One-way Delta awards bookable through Air France Flying Blue without fuel surcharges!

Online Travel Review and Gary note that Air France Flying Blue miles can be used for one-way awards on Delta without fuel surcharges (at half the price of a roundtrip), at least when not originating in Europe. This is pretty exciting news since Delta doesn’t give a discount for one-way awards when booking through SkyMiles, so you still end up paying the roundtrip price.

Yet, amazingly enough, that’s not the case with Air France Flying Blue. Keep in mind Flying Blue is an American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner, so this opens up a lot of new opportunities.

Once you have a Flying Blue log-in, just access your account and click on “Award Tickets.” To keep it simple let’s search award space from New York to London, a route on which Delta typically releases a good amount of award space.

Once you click “search” you’ll be brought to an availability calendar.

While most dates list the mileage cost as being 50,000 miles one-way, you’ll notice some dates list a cash component of $19.20, while others list $427.03. It’s safe to assume that those dates that list $19.20 have Delta award space (since there are no fuel surcharges), while those dates that list $437.03 don’t (given the high fuel surcharges).

If you select April 9, for example, you’ll be brought to the results page, which displays three Delta flights with saver award space available:

As I noted above, however, Air France does levy fuel surcharges for one-way Delta awards originating in Europe:

It’s also interesting to note that in some cases booking through Flying Blue is cheaper than booking through Delta SkyMiles. For example, a roundtrip business class award ticket between New York and Tel Aviv would run you 120,000 Delta SkyMiles at the saver level, while it would only run you 100,000 Flying Blue miles (or 50,000 one-way).

Knowing this, I can actually see myself redeeming miles on Delta more often…


  1. This is GREAT! Well, for getting there at least. I am flying out of BWI/DCA/IAD and would love to book a trip to Paris, but getting back looks like it will cost $350-$500 in fees per ticket. Are there any ways around this?


  2. @ Dave — Unfortunately in the other direction you’re out of luck when it comes to avoiding fuel surcharges through Flying Blue. You’d be best off booking either a roundtrip through Delta (to avoid fuel surcharges altogether) or booking the return through United, which doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for awards out of Europe.

  3. also to note it’s only 35,000 miles on flying blue from N. America to Northern S. America including peru. Just did a trip to Peru 35K RT on AeroMexico. Would not fly them again due to a bad eperience, but it’s still a good deal.

  4. @ Panam — They don’t seem to impose them for flights departing Asia, so I suspect it’s only for flights out of Europe.

  5. You mention “Knowing this, I can actually see myself redeeming miles on Delta more often…”

    Except, you’d be redeeming FB miles (or AmEx MR), right?

  6. Echoing AJ: this is not about redeeming Delta Skymiles, but redeeming Flying Blue miles (which can be obtained by AMEX MR transfer) on Delta flights, right?

  7. Can you get AF elite status with a transfer from membership rewards (provided that you transfer a certain amount)?

  8. I just checked DL for a RT from FRA to PTY (Panama)…and it was 90,000 plus $508 in fees.
    I have enough miles with UA for a one way FRA to PTY and it is 32,000 and $5 tax.
    I don’t understand at all. THANKS.

  9. @ ENNOBLER — This is because Delta imposes fuel surcharges for award tickets originating in Europe, while United doesn’t. As far as the mileage price goes, it’s because the “low” level award space isn’t available for your flights.

  10. Lucky,
    You should also note that for people ORIGINATING from Europe/TLV the YQ/fees can be really low depending on date.

    If you come to TLV drop me a line 🙂

  11. Hi Lucky,

    I found a confusing online booking process. I tried to book an one way ticket from SFO to MIA on delta using Flying Blue Miles. ON the search page, it says the classic award 12500 Miles +5 dollars, However, when I choose this award and continue to the final page, it asks for 25000 for this one way ticket.

    I have a post here if you want to see the screen shots,



  12. @ Yi — That’s strange. Are you sure you’re not searching for two passengers? When I do the same search I get the cost of 12,500 miles.

  13. @Lucky

    That’s more confusing.

    As you may check the pictures I post in Milepoint, I double checked I choose 1 passenger.

    I did tried twice as this ticket is for my mother. The first time I unchecked the option “the flying blue member is on this reservation”; And choose the 1st passenger’s age 18+, left the 2nd passenger blank;

    The second time I also left the 2nd passenger blank and checked the option “the flying blue member is on this reservation” as if I was booking an one-way ticket for myself;

    Both gave me the same search results of 12.5K miles but 25K miles for one person on the final page.

    I tried Chrome and Safari on my Macbook Air. I will go to test other browsers on my Windows to see what would happen and will report back soon.



  14. @Lucky

    I checked again with my IE on my Windows 8, the same problem appear again.

    I have updated screen shots of my booking process in the post at Milepoint, would you please take a look at them and help me out there?

    Thanks and I really appreciate that.


  15. @ Lucky

    I just called Air France customer service in Asia (US department is not open now) regarding this issue. The agent understood what I said and agreed to issue the ticket on the phone at the price of 12.5K. She also waived my ticketing fee.



  16. Hello I need help. If I want to use my MR points to fly delta from smf to jac , what should i do. Delta cost 40000 pts. but how does it work if I transfer pts else where and fly delta?

  17. @ leslie — 40,000 miles isn’t the lowest level, so that space wouldn’t be available through any partner airlines. Therefore you’d want to transfer your points to Delta and book through them directly.

  18. Lucy, you are amazing ! Thanks for all the information. I am stuck with airfrance miles of 132k that’s is expiring may 31 2013 and have been unable to redeem them due to the super high fuel charges.

    Here comes my question..

    Is there any other way to extend life of miles other than flying with partner airlines?

    If not, by using your advice up here I can book a flight to .. Somewhere as a vacation destination but you are saying it has to be one way.. That how am I going to fly back?

    Thank you

  19. @ Sibs — If you can fly Delta originating in the US there are no fuel surcharges. This post was simply about one-way awards being an option — you can book a roundtrip for double the miles with no issues.

    Where would you be originating?

  20. I have 75K on Delta and they want min 60K for one way economy ATL – BCN – Flying Blue offers business class for 50K + $462. However when I try to book it tells me I don’t have enough miles with Flying Blue. How do I use my Delta miles to book this?

  21. @ Adele — There’s no way you can convert your Delta miles into Flying Blue miles. This post was about redeeming Flying Blue miles. Unfortunately if you redeem Delta miles you still pay the roundtrip price for a one-way.

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