Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program of KLM and Air France) runs a program they call Promo Awards. I have discussed these awards before, but here is an overview. These promo awards are award routes that offer a 25% – 50% discount off of normal award mileage requirements for certain city pairs. The promo awards come out on a regular basis and are applicable for certain cities in the US to Europe. These awards must be redeemed on the Flying Blue airlines (such as Air France, KLM, etc). As a result, these awards come with large fuel surcharges/taxes.
However, last year, Flying Blue announced a devaluation of their award program. With that devaluation came them dropping that fuel surcharge on economy award tickets (not everything in a devaluation is bad!). Now, these economy awards come with a flat 50 euro surcharge each way (plus any taxes). This makes the economy promo awards a lot more enticing if you live in or near the targeted cities. Business class awards, however, have retained the higher surcharges (in the high hundreds of dollars for a round-trip).
Flying Blue Promo Awards – February 1 – March 31
Last month, there were a lot of options with the Promo Awards. This time, not so much. I like that they have at least kept the discount to 50% and, if they had to pick an airport to keep for 12,500 miles, I am glad they chose Chicago. That is because you can use 4,500 Avios (if you do not have the British Airways Visa, it will give you 50,000 Avios after meeting the spending – Link) to fly American Airlines there if you are within 650 miles and still keep your total award cost to less than anyone else (with the exception of US Airways and their off-peak awards to Europe – see here).
The cities from North America that are valid for this promo (and the type of class offered) are:
- Chicago (in KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way / 25,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Toronto (in Air France Premium Economy) – 25,000 miles one-way / 50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- New York JFK (in Air France Premium Economy) – 25,000 miles one-way /50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
These awards are bookable from now until December 31, so if something strikes your fancy, better to move on it!
Ways To Maximize
This is especially useful since Flying Blue classifies Tel Aviv as part of Europe. That makes the least expensive way to reach Tel Aviv from the US. The Tel Aviv Marathon is taking place in February and the Jerusalem Marathon in March, so this could be a great way to get to those races at a lower price!
Getting Flying Blue miles
If you have Membership Reward points, you can transfer them over at 1:1 (except for one American Express has bonuses) to Flying Blue. So, if you have one of the Amex Membership Reward earning cards (like the Amex Platinum – consumer/business/ Mercedes Benz – Premier Rewards Gold, Business Gold Rewards, or the Everyday cards), you can transfer those points over. In addition to those cards, you can also transfer SPG points over at 1:1 with a 5,000 mile bonus for every block of 20,000 points transferred. Both methods are free.