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May/June Flying Blue Promo Award Routes Announced

by on May 2, 2012 · 12 comments

in Air Europa, Air France, American Express, Flying Blue, KLM

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Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program of SkyTeam partners Air France and KLM, runs 50% off promo awards all year long, but changes the gateway city pairings every two months. That means you can fly roundtrip from certain North American cities to Europe and beyond for as low as 25,000 miles in coach and 50,000 miles in business class on Air France, KLM and Air Europe – each of which have different cities and cabins they discount.

Flying Blue is also an instant 1:1 transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so this promo could be a great value for using those Amex points (especially if you got in on their recent 25% transfer bonus).

The one caveat: Flying Blue charges hefty taxes on awards. For instance, even though you book a coach roundtrip award ticket for 25,000 miles, the taxes on it could be in the $450 range, meaning that if you can buy that same ticket for $650, it’s probably not worth spending $200 less and using 25,000 Amex points since it’s less than a cent per point in value – plus you don’t earn miles on award tickets.

However, in my opinion the real value lies in finding those particularly expensive routes and scoring business class awards. Different carriers have different fuel surcharges to different cities (for example, flying into Paris and London will always be more expensive than just transiting through them), so below I list several examples which I pulled directly from airfrance.us, so price out your flight before you hop on this promotion.

The May/June promo awards can be booked now through June 28, 2012, for travel between now and June 30, 2012. The great thing is that you can go anywhere in Europe and Flying Blue classifies Tel Aviv as part of Europe, so huge value can be had with Israel awards especially, though you’ll have to connect via Amsterdam or Paris. Promo award pricing is not available on Skyteam partners. So for example, you cannot book Delta flights at these reduced levels.

May/June Promo Award Cities- North America

North American origination cities and classes of service eligible for the discount:
KLM: Montreal (Business), Vancouver (Business), Dallas (Economy and Business)
Air France: Orlando (Economy), Washington (Economy), Boston (Economy), San Francisco (Economy)
Air Europa: New York (Economy and Business)- note there is an error on the chart- it states that roundtrip business class is only 29,000 miles, but it’s actually 50,000- I checked.
*Note: Voyageur Elite just means a coach award inventory subset that is only available to Flying Blue elites- it is not Premium Economy, which is their Premium Voyaeguer Product

To check award availability, create a Flying Blue account and then once you are logged in click the Flying Blue -> Flying Blue -> Book flight with Miles

Example 1) KLM Montreal to Tel Aviv roundtrip in business class: 50,000 miles and $878

Not tons of availability, so flexibility is needed, especially for awards past a Flying Blue hub

50,000 Flying Blue and $878 for a roundtrip business class award from Montreal to Tel Aviv

Example 2) Dallas to Amsterdam roundtrip in coach: 25,000 miles and $589

Dallas to Amsterdam in economy

Example 3) Dallas to Budapest roundtrip in Business: 50,000 miles and $931

Dallas to Budapest in business class

Example 4) Orlando to Paris roundtrip in Economy: 25,000 miles and $616

Orlando- Paris roundtrip

Example 5) Washington, DC to Istanbul in Economy: 25,000 miles and $409

Washington, DC to Istanbul

Example 6) Boston to Rome in Economy: 25,000 miles and $643

Boston to Rome

Example 7) San Francsisco to Athens roundtrip in Economy: 25,000 miles and $678

San Francisco to Athens

Example 8 ) JFK to Madrid roundtrip in Business: 50,000 miles and $876, but there is availability on nearly every day of the month! I flew this route last summer and it’s not a fancy business class experience, but it gets the job done.

Excellent availability to Madrid (and beyond)!

Business class for 50,000 miles and $876

Example 9) JFK to Madrid roundtrip in Economy: 25,000 miles and $546

JFK to Madrid in Economy- excellent availability as well

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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jetstream007 May 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Hi Brian,

I sometimes cancel an existing Delta awardticket (for free as a Delta PM) to get the better FB deal. However one advice on the fees: it is usually best to just fly to AMS or CDG and buy a ticket for the additional leg (if any). That way total cost will often be less/same AND you will earn some miles.

I took your Dallas-Budapest trip: the fee on the roundtrip will be $931. However if you just go to AMS it is $589, same amount of points. A regular KLM ticket AMS-BUD-AMS (on the same flight) will cost you the $343 difference….. Yes, it’s economy I know, but in Europe there’s hardly any difference between business and economy, however this flight will get you miles. Alternatively, just book another flight ($241 lowest) at that date, which would save you $100. Lots of flights in Europe are a lot cheaper then in the US (and it’s getting worse with all the mergers in the US).

Anyway, always look what makes most sense and remember that lots of the EU budget airlines do not show up in Kayak, etc….

James May 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

So based on your sample SFO-ATH booking, the chart that shows available travel dates for SFO should read thru 30/6/12 as opposed to what is shown – 30/5/12.

Sean May 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm

fascinating! great comment, thanks

Sean May 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I saw this list yesterday and noticed 29k business on Iberia, but I can’t figure out how to price it. Their site forwards to flying blue for awards. Not sure if I’d actually book it, but I’d like to learn how.

thepointsguy May 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

Iberia? You mean Air Europa? The 29k for business class is a mistake

thepointsguy May 3, 2012 at 12:19 am

Correct

thepointsguy May 3, 2012 at 12:20 am

The only thing I’d say is that you don’t want to book a separate ticket if your connection is tight- it might be worth it to pay that extra $100 to not have to worry about misconnecting and being on the hook to buy another ticket.

But an interesting point nonetheless- thanks for sharing!

The Deal Mommy May 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

I’m actually trying to do the math right now for a June/July trip IAD/TFN. Problem is that the return leg has to be at full price. Any idea when they release July promo seats?

Sean May 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

Whoops. Heh, yes I meant Air Europa, sorry for the confusion. I been researching One World lately.

I thought it might be a mistake, thanks for confirming

Jetstream007 May 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Yes, they will release them around June 30, but always a surprise, high season to US, don’t expect too much…

‘Full price’ meaning the regular amout of miles? You might consider economy (comfort) on the return. Tip: you can book them as two seperate flights/legs, doesn’t cost any xtra money. If you book the return flight as a ‘classic’ award, you can cancel it up to 1 hour before flying which will cost you €45. If the July Promoawards work for you, book one and cancel the original award. €45 to keep 25K FB miles is not bad… Good luck.

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