Air France KLM Introduces New Award Chart, Free Stopovers

Air France KLM Flying Blue is the most useful frequent flyer program in SkyTeam, though it’s not nearly as valuable as it once was. The alliance is generally dreadful, but since Korean Air is devaluing in April, Aeromexico’s program is generally dreadful and Delta SkyMiles is a dumpster fire, Air France KLM is all we’ve got. Plus pretty much every currency transfers to Flying Blue.

So when they announced that the program is changing I was nervous. Nonetheless there’s not much to worry about for most members, though there are things some will value and others will cringe a bit over.

  • I previously reported that first class awards are now only available to Flying Blue Platinum members (no longer open to Golds) and limited to one seat per flight, no companion.

  • Flying Blue has added free stopovers on one way awards. These are only possible for travel exclusively on Air France and KLM, and can only be booked over the phone.

  • They’ve adjusted their regions. Overall I’m not concerned. The first thing I looked for was that the Mideast (East of Turkey) including Israel is in Asia, whereas it was once a great value from the U.S. when it was in Europe.

  • The program has updated award pricing, though it’s not as bad as you’d expect. In general they promote lower premium economy pricing and lower intra-European business class pricing. Some long haul business goes up (e.g. Los Angeles – Europe) while others go down (Europe – Mideast).

    Oddly, having previously eliminated their award chart, they’ve brought one back but also introduced an exceptions chart with examples of city pairs whose lowest award prices are higher than what’s listed in the chart.

    Here’s the award chart showing minimum pricing:

    And here’s the business class exceptions ‘examples’ chart:

Overall I still see Flying Blue as the most useful SkyTeam program, with better award availability on Air France and KLM for their own members than is offered to partners and mostly reasonable pricing when saver inventory is available. The addition of free stopovers on one way awards is great, and modest pricing and region adjustments are things most will be able to live with.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Hi, Gary. Seems from the chart like there is no practical impact to Israel being “moved” to Asia. Is that your take as well? Or since the chart just talks about *minimum* awards do you expect actual redemption rates to be higher?

  2. Similar to JerBlue, Flying Blue has a family pooling plan that allows free mile transfers between family members. A very useful feature.

  3. don’t know if their call center rule changed or not, last year, call center agent won’t book award ticket for you if miles are all transferred

  4. I’m holding an award ticket from the USA to Eastern Europe on AF with Flying Blue. I would love to have a free stopover in Paris. Can I change the reservation now — preferably without a fee?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *