Finnair will adopt Avios as its Finnair Plus loyalty currency next year, replacing the existing Finnair Plus points.
Avios is the same loyalty currency used by British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Qatar Airways (which joined the program last year).
While an official date for the program update has yet to be revealed, Finnair said it expects to make the move in “early 2024.”
Finnair operates from a handful of Oneworld hubs in the United States, including New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to its Nordic hub at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) and onward to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Once the airline has fully adopted Avios, Finnair Plus award points will be converted to Avios with a 3:2 ratio. Avios prices will be updated with the same 3:2 ratio, and the value of current Finnair Plus points will not change.
As with the other programs that use Avios, Finnair Avios can be transferred to any other Avios program at a rate of 1:1, making this valuable currency valuable easy to use.
Following the changeover, a current Finnair Plus points haul of 120,000, for example, would now be worth 80,000 Avios. TPG currently values Avios at 1.5 cents each.
“Finnair’s adoption of Avios is a recognition of the global significance of the currency and the incredible value it has for members worldwide,” Adam Daniels, CEO of IAG Loyalty, said. “We are excited to play a central role in Finnair’s new era for their loyalty program and for their members.”
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Finnair isn’t just changing its loyalty currency. The overhaul will also see the Finnair Plus program shift to a revenue-based earning platform.
This means Finnair will award Avios and elite status based on the amount spent rather than distance flown — echoing similar moves from both British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus.
Many Finnair frequent flyers may not welcome this spend-based shift, but overall, the Avios adoption will hopefully open up much better redemption opportunities across partner airlines.
Coinciding with the overhaul, Finnair will also increase the number of award seats available on flights, guaranteeing at least four award seats on flights within Europe. Finnair’s long-haul flights will see at least eight award seats — good news for those looking for more redemption opportunities.
In addition, Finnair Plus members will be eligible to receive extra rewards, such as upgrade benefits, upon reaching specific point limits, depending on their elite status. However, the details from Finnair here are vague, and exactly how this will look is unclear.
Finally, Finnair Plus members will now receive complimentary internet access for messaging on short-haul European flights operated by the airline’s narrow-body Airbus fleet. This perk will be available regardless of elite status.
In 2024, the airline will create a new Finnair lounge premise with a dedicated space for top-tier members on the Schengen side of Helsinki Airport. The current Schengen lounge will remain in operation until the new lounge opens.
“2024 marks the start of a new era with our loyalty program, with new benefits and improved options for our members to use their earned Avios — both within Finnair and IAG Loyalty’s partner network,” Ole Orver, Finnair’s chief commercial officer, said.
The Finnair Plus loyalty program currently has over four million members worldwide. More information regarding the exact date of the changes is expected to be shared by Finnair later this year.