Finnair to Adopt Avios, Make Finnair Plus Program Enhancements. Here's What You Need to Know. Finnair to Adopt Avios, Make Finnair Plus Program Enhancements. Here's What You Need to Know.

Finnair to Adopt Avios, Make Finnair Plus Program Enhancements. Here's What You Need to Know.

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Today, Finnair announced several noteworthy changes to its mileage program — from adopting Avios as its mileage currency to guaranteeing a certain number of saver award seats on every flight.

For better or worse, these changes aren't taking place quite yet. Instead, Finnair is waiting until “early 2024” to make any changes to its program. That gives travelers plenty of time to understand the changes before they're implemented.

Here's what we know so far about the changes to the Finnair Plus program — and the details Finnair hasn't shared yet.

What You Need to Know About Finnair's Transition to Avios

Here's a rundown of the specific aspects you need to know about Finnair's transition to an Avios program.

When will Finnair transition to Avios?

Although Finnair made this announcement in August 2023, Finnair isn't making any changes to the Finnair Plus program until “early 2024.” That gives travelers plenty of time to take prepare for the program transition and utilize the program as they're used to it.

How will Finnair Plus points convert to Avios?

When Finnair switches to Avios currency in early 2024, all existing Finnair Plus points will transition to Avios at a 3:2 ratio. Say you have 15,000 Finnair Plus points at the time of the change. You'll end up with 10,000 Avios instead.

That might sound like you're losing value in this change. However…

Will Finnair make changes to its award chart?

Finnair is trying to make it clear that this transition to Avios won't be a stealth devaluation. When Finnair Plus points convert to Avios in 2024, the current Finnair Plus award chart will be adjusted to compensate:

“The value of your existing points does not change when switching to Avios, as the prices in Avios will be updated with the same 3:2 ratio.”

That means your Finnair Plus points will effectively have the same buying power after the transition to Avios as before. That also means Finnair Plus award rates should become a lot more appealing:

Flights between Europe and Asia,
North America, Doha or Dubai
Current Award RateImputed New Rate
Economy45,000 Plus points30,000 Avios
Premium Economy65,000 Plus points43,333 Avios
Business Class95,000 Plus points63,333 Avios

Will you be able to transfer Avios between accounts?

Just like when Qatar Privilege Club joined the Avios scheme, travelers will be able to transfer Avios between the Finnair Plus program and British Airways Executive Club at a 1:1 transfer ratio.

British Airways Avios already transfer to Iberia, Qatar, and Aer Lingus. That means you'll effectively be able to move Avios between the following five programs at a 1:1 transfer ratio — even if it takes a couple of steps:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Finnair Plus
  • Iberia Plus
  • Qatar Privilege Club

Related: How to Transfer Avios Between Accounts (British Airways, Iberia, Qatar, Aer Lingus)

Other Changes to the Finnair Plus Program

As part of these 2024 changes, Finnair is changing more than its mileage currency. Here's an overview of the changes Finnair announced in an email to members:

  • Spend-based earnings: Finnair Plus members will earn Avios based on how much they spend on their flights — rather than the distance of the flight
  • Changes to tier point requirements: Finnair will revamp how elite status is earned to reflect the new revenue-based earning system.
  • Guaranteed award availability: Finnair will guarantee at least four saver award seats on all European flights and at least eight saver award seats on long-haul flights.
  • New milestone perks: Similar to what we've seen American Airlines implement, Finnair will begin rewarding travelers with bonus Avios upon meeting certain thresholds.
  • Free internet on select flights: All Finnair Plus members will get complimentary Wi-Fi on intra-European flights on “operated with Airbus narrow-body aircraft.”

What We Don't Know Yet About Finnair Plus Program Changes

As with any program change announcement tease, we're left with significant unanswered questions. Our biggest questions after reviewing Finnair's announcement:

What will the new Finnair earning rates be?

Finnair is announcing that it's switching to a “spend-based” earning method, but we don't know what earning rates Finnair will utilize. And it's possible that this program change could lead to a significant devaluation in how much travelers are rewarded for Finnair flights.

That's just what we saw in British Airways' transition to a revenue-based system. British Airways took advantage of this program “enhancement” to significantly reduce the elite bonus for Executive Club elites.

Changes to existing transfer ratios?

Currently, Capital One miles, Accor ALL points, and Shangri-La Circle points all transfer to Finnair Plus at a 1:1 transfer ratio. Will this 1:1 transfer ratio be maintained after Finnair adjusts its points be 3:2? If so, Finnair will become a much more appealing transfer partner than currently.

Bottom Line

Avios is quickly becoming the de facto mileage currency for the Oneworld alliance. British Airways and Iberia have used the currency for years. Qatar Airways adopted Avios in 2022, and now Finnair will join the scheme in early 2024.

As with most mileage program changes, Finnair's announcement focuses on the positive changes. However, it's unclear whether these Finnair Plus program changes will be a net positive or negative until we know all of the details.

Guaranteed award availability, milestone perks, and free Wi-Fi on select flights are certainly positives. But, the transition to a revenue-based earning system — and related “review” of the tier point requirements for elite status — have the potential to be significant negatives.

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