Airline Lets You Exchange Mileage Points For Breast Implants
Posted on November 14, 2009Normally your frequent flyer miles can be redeemed for air travel, car rental, hotel stays or merchandise. But Finnair Oyj, Finland's biggest airline, has gone a step beyond with it's frequent flyer program. Members can cash in their points for plastic surgery. The phrase "racking up frequent flyer miles" takes on a whole new dimension in Finland.
Once you've accumulated enough points, you go have a consultation at the hospital. After that, you turn in your miles for a voucher that can be used to pay for the surgery. So far, no one has redeemed their miles for surgery.Breast implants, hair replacement surgery or a face-lift performed by the Nordstroem Hospital in Helsinki are among the newest offerings in the carrier’s Finnair Plus loyalty service, according to the program's Web site. "Finnair contacted the hospital," Mikko Tuomainen, the airline's director of loyalty programs, said in a telephone interview. "The idea was to incorporate partners and services from all walks of life."
About 1.3 million flyers are enrolled in Finnair's loyalty program, Tuomainen said. Earning the 3.18 million points for breast augmentation surgery requires 120 round-trip, business-class flights between Helsinki and New York, according to a points table on Finnair's Web site. Miles earned with the airline are valid for five years.
Finnair, which added the cosmetic surgery service about a month ago, is in talks with medical practices to offer other health care services, Tuomainen said. Points can also be combined with cash and used for services ranging from restaurants and clubs to car rentals and hotels. Frequent flyers use three-fourths of all points for flights, Tuomainen said.
Finnair is having major financial troubles; the hospital said it is participating in the program to help out the airline. The government of Finland owns 55.8% of Finnair.