Using Amex Points to Book My First FlyingBlue Promo Award

Nov 5, 2011

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Just thought I’d chime in and share my experience booking my first ever Flying Blue Promo Award. I frequently write about Flying Blue (Air France/KLM’s frequent flyer program) and their bi-monthly 50% off Promo Awards. In general, Flying Blue charges high fees, but these promo awards may make sense since the number of miles required is low. For example, you only need 25,000 miles for one way business class awards from North America to Europe, which is the redemption I just made.

I needed to get from Madrid to Miami on a specific date in December (not flexible). American/Iberia/British Airways was showing nothing for award availability, so I begrudgingly loaded up and checked for Air Europa availability – and lo and behold there were two classic business class awards. Granted –  I flew them recently and didn’t have the best experience, though my memory is short when I’m in a jam and don’t want to fly coach.

Through I pulled up my date for MAD-MIA and the Air Europa classic award that I saw on ExpertFlyer showed up for only 25,000 miles one way. Score. The fees came to $259, which wasn’t necessarily cheap, but sure beat paying $3,000! Even coach seats were over $900 one-way, so no matter how I sliced it I felt like I got a good deal. I instantly transferred 25,000 Amex to my Flying Blue account (I had to log out of my FlyingBlue and back in to see the updated balance) and there were no excise fees to transfer since FlyingBlue is a foreign frequent flyer program. When all was said and done, I got the ticket booked within 10 minutes from initially finding the award availability on ExpertFlyer.

So there you have it – these awards do not require any time on the phone and even thought he fees are high, they can be very lucrative – especially for business class awards. And stay tuned for round two Air Europa trip report – I hope it’s much better this time around!

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