Awesome: New Finnair Award Seat Guarantee


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The Finnair Plus program is undergoing major changes, as it adopts Avios as its rewards currency. As part of this, Finnair has just introduced an award seat guarantee, which anyone with oneworld miles should be aware of…

Details of Finnair’s award seat guarantee

As anyone who has ever tried to redeem miles can attest to, finding saver level award availability can be difficult at times. That’s why it’s always great when an airline guarantees a certain number of award seats.

Along those lines, Finnair has just implemented its new award seat guarantee, promising anywhere from six to eight award seats per flight:

  • On short haul flights, Finnair is promising at least six award seats, comprised of two in business class and four in economy
  • On long haul flights, Finnair is promising at least eight award seats, comprised of two in business class, two in premium economy, and four in economy

This policy has been implemented as of November 1, 2023, for travel from February 1, 2024, onwards. This means that going forward, you can expect at least that many award seats to be made available when Finnair Plus first opens its schedule, 355 days out.

There are a few exclusions to note:

  • The award seat guarantee doesn’t apply on flights to & from Doha
  • The award seat guarantee doesn’t apply on flights that aren’t to & from Helsinki
  • The award seat guarantee doesn’t apply on flights where tour operators have reserved the majority of seats
Finnair has a new award seat guarantee

Finnair award availability is finally good!

Finnair has historically been really stingy with award availability, so it’s fantastic to see Finnair introduce an award seat guarantee.

Now, there are some important things to keep in mind. While it would appear that at least most additional award space is also bookable through partner programs (and not just Finnair Plus), airlines open award seats at different times.

For example, while Finnair Plus opens award seats 355 days out, American AAdvantage only has access to award seats 331 days out. So if you wanted to redeem AAdvantage miles on Finnair, members of Finnair Plus have a 24-day head start on redeeming.

Even so, at the moment I’m noticing excellent award availability on Finnair, even in peak periods. The catch is that for next summer I mostly see just one business class award seat per flight (presumably because the others have been booked).

For example, you can fly nonstop from New York to Helsinki in business class nearly every day.

Finnair business class award availability
Finnair business class award availability

You can also fly nonstop from Helsinki to Los Angeles in business class most days that flight operates.

Finnair business class award availability
Finnair business class award availability

American AAdvantage charges 57,500 AAdvantage miles for a one-way transatlantic business class award. What’s so great about redeeming on Finnair is that there are no carrier imposed surcharges when booking through AAdvantage, unlike when redeeming AAdvantage miles on British Airways. So if you can take advantage of this award space, it could be a good opportunity.

Finnair business class is an innovative product, as the seat has no recline. The hard product is much better than you’d expect based on that detail, though. However, Finnair’s soft product isn’t quite as exciting.

Finnair has a no-recline business class product

Bottom line

Finnair has implemented its award seat guarantee, whereby the airline guarantees at least two business class award seats on virtually all flights (along with a certain number of seats in other cabins). Finnair has historically been limited with award availability, so it’s great to see this policy change implemented. This could also be a great opportunity to redeem American AAdvantage miles.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this Finnair award availability?

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