November 7, 2017
Air France Flying Blue Announces Big Changes to Frequent Flyer Program
Air France/KLM is completely overhauling its Flying Blue rewards program effective April 1, 2018 (no this doesn’t appear to be an April Fools prank). It’s changing the way you earn and redeem miles and the way you earn elite status. Most significantly, the program will award miles based on the price of your ticket instead of distance flown. Let’s take a look.
Earning Flying Blue Miles
Flying Blue currently awards miles based on the distance and fare class of your flight. This is changing to a revenue based model in April 2018, which basically means you’ll earn redeemable miles based on how much you spend instead of based on how much you fly. Passengers can earn Flying Blue miles for flights marketed as Air France, KLM, HOP, or JOON, in additional to earning miles for travel on partner airlines. Flying Blue will also award miles for spending on fees like seat upgrades, bag fees, a la carte food, etc. The number of miles you earn will vary based on your level of status as follows:
- Ivory Status: 4X miles per €1 spent
- Silver Status: 6X miles per €1 spent
- Gold Status: 7X miles per €1 spent
- Platinum Status: 8X miles per €1 spent
Flying Blue miles will remain valid as long as you take an eligible flight and credit Flying Blue at least once every two years, you are an Elite or Elite Plus member, or you make a purchase with a Flying Blue credit card at least once every two years.
Earning Elite Status
You’ll earn elite status with Flying Blue based on how many “Experience Points” aka “XP” you earn. Travelers gain XP with every paid flight on Air France, KLM, HOP, JOON, Aircalin, and SkyTeam partner airlines. The number of XP you gain per flight depends on your class and travel distance. Here’s the chart from Flying Blue:
Passengers who earn 100 XP will receive Silver status, passengers who earn 180 XP will earn Gold status, and passengers who earn 300 XP will earn Platinum status. It looks like Flying Blue tracks XP based on a 12-month period from the last point at which you qualified for status, not a calendar year. So the 12-month tracking period will reset every time you qualify for status. Once you attain status, it’s valid for 15 months.
Flying Blue members will be able to redeem miles for any seat on Air France, KLM, HOP, JOON, and Transavia flights beginning June 2018. The number of miles you’ll need will vary based on your origin, destination, date of travel, and class.
Flying Blue is also introducing a new miles & cash option to book award tickets. You’ll be able to pay for 25% of the flight cost with cash and the rest with miles. Finally, passengers will be able to use miles to book add-ons like extra legroom seats, lounge access, and extra luggage.
Images Courtesy of Air France