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 – October 1 – November 30
This edition of the Flying Blue promo awards has great news for the traveler who doesn’t mind economy. There are no business class options this time around, but the economy offerings are really good!
The cities from North America that are valid for this promo (and the type of economy) are Chicago is only good for November:
- Cancun (in Air France Prem. Economy) – 25,000 miles one-way / 50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Chicago (in KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way / 50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Houston (in Air France/KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way / 50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Washington DC (in AF/KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way / 50,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
Getting to the gateway cities
If you live in one of the above cities, great! You are ready to go! However, if you do not live in/near one of them, you will have to travel to that city to take advantage of this promo. The good thing about the city selection for this month is that several cities – Chicago, Houston, Washington DC – are reachable using British Airways Avios. That means, if you are within 650 miles of one of those cities, you can use 4,500 Avios (each way) to reach the gateway for your Flying Blue Promo Award ticket. Not bad!
Note: Avios will get you to Reagan National while Air France and KLM depart from Washington Dulles.
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. No marathons in Israel during this period, but there is one coming up in January so look for the next promo!
Fall time is a big time for marathons in Europe. There are some really good ones and being able to get to them from the US for only 25,000 miles and a couple hundred dollars is a steal! Some of them are the frankfurt marathon (October 26) and the amsterdam marathon (October 19). Both are easily accessible with these airlines. So, if you are in the Chicago, Houston, or Washington DC areas (or can easily reach them), this deal could be for you!
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 new 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.