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A few weeks ago news came out via TPG and then Frequent Miler that Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program had some great discounted economy class rewards from the U.S. to Europe. We checked it out for ourselves, primarily for our Canadian site Rewards Canada to see if those 15,000 mile and 20,000 mile reward flights worked from Canadian gateways as well. They did.
We then provided coverage on our Canadian site and quite a few of our readers reached out to us to see when this promotional pricing may end. So we went to our contact at Air France to see if we could find out. They came back with good news. There is no end to this pricing as it has now become the norm. That is, the standard lowest economy class redemption rate between North America and Europe, Turkey and North Africa is now 15,000 miles (for Eastern North America) and 20,000 – 24,000 miles (for Western North America)
Here is what they told us:
“this is not a promotional but rather permanent* set-up in order to align better with the actual value of tickets.”
Air France KLM have actually lowered the base redemption rates for their transatlantic economy class fares. This is a bit of surprise to us as their ‘old’ standard redemption rates weren’t so bad to begin with!
* They use the terminology permanent however any loyalty program can always change redemption options whenever they like. I believe in the case of Air France, by stating “permanent” they mean these will be the regular/standard starting point for the miles required for economy class redemptions.
The airline also let us know this will be communicated soon to members which should solidify this awesome news. Currently the Flying Blue website still shows the higher base mileage amount in their Miles Price Estimator like 22,000 miles one way for JFK-CDG:
I would assume the new mileage rates will show in their Miles Price Estimator once they communicate this to their members.
The even crazier thing about this is that they still offer their Promo Rewards on these new rates. For example, right now you can get 25% off reward tickets out of several cities such as New York and Chicago where the one way flights are pricing for only 11,250 miles!!
With American Express in the U.S. currently offering a transfer bonus to Flying Blue now may be the time to look at this program more seriously when it comes to economy class redemptions. Some will argue that the fees and taxes are higher on Flying Blue rewards and technically they are but you have to take into consideration you will be using less miles (or convertible points) for Flying Blue Reward tickets and also that your first checked bag is free on Flying Blue Reward tickets where as many competing programs make you pay for your luggage on economy class rewards unless you have a co-brand card that covers the fee or have elite status.
Wrapping it up
In this post we state standard lowest redemption rate since Flying Blue does price their tickets dynamically so when flights are more full and the cash price of tickets are higher, the more miles you’ll have to redeem and you won’t find these 15,000 mile offers. Despite that, this is still great news seeing how we seem to get one devaluation after another from the airlines, hotels and even car rental programs. That is not the case here as we see this as a true enhancement to the Flying Blue program.
Bottom of the feeding chain for transatlantic travel, the majority of FF would much prefer at least Premium cabin over main one would think. I juts looked at spring 2023 US to France pretty stiff for premium let alone biz. Pretty expensive to get insulted all the wall across !!! Juts kidding AF
I suspect this is because Virgin has been undercutting Flying Blue’s own awards on their own metal.
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