GOOD DEAL: Oneworld Business Class Europe – Asia From $1,634 Roundtrip

a city skyline with lights and a body of water

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Before Qatar Airways came along with its array of amazing Business Class fares between Europe and Asia it was Finnair that hogged the limelight as the airline offering the best premium deals between the two continents.

Over the past year the great Qatar Airways deals have mostly dried up and it has been even longer since I’ve seen a good set of Business Class fares offered by Finnair….but that poor run has now ended.

Finnair is currently offering a number of good Business Class fares between Budapest and Asia so, if you’re looking to get to cities like Beijing, Hong Kong or Bangkok (amongst others) in comfort, these are the fares you should probably be considering….especially as the aircraft on offer has a great Business Class cabin.

a building on a hill with a river in the background
Budapest

The Fare Rules

  • Reservations must be made at least 4 days before departure
  • Minimum stay is 3 days
  • No maximum stay restriction
  • Unlimited free stopovers are allowed
  • Unlimited transfers are permitted
  • Children aged 2-11 are charged 75% of the fare
  • Infants with their own seat are charged 75% of the fare
  • 1st infant (under 2) without a seat is charged 10% of the fare
  • Unaccompanied children are charged 100% of the fare

There doesn’t appear to be an end date or a “must buy by” date attached to this fare so it could be around for some time or it may disappear at any moment.

Destinations, Pricing & Availability

So far I’ve found 6 destinations in Asia to which Finnair is offering good Business Class fares and availability to each is excellent.

From what I’ve seen when searching (using the Matrix search tool) these fares are available for travel in December and for every other month through October 2019 – you shouldn’t have any trouble finding dates that work for you.

Pricing

Beijing – from $1,711 Roundtrip

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Bangkok – from $1,803 Roundtrip

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Delhi – from $1,634 Roundtrip

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Hong Kong – from $1,711 Roundtrip

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Seoul – from $1,711 Roundtrip

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Shanghai – from $1,711 Roundtrip

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Selecting & Booking Flights

As with a number of the better fares I’ve been seeing recently you’ll have to be careful when selecting your flights to ensure that you don’t leave yourself with an unnecessarily long layover.

The fare rules allow you to have a free stopover in Helsinki in either direction so this may be a good chance to visit Finland too but if you just want to get to/from your destination as swiftly as possible you should avoid routings like this one:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

There are a lot of good short layover options available so you don’t have to worry that you’ll be restricting yourself to a handful of flights if you don’t accept a long layover – most itineraries look like this:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

If you want to make sure that the Matrix search only shows you the shorter trip options you may want to consider using parameters similar to these:

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The “max dur 17:00” command restricts the search to trips of 17 hours or shorter (you can tailor this to your own preference).

You cannot book these Business Class fares directly from the Matrix search but they’re remarkably easy to find on Google Flights once you’re happy with your dates and routing.

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The Finnair Aircraft

Most of the long-haul flights you’ll see offered will be for travel on the Finnair Airbus A350….

a screenshot of a flight schedule

…and this is particularly good news because the Finnair A350 had an excellent Business Class cabin:

Finnair A350XWB Review
Finnair A350 Business Class

Finnair uses the same reverse herringbone layout you’ll find in a number of other excellent Business Class cabins and the seats are great for a long-haul flight.

a seat in an airplane
Finnair A350 Business Class

The Business Class cabin on the Finnair A350 is set out in a 1-2-1 layout so all passengers have direct access to an aisle and the cabin feels spacious – it’s quite a contrast if you’re more accustomed to flying in the considerably denser cabins as offered by United Airlines (mostly), British Airways and Delta (mostly).

I should add one word of caution at this point.

On a number of the routes mentioned above (e.g the Bangkok route) Finnair operates both A350 and A330 aircraft and the former is definitely the aircraft to choose.

Where the A350 offers all-aisle access and reverse herringbone seats….

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Finnair A350 Business Class seat map

….the A330 offers a denser cabin with a staggered layout:

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Finnair A330 Business Class seat map

Where the A350’s seats are spacious the seats on the A330 can feel confined and possibly even claustrophobic (this review of an A330 Business Class cabin on Malaysia Airlines will give you a fuller understanding of what I mean).

Earning Miles/Loyalty Points

I suspect most readers will be crediting these flights to either the British Airways Executive Club or the American Airlines AAdvantage program and you’ll do well crediting to either.

All trips credited to the British Airways Executive Club will earn 360 Tier Points while American Airlines AAdvantage elite credit earnings will depend on the distance of the trip being taken (as an example a Delhi trip will earn ~16,678 elite qualifying miles while a Seoul trip would earn ~21,022 elite qualifying miles).

Bottom Line

I’m a big fan of the Finnair A350 Business Class cabin and I’ve only had good experiences with Finnair crews so everything here points to these fares being very good deals.

Yes, the fares aren’t as cheap as some we’ve seen in the past but there’s a good chance that the days of easy-to-find sub-$1,500 Business Class fares to Asia are behind us so we probably have to move on.

If you’re looking to fly East in comfort and at a good price while earning credit towards oneworld status then these fares are worth a look.

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4 COMMENTS

    • I try to keep all pricing on this blog in USD if I can help it – this is a US-based blog with an overwhelmingly US-based readership so keeping as much pricing as possible in USD makes sense (at least to me).

      If you prefer to work in Euros (or any other currency) that’s absolutely fine – that’s up to you.

      Having said all that….

      I don’t believe you’ve paid anything for the information in this post so if you’re too lazy (or too incappable) to convert fares you’ve been handed on a plate into your preferred currency I’m not really going to lose too much sleep over it.

Comments are closed.