NEWS: Stansted airport’s eerie pictures, Finnair – business class basic, tier point issues, 10% voucher bonus

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Stansted airport’s eerie pictures

London Stansted has released unique drone footage showing how it is managing the challenge of finding parking spaces for almost 100 aircraft which have been grounded following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reduced operation at what is usually the UK’s fourth busiest airport meant an Essex Police drone, based at Stansted, was able to safely launch and capture the bird’s-eye view of the airfield at a time which would normally be the peak of the flying day.

The footage shows almost all of the airport’s passenger stands occupied by aircraft which would usually be carrying passengers to around 200 destinations across Europe and beyond. It also shows aircraft parked on the north side of the airfield, which usually houses London Stansted’s busy private and charter aviation operation.

Despite most airlines suspending almost all passenger operations, there are still some flights operating in an out of London Stansted, with a handful of passenger flights a day and the airport’s cargo operations continuing to bring vital supplies into the UK.

Airlines are also using the opportunity to carry out essential maintenance on their aircraft and are expected to continue some limited flying to keep their aircraft and crews current so operations can return to normal as quickly as possible once restrictions are lifted.


Finnair – business class basic

finnair northern lights theme business class cabin

A350 business class with Northern lights mood lighting. Photo supplied by Finnair

According to OMAAT , Finnair are joining Emirates in launching a business class basic fare called business light. 

  • These will be valid for travel from Autumn 2020
  • The fare is available for flights within Europe, as well as for flights between Europe and Asia but not transatlantic flights.

What you will still get:

  • two carry-ons weighing 8kg
  • food and drinks
  • lounge access

What’s not included with these new fares?

  • No checked baggage allowance unless you have status when you would get your status entitlement
  • Only earn 150% elite miles, rather than the 200-250% elite miles offered by other fares
  • No changes or cancellations

Finnair tier point issues

Thanks to Marek, TLFL’s sometime photographer, for pointing this one out. Finnair seems to be rebooking into fare class R for some business class, which it used to use for discounted economy. This may be as a result of the introduction of the new business light above. Some people have been rebooked into this class when changing flights which means you get less tier points and Avios in the BA scheme. As yet it is not clear if this is a mistake or a permanent change that BA need to update their tier point calculator for. 


Finnair refunds and 10% voucher bonus

Finnair a350

Several airlines including Qatar and Aer Lingus have been offering an extra 10% bonus as an incentive for customers to take a voucher instead of a cash refund. Finnair are now offering the same.

With their online form, you can apply for a refund for an unused ticket, an unused part of your flight ticket or an undelivered, chargeable travel extra (for example seat or meal). However, waiting times for refunds are currently 8 weeks.

With the gift voucher, you can book Finnair flights (with an AY code) through our website or our customer service. The voucher can’t be used as payment for travel extras. The voucher is valid for one year but you can travel later. The voucher is not personal, so you can give it to someone else or purchase flights for others as well. Finnair will send you the gift voucher within 4 weeks by email together with instructions for booking a flight with the voucher.

How to cancel your reservation:

  • Cancel your reservation first on the Manage booking page or through Finnair Customer Service.
  • Then apply for a refund using the form here.
  • If you want to apply for a refund for several bookings, you need to send a separate form for each booking.
  • The refund depends on your ticket type. If you are entitled to a refund, it will be calculated according to the fare rules of the ticket you have purchased. If you want to know the exact amount before cancelling the ticket, contact customer service.

If Finnair have cancelled your flight due to a flight disruption (for example coronavirus):

  • You can go directly to the refund form and fill it in.
  • You can also apply for a refund after your flight departure date, until the end of 2020.
  • Finnair will fully refund the unused part of your flight ticket, if they have cancelled your flight due to a flight disruption.