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Not only is it a great product, but unfortunately it’s very tough to snag a seat in it. There’s no way to redeem partner airline miles for the product, and the only way to redeem Air France-KLM FlyingBlue miles is if you’re an elite member in the program, and if you’re willing to book the “flex award.” That’s 200,000 FlyingBlue miles one-way in first class between the US and Europe. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so the real “cost” of such a redemption is ~$3,400, not including taxes and carrier imposed surcharges. Ouch.
Well, zoqfotpik shares on FlyerTalk some incredible Air France first class fares that are presently available from the US to Spain (zoqfotpik rocks — he also shared the amazing Easter Island LATAM business class fare yesterday, which I booked).
The good Air France fares seem to be available out of several US cities to several cities in Spain. There’s wide open availability, there’s a 90 day advance purchase requirement, and a Sunday night minimum stay, but it looks like otherwise it’s available through the end of the schedule. As usual, you’re best off using either Google Flights or ITA Matrix to search.
The absolutely best fare seems to be from Boston to Bilbao, and it’s under $3,100 roundtrip:
Meanwhile New York to Barcelona is available for ~$3,400:
Los Angeles to Barcelona is available for ~$4,260 roundtrip, which is about the best paid first class fare I’ve seen on Air France out of LAX:
A similar fare is available out of San Francisco:
You might be able to get an even cheaper price if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN and call to book through the International Airline Program.
They seem to offer a discount off all premium cabin fares on Air France, so the savings could be significant. On top of that, if you pay for the ticket with The Platinum Card® from American Express you’ll earn 5x points, which I value at a further ~8% return.
If you do take advantage of this fare:
- Make sure you plan a long layover in Paris, given how fantastic the Air France first class lounge is
- Book the 777 rather than the A380, since the first class product is much better
In absolute terms these fares are still a lot of cash, but Air France’s first class product is one of the best in the world, and this is a product that’s otherwise very difficult to book. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen first class fares out of the US this low on Air France. So if you have the cash and have been wanting to try Air France first class, this is a great opportunity to do so.
Anyone considering taking advantage of one of these great Air France first class fares?