Qantas oneworld partner airline Finnair is overhauling their ticket types, creating a new combined business-economy ticket for Asia-Helsinki-Europe flights, and also revamping its Finnair Plus frequent flyer program.
Finnair's new ticket system
There are six ticket types across Finnair's business and economy offerings, with two business and three economy class fares..
A new Pro ticket straddles both classes, although it's somewhat counter-intuitive: you get an economy class seat for the long 12+ hour flight to Helsinki and a "subject to availability" (meaning it's not locked in) upgrade to the airline's Eurobusiness -- which is economy with nobody in the middle seat -- for the shorter hop to your European destination.
The Pro ticket is also a fully-flexible, unlimited changes fare and includes seat selection, priority checkin, security and boarding, an extra piece of hold luggage and a priority baggage tag (although Finnair's priority baggage was zero for three when we flew on a Europe-Singapore return earlier this year).
But there's no lounge access, even after the long inbound flight from Singapore -- especially since we rated Finnair's Europe-bound lounge one of the best we've seen in quite some time. Even if Finnair only offered lounge access after the longer flight, that'd be an improvement.
We'd frankly be much more interested in a "reverse Pro" ticket: a space-available business class seat to Helsinki, lounge access for a shower and breakfast, and then economy for the couple of hours' flight onwards.
Something simiilar been available via southeast Asian hubs like Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore for some time, flying economy (or premium economy) from Australia to Asia, then business onwards.
Qantas Frequent Flyers: watch out for new ticket types
The new ticket types are joined by a change to the way the airline's Finnair Plus club accrues points and redeems them for flights, from a per-mile basis to a set zone rate: so it's the same whether you fly to Helsinki from Hong Kong, Singapore or Japan.
Joining Finnair Plus is generally a bad idea for Australians, since Qantas Frequent Flyer provides opportunities to earn QFF points through credit cards, shopping and so on.
But Qantas Frequent Flyers buying Finnair tickets should keep a weather eye out for the fare type (C, J, Y, and so on) into which they're booking.
Refer to the AusBT guide to fare buckets and how they affect your frequent flyer points -- and Qantas' Finnair points earning page -- for more information on what exactly you're looking for.
(Note: Combo Class refers to the "economy to Asia, business to Europe" fares offered with Qantas.)
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