FINNAIR: to use AVIOS as its loyalty currency from 2024. Jury out on other changes to the program for Australian flyers
AVIOS is the Frequent Flyer currency promoted by IAG Loyalty, a trading name of Avios Group (AGL) Ltd, an International Consolidated Airlines Group operating company.
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The AVIOS currency, although originated by British Airways owner IAG, can now be earnt with a range of airlines, including:
- Aer Lingus (AerClub)
- British Airways (Executive Club)
- Iberia (Iberia Plus)
- Vueling (Vueling Club)
Which form the suite of IAG-owned airlines. You can also earn Avios on:
- Qatar Airways (Privilege Club) from 2022
- Finnair (Finnair Plus) – from 2024
Avios are transferrable at no cost between these programs (well, Finnair will be in 2024), usually at a ratio of 1 for 1. However, each of the airlines have their own individual redemption charts – so expect some variation in the points required for flights depending on who you redeem Avios through.
As well as redeeming Avios for bookings on these airlines, you can also redeem them for flights on each airline’s partners, which provides a wealth of options.
Finnair Loyalty: Finnair Plus program
The airlines’ loyalty program Finnair Plus is undergoing a bit of a transformation when it adopts AVIOS as its loyalty currency. The changes will include:
- A move to a revenue-based earning model – pay more, get more points
- Milestone benefits – in between tier increments, you will get various rewards, like upgrade certificates
- Internet access on European flights at messaging speed (Whoppdie-do!)
- Bigger and better lounge at Helsinki hub, on the Schengen side – with area for top-tier members
- More reward seats to be available – 4 on European flights and 8 on long-haul – good!
- ‘simplified’ upgrades – that sounds ominously bad.
The downer is that Finnair Plus points will convert to Finnair AVIOS at the rate of 3:2.
Yet to be finalised
We don’t know the exact date that AVIOS will be introduced in early 2024, nor do we know the new tier qualifications levels. We do know that Finnair Plus members will have new earning opportunities, the same as offered to other airline members of AVIOS, and that rates will now be determined by money spent, and not miles travelled.
Tier limits will be revised with the switch to AVIOS and tier points and loyalty currency on partner-marketed or operated flights will continue to be based on the travel class, booking class, and distance flown, but in miles, not kilometres.
Overall this is a good move, providing more options for AVIOS earners across airlines. The increase in available reward seats is definitely good. The change to earn and redemption rates is probably not so good, but we will await the announcement of rates.
Let’s wait until we have more details before deciding it’s worth actively earning AVIOS for Australian-based flyers.