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Finnair Revamps Loyalty Program: Avios, Spend-Based Earning

Starting in early 2024, the Finnair Plus frequent flyer program will begin using Avios, giving travelers more opportunities to earn and spend points

by Lauren Smith

August 31, 2023

Photo: Airbus A350-900. Courtesy of Finnair.

Finnair is overhauling its Finnair Plus loyalty program and, from early next year, will adopt the rewards currency of several of its Oneworld partners, switch to a spend-based earning model, and increase the number of awards seats on flights.

In what the carrier calls “a new era for Finnair Plus,” it will stop issuing Finnair Plus award points and begin issuing Avios.

Avios is the common currency of several other carriers, including Oneworld Alliance partners British Airways, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus, and Vueling.

Avios can be effortlessly transferred between these airlines, with points earned on one carrier easily redeemed for award seats and perks on another.

Photo: Airbus A350-900. Courtesy of Finnair.

As Finnair adopts the new currency in early 2024, travelers with existing wallets of Finnair Plus points will see them converted to Avios at a rate of 3:2. For example, if you have 60,000 points in your Finnair Plus account, you’ll be given 40,000 Avios.

Finnair issues loyalty currency based on ticket type, booking class, and flight region. But as it switches to Avios, Finnair will begin giving points based on money spent.

Spend-based earning models, including those issuing Avios, are becoming increasingly common across airlines. Iberia switched to a revenue-based model in late 2022, and British Airways will begin issuing Avios based on money spent in October.

Photo: Iberia, Airbus A330 in Madrid. Courtesy of Miguel Ángel Sanz / Unsplash

On flights booked from early 2024, Finnair passengers will earn Avios on flight tickets and travel extras, including seats, meals, and extra baggage. However, you won’t earn the full price of your ticket: taxes, fees, and other airport and service charges aren’t included. Extras purchased during the flight are also excluded, as are extras purchased in connection with rewards flights.

A price table setting earning rates will be published later in the year. Elites at higher membership tiers will likely earn Avios at faster rates.

Finnair is also overhauling how passengers reach and maintain those higher tiers within its Finnair Plus program. Currently, customers can ascend the ladder based on the number of flights taken. However, from early next year, they can only ascend by collecting tier points.

Photo: Finnair, Airbus A350-900. Courtesy of Joshua Leong / Unsplash

Tier point limits will be revised, with the new levels published later this year, and existing tier point balances will be converted with a 3:2 ratio.

Finnair will also increase the number of awards seats available on each flight, giving travelers more opportunities to spend their Avios. On flights within Europe, it will guarantee at least four seats can be booked with Avios, while long-haul flights will have at least eight.

Finnair currently operates flights to Helsinki (HEL) from several U.S. cities: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), San Diego (SAN), and Seattle (SEA).