Air France-KLM Program Changes Coming April 1

A long and growing Flyertalk thread outlines the changes to the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program that go into effect April 1. You’d almost think it’s an April Fool’s joke, it’s so bad.

Mileage earning gets cut back:

  • Most fares will earn less than 100% of flown miles, with only “B” and “S” fares earning 100% of miles flown. Lower fares will range from 25% to 75% earning.
  • Mileage earning for premium fares changes, ranging from a 25% bonus to a 75% bonus (advance purchase restrictive “Z fares” will earn only 25% class of service bonus).

First class redemptions get restricted:

  • Only Elite members of the program can book first class awards. General members, no matter how many miles they have, will be ineligible for first class redemption.
  • Those elites who are permitted to redeem for first class awards will have to spend a whole lot more miles, e.g. 400,000 for Paris-Beijing roundtrip.

As with any such changes, there are naturaly a few bones thrown out so that the program can claim benefits as well as cuts. Straight from the playbook, they throw out a minor sop to elites.

  • Elite members will get extra award inventory of some kind for a 15% mileage premium.
  • Elite will also get access to “extra leg room seats” but the details remain unclear.

I do my best to miniimize my participation in Skyteam programs generally, this doesn’t especially effect me. But I sympathize with Flying Blue (aka “Flying Poo”) members.

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 »

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