Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM (and others), offers promo awards at the beginning of each month for special redemptions that usually range from 20% to 50% off certain flights. Most of these flights are typically for economy or economy plus but sometimes Flying Blue will even offer business class fares.
Starting next month, on May 1st, 2016, Flying Blue members will have the chance to get from Boston to Europe in business class for 93,750 miles roundtrip or 46,875 miles one way. This is a great rate for business class to Europe and it even approaches the insane business class redemptions of ANA that go for 88,000 miles to Europe.
You’ll have to book from May 1st to May 31st and travel between July 1st and August 31st to take advantage of the offer.
Don’t forget that for Flying Blue, several countries in northern Africa and even Israel fall into the “Europe” category. These countries are:
- Algeria, Israel, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Getting to the Middle East (to Israel) in business class for 93,750 miles is an absolute bargain when compared to the mileage requirements of other airlines:
- Aeroplan: 165,000
- American Airlines: 140,000
- ANA Partner: 104,000 (high surcharges likely)
- Delta: 170,000
- United: 160,000
There are a few drawbacks to using these promo awards.
First, you’re not allowed to modify or cancel your bookings.
Second, because you’d be flying with Air France or KLM, you’d be paying somewhat hefty fuel surcharges. If you’re heading to Israel, I think the savings are still pretty outstanding considering your other options and if you’re headed to the continent of Europe, they are still good, just not as outstanding as they would be with lower fuel surcharges.
The final drawback is a little unclear. I can’t recall where I came across the information, but I recall reading that stopovers are not allowed on Flying Blue promo awards. A little bit of research shows that some have been able to call in and add stopovers to these bookings, but I’m pretty sure I read that they are not allowed.
The official Flying Blue website only provides the following with respect to the booking conditions of promo awards:
General conditions on Promo Awards
- Reservations must be made exclusively on www.airfrance.com or www.klm.com (except for bookings for children, infants and minors, who are not authorised to book an award on the website).
- In the event that a technical problem occurs when reserving the promotional fare or if the reservation cannot be finalised, the Flying Blue member must log on to the site and repeat the procedure.
- This award ticket may be used on connecting flights within Europe and on connecting flights from Europe to long-haul flights.
- These promotional Promo Awards may not be modified, cancelled or refunded.
- Promo Awards are available for one-way tickets and round trips.
- Flex Awards are not included in the Promo Awards offer.
- Promo Awards are subject to availability
Since stopovers for Flying Blue need to be called in to be booked, there might be some issues in booking a stopover for the promo award. In any event, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.