One of the cool promotions that Air France/KLM runs several times a year is “promotional awards,” whereby there’s a discount on awards of up to 50% when booking travel on certain routes. Just to be clear, this only applies if redeeming Flying Blue miles for travel on Air France/KLM, and not when redeeming partner airline miles or for travel on partner airlines, for example. Flying Blue is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest, for what it’s worth.
Unfortunately these promotional awards aren’t as good as they used to be, given that in the past they were for a flat 50% off, but now they’re for anywhere between 25% and 50% off. Furthermore, Flying Blue just adjusted their award chart a couple of months ago to raise the cost of premium cabin redemptions, so you’re still paying 50-75% of the higher award redemption costs.
You can find the listing of the September and October promo awards here. As you can see they’re valid for bookings made between August 27 and October 29, 2013, and for travel between September 1 and October 31, 2013.
For example, between Europe and the US they have the following promo awards this go around:
Due to the recent award chart changes, this actually becomes a really good value for travel in coach, since they recently reduced fuel surcharges. For example, between Europe and Chicago you’d be paying 25,000 miles, plus €100 in fuel surcharges roundtrip, plus the taxes. That’s a really tough value to beat for travel to Europe.
Similarly, for travel between Europe and Washington Dulles in business class, for example, you’d be paying 62,500 Flying Blue miles roundtrip, plus the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, which would total about $650 roundtrip. That includes about $500 in fuel surcharges, so when you factor in that you’d otherwise probably be paying 100,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket without fuel surcharges, that still could represent quite a good value.
Anyway, not everyone will find these promo awards useful, though in some circumstances they can be a great value. You can find all the other routes and regions with promo awards here.