One of the best uses of Air France/KLM FlyingBlue miles is booking their Promo Awards. FlyingBlue publishes these every month, and they offer 20-50% off select award tickets on Air France and KLM metal. Back in the day Promo Awards would consistently be for 50% off and would have a good number of options in business class, though unfortunately they’ve devalued the promotion somewhat since then, and the discounts are now pretty consistently for 25% off. That’s still very good, just not as good.
FlyingBlue just published their latest Promo Awards. These are valid for bookings made between July 1 and July 31, 2016, and for travel between September 1 and October 31, 2016.
Late September and October are probably my favorite time to travel to Europe, as the weather is still fairly nice, while you avoid much of the crowds. With that in mind, FlyingBlue has seven Promo Awards between North America and Europe during this period, which is more than usual. These include the following:
- Boston to Europe in Air France economy class for 25% off
- Atlanta to Europe in Air France economy class for 25% off
- Minneapolis to Europe in Air France economy class for 25% off
- Houston to Europe in Air France economy class for 25% off
- Chicago to Europe in Air France business class for 25% off
- Toronto to Europe in KLM business class for 25% off (only valid for travel starting October 1)
- Calgary to Europe in KLM business class for 25% off (only valid for travel starting October 1)
With these discounts you’ll be paying:
- 18,750 miles one-way in economy class, rather than the usual price of 25,000 miles
- 46,875 miles one-way in business class, rather than the usual price of 62,500 miles
For the above costs you can include connections to other points in Europe from Paris and Amsterdam, though you can’t include domestic segments on Delta to position within North America.
All saver level space on Air France and KLM in the above markets is eligible for the discounted costs, and these awards are bookable directly on the FlyingBlue website. Availability is excellent, as is usually the case with Promo Awards.
Here’s what business class availability looks like between Toronto and Amsterdam, for example:
Perhaps the best part about that route is that on select days it’s operated by a KLM 787-9, featuring reverse herringbone business class seats, which are even significantly nicer than KLM’s other new business class seats.
Be sure to check the schedule, though, because other days the flight is operated by a 777.
The Chicago to Paris flight is unfortunately operated by an Air France A330, featuring Air France’s old business class product.
Economy awards can also represent a very good deal, given that fuel surcharges on these awards are very limited.
For example, a one-way award from Boston to Paris in Air France economy will cost you 18,750 miles plus $78.82 in taxes and carrier imposed surcharges, and there’s excellent availability:
If you do book Air France business class on miles and there’s no first class cabin on the plane, keep in mind that you can purchase access to the Air France first class lounge, which I consider to be the best in the world.
Tarmac transfers, which are included with the Air France first class ground experience
Be sure to check out the full listing of Promo Awards, as there are plenty of other eligible routes outside of North America.
As a reminder, FlyingBlue is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, meaning you can transfer points earned from multiple cards:
Promo Awards are always worth checking out, and in this case we’re seeing seven awards out of North America, which is more than usual. Availability is good in both economy and business class, so if you’re looking for a good value transatlantic redemption, I’d consider one of these awards.
I’m certainly tempted by the KLM 787 operating between Toronto and Amsterdam.
Is anyone intrigued by one of the Promo Awards on the July list?
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