Finnair considers Platinum Plus, VIP frequent flyer tiers

By Chris Chamberlin , June 3 2016
Finnair considers Platinum Plus, VIP frequent flyer tiers

Finnair could soon recognise its most highly valued travellers with new better-than-Platinum frequent flyer tiers in the Finnair Plus program.

The upscaled loyalty level would provide even greater benefits than offered to ‘regular’ Platinum members – and an even higher further invitation-only level hasn’t been ruled out.

“We are very much thinking about how to, in a better way, recognise the top, top-tier customers on our flights at every touchpoint,” Finnair’s Senior Vice President Strategy and Resource Management, Ville Iho, shares with Australian Business Traveller.

“We have some plans to renew the top tier levels (in the Finnair Plus program), but it’s a bit too early to discuss that in detail,” Iho continues.

Finnair wouldn’t be the first Oneworld alliance airline to adopt an invitation-only VIP program: the Qantas Chairmans Lounge, American Airlines ConciergeKey, British Airways Premier and Cathay Pacific Diamond Invitation schemes already target influencers and corporate executives.

“That seems to be, at least, a small trend in the industry,” Iho says of airlines introducing ‘Very VIP’ tiers.

“But of course we also need to consider the market segments, and the levels, and that’s something we’ve been discussing and we continue to discuss: and will come up with that plan if and when we are ready,” he affirms.

Finnair has already begun tweaking its frequent flyer program to remain internationally competitive in lowering the requirements to reach the existing Silver, Gold and Platinum levels, but in turn is removing perks like free lounge access for Silver-grade flyers from August 1, 2016.

Having fewer travellers eligible for year-round lounge access will, however, help to relieve crowding during peak periods: improving the experience on the ground for the airline’s higher-tier guests.

“At the moment we’re considering a separate area for Platinum members (within our lounges),” explains Minna Väätäinen, Finnair’s Manager of Passenger Services (Lounges), “but there are currently some issues with that.”

“So if we cannot offer a special place, or a separate place, we want to do our best to have our customers enjoy their visit, and make themselves feel special in the lounge,” Väätäinen concludes.

Also read: Inside the secret world of VIP travel, invitation-only lounges

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Helsinki as a guest of Finnair.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2011

Total posts 185

Finnair only operates (Albeit possibly the best OW lounge in Europe) lounges at Helsinki Vantaa airport.  

In the Non-Schengen zone they already have a Premium lounge that is in effect a OWE lounge.  So I assume the reference in this article is to creating an equivalent Premium lounge in the Schengen zone??  That would certainly be welcome.  

You really cannot complain about Helsinki Airport or the Finnair lounges though.  Modern, ultra chic Nordic design.  And in the premium lounge the snack and drink selection is great. 

The Premium Lounge is for both Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire, although during peak times Sapphire members may be directed to the standard lounge.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I just love Finnair, use them many times and will use them again and again and firmly believe that they would be greatest partner for Qantas en-route to Europe – in such partnership both party would be beneficial without master-slave relationship as it happens with Emirates. Also I love to see Finnair fly to Australia.

But Finnair very small and Finnair means only one place – Helsinki, so basically all that perks means not “Finnair perks”, but indeed “Helsinki perks” and as such appealing to incredibly small number of pax outside Finland.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

The romance for this idea is unfortunately offset by the impracticability. 3 hops to most of Europe instead of 2, the comparitive lack of trade between our countries (as against UAE), and I imagine the stresses of extreme weather would have a cost impact on aircraft. I'm quite happy to keep the reindeer route somewhat a secret, though would love some more QF codeshare options via BKK, HKG and PVG, and also beyond HEL.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Advertised 2 hops to Europe via Dubai is great myth – if you inspect it carefully you find that many destinations require departure/arrival at very inconvenient time (like 3 am – imagine it in foreign city) or extended layover in Dubai (what you going to do in desert for 12 hours?) and once you discover it you start to thing twice if it really that convenient. From other hand transferring through Helsinki is a breeze – their minimum time is 45 min.


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