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In 2018, Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue mileage program ditched standard, region-based award charts for a new flexible mileage calculator based on the origin and destination airports. And the only way of describing the resulting program is “illogical.”
That said, there are some gems in the rough. And, when you combine some cheap mileage options with Flying Blue’s monthly Promo Rewards, you can end up with some really cheap award tickets. The trouble is the offers change from month to month.
For award flights booked in August, you can book economy flights between Boston (BOS) or Houston InterContinental (IAH) and Europe from just 16,125 miles each way. Or, you can book business class flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) or three Canadian airports and Europe from just 39,750 miles each way. Let’s show you how this works.
Standard Rates: Under the new flexible mileage calculator, Flying Blue awards between Boston (BOS) and Rome (FCO) will price as low as 21,500 miles each way in economy:
Promo Rewards: Under the new Promo Rewards, economy flights between Boston or Houston and Europe and business class flights between Chicago and Europe are 25% off. If you’re willing to position to Canada, you can also fly to Europe in business class at a discounted rate. The promo is limited to travel dates from October 1 through November 30, 2019.
When you combine the low standard rates with these Promo Awards, you can get economy award flights between Boston and Rome that cost as little as 16,125 miles plus taxes and fees one-way.
Note that these discounted award rates aren’t available on all dates in the travel window. Also, taxes and fees on these awards aren’t cheap starting at $99 one-way in economy — and they increase from there. Flying Blue Promo Rewards also “cannot be modified, cancelled or refunded.” So, keep this in mind if you foresee having to make any changes.
Also, while Houston is on the list, I’m not seeing any discounts being applied to Houston routes at this time.
Airline: Air France, KLM
Routes: Boston (BOS), Houston (IAH), Chicago (ORD), Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG) or Vancouver (YVR) to Europe (AMS/BUD/CPH/DUB/FCO/FRA/LHR/MUC/TXL/VIE/WAW/ZRH and more)
Cost: 16,125+ miles in economy plus taxes/fees starting at $99 one-way or 39,750+ miles in business class plus taxes/fees starting at $244 one-way
Booking Dates: August 1-30, 2019
Travel Dates: October 1 to November 30, 2019
Booking Link: Flying Blue
Boston (BOS) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 16,125 Flying Blue Miles and US$99 one-way in economy:
Boston (BOS) to Vienna (VIE) for 16,125 Flying Blue Miles and US$99 one-way in economy:
Boston (BOS) to Budapest (BUD) for 16,125 Flying Blue Miles and US$99 one-way in economy:
Boston (BOS) to Rome (FCO) for 16,125 Flying Blue Miles and US$99 one-way in economy:
Boston (BOS) to Berlin (TXL) for 16,125 Flying Blue Miles and US$99 one-way in economy:
Chicago (ORD) to Budapest (BUD) for 39,750 Flying Blue Miles and US$244 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Copenhagen (CPH) for 39,750 Flying Blue Miles and US$244 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Dublin (DUB) for 39,750 Flying Blue Miles and US$244 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Rome (FCO) for 39,750 Flying Blue Miles and US$244 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 39,750 Flying Blue Miles and US$244 one-way in business class:
How to Book
To book these awards, you’re going to need Flying Blue miles, as the discounts aren’t available through partner programs like Delta SkyMiles. However, don’t worry if you don’t have any yet, as the currency is quite easy to earn. The program is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, and all three transfers should process instantaneously.
You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio plus a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred — meaning you’ll get 25,000 miles for transferring 60,000 points. Marriott to Flying Blue transfers took around three days when we tested it. The program is also a new transfer partner of Capital One as of last fall, and miles will transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio. Our tests found that these transfers were processed immediately.
Once you have the miles in your Flying Blue account, you can book awards through Flying Blue‘s online award search tool.
Featured photo by bwzenith via Getty Images
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