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How to: Air France/KLM Flying Blue Award availability
Flying Blue is the Loyalty program of Air France, KLM, Transavia, Tarom, Kenya Airways, and Aircalin and you can use the miles on SkyTeam as well as some other partners. Since they are a partner program of all the bank flexible currencies, I find them to be quite useful since you can shore up your balance from a variety of programs and avoid draining just one specific one. Personally, I’ve used them most on flights to/from Europe, but they could also be valuable to Asia, the Middle East, South America, or Africa. This is especially the case now that they allow stopovers on award bookings ( for instance, you could book a flight from the US to Cairo, and stopover in Paris for a few days en route. )
One of the biggest complaints I get is how to find award availability. The website is known to be quite “buggy” forcing users to reload, quit, etc. The app isn’t much better, but there are a few ways that you can circumvent these issues and search in calendar mode – a very helpful strategy to see whole swaths of award space vs day by day.
Flights I’ve flown that are bookable with Flying Blue Miles
- Air France Business Class 777-300ER Paris to Washington DC
- Air France Business Class A350-900 Atlanta to Paris
- Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 London to Atlanta
- Delta One Suites 767-400 London to Atlanta
Programs that you transfer to Flying Blue
- American Express
- Bilt Rewards
- Capital One Miles
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Citi Thank You
First…how to generate a calendar
For whatever reason, leaving the departure date empty will populate the full calendar of availability.
You’ll then be able to see a full calendar
How to see more results – pick a different destination
You can see if we just change the destination, but continue to leave the dates blank, the prices will change dramatically. Most of these will connect through Paris or Amsterdam. If you’re not checking a bag…I’m not advising you sneak off the plane in Paris, but if you did, you’d save a bunch of miles.
Every Month, Flying Blue issues promo rewards. These are specific to a destinations around the world on origin or departure. For instance, this month we have a lot of promo rewards from the US to Europe. As long as you are leaving from one of them or returning to one of them, the other side of the trip doesn’t matter and you’ll find more deals the more locations you look at.
Promo Rewards will be in Orange and note that you can’t change or cancel them once booked.
Example, if you leave from Atlantan when it’s featured as a promo, you could find deals into Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, Athens, etc. The same coming back, you could depart from a multitude of locations as long as you’re returning to a city featured.
You can read our dedicated post on Promo Rewards
Baking in a stopover
If you’re wanting to take advantage of Flying Blue’s stopover perk, you’d search each leg independently and call in to book. Let’s take a look at a trip coming back from Cairo to NYC. You can see that the cheapest ticket would be 95k Miles. If you’re wanting to bake in a stopover, I would line up two dates that populate the lowest price and then search independently.
- June 1 shows 95k
- June 5 shows 95k
Theoretically you could call into the Flying Blue and bake in a free stopover in Paris or Amsterdam, whichever is your connecting city, and then continue onward. You may not have luck if you wanted to marry two dates that aren’t pricing at that level, or you’d end up paying more than 95k.
You’d search two one way flights
- Cairo to Paris and
- then again Paris to NYC –
Once you see the award space on each leg that you’d like to book, you’d call in and book them with a stopover and they should price at a the one way price, not two separate legs. Pretty neat.
You can always pay for tools like Point.me, SeatSpy, Awardlogic, or Seats.Aero. I have a premium membership to SeatSpy and it can make things a bit easier to search since it shows multi months of space at a time; however I’m not sure it’s THAT much easier than using the calendar function, but it’s available and something that does quickly show space across a large number of dates.
Good Uses of Flying Blue Miles
I redeemed 69,500 FlyingBlue miles to book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class between the US and London. It was more miles than it would cost me using Virgin, but cost me $225 in taxes and fees vs $700+ – when you factor in a transfer bonus, you knock the cost in bank points down quite a bit.
Air Tahiti Nui
This is little more complicated, but doable. The lower bound rate is 73,500 in business and 25,500 in economy; however, Air France doesn’t show Air Tahiti Nui award space so you need to search by other means. The easiest, if you don’t have an ExpertFlyer account, is via AA.com
The award space show below is bookable with Air France FlyingBlue miles, but you need to call in to book. Make sure you put those flights on hold before transferring the miles over. This is obviously from 2022, but the concept is the same.
While it isn’t the best way to fly to Tahiti ( I’d give Air France itself that crown ) it is a solid way to do it from the States.
Air France offers a great reverse herringbone business class that you can find on their 772, 773s, some A330s, and eventually on their A380s. You’ll be hard pressed for find a better way to fly across the pond.
KLM offers a couple of different products and you NEED to make sure you’re booking a Dreamliner…those planes start with 787. Those have tremendous reverse herringbone seats with storage cabinets, lie flat seats, and of course the delft houses.
You’ll see rates on the lower bound in the 50k range with promo rewards perhaps dipping even lower. Anything under 70k and I think you’ve gotten a great deal.
Hopefully this aids you in your quest to
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.