Air France/KLM

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.

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Here’s a Sneak Peek At FlyingBlue’s January 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 very good, just not as good.

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The World’s Best First Class Lounge Is Closing For 5 Weeks

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In the past I’ve ranked what I consider to be the world’s best first class lounges, and at the very top of that list is the Air France First Class Lounge Paris.

It’s not just the world’s best first class lounge (in my opinion), but also the world’s all around best first class ground experience. What makes it so great?

You’ll be picked up at your arriving flight, driven to the lounge, and then driven back to your connecting flight.

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FlyingBlue Publishes New 25% Off Awards To Europe

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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.

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Fly Air France’s New 787 With Discounted Fares

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As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, Air France is the next airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787. To familiarize their crews with the plane, they’ll be flying it between London and Paris 6x weekly (every except Wednesday) between February 6 and March 25, 2017, with the following schedule:

AF1680 Paris to London departing 7:25AM arriving 7:45AM
AF1681 London to Paris departing 9:40AM arriving 11:55AM

Now, that’s a very short flight, so is hardly long enough to really experience the product. However, if you are an aviation geek and want to be among the first to fly the plane, Air France has just announced some special fares between the two airports on the 787.

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Review: Air France Lounge New York JFK

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We spent the weekend in the city (we stayed at the Andaz Wall Street, which I won’t be reviewing again). We got to JFK at around 9AM, plenty early for our 12:30PM flight from New York to Baku. Azerbaijan Airlines departs from JFK Airport Terminal 1, as do many other international airlines. I found it funny that Azerbaijan shared a sign with Meridiana, which is another airline I really want to try.

Azerbaijan’s check-in counter was surprisingly empty, though I guess we were arriving early. I’m used to Terminal 1 being super crowded, though in this case the terminal was almost deserted. That’s the benefit of flying earlier in the day, before most of the transatlantic flights depart.

The people working the Azerbaijan check-in desk were friendly, and processed our check-in pretty quickly. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t ask us if we had our visas. While Americans ordinarily need visas to visit Azerbaijan, there’s a special exception for passengers taking this flight. I was fully expecting they’d be unaware of this policy, so we had printed out all kinds of documentation, etc. Suffice to say I was very pleasantly surprised when they didn’t even ask about a visa.

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Fly Across The English Channel In A Flat Bed

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At ~216 miles and ~40 minutes in the air, London to Paris isn’t exactly a very long flight. Nonetheless it’s a high frequency route for both Air France and British Airways, given what big markets both cities are.

The route is served almost exclusively by tight narrowbody aircraft, where business class is simply economy with a blocked middle seat.

Well, pretty soon there will be an opportunity to fly a special plane on the route, short as it may be.

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