Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program is interesting to U.S. frequent flyers for several reasons.
- They offer one-way awards
- They are an American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You points, Capital One and a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
- They have far more award space on their own flights than Delta has access to.
- They have most of their partners available for online booking
Unfortunately their call centers are frustrating, their website can be too (and has been known to show ‘phantom’ award availability, seats that look available but aren’t really here to book). And they add fuel surcharges onto award tickets.
One of the great values, historically, has been their ‘promo awards’ — a rotating set of cities for discounted travel. You can fly from any featured city through Paris (if Air France) or Amsterdam (if KLM) to anywhere in Europe for fewer miles.
The new promo awards list is out for August bookings and travel in October and November.
Here are routes between North America and Europe:
|Destination||Cabin||One way||Round trip||Operated by|
|Boston||Economy||17,250||34,500||Air France, KLM|
|Houston-George Bush||Economy||21,750||43,500||Air France, KLM|
|Chicago-O Hare||Business||43,500||87,000||Air France, KLM|
|Vancouver||Business||44,625||89,250||Air France, KLM|
I like business class awards at a discount, it could make sense to connect up to Canada for it, especially if you’re in the Pacific Northwest and can easily hop up to Vancouver — though Chicago is going to be the best option for many. And of course there are awards between Europe and other cities and regions.
In the new Flying Blue program flights connecting beyond Paris into Europe are generally less expensive than just flying to Paris or Amsterdam so you’ll get business class deals for less than 40,000 miles each way. So the new cities to fly to Europe from for under 40,000 miles are Chicago, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary – just make Eastern Europe your destination, and Paris or Amsterdam your connecting city.
And bear in mind as I say that Air France KLM Flying Blue offers much better availability to its own members than to partners.