Throughout the year the Air France KLM (and related airlines) Flying Blue frequent flyer program offers discounted ‘promo awards’ — generally half off the usual redemption price for flights between Europe and various cities around the world.
And ‘Europe’ has a pretty broad definition:
Europe 1: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Europe 2: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden
Europe 3: Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Western Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine.
Here’s how I described promo awards back in May:
Air France KLM Flying Blue offers ‘promo awards’ at 50% off with the specific cities varying throughout the year.
Several programs transfer to Flying Blue including American Express Membership Rewards, where points transfer instantly. (Back in February they even had a transfer bonus.)
They add fuel surcharges to awards. I almost always find premium cabin awards to be a better value than coach, but airlines (like most non-U.S. frequent flyer programs) that add fuel surcharges to awards are almost never worth redeeming coach award tickets with. That’s because you wind up spending a good chunk of the cost of a paid ticket even when spending miles.
Even with 50% off promo awards, coach redemptions aren’t a great value, but at least they’re somewhat more palatable. Business class awards become especially worthwhile, despite having to come out of pocket for fuel costs. And Flying Blue members can redeem for premium economy, I like business class better but premium economy is a better deal than coach generally and availability is often really good. Further, in general routes that promo awards are offered on tend to be routes that see really light bookings, meaning it’s quite doable to get awards seats.
Awards are going to be offered on a single airline, such as KLM only or Air France only.
Several hours ago, the page where Flying Blue updates their discounted promo awards was showing the available destinations for July and August.
Now, however, the page isn’t working properly, it’s just displaying _no_name_ – _no_name_ (and v.v.) in place of the actual destinations.
Fortunately, a reader had emailed me the available cities.
Europe – Americas
Buenos Aires – Europe, KLM Business Class or Economy
Cayenne (French Guiana) – Europe, Air France Business Class
Chicago – Europe, Air France Business Class or Premium Economy
Dallas – Europe, KLM Business Class
Havana – Europe, Air France Business Class
Houston – Europe, KLM Business Class
Mexico City – Europe, Air France Business Class (August only)
Montreal – Europe, Air France Business Class
New York JFK – Europe, Air France Business Class
Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadaloupe) – Europe, Air France Business or Premium Economy or Economy
Rio de Janeiro, KLM Business Class or Economy
San Francisco – Europe, KLM Business Class
St. Maarten – Europe, KLM Business Class
Washington Dulles – Europe, KLM Business Class
Middle-East and Africa
Accra – Europe, KLM Business Class
Beirut – Europe, Air France Business Class
Burkina Fasao – Europe, Air France Business Class
Dubai – Europe, KLM Business Class
Lagos – Europe, Air France Business Class or Premium Economy
Luanda – Europe, Air France Business Class or Economy
Tehran – Europe, Air France Business Class
Chengdu – Europe, KLM Business Class
Seoul – Europe, Air France Business Class
(The reader also emailed along XIA but I do not recognizes that as an airport code)
Between designated cities in North America and anywhere in Europe, it’s 25,000 miles each way in business class or 12,500 miles each way in economy plus taxes and fuel surcharges. So once they get this sorted, it’s some great opportunities still for summer travel.