Air France KLM Flying Blue is one of the most convenient frequent flyer programs overall, and a great option for earning Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines benefits, especially across the Atlantic. Reward prices have been reduced in most markets, making the program even more lucrative. Talk about something that bucks the trend.
Flying Blue standardizes and reduces award prices
Flying Blue’s award pricing is dynamic, so the number of miles you pay for an award ticket can vary widely. Where airlines have access to saver-level benefits, prices have historically been very attractive, even for travel between the same region, although prices vary depending on origin and destination. .
Ben Lipsey, director of “Flying Blue” Confirmed The program introduces a new pricing model for award tickets, which will significantly reduce the cost of Saver level award tickets. in particular:
- Business class requires fewer miles in 71% of markets
- Premium Economy requires 68% or fewer miles on the market
- Economy class requires fewer miles in 66% of markets
He explained that new pricing is still being rolled out, especially for Fifth Freedom flights, so stay tuned. Turning to the US, Flying Blue has standardized Saver level award costs across the Atlantic (as far as Europe) as follows:
- One-way economy award costs 20,000 miles
- One-way premium economy award costs 35,000 miles
- One-way business awards cost 50,000 miles
While economy and premium economy awards are now cheaper in certain markets, transatlantic business class awards are generally more expensive. Business class award tickets used to cost between 55,000 and 80,000 miles, but now cost 50,000 miles. Yes, this is true even from markets like Los Angeles and Miami, which were previously typically at the higher end of their pricing.
Saver-level benefits in business class can be difficult to find on Air France and KLM. In that case, the Secret Benefits Calendar can help. Flying Blue does have airline surcharges, but the fare structure is modest, and you can expect to pay around $200 for one-way business class awards.
Flying Blue is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThanksYou, so earning these miles is easy. Transfer bonuses are also common.
What a wonderful & unusual change!
Frequent flyer programs have seen their ratings downgraded so often in recent years that it’s refreshing to see a program making real positive changes. Flying Blue has recently made other improvements, including the introduction of free stopovers and new co-branded first class benefits. I’m impressed with what the Flying Blue leadership is doing here.
50,000 miles in business class on a transatlantic flight is an incredible deal, especially when you consider the stopover options. And it’s even better when you consider how often transfer bonuses occur from transferable point currencies to Flying Blue.
Logically, one might wonder what the pitfalls are. Why do frequent flyer programs actually make such a positive difference? As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Some thoughts:
- On most dates, benefits are only available at non-saver levels. Therefore, these saver seats are not a significant cost center for the program because they are usually vacant most of the time.
- Industry-leading reward pricing increases engagement with the program, drives people to enroll in Flying Blue, and makes it easier to monetize those types of customers.
- I think there are benefits to standardizing saver level benefit prices. This is because it clears up any confusion people may have about the program and makes Flying Blue more visible to consumers.
- There’s also something to be said for attractive premium cabin award pricing. Because any airline executive will tell you that once a customer flies in a premium cabin at least once, they are more likely to purchase one in the future.
My only concern is that Delta has a small stake in Air France-KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and that one of “their” airlines will actually make aggressive changes to their loyalty program. So, I’m worried that I have some kind of serious problem.
Air France-KLM Flying Blue adjusts award prices. The program standardizes award prices in certain regions, which in most cases reduces award costs at the saver level. For just 50,000 Flying Blue Miles, you can enjoy one-way business class awards between the US and Europe.
It’s great that the Flying Blue program reduces award costs in most markets. Because this kind of thing is rarely seen these days.
What do you think about Flying Blue adjusting award prices?