Fantastic Business Class Award Availability to Europe for 4 Passengers (Air France/KLM/Delta)

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Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program makes much better Air France business class award space available to its own members than to partners like Delta. In fact it’s what I like most about the program, I can often get business class transatlantic seats for several passengers, and it helps that they fly to several US cities – East Coast, Central U.S., and West Coast as well.

Right now there’s great Air France award space for four or more passengers New York – Paris in both directions in February and March. That may not sound like when most people want to go to Europe, but I actually much like it when the tourists aren’t there. And don’t forget this is what gets the whole family across the pond, you can connect onward to warmer destinations as well.

Looking at availability New York – Paris reveals a number of other routes that are fairly open as well, indeed routes that are bookable with miles in other programs such as Delta SkyMiles and Korean Air Skypass.

Here’s New York – Paris for four in business class in February:

Here’s Paris – New York for four in business class (in other words, the opposite direction) in February:

You’ll note plenty of New York – Amsterdam space. That’s KLM. New York – Madrid is generally Air Europa. For a little while Air France KLM wasn’t adding fuel surcharges to Air Europa awards but of late they’ve been doing so again. Of course as long as you’re originating in North America Delta doesn’t add fuel surcharges.

There are several Delta flights offering four or more seats as well — such as London, Zurich, Barcelona, Dublin, Frankfurt, and Lisbon.

Watch out for the aircraft on these routes. Air France’s Boeing 777 business class is arguably the best business product between the US and Europe. However their Airbus A380 product is awful, featuring angled seats.


Air France A380 Business Class

Delta has some very nice business class offerings — just not on the Boeing 767 or 757 which operate on the Dublin and Lisbon flights.

Air France KLM does add fuel surcharges, but their miles are uniquely easy to get since the program is a transfer partner of American Express, Chase, and Citi and their miles usually transfer instantly and they generally charge fewer miles for awards than Delta does. Points can be transferred to Air France KLM Flying Blue from cards such as:

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. With a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95, I suggest that as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. The card earns two points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

  • Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership. (Offer expired)

  • Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a 50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter. And it’s a stronger points-earning card than the $450 annual fee Citi Prestige Card since it doesn’t just earn triple points on air and hotel (Prestige) but on all travel (such as gas). (Offer expired)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Thanks Gary. How are the points requirements on these Flights? I was looking for flights for next summer via Air France for two people and the minimum one way was 113,000 points for business class. Is that typical or just because of the summer? Some days the lowest business was higher then first at 200k!

  2. Flying blue’s new Dynamic Pricing is basically a 300-500% increase in point costs. You’d have to be nuts to use it now. I’m susprursied a lot more travel sites are not taking about it- let alone promote/trick people into using it?

    Also how are you getting a calendar view of awards when they removed that ability in the website.

  3. I agree with Tina…. it would be really helpful to give points required now that Delta doesnt have a standardized chart. Makes comparison of DeltaPesos vs Korea Skypass much easier.

    Thanks for alert though!

  4. speaking of DL own metal Level 1 saver awards, for a company notorious for not releasing any meaningful long haul J on their own flights, the amount of biz-class award seats you can find on MSP-HND is suspiciously high from personal generic searching experience, across the full year, much more so than pretty much any of their other TPAC offerings, even when compared to NRT flights.

    My guess is that DL probably wants to move MSP-HND to another hub, but their previous HND spat with DOT and the resulting issuing of DFW-HND as backup for that route authority means DL’s hands are really really tied in terms of what actually can be done.

    (and personally, I feel the convenience of HND is slightly over-stated for anyone who isn’t a business passenger heading for Chiyoda Minato Roppingi etc with a taxi – the need to change trains at either Shinagawa or Hamamatsucho somewhat negates its advantage compared to the long-but-single-seat ride that Narita Express offers from NRT straight into places like Shinjuku or Shibuya; never personally bothered with Skyliner cuz after switching at Nippori or Ueno you still need to spin around half of Yamanote Line)

  5. For those that are commenting on Flying Blue’s dynamic pricing, I am seeing (and booking) pretty good availability two or three months out on AF from JFK to CDG at the 71,500 point and the 57,500 point level in business class for two people. I have limited experience with Flying Blue, but I was very easily able to transfer over points from AMEX MR and Chase UR and book a late summer trip to Europe at much lower mileage requirements than I could with Delta (surcharges were $200 per flight, but whatever).

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