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 March bookings and travel in May and June.
Here are routes between North America and Europe:
- Washington Dulles – Economy – Air France & KLM – 25% off
- Mexico City – Economy – Air France – 25% off
- Seattle – Premium Economy – Air France – 25% off
I like business class awards at a discount, and 50% off premium economy can be useful. However 25% off premium economy from Seattle is only moderately useful and really only if you’re based in Seattle. 25% off economy redemptions aren’t great since you do pay some carrier-imposed surcharges. I need to see at least 50% off economy to suggest the awards as worth pursuing.
In the new Flying Blue program flights connecting beyond Paris or Amsterdam into Europe are generally less expensive than just flying to Paris or Amsterdam so you’ll get better deals then you connect onward.
And bear in mind as I say that Air France KLM Flying Blue offers much better availability to its own members than to partners.