The next round of Flying Blue 50%-off Promo Awards is out with some new awards priced out through April 30, 2013, including business class on Air France from both New York JFK and Toronto Pearson to Europe Zones 1, 2 and 3 for just 25,000 miles each way.
For those of you new to miles, Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of SkyTeam partners Air France and KLM. Promo awards are 50% off normal award levels and run all year long, but the gateway cities generally change every two months on a rolling basis, and these awards include either business class and economy awards (though there have been mostly economy awards lately).
Using Promo Awards, you can find award itineraries from North America to Europe and beyond for as low as 25,000 miles roundtrip in economy and 50,000 miles in business class on Air France, KLM and Air Europa. Each airline offers these discounts on different destinations and cabins. Promo award pricing is not available on Skyteam partners. So for example, you cannot book Delta flights at these reduced levels.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Flying Blue is 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 get in on a transfer bonus like the 35% transfer bonus they ran in September.
The one thing to be careful of is that Flying Blue charges hefty taxes on awards – even economy tickets can incur $400-$500 in taxes, so even though you find a promo award for 25,000 miles, it still might not be worth it. Especially if you can find that same ticket for $600-$700 and also accrue miles (award/promo tickets do not accrue miles).
The real value lies in finding promo awards on particularly expensive routes and on business class awards since you’re using a significantly smaller amount of miles and saving a lot more money on premium fares, even with steep taxes many times. 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.
As I mentioned, the North America section of the promo awards includes two new entries for the next two months:
New York JFK to Europe 1, 2, 3 in business class for awards on Air France booked between February 27 – April 28, 2013, for flights between March 1 – April 30, 2013.
Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Europe 1, 2, 3 in business class for awards on Air France booked between February 27 – April 28, 2013, for flights between March 1 – April 30, 2013.
Also just for reference, here are the European zones and which countries they include:
Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain inc. Balearic Islands, Sweden
Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Western Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine.
So if you’re based on the east coast, you might be able to take advantage of some really well-priced award tickets this spring to some pretty far-flung places.
You won’t be able to start booking any of these until February 27, so I can’t show you any actual promo award availability, but I did want to point out a couple routes to take a look at taxes and charges and give you an idea of how much these awards might cost you.