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 AirFrance.us 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.