Update: Air France/KLM Business Class Awards Now Bookable With Delta

by on April 4, 2012 · 17 comments

in Air France, Delta, KLM

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As I wrote about recently, for nearly the past month Delta was not able to book Air France and KLM business class awards. This created a variety of issues, including the inability for Delta to process business class upgrades even when they were available for those who paid more for upgrade eligible fares.

However, it seems that “glitch” is now fixed as I was able to do several dummy bookings online on both Air France and KLM business class.

Delta SkyMiles are hard to use because is broken. For finding partner award space, I use ExpertFlyer, which allows me to search for it quickly, week by week, route by route. For a primer, check out my guide on using ExpertFlyer for award availability. You can also use to search for classic award availability, though the interface isn’t as easy to use, though it does have a month-long search calendar that is generally reliable. I highlight that method in this post on quirks and how to get around them.

To test out the bookability of Air France/KLM awards, I used ExpertFlyer to find O class availability and then plugged in that information on In this case it would be KLM nonstop from Chicago to Amsterdam and on the return Amsterdam-Paris-Chicago on Air France. -> Awards & Upgrades -> KLM -> Business- Classic Award O Class. Bingo- 2 seats available -> Plug in city pairs and dates, business class, award ticket- search (If you have a complex award you will need to use the multi-city search engine)

100,000 mile awards (lowest level possible) show up- success!

Never believe your eyes until you actually checkout.. often you'll get "We're sorry, that itinerary is no longer available". In this case the award priced out and was ready to book.

While I’m glad this availability is back, I’m still suspicious of potential upcoming changes to the program. I hope Delta realizes that their customers want valuable awards at competitive levels. Lately I have been redeeming tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards points with United and the website and award availability is shockingly better than Delta- they have almost all 27 Star Alliance partner airline award availability online so if you are flexible you can almost always patch together a low level award. And even using American miles are wildly easier than Delta – even though doesn’t show most partners, they have great availability at low levels, especially on amazing partners like Cathay Pacific – even in first class. Delta blocks the booking of any international first class award on SkyTeam partners like Korean Airlines.

I have a feeling any new changes would be under the auspices of “making miles easier to use” when in fact they should really focus on their current sad state of affairs relating to IT and online award search availability (like this near month long “glitch”) instead of devaluing the program.

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  • JohnnieD

    I have tried a number of dummy bookings and DL doesn’t match EF as much as it does. I think the ‘glitch’ is not totally ‘fixed’. Looks to me like DL is still doing Skynet Blocking”………..

  • Jon

    Last two paragraphs are right on and should be sent in letter form to Delta’s CEO.

  • thepointsguy

    Weird- have an example? I’ll take a look

  • Digmurlo

    I was trying to make a reservation last night from FCO>AMS>SEA return June 12-16th, with FCO to ATH about a month later (Wanted to go home for a friend’s wedding from my summer job and tickets were 1700). When I looked on Flyinng Blue and ExpertFlyer there was open space on the Alitalia legs (FCO to AMS and FCO to ATH) on the day I booked and a few others. When I called the US delta line they kept checking and saying there was not availability in Business or Coach, especially on the FCo to ATH line , and held some ridiculous connections through Paris back to Rome when the availability was there. I called the Singapore number and they found the exact flight I wanted and that it was available every day the week I am flying to Athens. Not sure how applicable to AF/KlM but If anyone wants to book ideal AZ flights, you may still need to call overseas.

  • Digmurlo

    Sorry, July 12-16

  • JohnnieD

    Well, last night checking YYZ>CDG inJan&Feb 2013, I sawa nothing. Today, everything I try is showing up onDL (YYZ>EU)…So it looks good, for now….

  • Bill Silverstein

    I was looking at CDG -> AMS (AF-1240) to AMS – LAX (KL-601) for class O on April 24, 2012 and Delta (by phone) did not show it.

  • Mitch

    AZ is one of the carriers where asking the agent to long sell the award is often required.

  • mwilson77

    good heads up. After a few fruitless weeks, just booked 2 AF affaires seats JFK>CDG>TLV>CDG>JFK in July with a stopover in Paris for 120K skymiles each. not bad. the same DL itin (granted a direct flight) in business was 270K skymiles.

  • studd

    so are the Delta changes proposed in earning or spending miles or both? what happens to current Delta “millions” of mile holders?

  • AKold
  • Patrick Crispen


    Thank you for both posting this and especially for your video on how to use ExpertFlyer. After a month of fruitless searches at, I was able to reserve (the last) two Thanksgiving week O class Air France tickets from LAX to CDG. Delta’s award site still priced the tickets at 22oK miles each (with a connection in AMS), but a call to Delta reservations secured the AF tickets at 100K miles each.

    Thank you again!

  • msp2anywhere

    Thanks for the update, and I’m serious when I say that my gut feeling is that the ‘glitch’ wouldn’ t have been fixed this quickly (ahem) without shedding light on your blog. I appreciate your willingness to highlight the problem and not just ignore it. Thank you.

  • Joseph Lovett, Jr.

    The site is more than broken. I have spent more than two months of frustration trying to have a complete, accessible booking on a code-share Air France flight IAH-CDG-MRS-CDG-IAH in Premier Voyageur. I made the original booking on Air France because of previous problems with The booking was “hijacked” by Delta when Air France changed one leg’s departure time by five minutes. Delta never informed me it had taken over booking. Took three telephone calls to track down. Discrepancy between Air France booking, with full name, and Delta’s SkyMiles account name meant I could never get access to booking, even after getting correcting booking number. still will not accept our SkyMiles Account numbers for this booking; does not show seat selection made when originally booked with AF; and will not allow me to verify what TSA traveler info is associated with Delta booking. has responded to me that : 1) no one linked Delta booking to original AF booking that had initiated carrier booking switch; 2) everything works, 3) they cannot fix anything, 3) tough, deal with it at the airport.

  • Deadpeanut

    What does long selling an award mean? By the way, I don’t think the “glitch” is fixed either. I just had to call hong kong delta to get my af business class seats to Paris from NY. Delta in the US showed no availability within 2 weeks of my dates. What a joke

  • Sarah


  • Colleen

    This site is so helpful! I have 150K Delta points and I just quit my job, so I think I’m going to go to Europe for the first time. A question though, what’s the benefit of flying Air France vs Delta? I’ve found a round trip ticket from NYC to London or NYC to Paris for 60K points plus $179 in fees. My plan is to just use the trains or local airlines to hop around once I’m there. Am I missing some big perk of Air France?!

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