Excellent Air France & KLM Business Class Fares From The US To Asia

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Yesterday I shared some good Qatar Airways business class fares for travel from the US to Asia. They’re not the lowest fares we’ve ever seen, but Qatar has an excellent business class product, they don’t publish as many fare sales out of the US as they used to, and this is also a great way to earn miles with oneworld airlines.

For those who are SkyTeam flyers, at the moment Air France and KLM have some tempting fares to Asia, which are very tempting. As noted in this FlyerTalk thread, Air France and KLM have excellent business class fares for travel originating in Chicago and New York, for travel to Bali, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.


KLM business class 777

Not all city pairs are available on all dates, and as a matter of fact availability is sporadic at best, so you’ll have to be flexible. These fares seem to have seven day minimum stay requirements, and 30 day advance purchase requirements, so this is for someone looking to also vacation in Asia, rather than just fly there and back.

It will take some playing around to find the best fares, so I recommend using Google Flights or ITA Matrix. if you find a fare that’s part of this sale, you should see roundtrip costs of ~$2,400, which is quite good.

What makes this so great?

  • If you credit these flights to Delta SkyMiles you’ll earn 200% redeemable miles, 150% elite qualifying miles, and elite qualifying dollars for 40% of the distance flown; the Chicago to Bali routing above covers over 23,000 flown miles roundtrip, meaning you’d earn 46,000 redeemable miles (before any elite bonuses), 34,500 Medallion Qualifying Miles, and 9,200 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (you’re earning MQDs four times faster than usual)
  • There was a targeted Amex Offer a while back for bookings on Air France or KLM, where you could earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points if you spent at least $1,000 with either airline; if you’re still eligible for that, it could really sweeten the deal

In other words, if you got that targeted Amex Offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee), and spent $2,400 on the ticket, you’d earn a total of 32,000 Membership Rewards points. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so the points you’d earn through your credit card are worth $544 alone. That doesn’t even include the miles you’d earn from crediting these flights to an airline.


Air France business class 777

Alternatively you could book through the Amex International Airline Program, as you’re likely to save an additional $150-200. However, chances are you wouldn’t then qualify for the Amex Offer. Personally I’d take 20,000 Membership Rewards points over those savings.

Bottom line

These fares won’t be for everyone, but these are some really good deals for travel from the US to Asia via Europe. The deal gets even better if you have the Amex Offer that was available a while ago, and particularly if you had it on The Platinum Card® from American Express, since you can earn 5x Membership Rewards points for the purchase as well.

This is especially tempting for Delta flyers who need MQDs to requalify for status, as a $2,400 ticket could earn you over 9,000 MQDs, which is nearly four times the rate at which you’d usually earn them.

So regardless of whether you’re a oneworld or SkyTeam flyer, there are some solid fares for travel from the US to Asia right now.

Anyone plan to take advantage of these Air France and KLM fares?

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Comments

  1. Beware of KL A330s, they’re the only ones on their long-haul fleet with angled business class seats.

  2. also take note of the airport change required in Paris (CDG -> ORY) on the return AF flight example above. I’m sure there are flights at this price that don’t require a change, but be aware.

  3. All this is very good news if using KLM. Beware if you are using Air France, though. The airline is in the middle of endless sporadic strikes which come and go without any prior notice and, if hit, nobody will reaccomodate you for that price… Except of course KLM which gives priority to its own FF program’s Elites and will be unavailable for all others.

    There is such a bleeding of AF passengers these months that their different promotions (this one, Amex etc…) have no other cause.

  4. Word to the wise. Leave at least 3 hours of connecting through CDG. I missed a flight last week due to crazy crowds, bad signage, and having to be bused to 2E M.

  5. I think I’d rather pay the $700 extra to fly ORD-DPS one-stop on QR (ORD-DOH in QSuites) than do two-stops on KLM with 24+ hours additional total travel time roundtrip. The Amex offer makes it a close call, though.

  6. I did see these fares yesterday but not today. Now KLM Business Class US to PVG went from $3100 to $5700 US.

  7. Thank you for sharing! Just booked a week in September JFK-AMS-SIN-DPS. Outbound on the Dreamliner from JFK-AMS and return AMS-JFK on the Queen.
    Silly question, but I have never booked outside of my work portal or Delta.com. How do I credit this KLM trip to my Delta account? Loyal readers/Lucky, help!!

  8. @David L: MQD is based on distance flown x 40%, not fare. So if JFK/DPS is 10000 miles, your MQD (ticket booked and issued by AF/KL/MU/AM/AZ) is 10000 x 40% = $4000.

    @Ryan, you enter your SkyMiles upon booking on AF/KL site. Then you reach out to DL/AF/KL to confirm that your SM is associated on the PNR. You won’t be able to get a DL PNR from AF/KL PNR if no DL metal on the itineraries.

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