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SkyTeam’s Best Award Search Tool Returns via Air France

July 27, 2018
3 min read
SkyTeam’s Best Award Search Tool Returns via Air France
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Fret not, SkyTeam flyers: After a multi-month hiatus, Air France’s Flying Blue award calendar search tool is back online. As one of the best options for finding award space across the SkyTeam network — which encompasses airlines like Delta, KLM, Air France and Korean — the tool enables those searching for availability on Air France and its partners to do so with (relative) ease.

One of the perks of using Flying Blue’s flexible calendar is its ability to suss out unusual routings when it comes to pairing connections to assemble a complete itinerary. Delta’s award search engine has improved dramatically over the past couple of years, but in many cases it will still only show single-leg availability with partners. That leaves you, the weary traveler, responsible for trying a variety of connection options and then manually piecing together availability. Ick.

If you don’t have one already, you'll need to sign up for a free Flying Blue membership to use the calendar. From there, head to airfrance.com (or airfrance.us), tap the “Use Your Miles” tab at the top, and login. When entering your origin and destination, be sure to check the box entitled “You are looking for a flight around these dates.” That’ll trigger the full calendar, ensuring that award seat availability populates properly on the next page.

Be aware that the Flying Blue booking engine has been known in the past to sometimes show phantom availability, so you'll want to confirm the space exists either by calling Flying Blue or another SkyTeam partner before moving any miles around. Also, note that Flying Blue shows additional low-level award space specifically on Air France and KLM flights that isn't made available to partners. But once you confirm a flight that works, you can book using Flying Blue miles or with another SkyTeam partner through their own channels. And if you want to think it over, Flying Blue phone agents have the ability to put awards on hold for 48 hours, even with no miles in your account.

Speaking of which, if you don’t have any Flying Blue miles, you’re in luck — the program is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards (instant transfer), Citi ThankYou Points (instant transfer), American Express Membership Rewards (instant transfer), Starwood Preferred Guest (4-day transfer). Here's a sampling of credit cards you can use to earn points in these programs:

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  • The Platinum Card® from American Express for Membership Rewards
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for Ultimate Rewards
  • Citi Premier® Card for ThankYou Rewards
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for Starpoints

Bottom Line

As far as prices, Flying Blue no longer maintains an award chart, and based on experiments performed by TPG Senior Points and Miles Contributor Richard Kerr, there's not much rhyme or reason as to how it prices flights nowadays. So you'll definitely want to rely on the calendar primarily for tracking down space, and not necessarily for always getting the best mileage price, as another SkyTeam partner might be a better choice when it comes to actually booking.

H/T: Point Me to the Plane

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
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  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
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  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees