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Air France KLM makes great award availability to members using their Flying Blue miles (more than what’s offered to partner airlines). Fortunately all the major bank currencies transfer to Air France KLM Flying Blue. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or an American Express® Gold Card you have access to great Air France award space, and points usually transfer instantly.
Last week I wrote about great award availability for a family of four on the Washington Dulles – Paris and Amsterdam flights as well as the new Austin – Amsterdam service.
However it’s worth highlighting just how good availability is across the board, whether you’re looking for West Coast – Europe (notoriously tough) or space for more than two passengers (also hard with most airlines).
One aspect of the program is differing award levels that can be somewhat reasonably priced. So when awards aren’t available Los Angeles – Paris in business class at the lowest 67,500 mile price the upcharge can be reasonable (an extra 10,000 or 20,000 miles for additional availability).
This space is useful if you want to:
- Connect anywhere in Europe
- Travel onward to the Mideast
- Fly as far as India (~ 110,000 miles one way, so farther distances start getting pricy)
- Or even Southeast Asia (115k miles from the US East Coast)
Flying via Europe to Asia gets expensive, but availability can make it worthwhile. For instance here’s business class for two passengers New York JFK – Bangkok (via either Paris or Amsterdam) in July:
Air France serves Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas Fort-Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los ANgeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington Dulles. KLM serves Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York JFK, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Washington Dulles.
For transatlantic travel Air France Boeing 777s have arguably the best product out there in business class, though you want to avoid their Airbus A380 which still has angled seats. Their 777 business class is competitive Europe – Asia as well, since the seat is similar to Cathay’s, EVA’s, and American’s on their Airbus A330s (though those are pretty long in the teeth) and Boeing 777-300ERs.