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 – January 1 – February 28
Certain routes are actually only available from January 12 – February 28.
Travel Tip – on cities that have both Air France and KLM options, always select the KLM flights as it will save you around $50 roundtrip in taxes and fees over Air France flights. Also, if you do not want to pay the (higher in fees) price for the return, you can select Delta flights for 25,000 miles in economy and and up to $110 less than the AF/KLM options. That will also provide non-stops to JFK (instead of connecting in Europe).
This edition of the flying blue promo awards is quite a bit better than it was last time (only 25% off last month). January and February is typically a slower time for travel to Europe, but that is not a bad thing. It can mean you get a lot more for less money with your travel and that certain places are not as crowded. Plus, Air France classifies Israel as part of Europe so this is the cheapest way to get to Israel on awards. The Tiberias Marathon is January 9th and I will be running it – you should grab one of these awards and join me! 🙂
The cities from North America that are valid for this promo (and the type of class offered) are:
- Montreal (in KLM Business Class) – 46,875 miles one-way / 93,750 miles round-trip (25% off)
- Toronto (in Air France / KLM Business Class) – 46,875 miles one-way / 93,750 miles round-trip (25% off)
- Houston (in Air France / KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way /25,000 miles round-trip (50% off) / Valid for travel from January 12
- Los Angeles (in Air France Economy) – 18,750 miles one-way / 37,500 miles round-trip (25% off) / Valid for travel from January 12
- JFK (in Air France / KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way /25,000 miles round-trip (50% off) / Valid for travel from January 12
- Washington DC (in KLM Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way /25,000 miles round-trip (50% off) / Valid for travel from January 12
- Chicago (in KLM Business Class) – 31,250 miles one-way / 62,500 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Miami (in Air Europa Economy) – 12,500 miles one-way / 25,000 miles round-trip (50% off)
- Miami (in Air Europa Business Class) – 31,250 miles one-way / 62,500 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 – Los Angeles, Chicago, JFK, Miami, 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. The tiberias marathon is taking place in January, so this could be a great way to get there 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.