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Since 2018, Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue mileage has used a rather illogical new flexible mileage calculator. Rather than all award flights from one region to another costing the same amount, award prices depend on the origin and destination airports. This can lead to widely varying amounts of miles between regions — and that’s if you can even find award availability.
That’s why we’re pleasantly surprised today to see a solid amount of award availability between the US and Europe at the lowest (non-discounted) business class rate of 53,000 miles each way. The best availability is found at the end of the current schedule — currently May 2020. However, there’s seemingly more than usual award availability on some routes during other dates.
So, if you’re looking for cheap award flights to Europe, I’d recommend opening Flying Blue’s award search tool, logging in, choosing your route and approximate departure date. Then select the flexible date option and business class before clicking “find a flight” to search.
The downside is that the taxes and fees on these awards aren’t cheap. Most business class awards are pricing out at $248 of taxes/fees each way in addition to the mileage cost.
If you’re flying from Atlanta, Chicago or Houston, remember that you book award flights in August-September for 25-50% off through Promo Rewards.
Airline: Air France, KLM
Routes: LAX/ORD/ATL/DFW to Europe (FCO/BUD/MUC/WAW and more)
Cost: 53,000+ miles plus taxes/fees starting at $248 one-way in business class
Travel Dates: July 2019 through March 2020, depending on the route.
Booking Link: Flying Blue
Los Angeles (LAX) to Rome (FCO) for 53,000 Flying Blue Miles and US$248 one-way in business class in November-December:
Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Budapest (BUD) for 53,000 Flying Blue Miles and US$248 one-way in business class in December-January:
Atlanta (ATL) to Munich (MUC) for 53,000 Flying Blue Miles and US$248 one-way in business class in October:
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Warsaw (WAW) for 53,000 Flying Blue Miles and US$248 one-way in business class in July-August:
How to Book
To book these awards, you’re going to need Flying Blue miles, as rates through partner programs like Delta SkyMiles will differ. 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.
Flying Blue is also a new transfer partner of Capital One as of the fall, and miles will typically transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio. However, there’s currently a 20% bonus on these transfers that runs through June 30, boosting the rate to 2:1.8. 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 image courtesy of DEA / G. COZZI via Getty Images
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