Travellers stung as Finnair slashes baggage allowance

Business class tickets now impose tighter restrictions on carry-on and checked bags.

By David Flynn, August 7 2023
Travellers stung as Finnair slashes baggage allowance

Business class travellers are used to receiving a generous checked baggage allowance as part of their higher fare and premium passenger experience, but that’s no longer the case with Finnair.

The Finnish flag-carrier member is a popular choice for Australians headed for Europe and connecting via Singapore and Bangkok, especially on a Oneworld itinerary with partner Qantas.

But under sweeping changes to Finnair’s baggage rules, business class passengers bound for Europe have had their wings clipped to a single checked bag – yes, just one piece of luggage – weighing 23kg for all tickets bought from 1 June 2023 onwards.

(There are exceptions for flights to and from Japan, mainland China and North America, where between two and three checked bags of 32kg each are permitted.)

Compared to Finnair’s previous checked baggage policy of two bags weighing 32kg each, you can see why frequent flyers are being caught out at the airport and being slugged with excess baggage fees.

Of course, travellers booking Finnair’s ‘unbundled’ Business Light fare are not entitled to any checked luggage at all.

Fees for additional checked luggage above that permitted by your Finnair business class ticket range from €29 for flights within Europe and €75 for flights to/from Asia if prepaid online – but if you leave it until you get to the airport check-in counter, each extra bag can cost you €60 for flights within Europe and €120 for flights to/from Asia.

Fortunately, top-tier frequent flyers enjoy one extra piece of checked luggage (to the same 23kg limit) as a complimentary status perk: this includes Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members, along with their Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents (such as Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One card-holders).

Tighter cabin bag restrictions, too

Even if you prefer to travel light, you’ll want to check the scales: all Finnair business class fares are now restricted to one standard carry-on bag (previously two) and one smaller ‘personal’ bag with a total weight of 10kg - and remember, it’s not uncommon for even an empty cabin bag to tip the scales around 2kg on its own.

This is almost no different to the 1+1 bag policy in the economy cabin, expect that economy ticket-holders face a combined limit of 8kg – while a new Superlight economy fare permits only one very small bag that must be placed under the seat in front.

Finnair says its cabin baggage clamp-down is designed to deliver “smoother boarding, on-time departures, and travel comfort onboard our flights for everyone.”

Airline crew at check-in and gate areas will be more active in monitoring baggage allowances; “excess carry-on baggage, including excessively large carry-on bags, will be moved to the cargo hold at a cost,” promises Valtteri Helve, Head of Product Offering at Finnair.

More details on the new baggage allowances and charges can be found at the Finnair website.

For the many positive things to be said about Finnair – which will soon be flying its latest business class between Sydney and Singapore – these changes to baggage allowances are set to be a disincentive to many business travellers and holiday-makers.

As a quick references, and without even taking frequent flyer status into account, Qantas permits 40kg of checked baggage on an international business class ticket without any limit as to the number of bags; British Airways and Cathay Pacific each allow two checked bags of 32kg; while Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways all permit 40kg of checked luggage.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 155

Is this just Finnair or are we about see all the others do it too? Making it retrospective to apply to already bought tickets is a) insulting and b) may be a breach of contract.  Anyway, Finnair has obviously embraced the Ryanair doctine - if you can make the punters pay more then do it and grin.

29 Nov 2021

Total posts 3

It's not retrospective, it was announced in mid-May for tickets issued from 1 June.  All tickets bought before 01/06 maintain the old limits. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 156

Nobody should be surprised by Finnair's move. When you start down the slippery slope of copying LCC, there is no stopping: a little cut here, a little cut there...and on it will go until the original product is devalued. Personally, I hate having to remember all the nitpicking limiting 'rules' when I travel. That's why I fly business long hauls its with airlines that don't do these petty moves to extreme (i.e. SQ).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 317

All for anything that gives everyone the space to store their carry on overhead but the new checked restrictions are stingy to say the least.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Sep 2016

Total posts 12

This is a really disappointing move by Finnair. To give Business Class travellers the same checked baggage allowance as Economy has nothing to do with improving on-tome departures and looks to be a misguided attempt at reducing costs - at the expense of alienating some of its most profitable customers.


03 Aug 2020

Total posts 21

In a world of fierce competition in the premium market, I would have thought this to be an unwise move but I guess time will tell 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 362

Surely, they are relying on other carriers to follow suit, otherwise it's a massive own goal.

Bold strategy...let's see how it plays out for them. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 30

Very easy answer here:   Just stop supporting Finnair.   Don't fly with them.   Plenty of choices from Australia to Europe.   The day is now here where travellers have had enough from these greedy airlines.    

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 65

They should also start charging for meals onboard the business cabin along with charge per visit lounge access too.

If they can also start charging for airport check in for business class passengers who havent checked in online - then that would be the icing on the cake.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 19

No more travelling on Finnair. I'll keep enjoying Emirates for the Middle East and Europe, and Qantas for the rest of the world.


30 Jun 2015

Total posts 26

Finnair keeps cheapening the product delivery and concurrently increasing prices.  They are in crisis due to the closure of Russian airspace (just how badly is they are wet leasing planes to Qantas who would have driven an eye watering discount).  Meanwhile they drive away long haul retail customers with nickel and dime games like this.  No longer on my list, in fact have gone from bucket list tryout to avoid.

like fiji air, think airlines are doing it to counter the lcc model. eg. jetstar to fiji, often cheapest online, but previously weren't comparing apples with apples & fiji air probably lost sales to JQ, as punters didn't look at what checked luggage was with JQ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Mar 2018

Total posts 8

Shame Finnair have a good business product. The "clamp down to deliver smoother boarding is pure spin. checking in will be longer and more frustrating for both staff and passengers. how much "smoother" will it be at the gate with the return of online check in, bag drops and hand luggage only passengers turning up.  Only 1 + small item carry on helps boarding I can see that.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 48

I won't shed a tear if Finnair goes belly up. Time to boycott greedy airlines , hotels etc and put pressure on them on social media too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 186

Having just come back from 6 weeks in the UK, I'm glad we went with CX, the 2x 32kg limit was more than enough. We did buy an extra case for the return and ended up with 26Kg, 24Kg and 20kgs.  

07 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

I agree with Felipe. Stop supporting them. It is no surprise when some Airlines have cut travel agents'/brokers' commission to 1% and in some cases 0%.

If your destination is Finland you have a choice in Scandinavian via Stockholm. Admittedly Star Alliance and not oneworld.

Qatar Privilage Club

31 Mar 2023

Total posts 7

The checked in baggage allowance for business class is a bit harsh however I completely agree with the carry on baggage rules, I am so sick and tired of people taking up too much overhead bin space.

Lets face it, one bag becomes two and two becomes three, people just take the Micky unfortunately.

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 31

Wow. That's insane!

16 Jun 2023

Total posts 4

Sad, there goes Finnair. The Biz Class cabin bag change is a deal breaker for us. We travel only with two cabin bags each, (one small wheelie and one under-seat) so that is still possible BUT the combined 10 kg doesn’t work. Our weight is usually to the Qantas spec - 10kg in the wheelie and 4 kg in the underseat. The 10kg total limit is not do-able  - unless we take to wearing VERY flimsy garments  (would not be pretty!)  and we are not about to start checking a bag. Back to Emirates or SQ! 

This new regulation seems to be aimed at European flights. Have flown Finnair numerous times in Euro business, has never been a problem to accommodate cabin bags. Though have seen Economy  with issues with cabin bags.

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 26

Interesting -- I'm flying business Athens-Heathrow nect month with BA but flight operated by Finnair. Tickets booked on Qantas points Sep. 2022. I should be OK, but it could get interesting. We're on a RTW trip with more than 23kg of luggage each.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 42

You will not be affected by this. The Finnair operated BA flights are BA in all but the aircraft and crew. BA rules apply.


12 Nov 2018

Total posts 16

Well that’s just insulting… it will be a deal breaker for me who travels HK to Europe and takes near two heavy bags every time (one full of sports equipment.)

An exception for mainland China and not HK is just nasty… With American Airlines virtually abandoned Asia, being booked into an unbundled business lite by American Express on Qatar that excluded lounge address and with Cathay Pacific extorting fares and lousy service. Its looking increasingly likely I may be leaving Oneworld behind all together. 

I normally travel with a wheelie bag plus a laptop when travelling LHR to BNE. Does this mean I cannot take the laptop?

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 100

Just canceled two business class flights with Finnair . To make such an uncompetitive decision and even worse backdate the decision Finnair is not worthy of my business . With excellent competition all with fully RECLINING business seats my decision required little thought . Finnair no more .

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2020

Total posts 8


It wasn't backdated, ET only just learned of the change and published the news. It was announced by Finnair earlier in the year, but doesnt effect any booking made before June 1 with the existing 2 x 32kg allowance. 



Emirates Airlines - Skywards

19 Jul 2014

Total posts 29

Sorry Finnair you were good to fly, however no longer. Trust you all did a cost analysis on this petty move, how much you make how much you lose, you just lost me..


05 Jun 2012

Total posts 129

I am surprised that - as an Australian-focused website - you didn't point out that under IATA rules where there is more than one carrier on a particular leg, baggage rules will be those of the Most Significant Carrier (MSC).  Where Australian passengers are connecting through to Europe, it may very well be that the MSC will not be Finnair but the carrier entering or leaving Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 418

What if you were on the code share flight number? Your  contract is with the code share airline. Will fly finnair them a lot less.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 95

As a traveller, tourist or business trip, I am not sure I have ever checked more  than a single suitcase. Even when travelling with my partner we tend to travel with one case and a roll aboard (which we will check from time to time), this doesn't affect me at all. We enjoyed Finnair and will do it again. I do wonder what people pack that requires 64kg plus luggage?  The two of us just came back from 6 weeks travelling two hemispheres, two seasons, three continents, including a desert in the Andes and a wedding in Canada. Our single suitcase weighed in at 25kg, the rollaboad a 5kg. I am not writing this to sound noble, but I seriously do not get why people need to travel with so much.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 48

Can't agree more. Check-in luggages are such a hassle.

But I find the the cabin luggage limitation to be too unforgiving. At least allow up to 15 kg? I need to read a bit more about the rule but if 10 kg include laptop and electronics, then it is rather tough. Laptop, charger, portable batteries and what not can easily be 3 kg already. Luggages themselves can weigh 2-3 kg, each, on empty! Leaving you less than 5 kgs for your stuff. Impossible. Unless you do check in luggage, and wasting good hour waiting for your luggage (in some ports, they take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to appear...).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 681

@anthony watts - I admire your ability to travel with just one bag to Europe. However, your "25kg bag" will now exceed the allowable limits stated in the article of 23kg, unless you are a oneworld Sapphire, Emerald  or above). Not everyone will meet this exception.

It is sad that Finnair has to resort to this 'option', given their problems with previously accessed Russian air-space - but those restrictions are destroying Finnair's EU-Asia route network. This is a move of financial necessity (imposed on Finnair) rather than "a greedy choice". 

This is precisely the reason that Finnair has had to outsource / lease aircraft to QF, BA and QR/ It also explains indirectly why Finnair has chosen to grant exceptions to this new policy in respect of flights to HKG and Japan. The real shame is that the policy hasn't been extended to Australia, given that - preCOVID - Finnair was the leader on mixed class fares from Australia to Europe ie: fly QF to SIN or HKG in Y and then fly J class to Europe from those connection points. This current move will destroy that market for Finnair in Australia, unless the policy is updated IMO.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Travellers stung as Finnair slashes baggage allowance