Use Air France’s “Hidden” Award Calendar To Find The Best Award Deals With Miles

Air France KLM’s Flying Blue is the best frequent flyer program in SkyTeam, the alliance of misfit toys. In fact the program is really useful for anyone that wants to travel to Europe, and anyone that wants to search availability on a variety of airlines in the alliance like Vietnam Airlines and Korean Air. It’s useful for booking Virgin Atlantic, too.

  • Air France KLM makes more award space available to their own members than they do to partner frequent flyer programs like Delta

  • It’s easy to get their miles, because they partner with all of the major transferrable currencies like Chase, American Express, Citibank, Capital One and Bilt. There are frequent transfer bonuses especially from American Express.

  • Free stopovers are permitted on one way awards when traveling exclusively on Air France and KLM (must book by phone)

Air France itself has a solid business class product for crossing the Atlantic. I took Charles de Gaulle – Houston on my last trip back from Paris. I’ve got a Paris – Dallas flight upcoming as well.

Here’s a tip from Geobreeze Travel. Julia does an excellent podcast with great tips for beginners. And there are things I do habitually that I forget aren’t just ‘obvious’ that obviously aren’t.

The best way to search Air France and KLM award space is on the website. You hunt and peck a day at a time for availability. But they have a hidden award calendar and all you need to do to see it is leave your travel dates blank.

Here’s what the output looks like:

Award space isn’t always great. During peak summer they’ll ask for 200,000 or 300,000 points each way for transatlantic business class. Over peak of peak holiday dates it could be 700,000 points or more. But Air France KLM is a program to have in your arsenal, and their award calendar is a useful tool if you know it’s there.

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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  1. The single biggest downside to using Flying Blue, aside from the fuel surcharges, is potentially having to transfer at CDG ::vomit::

  2. Can be useful for sure. Frequent Miler posted about this in the early part of last year.

  3. Don’t forget to encourage people to go ahead and create your Air France account, as AF is pretty trigger happy with audits for people who create their accounts and immediately try to transfer and book.

  4. Too many time have come across incorrect availability on their site, so best to confirm before transferring points. Learned that the hard way.

  5. It seems impossible to me that you can crunch out the daily material that you do. Your clock must have 36 hours. I am in awe!

  6. Definitely not a new tip. Frequent Miler and myself have written about previously and here is a tip from my post on Rewards Canada:

    This calendar search only works when you have ‘1 Adult’ selected. The minute you add a second passenger or more you have to input dates for the search to work

  7. Correction to my own comment – looks like Air France has fixed the 1 adult rule. I just got it to work for 2 adults

  8. That this works better than it used to makes it new @patrick but to be fair I was clear in the post I wasn’t sharing something new at all, just that I often forget not everything known is broadly known.

  9. @gary Thanks for clarifying! Yes your post definitely did not say it was new. I may have crossed my paths after reading TPG’s article which stated it was new.

  10. @ed

    no it’s not thousands in fuel surcharges

    @Bobby J

    Nice timing as I just did this for the first time 10 days ago. What an absolute cluster F they are

  11. You often can find a good deal on AF. How about flight from Chicago to Casablanca for family of 6 at 15K OW (in economy). Or for the same 15K OW flight from Chicago to Paris in June ( in economy). You can’t beat this price. Surcharges are $85 from Chicago and $145 from Casablanca

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