Air France/KLM

Air France FlyingBlue’s April 2017 Promo Awards

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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 good, just not as good.

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Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport

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Our flight from San Francisco to Seoul Incheon was departing at 11:30AM, and we arrived at the airport plenty early, at around 8AM. Korean Air departs from International Terminal A at SFO, and they use check-in Zone 9. Their check-in only opened at 8:10AM, so they were just setting up as we arrived.

The check-in process was friendly and quick, and we were soon handed boarding passes all the way to Kathmandu, and invitations to the British Airways Lounge, which Korean Air uses for their premium passengers at SFO.

Often security at SFO’s international terminals is horrible, though fortunately we arrived ahead of the big rush, and we were through security in a matter of minutes. While SFO’s Terminal 2 and International Terminal G are quite nice, I find that the shopping and food options are fairly limited in International Terminal A.

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Air France/KLM FlyingBlue Improves Their Mileage Expiration Policy

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I find the Air France/KLM FlyingBlue program to be pretty useful, especially since the program is transfer partners with all major transferable points currencies. So the points are pretty easy to accrue, and FlyingBlue is reasonably good about opening up Air France and KLM business class award availability for their own members.

Recently FlyingBlue extended how far in advance you can redeem miles — previously you could only redeem miles at most 305 days out, while now they let you redeem miles 360 days out. That’s a great development, especially as the old system made no sense — members of partner airline frequent flyer programs had access to Air France and KLM award seats before the airlines’ own members did.

Well, FlyingBlue has just announced another improvement. It’s fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, though still worth pointing out. As of March 15, 2017, FlyingBlue miles expire after 24 months of inactivity, rather than after 20 months of inactivity.

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Review: KLM Business Class 777 Singapore To Bali

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The only reason we flew to Singapore to begin with was to be able to get onto the Hello Kitty flight from Taipei. We could have flown direct from Taipei to Bali, but that would have meant no Hello Kitty for us.

So we booked cheap paid tickets from Singapore to Bali on KLM. This is a fun fifth freedom route they operate, as it’s a tag-on of their Amsterdam to Singapore flight. The one-way business class ticket cost about $250.

Our connection in Singapore was about three hours. We weren’t able to check-in online, so we got our boarding passes at the transit desk at Changi Airport. Our flight was departing from gate D42, with boarding scheduled to begin at 5:05PM. So we headed to the gate at around 4:45PM, given that at Changi Airport security checkpoints are at the individual gates.

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FlyingBlue Is Offering A 50% Bonus On Purchased Miles

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Through March 12, 2017, FlyingBlue (the frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM) is offering up to a 50% bonus on purchased miles. The bonus is tiered, meaning you get a bigger bonus the more miles you buy, as follows:

— Buy 4,000 to 8,000 miles and get a 30% bonus
— Buy 10,000 to 28,000 miles and get a 40% bonus
— Buy 30,000+ miles and get a 50% bonus

Non-elite members can purchase up to 75,000 miles per calendar year, while elite members can purchase an unlimited number of miles. You can make purchases in increments of 2,000 miles.

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Air France FlyingBlue’s March 2017 Promo Awards

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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 good, just not as good.

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GREAT DEAL: $2,100 Business Class Airfares To Africa On SkyTeam!

Nairobi business class availability on Delta's website in October

It’s been a while since we’ve seen some business class fare sales on SkyTeam carriers, but there are a few notable deals going on now that are worth jumping on quickly, particularly if you’re eyeing a trip to East Africa — perhaps to try out the new Park Hyatt Zanzibar?

Per this FlyerTalk thread, airfares between Los Angeles and Nairobi are available for as low as $2,146 roundtrip in business class on Delta, KLM and Kenya Airways. What’s notable about this flash sale is that the fares are good through the end of schedule, so this is worth jumping on if you’ve been itching to plan a safari but have been unable to find an award routing that works for you.

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KLM 777 Business Class In 10 Pictures

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After flying from Los Angeles Taipei on an EVA Air 777, and then from Taipei to Singapore on a special EVA Air Hello Kitty 777, it was time to connect from Singapore to Bali on KLM.

This is a fun fifth freedom route operated by KLM, as the plane goes from Amsterdam to Singapore to Bali. I booked a paid ticket on this flight — the business class ticket cost ~$250, which is a pretty good deal, if you ask me.

The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. As much as I think KLM’s baby blue color theme is a bit “out there,” it looks really good on the 777, in my opinion.

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Great Deal: Earn 20K Bonus Amex Points For An Air France Booking

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For those of you not familiar with Amex Offers, it’s a program available through most Amex cards, where different cards are eligible for different savings and bonus offers. In many cases the offers can be huge, and more than offset the annual fee on a card. Sometimes Amex Offers are for discounts, and other times they offer bonus points.

To view Amex Offers, go to the bottom of the account summary page of any American Express card, where you’ll see all the offers you’re eligible for. These offers come in different forms, including discounts and even in some cases bonus points.

At the moment there’s a targeted Amex Offer for 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000+ with Air France. The promotion is valid for registered cardmembers who book through the Air France U.S. website or mobile app through April 14, 2017. That’s a huge points bonus, as it’s in addition to the points you’d usually earn.

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Air France Is Launching Service To The Maldives In November 2017

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The Maldives can be a tricky place to get to using miles & points, so it’s great to see that there’s soon going to be yet another option for getting there.

Air France will be launching 2x weekly flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Male as of November 1, 2017. The flight will be operated by a three cabin 777-200 with the following schedule:

AF222 Paris to Male departing 8:50PM arriving 10:20AM (+1 day) [Wed, Sat]
AF223 Male to Paris departing 1:05PM arriving 7:35PM [Thu, Sun]

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How To Redeem The Fewest Points For An Air France First Class Ticket

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There are a lot of amazing first class products in the world, though they’re not all created equal in terms of how difficult it is to redeem miles for them. Some first class products are wide open with miles, like Korean Air first class. Others are quite difficult to redeem miles for, like Singapore first class and Lufthansa first class.

Then then there are products that are almost completely off limits when redeeming miles. For example, Swiss first class is only available to Miles & More Senator members and above, while Air France first class is only available to FlyingBlue elite members, and only at the flex cost (which is expensive).

However, earlier I wrote about how I really want to try Air France’s new La Premiere product, as I think it’s the only great first class product I haven’t yet flown. With that in mind, in this post I want to take a closer look at the best ways to snag a seat in Air France La Premiere.

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The 2 Best First Class “Products” I Haven’t Yet Tried

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In the past couple of years I’ve written lots of posts ranking various airlines, lounges, etc. Two of the most popular such posts include my list of the world’s six best first class airline products, and my list of the world’s seven best first class lounges.

Quite a bit has changed since I last wrote those posts. Some airlines have opened new lounges and introduced new first class products, while I also had the chance to try some products for the first time. I’ve received several requests from readers asking for an updated ranking, which I’m hoping to do very soon.

The thing is, unlike the airline rankings we see from the mainstream media, which include stock images and are based on airline marketing campaigns, I want to be sure I’ve experienced each of the products I’m ranking firsthand.

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Finally: FlyingBlue Now Lets You Redeem Miles 360 Days In Advance

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Well here’s some great news for Air France and KLM FlyingBlue members, and not so great news for those with partner program miles that they want to redeem for travel on Air France and KLM.

Different airlines open their award “calendars” at different times. Some airlines make award seats available a year out, while others make award seats available only about 10 months out. But there’s even more to the equation when you’re redeeming on partner airlines — there’s the time that the airline with which you have miles opens up their award calendar, and also when the airline you want to actually fly with opens up award seats.

FlyingBlue (the loyalty program of Air France and KLM) has had one of the most restrictive award booking windows. FlyingBlue members have only been able to redeem miles at most 305 days before departure, regardless of which airline they’re looking to fly.

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Check Out The Air France FlyingBlue Promo Awards For February!

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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 good, just not as good.

Continue Reading »