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!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees