North America Dissed Again By Air France KLM

One of the great values in the Air France KLM Flying Blue program, historically, has been their ‘promo awards’ — a rotating set of cities for discounted travel. You can fly from any featured city through Paris (if Air France) or Amsterdam (if KLM) to anywhere in Europe for fewer miles.

Once upon a time they were an amazing value, one way business class was normally 50,000 miles and selected cities were 50% off. More recently the ‘normal’ cost has been 62,500 miles and the discounts have been smaller.

Copyright: radututa / 123RF Stock Photo

The number of cities chosen each month for travel to and from North America has shrunk as well. Two months ago promo awards were disappointing — but not non-existent for North America.

Promo awards for May booking and July and August travel is liveBut nothing has changed: There are no North America promo awards this month again.

At the filter to search promo awards doesn’t even include North America as an option.

On the Air France site at least North America still exists, it’s just empty of choices.


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. First, note that the residents of USA have the luxury of being able to transfer credit card points to the Flying Blue program. They can transfer SPG points, Chase UR points, Amex MR points, Citi TY points or Barclay Arrival Premier points. So it’s potentially easier, a lot easier, to accumulate FB miles by using those options. Why would AirFrance/KLM want to give even more incentives to those customers?

    Second, as this blog noted yesterday, currently there’s an Amex promotion for getting a 25% bonus when transferring miles to AirFrance. Transferring 50k MR points means you’ll get 62.5k miles so you can book a one-way to/from Europe, in business class, for 50k MR points.

    Third, the FlyingBlue program will switch to dynamic pricing for the award tickets, in a month from now. Probably as a result of that, the only transatlantic award tickets that I can currently book, from the city where I live (Boston) are on Delta flights, not AirFrance, which is highly unusual. To me that’s preferable, since the award ticket fees are much lower (10x lower, in fact). Would it be nice to also have a FlyingBlue discount for those tickets? Yes. And combine it with the Amex transfer bonus above? Also yes. Is it realistic to expect that from AirFrance/KLM? No, since they’re not stupid.

    So, no, Garry. AirFrance/KLM did not “diss” North America. Au contraire, they seem be quite happy to be doing business with their American customers!

  2. Maybe the flights are full of paying passengers during this promotion period, and they see no need to unload them at a steep discount? It is a business, after all, and they usually make decisions based on that.

  3. Has dynamic pricing not already started? I am seeing ticket prices of 70,000 points for a 500 mike flight to AMS on May 21.days around that have variable prices, non lower that the former saver rate. Seems like flyingblue has devalued more than 25%

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