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Air France/KLM 50% Off Flying Blue Promo Awards for Oct-Nov

by on July 31, 2014 · 15 comments

in Air France, Flying Blue, KLM, Membership Rewards, Starwood

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Flying Blue, the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa, offers Promo Awards each month, through which you can book award flights for as little as 50% of the miles normally needed on certain routes and in specific cabins. While these awards used to be released every two months, Flying Blue now updates them each month instead. The list of awards you can book between August 1-31 for travel October 1-November 30 is now up on the Promo Awards page, though you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to start booking them.

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 9.01.14 AM

The next list of Promo Award cities in North America includes Chicago and Houston.

The current list includes:

  • Chicago to Europe on KLM: 50% off economy class – 12,500 miles each way, 25,000 miles roundtrip, travel dates November 1-30
  • Houston to Europe on Air France: 50% off economy class – 12,500 miles each way, 25,000 miles roundtrip, travel dates October 1-November 30
  • Washington DC to Europe on Air France and KLM: 50% off economy class – 12,500 miles each way, 25,000 miles roundtrip, travel dates October 1-November 30
  • Cancun to Europe on Air France: 50% off premium economy – 25,000 miles each way, 50,000 miles roundtrip, travel dates October 1-November 30
The current list of Promo Awards is bookable until the end of the day today.

The current list of Promo Awards is bookable until the end of the day today.

And in case you missed them, the September/October awards, which are still bookable until the end of today (though I’m finding little to no availability left at this point) are:

  • Dallas to Europe on KLM: 50% off economy class – 12,500 miles each way, 25,000 miles roundtrip, travel dates September 1-October 31
  • Montreal to Europe on KLM: 50% off business class – 31,250 miles each way, 62,500 miles roundtrip, travel dates September 1-October 31
  • Mexico to Europe on Air France: 50% off economy – 18,750 miles each way, 37,500 miles roundtrip, travel dates September 1-October 31

While this round of awards isn’t as exciting as the summer awards, which included 50% off business class from several cities in the US, there are still some savings to be had here, and at least all the awards listed are 50% off instead of the 25% discount that Flying Blue offered on many Promo Awards for the first half of 2014.

If you’re thinking of fall travel to Europe and can get to the gateway cities, it’s worth looking into these Promo Awards since, at least when they first open up, availability tends to be pretty good, and you can score award tickets for half of what SkyTeam partner Delta would charge you for the same awards, despite last year’s Flying Blue award chart devaluation. Plus, Flying Blue lets you book one-way awards, which Delta does not. Note (and this question comes up every time I post about this topic), you cannot use Delta miles for these awards. Likewise, you cannot use Flying Blue miles at these rates to book awards on Delta.

Worth It?

Before you go booking tons of awards, remember that Flying Blue levies fuel surcharges, though they are now less than before on economy and premium economy tickets. I cannot show you Promo Award availability on the new routes just yet, but so you can get an idea of what those costs look like, on a roundtrip economy ticket from Dallas to Amsterdam on KLM in October, you’re looking at about $233 in fuel surcharges and taxes:

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 9.31.47 AMWhile shelling out a couple hundred dollars on top of the miles may not seem like a great deal, consider that the same ticket would cost $1,302 if you were to book it with cash:

Screen shot 2014-07-31 at 9.33.26 AMSubtracting the taxes and fuel surcharges, you’d still be getting a value of about $1,069 for the 25,000 miles needed for the roundtrip Promo Award. That’s a pretty good value of 4.28 cents per miles.

European Options

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to fly just to Paris or Amsterdam to maximize these awards. They are for travel to/from Europe, so you can continue on to any number of destinations. In Flying Blue’s terms, the Europe region encompasses a couple dozen countries, including some that are not traditionally classified there. Here’s how Flying Blue classifies Europe:

  • Europe 1: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Europe 2: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain inc. Balearic Islands, Sweden
  • Europe 3: 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, while you can fly to many of the traditional European hubs like Paris, Madrid, or Amsterdam, you can also range farther afield to countries like Israel, Turkey, the Baltic, and parts of North Africa including Morocco.

Within Europe, the following cities are also offering discounted awards, so if you already have your transatlantic ticket booked but are searching for ways to get around the region, these could be useful to keep in mind:

  • Billund on Air France 25% off
  • Edinburgh on Air France 25% off
  • Istanbul on Air France 25% off
  • Moscow on KLM 25% off
  • Sofia on Air France 25% off
  • Marseille-Istanbul on Air France 50% off
  • Nice-Strasbourg on Air France 50% off
  • Montpellier-Paris Orly on Air France 50% off
  • Toulouse-Lyon on Air France 50% off
  • Madrid-Alicante on Air Europa 25% off
  • Palma-Alicante 25% off

Stocking up on Flying Blue Miles

If you don’t have enough Flying Blue miles (or any at all), there are a few ways you can stock up on them relatively quickly. The program is an instant 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, the program of cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards.

Flying Blue is also a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, and you get a 5,000-mile bonus on transfers of 20,000 points. So at the Promo Awards  rate, you could book a roundtrip economy award ticket to Europe for just 20,000 SPG points. Just note that transfers can take a few days. The current sign-up bonus on both the personal and business Starwood Preferred Guest cards from American Express are 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. So even if you never fly Air France/KLM, or if you bank your SkyTeam miles elsewhere, there are still plenty of options to top up your account quickly using points you might already have.

Do you plan to book any of these awards? Let us know your thoughts and plans in the comments below!

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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  • IH

    can i use Delta miles to book this?

  • YBZ

    Thanks for the good info. I have a quick question. Does Air France and KLM require different amount of points for each of the European zones? On the current 50% promo offer from Dallas to Europe, i am trying to book for Morocco, these routes are valued at 25k each way in economy. This is the same value for flying to Morocco outside of the promo award specified dates and different than the 12.5k to Europe 1 zone. I am wondering if it is valued differently on Air France when the Aug 1st promo starts.

  • http://drewjolesch.com Drew Jolesch

    would love to know this as well. Got a friend with Skymiles and would love to book one of these promo awards

  • thepointsguy

    Nope- only flying blue (transfer partner of Amex and SPG)

  • Diamond Vargas

    Brian, I had planned on booking a YUL-AMS award today for Sep. 9 using last month’s 50% promo on business class. The flights had been available all this past week at the correct 31,250 miles, for several days throughout Sep. Then today I went to book and they’re all showing for 62,500 despite the terms of the promo saying to book by July 31. There’s no way the 50% discounted seats suddenly “sold out” for all of the days in Sep overnight. Seems like the promo incorrectly ended a day early. I called but they said they can’t do anything in the award booking office, which is consistent with the terms of the promo awards being bookable only online. Have you ever encountered this, or any thoughts on a way to address? Obviously kicking myself for waiting until the last minute, but there was so much availability it didn’t seem risky.

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  • http://www.myeurocrush.com heather

    Brian, thanks so much for the heads up on this. I managed to book 2 business class tickets AMS-JRO, 50% off. Pretty excited about it. Been looking for a decent use of my KLM miles for a while now and this matched up perfectly with the Safari we were planning. The fees were high – over 400 euros apiece, (it pisses me off that they charge higher fees on a promo award that a regular award) – but I can’t complain because we were planning on buying Econ tickets, now at least I get to travel in business :-) Just a note – I didn’t know this, but if you have status, KLM lets you use 10% more miles than you have available. We were about 800 miles short and we didn’t have to purchase them, we were allowed to “go in the hole” Thanks again!

    Heather http://www.myeurocrush.com

  • NYC Cowboy

    I booked a ticket flying from DFW to Paris, returning from Munich with a cheap (100 euro) flight from Paris to Munich in between. All set for Oktoberfest and a few days in Paris for ~$450! Too bad I can’t buy beer with points too…

  • Gisele

    I think the Air France promotion is for Dulles Airport in Washington DC, not Dallas. Maybe that’s why you aren’t seeing 50% off promotion on miles?

  • Gisele

    thank yo so much for sharing this. I was searching for tickets from Washington to Rome for October so this couldn’t have been more timely. I’m happy to report that I snagged 2 round-trip tickets at 25K a pop. I still can’t believe it!

  • ABC

    How long did it take to transfer TYP to AF or KLM?

  • thepointsguy

    Today is the first day of the transfers and I’ve been told they may take up to 3 days

  • Jose Rene

    I am trying to book a Flying Blue Promo Award from FCO to IAH for either November 29th or 30th. Their website doesnt discount 50%off award despite that I am trying to book within eligible ‘booking dates’ and ‘travel dates’. Any ideas or suggestions. I already have a one way ticket booked IAH to MXP, now just trying to get back home as cheaply as possible.

  • Linda S.

    I’m having the same problem, but I think it’s a website glitch, not an early termination. I’m looking at DC (IAD) Dulles to Milan, and saw lots of availability for every day. Checked a couple of days later, saw no availability; changed one thing on the search and the half price offers appeared again. But I can’t get them to show up now. i thought I had changed city name vs name of 2 airports in Milan, but that isn’t fixing it. And they told me at Flying Blue, I have to find promo offer avail on the website, as you said. Today’s the last day for that offer, I felt the same way you did.

    I’m going to try sending a screenshot to Flying Blue, but I’m not optimistic.

  • Diamond Vargas

    Frustrating. Either offer the terms and stick to them or don’t offer. Hope it works out for you.

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