pay with some other programs. Then again, let’s see what the booking process is like.
Finnair Plus introducing milestone rewards
Finnair Plus will be introducing milestone rewards, whereby you earn certain additional rewards when passing thresholds:
- Finnair Plus basic members will receive 3,000 bonus Avios after earning 12,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Silver members will receive two lounge passes after earning 20,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Gold members will receive two upgrade benefits after earning 55,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Platinum members will receive four upgrade benefits after earning 95,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members will receive eight upgrade benefits after earning 310,000 tier points
- Finnair Plus Platinum Lumo members will receive four upgrade benefits after earning 320,000 tier points
Finnair Plus simplifying upgrade benefits
As of 2024, Finnair Plus will be simplifying its upgrade benefit for elite members, offering just a single type of upgrade voucher, so that members have more flexibility. Then the number of “credits” required for an upgrade will vary based on the flight’s length. Specifically:
- You’ll need one upgrade voucher to upgrade a short haul flight from economy to business
- You’ll need two upgrade vouchers to upgrade a long haul flight from economy to premium economy
- You’ll need three upgrade vouchers to upgrade a long haul flight from premium economy to business
- You’ll need four upgrade vouchers to upgrade a long haul flight from economy to business
Finnair Plus increasing saver award availability
Finnair Plus will increase the number of “saver” award seats available on flights:
- Short haul flights will have at least six award seats (two in business and four in economy)
- Long haul flights will have at least eight award seats (two in business, two in premium economy, and four in economy
This is fantastic news, given how stingy Finnair currently is with award availability!
Finnair introducing free inflight messaging
As of 2024, Finnair will introduce free inflight messaging for all Finnair Plus members on short haul flights operated by narrow body aircraft. Furthermore, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members will receive a 30-minute streaming Wi-Fi package on all flights operated by A319s, A320s, and A321s.
My take on these Finnair Plus program changes
If you’re a Finnair frequent flyer, it’s understandable that you’re probably not excited about these changes. Revenue based points earning is rarely intended to reward the average consumer more, and on top of that, we are seeing some award costs increasing.
That being said, I feel pretty positively about these changes, given the current limited value of Finnair Plus points:
- It’s possible to transfer Avios between the various “currencies,” so we’ll see free transfers between British Airways Executive, Finnair Plus, etc.; that’s valuable flexibility, since currently Finnair Plus doesn’t partner with any major transferable points currencies in the United States, except Capital One
- Finnair Plus currently has horrible redemption values on partner airlines, so when it uses the Avios platform that will improve, both directly and indirectly (by being able to transfer points)
- I’m excited about more saver awards, including a guarantee of two business class award seats per long haul flight
- Finnair Plus will allow you to convert Avios for tier points (which you need for status) at a 3:1 ratio, and this could potentially be a way to redeem transferable points currencies for oneworld Sapphire or oneworld Emerald status
So I’m not trying to be delusional here and suggest that Finnair Plus is making these changes to do us all a favor. However, from a redemption perspective, and for someone who is otherwise a casual user of the program, I think this could be a positive development.
Major changes are coming to the Finnair Plus program as of March 2024. We’ll see Finnair adopt Avios as its rewards currency, and also introduce revenue based points earning. On top of that, Finnair is changing its award costs, and is introducing guaranteed award availability.
For those who just casually collect Finnair Plus points, I think these changes will be a net positive, given the current limited ways to earn Finnair Plus points, plus the limited value of redemptions through the program.
What do you make of these Finnair Plus changes?