Helsinki is not just a city with over 1,000,000 saunas (that’s a fact, by the way). It’s a place where British Airways Avios holders can extract excellent value for their points, especially those hoping to visit Asia. In addition to slashing the amount of points you’ll need, you’ll save cash in the process and find generally fantastic availability. Here’s why British Airways Avios points holders should pay extra attention to Helsinki…

GC Map

It’s extremely hard to find flights from Western Europe to Asia under 5,000 miles one way, except if you venture over to Helsinki. Flights generally follow a “great circle” path, which is a fascinating way to look at the earth, and if you check out the GC Map, you’ll actually see that Helsinki cuts off a whole lot of distance compared to any other city. Why do you care? For this reason: you’ll pay fewer miles. Partner flights on Finnair or JAL require only 75,000 points on all dates, and taxes and surcharges are less than half what British Airways charges; JAL surcharges to Tokyo run just £70 per passenger one way! That’s a tax and surcharge savings of £300 per person. Flights on British Airways partners, or on British Airways during peak dates would cost 90,000 points one way from virtually any other city. Finnair serves Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo and Bangkok direct, just to name a few spots under 5,000 miles.

Tier Points

Flights from London and nearby to Helsinki in business class are often super discounted and earn 80 tier points each way. Further onward flights to Tallinn, Estonia earn an additional 40 tier points in business. Other random cities can yield even more tier points. These flights can be under £235 return in business class, and some feature Finnair’s long haul flat beds, offering an economical, comfortable and fast route to elite British Airways Executive Club status. Finnair also has many routes over 2,000 miles, such as Helsinki to Lisbon, which earn 140 tier points each way for business class, the same you’d earn for flying to New York. Again, many of these deals can be incredibly affordable, in terms of cost per tier points – relatively speaking.

Excellent Lounges And Availability

Helsinki is a world class airport, with exceptionally good (and quirky) lounges. Furthermore, availability using points is excellent. I recently needed to book a last minute, mid summer getaway to Asia and found myself with abundant options, even for peak summer travel. Finnair also flies the outstanding Airbus A350 to many long haul destinations, offering one of the best seats you can fly to Asia and beyond. Plus, it’s known to reduce jet lag. Is it starting to feel like Helsinki is a magic city for Avios fans? Thought so.