November 23, 2016
Complete FlyingBlue Rewards Overview

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Straight to the Point!

  • FlyingBlue is the frequent flyer program of Air France, KLM, Air Europe, Kenya Airways, TAROM, Aircalin, HOP!, and TwinJet.
  • You can redeem FlyingBlue miles for awards on all 20 SkyTeam Airlines and 16 regional partners around the world.
  • Air France and KLM release more award availability to FlyingBlue than to other SkyTeam reward programs. So if you’re looking for an award on those two airlines, you might want to take a look at FlyingBlue.

 

 

Earning Miles


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Twenty SkyTeam Members


  • Flying: Fly on any of the 20 SkyTeam Partner Airlines in addition to the following special FlyingBlue partners: Transavia, Aircalin, Air Corsica, Air Mauritius, Alaska Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Chalair Aviation, Comair, Copa Airlines, GOL, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, TAAG, Twin Jet, and Ukraine International Air.
  • Credit Cards: FlyingBlue is a transfer partner of all four major US transferable reward programs-Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Remember, you get a 5,000 mile bonus for transferring Starwood points in 20,000 point increments.

 

Redeeming Miles

FlyingBlue has three award booking classes

  • Promo-These are the cheapest awards and are typically up to 50% off of Classic award prices. They will be between specific cities within a specific date range. FlyingBlue will update the list of Promo routes at the beginning of every month. You can find the current Promo Award Routes here.
  • Classic-These are the standard awards you can book on all partner airlines in economy, premium economy, or business class (not first class).
    • Examples:
      • US to Europe one-way economy costs 25,000 miles
      • US to Europe one-way business class costs 62,500 miles
  • Flex-These awards have the most availability but cost several times more miles than Classic Awards. Flex awards are the only way to book international first class awards with FlyingBlue-although only customers with an elite FlyingBlue account can book international first class. So if you want to try Air France’s La Premier product, be prepared to shell out a lot of miles and make sure you’re an elite member.
  • Given how astronomically expensive Flex awards are, it really doesn’t make sense to book this class of award.
    • Examples:
      • US to Europe one-way economy costs 81,250 miles
      • US to Europe one-way business costs 187,500 miles
      • US to Europe one-way first class costs 200,000 miles.

 

Some Interesting Redemptions


KLM Airfrance 747 passenger aircraft landing


  • You can use FlyingBlue’s Miles Calculator to check how many miles you need for every partner award booking.
  • US to Aruba economy for 25,000 miles roundtrip on Delta. (FlyingBlue considers Aruba as part of North America on its award chart).
  • US to Hawaii economy for 30,000 miles roundtrip on Delta or business class for 60,000 miles roundtrip on Delta.
  • Europe to Israel economy for 25,000 miles roundtrip. (FlyingBlue counts Israel in the same zone as Europe).
  • Europe to Morocco economy for 25,000 miles roundtrip. (FlyingBlue counts Morocco in the same zone as Europe).

 

Downside’s of FlyingBlue

  • FlyingBlue imposes fuel surcharges on award tickets. The amount varies greatly by airline and route but usually ranges between $0-$300. Flights within the US or Europe are on the low end of the spectrum while international business class awards tend to be on the higher end.
  • First Class international awards can only be booked if you are an elite FlyingBlue member-and only at the ridiculously expensive Flex award level!
  • The booking experience online isn’t the best. Sometimes you will see award seats available but when you get all the way to the booking screen it just won’t be there anymore.
  • Booking awards over the phone can be a hassle. The agents at the call center aren’t always very helpful. If you have any problems with your flight or need to make changes, it can take a long time to process, with long hold times, and a high potential of headaches.

 

 

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