Using Qantas frequent flyer points to book Finnair reward flights

Using Qantas frequent flyer points to book Finnair reward flights

Despite not flying to Australia, Qantas' Oneworld alliance partner Finnair offers a comprehensive network of flights between Asia and its Helsinki hub, with a host of onward connections across Europe – not only to the bigger destinations, but many less-popular places too which are traditionally harder to reach by air.

Flights to Helsinki can also be combined with other tickets from Australia, such as with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and then with Finnair onward to Helsinki, giving you even more ways to reach Finland and broader Europe using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: key routes

Finnair's solid network across Asia includes many ports popular with Australian travellers such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, which can all be reached by flying other Oneworld airlines from our shores.

Seasonally, Finnair also runs flights to places like Dubai, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, Guangzhou and Xi'an – again, accessible from Australia – and to Fukuoka in Japan and Astana in Kazakhstan:

That makes Finnair a solid option for flying to Europe on points, because there are so many routes to choose from. You could take these as part of a combined trip with points bookings on another airline, or break your business trip in Asia or the Middle East with some annual leave, taking advantage of your location to jump across to Europe.

Speaking of Europe, Finnair links its Helsinki hub with a huge range of cities across the continent – going far beyond the major destinations of London, Paris and Rome to places like Iceland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Poland and more:

Because Finland is part of the Schengen Area, if you're travelling onward to another Schengen country, you'll clear passport control on arrival in Helsinki and touch down at your final destination as a 'domestic' passenger, meaning you can pick up your bags, walk straight out of the airport and head to your hotel without any fuss.

Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: how many points you'll need

We won't show you the number of points required for every route, but here's what you'd need for a one-way flight on some of Finnair's key flights from Asia and the Middle East – double these figures for a return trip:

To/from Helsinki (one-way) Business class Economy
Singapore
Hong Kong
Bangkok
Tokyo (Narita)
78,000 Qantas Points 42,000 Qantas Points
Beijing (Capital)
Shanghai (Pudong)
Seoul
65,000 Qantas Points 35,000 Qantas Points
Dubai
53,000 Qantas Points 28,000 Qantas Points

Here's how that looks if you were flying to London from those same cities via Helsinki – either when connecting straight through, or spending less than 24 hours on the ground in between:

To/from London (one-way) Business class Economy
Singapore
Hong Kong
Bangkok
Tokyo (Narita)
92,000 Qantas Points 50,000 Qantas Points
Beijing (Capital)
Shanghai (Pudong)
Seoul
78,000 Qantas Points 42,000 Qantas Points
Dubai
65,000 Qantas Points 35,000 Qantas Points

As Finnair flights are calculated using Qantas' Partner Classic Flight Reward table – separate to the table for flight bookings on Qantas' own aircraft – you can mix and match these awards with flights on other partner airlines too, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines from Australia to Asia, and then Finnair from Asia to Europe.

For example, you could fly from Sydney to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific (a 4,581-mile flight) and then from Hong Kong to Helsinki with Finnair (a 4,859-mile journey) on the one reward booking.

As the total distance of your journey would be 9,440 miles, provided you don't spend more than 24 hours in Hong Kong, this would be priced as a single 'Zone 9' ticket – costing you a grand total of 121,000 Qantas Points in business class or 65,000 Qantas Points in economy:

If you chose to enjoy a longer Hong Kong stopover instead and were flying business class, you'd otherwise be up for 65,000 Qantas Points from Sydney to Hong Kong, plus 78,000 Qantas Points onward from Hong Kong to Helsinki (143,000 points overall), as the flights would be calculated individually.

Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: making that booking

As now with all Oneworld partner airlines, Finnair reward flights can be booked online using Qantas Points – so it's as simple as whacking in the details of your planned journey on the Qantas website, making sure "Use points - Classic Flight Rewards only" is selected, and if prompted, logging into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

If your travel dates are flexible, click into the date field and check the "flexible with dates" box to see more results over a one-month period, which could make the difference between finding a suitable flight and missing out entirely.

You'll see what's available on the next screen... but even with that flexibility calendar, I had trouble finding reward seats out of Hong Kong as it's a very popular route, so tried out of Seoul instead, and voila!

Just click the flight and travel type you'd like to book, and the system will confirm the number of points you needed. Provided you have enough, you'll also be informed of the amount of taxes, fees and carrier charges you'll need to pay on on the side as well, and will have another chance to check your travel details before proceeding with your booking.

Flights from Australia right through to Helsinki can be a little tricker – namely, because you need to find flights with reward availability between both Australia and Asia, and then between Asia and Finland – but it's done in much the same way, such as by searching "Sydney to Helsinki" for a connecting journey, or using Qantas' multi-city tool to engineer a stopover or a more complex itinerary.

Also read: Finnair Airbus A350 business class review, Hong Kong-Helsinki

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

12 Comments

  • Rufus1

    Rufus1

    10 May, 2018 09:40 am

    I basically gave up on using the Qantas search engine though, because of the number of times I've searched something like MEL-FRA in business class, and it will show award availability. Then when you actually look at what it offered, it will be a single (often short) sector in business and the rest in economy. Thanks, but flying MEL-SYD at the point end and then SYD-LHR-FRA in economy really isn't what I was looking for...
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 May, 2018 10:46 am

    I often use ExpertFlyer to make things easier, but unfortunately, this one requires patience as ExpertFlyer can only 'see' Finnair economy rewards (not business class), and can't see Cathay Pacific reward flights at all in any class if you were pairing them together.
    No member give thanks

  • twiningb

    twiningb

    10 May, 2018 12:35 pm

    This was downvoted before my response, for some reason I can't understand.This is 100% a problem of which Qantas should be ashamed. They should at least allow a search to optionally disable finding premium awards where the long-haul parts are in inferior cabins.
    No member give thanks

  • 346

    346

    10 May, 2018 12:56 pm

    But occasionally when searching First Class, you find F seats where a sector is in J, so I actually think it has some merit.
    Or when the short sector is in Economy and the long haul in Business.
    Anyway its off topic, I know admit don't like us going off course.
    No member give thanks

  • Ryan

    ryantbr

    10 May, 2018 01:03 pm

    Does anyone know what the approx taxes for the Singapore or Hong Kong to Helsinki route? I don't have enough points at the moment to check, so if someone does have the info, it'd be greatly appreciated.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 May, 2018 01:19 pm

    Hi ryantbr, I don't have the exact pricing figures at hand for SIN-HEL or HKG-HEL, but I did recently book a business class reward with Finnair from Helsinki to Hong Kong (the reverse direction) and the total amount payable in addition to points was EUR139.69, which is around A$221 using today's exchange rates (so there are some carrier surcharges attached to these bookings, but they're not as high as when booking flights with Qantas or Emirates, for example).

    I booked a subsequent Cathay Pacific business class flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane on a separate ticket (not the 'combined' strategy covered in the article), and the charge on that was HKD$544 (A$92 using today's rates), so the total 'cost' of flying business class from Europe through to Australia was $313, which I felt more than acceptable!

    Member who gave thanks

    ryantbr

  • Ryan

    ryantbr

    10 May, 2018 02:08 pm

    Thank you Chris! The taxes seem more than reasonable (which is not always the case when redeeming award flights with Qantas) which is a relief!
    No member give thanks

  • Clayton CJB

    Bollen

    10 May, 2018 11:20 pm

    Great article Chris. I never fly with anyone but Qantas! The USA and Asia is as far as I go intenationally and of course at home. Your article has promted me to think I should mix it up a bit at least with other One World members like Finair and Cathay Pacific at least.
    No member give thanks

  • Liam O'Connor

    l.oconnor

    11 May, 2018 04:09 pm

    Chris, another excellent article. Thank you for publishing and showing us QFF's that there's options outside of Alan's planes!
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  • David Cross

    Gilflyer

    12 May, 2018 12:08 pm

    I have often searched for J class seats via Helsinki from Asian ports (usually from Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Shanghai and Osaka) and have never seen any, does anyone know when Finnair release these (and has anyone been able to get any)
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 May, 2018 12:45 pm

    To give you a very precise answer: the first time these flights are loaded into the system (with possible reward seats) is 353 days before departure at midnight GMT (10am AEST / 11am DST), but of course, reward seats can become available at any time between them and the flight's departure.
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  • David Cross

    Gilflyer

    12 May, 2018 01:17 pm

    Thanks, I know some airlines have different time-frames. I just seem to never see any from Finnair (seem to be even more with Qantas which says a lot) - I will start to look at the other destinations.
    No member give thanks

Guest

24 May, 2018 04:49 am

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