FINNAIR: Slashes business class baggage entitlements. Both carry-on and checked luggage.
Finland might be far away and ordinarily have little to do with Australia. But in the last few years, Finnair, a OneWorld member, has been a popular carrier to take Australians to Europe from Qantas flights to Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok or Qatar flights from Australia to Doha. Qantas even plans to wet and then dry lease aircraft from them. They even have an innovative non-reclining new business class Collins’ AirLounge seat.
Content of this Post:
Business Class baggage allowance slashed on Finnair
As of 1 June 2023, Finnair is more than halving its baggage allowance for Business Class passengers. Instead of two 32kg bags, you can now only check in one 23kg bag. And it doesn’t stop there. Hand luggage – is restricted to one piece (formerly two pieces), and one ‘personal bag’ with a combined weight of 10kg. That’s the same as Virgin Australia Domestic! And this applies to all tickets purchased after 1 June 2023.
Business class passengers are being caught out by this rule, and being charged excess baggage at check-in.
There are, thankfully some exceptions for flights involving Japan, mainland China and North America, where between two and three checked bags of 32kg each are permitted.
Think that’s bad. Try your luck in economy with a ‘Superlight’ ticket (for journeys within Europe), which appears to be true to its name. It includes no luggage other than ‘one small bag (40cm x 30cm x 15cm) that is placed under the seat and nothing extra‘. Of course, anything else, like a regular sized carry-on will cost you €9 for flights within Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltics, and €14 for the rest of Europe.
Justification from Finnair
This is almost laughable. It’s all in the name of ‘travel comfort’:
“The target of the changes we are now making is smoother boarding, on-time departures, and travel comfort onboard our flights for everyone. Excess carry-on baggage on board is a known issue, impacting both punctuality as well as travel comfort, and we are also getting regular feedback on this from our customers and personnel,”Valtteri Helve, Head of Product Offering, Finnair
… and Valtteri doesn’t stop there ;
“To support smooth boarding and on-time departures, we are also enhancing the monitoring of carry-on baggage at airports. Excess carry-on baggage, including excessively large carry-on bags, will be moved to the cargo hold at a cost. I encourage everyone to check what the baggage allowance of your ticket is – it is less expensive to buy extra baggage as a travel extra beforehand than at the airport.”Valtteri Helve, Head of Product Offering, Finnair
Ok, people with too much carry-on are annoying, but lets call out this for what it is – a money grab – inspired by ultra low-cost carriers.
And that’s not all
Finnair is changing what it calls its various levels of ticket, and what you do and don’t get included. For the full rundown, and even more amusing justifications, read the Finnair Website, and their FAQ.
If you’re top-tier frequent flyer (Finnair Plus Gold or Platinum or a Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald), then you get an extra piece of checked luggage up to 23kg.
Now, I don’t mind if a carrier wants to nickel and dime passengers for each aspect of their flight. I avoid those kind of airfares like the plague, but I can see the attractiveness to some.
I object to the characterisation that this is all for the passenger’s benefit when it plainly benefits the airline’s bottom line.
On top of that, it seems like a contradiction in branding. On the one hand, Finnair is trumpeting the innovation of its non-reclining seat, which most reviewers seem to like. In Australia, that business class seat came at a very competitive price, raising the awareness and prestige of the brand.
With this baggage move, they are cutting right across that strategy, and associating the brand with ultra-low-cost carriers. Will charging for meals in Economy and Business Class be next?