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These are the Flying Blue redemption sweet spots you need to know

July 18, 2022
9 min read
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Flying Blue — the loyalty program for both Air France and KLM — has a wide variety of mileage redemptions for flights to all over the world. Since both airlines are part of SkyTeam, you can redeem on alliance airlines like Aeromexico, Delta Air Lines and Korean Airlines. Plus, it has a handful of great non-alliance partners like Virgin Atlantic.

Further, you can transfer points to Flying Blue from all the major transferable points programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou. All of this is to say that it's easy to earn Flying Blue miles with points you might already have.

The program has its quirks, but there are some good deals. Let's look at a few of the program's best redemptions and why you might consider booking them.

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How to search for Flying Blue mileage awards

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Both Air France and KLM use Flying Blue, and you can book awards on either airline's website using the same account. Both websites are designed quite similarly outside their color schemes, so the process for searching for awards on both websites is nearly identical.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

On the homepage for either the Air France or KLM website, click on the “Book with Miles” tab, then “Log in.” You will be directed to sign in with your Flying Blue credentials. After you log in, you will be able to search for flights on your itinerary using miles.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Flying Blue Promo Rewards

(Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images)

One of the Flying Blue sweet spots that makes Air France and KLM’s mileage program different than most airlines' is its Promo Reward offerings.

Flying Blue Promo Rewards are discounted award tickets for Air France and KLM destinations that are changed monthly. While most discounts are on intra-Europe routes, Flying Blue also provides savings on long-haul flights as well. Eligible routes and discounts change monthly, so book the flights you want quickly.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)
(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

For July 2022, you can use your Flying Blue miles on Air France to book economy tickets between Boston and Europe from just 17,250 miles. Likewise, tickets between Europe and Atlanta start at just 21,500 miles during this promotion.

Each of these routes offers a 25% savings from the normal award price on these flights, and there is plenty of availability for these economy points redemptions in the months ahead.

Related: The ultimate guide to earning and redeeming with Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Economy tickets from the US to South America

Use Flying Blue miles to head to South America. (Photo by James Strachan/Getty Images)

Flying Blue also offers decent award availability if you are looking to fly from the United States to South America. A direct economy flight from Atlanta to Santiago, Chile, on Delta costs 32,500 miles plus just $10.10 in taxes and fees.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Tickets to the northern part of South America are even cheaper, with tickets from Atlanta to Quito, Ecuador, pricing out at 20,000 miles and tickets from Atlanta to Bogota, Colombia, only costing 18,000 miles.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)
(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Even though you are using Flying Blue to buy Delta tickets, Flying Blue requires fewer points to purchase these tickets than Delta itself. With Delta pricing out its flights from Atlanta to Santiago, Quito and Bogota at 45,000, 27,000, and 25,000 SkyMiles at the time of writing, you can save thousands of miles by transferring to Flying Blue instead of Delta.

Related: Save miles or money and unlock better availability with positioning flights

Business-class awards to Europe

Fly KLM's new business-class product to Europe. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Flying Blue also has a strong selection of flights from the U.S. to Europe, with KLM and Air France serving most major cities on both sides of the pond. At the time of writing, you can find 62,000-mile redemptions in KLM’s business class from New York to Rome via Amsterdam.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

In addition, business-class airfares from New York to Athens, Greece, in April can also be found for just 56,500 miles one-way.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Flying Blue’s award prices to Europe are on par with other reward programs’ offerings, so compare with different airlines and routings before transferring your points. Also, due to Flying Blue's dynamic pricing structure, you could pay a different number of miles depending on the day and route you book.

Related: Here’s how to book the flight you want when award space is limited

Business class to London with Virgin Atlantic and Delta

Fly Virgin Atlantic to London. (Photo by Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

However, my favorite Flying Blue redemptions allow members to get around high taxes, fees and fuel surcharges added by Virgin Atlantic. Booking an Upper Class ticket from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club includes almost $900 in associated taxes and fees.

(Screenshot from virginatlantic.com)

You can avoid these fees by booking the same ticket with Flying Blue. An Upper Class seat from New York to London costs only 56,000 points nonstop with $217.60 in taxes and fees; this is roughly a quarter of the taxes and fees charged by Virgin Atlantic's own loyalty program.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Pricing varies by route. For example, a ticket from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to London costs 80,000 points and has just under $200 in taxes and fees.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

You can also book Delta flights to London to save on taxes and fees. On this example date, you can book a one-way flight from New York to London for 59,000 Flying Blue miles and just $10.10 in taxes and fees.

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

Considering Delta offers this route for $2,120 or 210,000 SkyMiles, Flying Blue offers a fantastic value.

Related: A review of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Suite on the A350 from London to New York

Domestic flights with Delta

Always compare SkyMiles and Flying Blue award costs on domestic flights. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Speaking of Delta, you can sometimes save points on domestic awards when you book with Flying Blue over Delta SkyMiles. Because of dynamic pricing, this varies by route and when you book. Let's look at a couple of examples.

This flight from Detroit to Minneapolis costs 20,000 SkyMiles and $5.60 in taxes and fees with Delta SkyMiles.

(Screenshot from delta.com)

Meanwhile, you can book it for just 10,500 Flying Blue miles and $16.69 in taxes and fees. That's almost half the mileage cost!

(Screenshot from airfrance.us)

If you're transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to book a Delta domestic flight, always compare the Delta and Flying Blue award prices. Sometimes Delta is cheaper and you can transfer Amex points to either program.

Related: Why Delta is my go-to airline for last-minute domestic flights

Overall thoughts

Whether you are flying in economy or business class, Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program offers fantastic savings on routes to Europe and South America. Not only can you save hundreds of dollars in award surcharges, but you can also save thousands of points on your redemptions.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases