Air France Will Announce Total Revamp of Frequent Flyer Program on Monday

Two years ago Air France said revenue-based changes like Delta’s were coming along with a reduction in benefits for silver elites. Although they said it might not happen until the first quarter of 2018.

Last month changes were leaked on Air France’s website including the rate at which customers would earn miles based on the cost of a ticket.

  • No status: 4 miles per Euro
  • Silver: 6 miles per Euro
  • Gold: 7 miles per Euro
  • Platinum: 8 miles per Euro

This is fascinating because:

  1. Earning is less generous than US programs, following Delta, which start base-earning at 5 miles per dollar for non-status members. Flying Blue offers fewer miles (4 not 5, and of course one Euro is with more than one dollar).

  2. Flying Blue is largely already revenue-based. You didn’t earn 1 mile per mile flown on the cheapest fares. Instead you’d earn just 20% of miles flown. And on premium cabin fares you’d earn big bonuses.

It’s now being reported in European press that the full slate of changes will be announced Monday and that changes will go into effect April 1.

Sometimes Google translate offers more accurate text than even the original, suggesting that the article reads “Air France-KLM will launch the Flying Blue flyer-based flyer on the shovel next year.”
Sounds about right.

What is going to change exactly is not known yet. Details will be announced on Monday.

Air France-KLM reports at the presentation of the quarterly figures that it is a complete ‘re-engineering’ of Flying Blue.

(HT: Meneer Guggenheimer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As bad as the US Airlines, particularly Delta, can be about making unannounced changes, they generally give customers nearly a year before big, significant changes to the program. When Delta went revenue-based, existing customers had a long time to prepare. Making changes that will take effect in about 5 or 6 months is hardly sufficient time, especially when some people purchased tickets for 2018 already.

  2. Many short haul segments now in Europe earn a fixed 125 miles or similar with European programs, while very seldom being less then 33EUR in price so this might actually yield more miles on the bargain end of the fare spectrum.

  3. Flying Blue miles are worthless given how high the fuel surcharges are on their award tickets. Their promo awards were good at some point (with some rare 50%, 33% off) but now it’s mostly 25% off on three or four isolated cities each month with spotty availability, and mostly for Canada if anything. And to top it off, AF still has angle-flat business class seats on some of their long-haul flights! No thanks.

  4. In response to your comment above Chris, “Flying Blue miles are worthless given how high the fuel surcharges are on their award tickets.” The vast majority of loyalty programs in 2017 require you find the “sweet spot.” I’ve booked many (6+) Delta Awards in DeltaOne (business class) via FlyingBlue this year for 62,5K miles+€22’ish in taxes. A Business Class seat from the USA to London for 62,5K and under $30USD in taxes is NOT bad to me. And the ready availability on Delta routes ex-USA to Europe with super low mileage and taxes works quite well for me. So, not sure how one can consider FlyingBlue miles “worthless.” Hard to use? Sure. But, most award currencies are hard to use at the low-mileage redemption level in 2017.

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