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One of the best uses of Air France/KLM FlyingBlue miles is booking their Promo Awards.
FlyingBlue publishes these every month, and they offer 20-50% off select award tickets on Air France and KLM metal.
Back in the day Promo Awards would consistently be for 50% off and would have a good number of options in business class, though unfortunately they’ve devalued the promotion somewhat since then, and the discounts are now pretty consistently for 25% off. That’s still very good, just not as good.
FlyingBlue just published their latest Promo Awards. These are valid for bookings made between August 1 and August 31, 2016, and for travel between November 1 and November 30, 2016.
FlyingBlue has eight Promo Awards between North America and Europe during this period, which is even more than the seven they offered last month. These include the following 25% off awards:
- Montreal to Europe in KLM economy or business class for 25% off
- Edmonton to Europe in KLM business class for 25% off
- San Francisco to Europe in Air France economy for 25% off
- Boston to Europe in Air France economy for 25% off
- Houston to Europe in Air France economy for 25% off
- Houston to Europe in KLM economy for 25% off
- Detroit to Europe in Air France economy for 25% off
With these discounts you’ll be paying:
- 18,750 miles one-way in economy class, rather than the usual price of 25,000 miles
- 46,875 miles one-way in business class, rather than the usual price of 62,500 miles
The best deal, however is Vancouver to Europe in Air France business class for 50% off. That means you’ll be paying just 31,250 miles one-way, or 62,500 miles for the round trip!
With any of these awards, you can include connections to other points in Europe from Paris and Amsterdam, though you can’t include domestic segments on Delta or Alaska to position within North America.
All saver level space on Air France and KLM in the above markets is eligible for the discounted costs, and these awards are bookable directly on the FlyingBlue website. Availability is excellent, as is usually the case with Promo Awards.
Here’s what business class availability looks like between Vancouver and Paris for a 50% off business class award, for example:
As you can see, that would cost 31,250 FlyingBlue miles one-way. There would also be some mild fuel surcharges, so it’ll cost you ~212EUR one-way.
The Vancouver to Paris flight is operated by a 777-200, and seems to alternate between the new and old configuration depending on the day of the week. So ideally you’ll want to book a flight operated with Air France’s new reverse herringbone seats. When looking at the seatmap, these would be business class cabins with four seats per row, rather than seven seats per row.
Since there’s no first class on these planes, you can also pay to access Air France’s first class lounge on such an itinerary, which I consider to be the world’s best first class ground experience.
As always, there are plenty of routes outside of North America as well. There are some particularly good deals to/from the Caribbean this time, with 25% off business class awards between Europe and:
- St Maarten
- Santo Domingo
- Punta Cana
- Pointe à Pitre
Depending on your travel plans these can be very good values, particularly for Europeans looking for some November sunshine.
Economy awards can also represent a very good deal, given that fuel surcharges on these awards are very limited.
For example, a one-way award from Boston to Paris in Air France economy will cost you 18,750 miles plus $78.82 in taxes and carrier imposed surcharges.
As a reminder, FlyingBlue is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, meaning you can transfer points earned from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card, Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, etc.
You can hold your award ticket prior to transferring points by calling the FlyingBlue call center.
Promo Awards are always worth checking out, and in this case we’re seeing even more awards out of North America than usual. Availability is good in both economy and business class, so if you’re looking for a good value transatlantic redemption, I’d consider one of these awards.
Is anyone intrigued by one of the Promo Awards on the August list?