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Flying Blue, the mileage program of SkyTeam partners Air France, KLM and Air Europa, offers a new set of Promo Awards each month where you can book award flights at 25%-50% off the normal rates for travel on certain routes and in certain classes of service. The list of awards you can book between now and May 31, 2015 for travel July 1 to August 31, 2015 is now up on the Flying Blue Promo Awards page, and there are a couple of decent values this time around.
Before we get to the awards, I want to address a question people always ask. Air France is a Delta Air Lines partner. However, you can’t book these awards with Delta SkyMiles, nor can you use Flying Blue Promo Awards to book discounted awards on Delta flights. These discounts only apply to awards on Air France, KLM and Air Europa – the three airlines that participate in Flying Blue.
First the bad news: There is only one city in North America eligible for Flying Blue Promo Awards this time around, Dallas. Promo Awards have been a bit lackluster lately, with more discounts in the 25% range and fewer business class discounts. July-August is also the highest of the high season for award travel to Europe. So though it’s not entirely shocking to find just a single North American city where Promo Awards are available, it’s still somewhat surprising…and entirely disappointing.
Still, the discount is on flights from Dallas to Europe on KLM at 25% off normal World Business Class redemptions. So instead of redeeming 62,500 miles each way, you only need 46,875 miles. Not bad, but not amazing.
On the bright side, at least 9 days in July (but just 2 in August) are showing promo-level availability from DFW-AMS, which is better than award availability on a lot of other airlines is during those high-traffic summer months.
Just beware taxes and fuel surcharges on business class tickets that can top $250 in each direction. One other piece of mildly good news is that if you are already going to be in Europe and wanted to use miles to book cheap tickets around the continent, there are a fair amount of Europe-based promo awards to various cities including a lot of great hubs for positioning flights. I’m only listing the big ones, but there are a lot more:
Boosting Your Flying Blue Account
If you want to take advantage of the new promo awards but you don’t have enough (or any) Flying Blue miles, there are a few ways you can quickly add more of them to your account since it is a transfer partner of three of the major points programs out there.
Flying Blue is an instant 1:1 transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, the loyalty program of travel rewards cards like the Amex Everyday Preferred Card, the Premier Rewards Gold and The Platinum Card from American Express. The Platinum Card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months (with an annual fee of $450), and the Everyday Preferred offers 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days (with an annual fee of $95). The Premier Rewards Gold is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months, and the $175 annual fee (soon going up to $195) is waived the first year.
Flying Blue is also a 1:1 transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest, which offers a 5,000-mile bonus on transfers of 20,000 points (though note that SPG transfers can take a few days). The current sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express is 25,000 points when you spend $3,000 (personal card) and $5,000 (business card) in the first 3 months.
Additionally, Flying Blue recently became a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Rewards, which allows you to transfer points to airline partners if you have the Citi ThankYou Premier Card or Citi Prestige Card. Both cards come with sign-up bonuses of 50,000 ThankYou points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The Prestige has a hefty $450 annual fee, but the ThankYou Premier’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Do you plan to book any of these Flying Blue Promo awards?
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