Finnair to Launch A350 Service to Los Angeles — Award Availability Wide Open

Aug 21, 2018

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Oneworld carrier Finnair is getting great use out of one of the newest widebody jets around — the Airbus A350-900. Now, it’s launching flights from its hub in Helsinki (HEL) to Los Angeles (LAX) on the new aircraft.

The inaugural journey will fly on March 31, 2019, with the route operating three times weekly. It will be the carrier’s first US route with regular A350 service. The schedule is as follows:

  • AY002 Los Angeles (LAX) 7:30pm Departure ⇒ Helsinki (HEL) 4:05pm (+1) Arrival
  • AY001 Helsinki (HEL) 4:40pm Departure⇒ Los Angeles (LAX) 5:40pm Arrival

Finnair was the first European airline to operate the A350 and already has 11 in service, with eight more on order.

Los Angeles is the fifth US destination for Finnair, which also flies to San Francisco (SFO), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA) and New York (JFK). San Francisco will see an additional weekly flight starting in April.

Finnair is a Oneworld carrier, and the route will fall under American’s, British Airways’, Iberia’s and Finnair’s joint venture for transatlantic flights.

Because it’s a Oneworld carrier, you’ll be able to redeem miles, like American AAdvantage or British Airways Avios, for seats on this new route. However, we are aren’t seeing any seats loaded into American’s award calendar or even in Google Flights.

Award tickets are bookable through British Airways, and there seem to be plenty of business and economy seats available throughout the calendar. You should be able to call up American and book these tickets over phone if you want to redeem American miles.

Your best bet is to redeem American miles on the route — you’ll have to pay 30,000 miles for a one-way economy ticket (or 22,500 miles on off-peak dates), or 57,500 miles for a one-way business award.

Finnair's Economy comfort seats.
Finnair’s Economy comfort seats on the A350-900.

Fuel surcharges through American should be reasonable on the route — they’re only $39 for a round-trip itinerary from JFK to Helsinki. TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig reviewed Finnair’s new A350 in business and throughly enjoyed the experience.

Rates aren’t as good with through other programs. You can also redeem Alaska miles (30,000 one-way economy and 70,000 one-way in business) or British Airways Avios (30,000 one-way in economy and 90,000 in business) on the carrier, although an Avios redemption will come with incredibly steep taxes and fees.

If you’re short on American miles, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is currently offering a 60,000-mile sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. You can also earn 70,000 bonus miles after signing up for the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard and spending $4,000 in the first four months.

H/T: Airline Route

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