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Finnair Adopts Avios, Introduces Free Inflight Messaging, Details New Helsinki Lounge & More

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Daniel Ross
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Daniel Ross

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Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Finnair has detailed a raft of changes to its frequent flyer program and passenger experience which are expected to come into effect from early 2024.

The headline announcement is that its frequent flyer program Finnair Plus will adopt Avios, though free inflight messaging on some flights and the news of a new Helsinki lounge are likely to be of more interest to U.S.-based readers.

“Finnair’s adoption of Avios is a recognition of the global significance of the currency, and the incredible value it has for members worldwide,” said Adam Daniels, CEO of IAG Loyalty.

The airline follows in the footsteps of fellow Oneworld member airline Qatar Airways which also adopted Avios as its currency in 2022.

Let’s look at the details of the changes with a focus on which will affect you the most.

Some Positive Changes

Free Inflight Messaging

In a rare move, Finnair is giving members of its Finnair Plus program free complimentary internet access for messaging when flying on short-haul flights within Europe.

Even if your main Oneworld frequent flyer account is with American AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club, it would be worth signing yourself up for a Finnair Plus account to enjoy free inflight messaging.

Hot Tip:

Finnair currently flies nonstop to Helsinki from the following 6 U.S. cities: Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), and Seattle (SEA). All 6 routes now feature Finnair’s unique non-reclining business class seat.

New Schengen Lounge

Finnair has decided to open a brand new lounge in the Schengen area of departures at its hub at Helsinki Airport (HEL).

This lounge will be accessible to those connecting to or from European nations that are members of the common Schengen travel area.

The space will also feature an exclusive area for Finnair Plus and Oneworld top-tier elites.

More Award Seats

Finnair will make even more Avios awards available. Short-haul flights within Europe will welcome an additional 4 redeemable seats while those looking for long-haul flights with Finnair will benefit from up to 8 additional redemption seats.

Finnair Non Recline Biz Seat
Finnair’s new non-recline business class seat. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

A Not-So-Positive Change

Similar to the change many airline loyalty programs have witnessed, including most recently British Airways, the Avios you earn as a Finnair Plus member will be based on the money you spend on your ticket rather than the distance flown.

As a U.S.- or even U.K.-based reader, this change isn’t likely to affect you.

Final Thoughts

While Finnair’s adoption of Avios won’t have much of an impact on your travels, it’s great to know there’ll be more redeemable seats available, free inflight messaging if you fly Finnair within Europe, and a new lounge to experience when passing through Helsinki.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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