Finnair appears to be restricting redemptions by partners like American Airlines
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It looks like a handy use of American Airlines miles for travel on Oneworld partner Finnair is now being severely restricted. As first reported by Ben Schlappig at One Mile At A Time, Finnair appears to be restricting availability on all business-class flights to members of its own frequent flyer program only. Upper-level status members of Finnair Plus are reportedly getting much better availability.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
We reached out to Finnair. They would not confirm new restrictions, but Mari Rouvi from Finnair Communications told TPG:
“The availability for award seats is the same for Finnair Plus members and other FFP members. The only difference is that Finnair Plus members can waitlist for their desired business class upgrade/award even if there is no availability and we don’t offer the waitlist option for other FFP members. Award seats are not guaranteed and are subject to availability and forecast. The availability is limited on every flight, and on some flights, there are no upgrades or business class award seats available due to high business class demand. In most cases we don’t open availability for business class award seats more than 60 days prior to departure, mostly because our forecast is better the closer to departure we get.”
The tighter inventory is not only for long-haul flights on Finnair from the U.S., but also on flights inside Europe and to and from Nordic regions. There is some availability in business on the London to Helsinki route up to two months out, but nothing after that at any mileage price unless you want to fly in Finnair economy class.
In fact, I was unable to find almost any business-class seats on Finnair from the U.S. even within 60 days using the American Airlines website. Some awards appeared to be available, but when I went to book them, they were either routing via London on British Airways or not available at all. Finnair flies to several U.S. cities from its Helsinki (HEL) hub in Finland, including Los Angeles (LAX), New York-JFK, Miami (MIA) and San Francisco (SFO).
Finnair had been a great way to redeem American Airlines miles because they don’t impose huge taxes and fees on award redemptions. If this pattern holds, it further reduces the ability to use American Airlines miles for travel to and within Europe. While Finnair business-class seats from the U.S. have always been hard to find, this makes these seats even more of a unicorn.
Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.