The new Finnair promotion is a bit underwhelming compared to the current Qatar companion sale ex EU prices. However, for the ease of travelling from the UK with only one stop, they are worth considering. You earn Avios and Tier points on Finnair like Qatar but most routes will work out as slightly less due to the routeing.
Finnair is probably not your first thought when selecting an airline to fly to Asia in business class. If you are looking for the cheapest prices and are collecting Avios or BAEC status, then you would generally think of Qatar on an Ex EU fare. However, Finnair offers a good alternative depending on what your priorities are.
The Finnair A350 is a good product with very similar seats to Qatar. You can read my review here.
If your priority is a direct flight to Asia and you want Avios your best bet is British Airways from Heathrow, but it is likely to be the most expensive. The product isn’t that great either, as the seats are a bit dated and not many have direct aisle access or are stepped over by your neighbour. You will also earn fewer tier points and Avios but you should get there quicker. Although the new Club World service is a big improvement, it is only being rolled out gradually this year.
If you don’t mind a connecting flight and are trying to get extra Avios and/or tier points, then either Qatar or Finnair are good options. See below for the tier point and miles comparison. Assuming the pricing was similar, which would I choose? If there was no difference in aircraft type or price then I would go for Qatar as I find the seats more comfortable, although very similar. However, Qatar’s onboard food and drink is definitely superior.
Tier point and Avios Comparison
The comparison takes London-Singapore return in business class as an example and assumes you do not have any more than blue status in the BAEC:
Tier points 140 x 4 = 560
Miles = 17778
Tier points 140+140 = 280
Miles – 14402
Tier points 80+140+140+80= 440
Miles = 17238
560 tier points is nearly enough for Silver status (600 points) which gives you lounge access even in economy.
A sample of the most interesting sale prices are below. The A350 aircraft currently flies once daily from Heathrow currently but check when you make the booking which aircraft it is. The routes in bold have the A350 from Helsinki:
- Bangkok – £1,589
- Beijing – £1,605
- Delhi – £1,569
- Hong Kong – £1,955
- Seoul – £1,679
- Singapore – £1,899
- Shanghai – £1,749
You can find the offer page here.
Air New Zealand Flash sale from £1797
Air New Zealand are a great airline to fly with in my experience and their current offer to Los Angeles is an excellent price to fly direct from Heathrow. The seats are the same as Virgin Atlantic which are not my favourite ones. This is due to the limited recline as they fold over to make a flat bed rather than reclining. However, they are comfortable enough as I have flown on them to New Zealand without any issues. I have always found the food, wine and service to be excellent too. The prices start from £1,797 return per person when travelling as a pair or group (on the same ticket).
There is also a Premium Economy with their flash sale fares from £2,100 return per person to Auckland. Whilst their Premium Economy is good I would not buy at this price when you can get business class with Qatar from Scandinavia for less than £2000 on a regular basis.
The sale page is here and bookings must be made by 14 February 2018.
This weekend sees a flash sale with Quidco, a UK cashback site. If you haven’t joined Quidco yet, it is worth doing as they often have different offers to TopCashback. It is free to join here. If you join using this link you can get £5 of cashback free.
I often use Quidco for Sofitel bookings as they offer 12-15% cashback most of the time or a bit less for the other Accor hotels. The disadvantage is that you can’t take the cashback as Avios like you can on TopCashback. However, with the 25% boost for Topcashback Avios having ended, you may prefer cash anyway.
The Expedia promotion gives 16% cashback on hotel stays of 2 nights or more. All other hotel bookings get 10%. The offer ends at midnight on Sunday 11 February. The Quidco page is here.