Starting today, Finnair has become the latest airline to offer an unbundled business class fare in the quest for a more individualized and custom-made travel experience. Targeting leisure travelers who do not need more than a carry-on or two and do not care particularly about lounge access, the new ticket type will be offered on most short-haul and intercontinental routes.
Trend towards personalization
Finland’s flag carrier Finnair announced today that it would introduce a new ‘Business Light’ ticket from June 15th. The airline said the move was in line with an increasing trend towards more personalized travel experiences. It will also renew its other ticket types in the same go.
“There is an increasing need to personalise the travel experience, and our new ticket types offer opportunities for choice and tailoring. We want to offer our customers journeys that look like them, and we will be adding more choice and personalisation opportunities to our offering as we re-introduce services and prepare for ramp-up of our operations,” Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer for Finnair, said in a statement.
The new ticket type is specially targeted towards leisure travelers who want to travel light but enjoy the comforts of the premium segment of the cabin. The fare will only include two pieces of carry-on luggage not exceeding ten kilos when combined.
Reservation changes, refunds, airport priority services, lounge access, and in-flight WiFi will not be part of the price. However, customers can then add extras to tailor their experience.
The airline first meant to introduce the ‘Business Light’ option in late March 2020, but as with many plans over the past 15 or so months, Finnair decided to postpone the change. Meanwhile, its CEO, Topi Manner, recently said the airline is still aiming to introduce premium economy in the coming years, despite the delay caused by the pandemic.
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Light, Classic, and Flex in both classes
Finnair’s ticket types are Light, Classic, and Flex, now available for both business and economy fares on all short-haul and most intercontinental journeys. Classic tickets, which the airline says are the most popular, allow ticket date changes for fare difference and include one checked-in piece of luggage.
Economy and Business Flex tickets, meanwhile, are, as the name would suggest, fully flexible and refundable. These also include one piece of checked-in luggage and advance seat reservation. Economy Flex tickets bought after June 15th will no longer include airport priority services. Those who have purchased their tickets prior to June 15th, or who are purchasing Business Flex, retain the privileges and benefits granted by the fare at the time of booking.
As an example, a Business Light non-stop return ticket from Helsinki to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in August costs from about €2,000 (US$2,420), whereas a Business Classic on the same dates goes for €2,343 (US$ 2,847) and a Business Flex for €2,975 (US$ 3,600).
Finnair is not the only airline to have unbundled its premium cabin offering over the past couple of years. Emirates was the first carrier to offer a ‘light’ version of its business class in 2019. Gulf carrier rival Qatar Airways followed suit in November last year.
Would you make use of an unbundled business fare if your airline offered it? Or do you only choose to travel in the premium cabin for the full experience? Leave a comment below and let us know.