July/August Air France & KLM 50% Off Promo Awards

by on July 21, 2011 · 8 comments

in Air France, Flying Blue, KLM

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Air France’s frequent flyer program, Flying Blue, is a 1:1 transfer partner of American Express, but I generally don’t recommend using them for awards. Their taxes and surcharges are usually very high so it usually makes sense to transfer to Delta instead (usually at a significant transfer bonus) to book the same Skyteam award. However, every two months Flying Blue runs a list of routes that are 50% off for award redemptions. What this means is that you can fly from certain cities in the US to Europe roundtrip for 25,000 miles in coach and 50,000 miles in business class – not bad, even if there are high fees!

If you’ve never booked a promo award and want to learn more, check out my tutorial on how to book them. Now let’s take a look at the July/August promo routes from North America: Dallas and Chicago to Europe via Amsterdam (KLM flights), New York JFK, Washington Dulles, Detroit and Montreal to Europe via Paris (Air France flights). Note: Voyageur = coach, Premium Voyageur= Premium Economy and Affaires = Business Class

North America cities - you don't need to start in Europe, it can be from either end

So what this means is that any Classic award flight you can pull up in Expertflyer that either starts or ends in one of those North American cities, will be half off. A great thing about Flying Blue is that they allow one-way awards. So you can book one way to Tel Aviv in business class for 25,000 Amex points and then the other way home using British Airways, for example (taking advantage of their 50% transfer promo). To show an example, I did an “Awards and Upgrades” search in ExpertFlyer for Montreal (YUL) to Tel Aviv (TLV) for this weekend. I used Tel Aviv because Flying Blue is one of the only programs that classifies Tel Aviv as a part of Europe, which is pretty incredible, especially with these Promo Awards.

ExpertFlyer search results

It showed me that there was O class (Classic Business Award) space for this weekend, so I went to, entered my Flying Blue number and password (which every Amex member should get and store in their profile, you can sign up for free here) and did a one-way search for YUL-TLV in business class for this Saturday. Award Search

Sure enough several Promo award options pulled up.

Bingo - promo awards!

The final flight I selected came to only 25,000 miles and $386.44 for one way in business class – not bad, since Israel flights can cost a small fortune, in either miles or cash.

Final price - 25,000 miles one way for business class from Montreal to Tel Aviv!

Tel Aviv was just my example, you could also substitute any city in Europe that Air France flies to and as long as there was Classic award space, the award should price to 25k one way business class or 12,500 one way coach.

An important thing to note is that these promo awards do not work if you have Delta miles. Air France will not reduce the price of their awards if you book via Delta – these discounts are only given to those who have Flying Blue miles (which Amex points transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio). Pretty crazy to think that one 100k “Bump your Platinum Card Bonus” can get you two roundtrip business class tickets to anywhere in Europe!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Mike L

    Wow this seems like it could be one of the best ways to experience the A380 for minimal miles! Good stuff & thanks!

  • Gpapadop

    Hmm, interesting…Is the AMEX MR pts transfer instant? Can I have the trip I want online ready to book and transfer the points in another browser tab? I am afraid I transfer the pts and then the award disappears….I am getting the flight I want out of DTW to ATH on the promo but not on the return in mid August…

  • Gpapadop

    Ahh….never mind…I am getting hit w/ $420 surcharge & $193.45 in taxes PER ticket…yikes. I am keeping my CO award tickets:-)

  • MichaelP

    Save some fees by booking each direction separately. I tried DFW-CDG on 08/19 with $320 fees, CDG-DFW on 08/26 with $377 in fees. Roundtrip booking for the same flights is $752, about $50 more!

  • Ami

    Can you sign up to get email when new 50% awards come out, or do you check the site periodically?

  • abcx

    Even with the surcharge and taxes these are a good deal I think. Too bad nothing in Asia is really on sale. 80k for C is expensive! It seems US to Europe is the sweet spot. Can you do stops?

  • abcx

    BTW, ITA is not showing YQ on US-EUR tix on AF/KL and the surcharge column in your screenshot is 0. So are all of those just French luxury taxes + US taxes?

  • David

    I need to get that Platinum card already and just go for the bump the bonus! Or a PR Gold Business for 75k… hmmm. I’m already going to Europe over Christmas/New Years though, and the promo ends in January, so maybe it’s not worth it on Air France right now at least.

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