Deal alert: Award flights to Europe from 26,500 miles in business class; 10,750 in economy
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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 diamonds in the rough. And, when you combine 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 November, you can book economy flights between Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and Europe from just 10,750 miles each way. Also, you can book business class from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Europe from 26,500 each way. Or, you can fly in premium economy flights between Houston InterContinental (IAH) and Europe from just 31,875 miles each way.
And thanks to an ongoing 25% bonus for transferring Membership Rewards points to Flying Club, you can book these flights for less than 9,000 transferred MR points each way in economy or under 22,000 transferred MR points one-way in business class.
Here’s how this works:
Standard Rates: Under the new flexible mileage calculator, Flying Blue awards between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Rome (FCO) will price as low as 53,000 miles each way in business class:
Promo Rewards: Under the new Promo Rewards, economy flights between Minneapolis (MSP) and Europe are 50% off and economy flights between Houston (IAH) and Europe are 25% off. Premium economy flights between Houston and Europe are also 25% off. And business class flights between Chicago (ORD) and Europe are 50% off. If you’re willing to position, you can also fly between Mexico City and Europe in business class at 25% off or Vancouver and Europe in premium economy for 50% off. The promo is limited to travel dates from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29, 2020.
When you combine the low standard rates with these Promo Awards, you can get business class award flights between Chicago and Rome that cost as little as 26,500 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 $80 one-way in economy — and they increase from there. Flying Blue Promo Rewards also “cannot be modified, canceled or refunded.” So, keep this in mind if you foresee having to make any changes.
Airline: KLM, Air France
Routes: Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) to Europe (AMS/BUD/CPH/DUB/FCO/FRA/LHR/MUC/TXL/VIE/WAW/ZRH and more)
Cost: 10,750+ miles in economy plus taxes/fees starting at $80 one-way
26,500+ miles in business class plus taxes/fees starting at $225 one-way
31,875+miles in premium economy plus taxes/fees starting at $150 one-way
Booking Dates: Nov. 1-31, 2019
Travel Dates: Jan. 1 — Feb. 29, 2020
Booking Link: Flying Blue
Chicago (ORD) to Rome (FCO) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Copenhagen (CPH) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Warsaw (WAW) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Dublin (DUB) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Chicago (ORD) to Budapest (BUD) for 26,500 Flying Blue Miles and $225 one-way in business class:
Minneapolis (MSP) to London Heathrow (LHR) for 10,750 Flying Blue Miles and $80 one-way in economy:
Minneapolis (MSP) to Vienna (VIE) for 10,750 Flying Blue Miles and $80 one-way in economy:
Minneapolis (MSP) to Dublin (DUB) for 10,750 Flying Blue Miles and $80 one-way in economy:
Minneapolis (MSP) to Budapest (BUD) for 10,750 Flying Blue Miles and $80 one-way in economy:
Houston (IAH) to Vienna (VIE) for 31,875 Flying Blue Miles and $150 one-way in premium economy:
Houston (IAH) to Berlin (TXL) for 31,875 Flying Blue Miles and $150 one-way in premium economy:
Houston (IAH) to Munich (MUC) for 31,875 Flying Blue Miles and $150 one-way in premium economy:
Houston (IAH) to Frankfurt (FRA) for 31,875 Flying Blue Miles and $150 one-way in premium economy:
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.
Even better, now through November 30, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue with a 25% bonus — making these awards even cheaper.
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 RilindH via Getty Images
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