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Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program of Air France, KLM, and some other Skyteam carriers) is frequently generous with award availability. They even run “50% off” promo awards all year long, which means you can fly roundtrip from certain North American cities to Europe and beyond for as low as 25,000 roundtrip in coach and 50,000 in business. Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so its a great way to stretch the value of your Amex points. Note: Flying Blue taxes on awards are pretty high – for example a 25,000 roundtrip award to Europe may have $450 in taxes. If you can buy that same ticket for $650, it makes sense to just purchase it and earn miles. However, there are some expensive routes – especially in business class, that can be unbelievable values.
The March/April awards aren’t bookable until February 27, 2011, but they are:
To/From Europe and carrier:
Houston – KLM 25,000 economy roundtrip
Toronto – KLM 50,000 business class
Vancouver – KLM 25,000 economy or 50,000 business
Houston – Air France 25,000 economy or 50,000 business
Washington DC – Air France 25,000 economy or 50,000 business
Chicago – Air France 25,000 economy or 50,000 business
Atlanta – Air France 25,000 economy or 50,000 business
Some other interesting destinations are:
Amsterdam to Johannesburg 35,000 coach or 70,000 business
Paris to Beijing 50,000 in premium economy or 80,000 in business
Paris to Hong Kong 50,000 in premium economy