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 now vary.
However, there are still some great deals to be had. FlyingBlue just published their latest Promo Awards. These are valid for bookings made between June 1 and June 30, 2016 (so they’re valid as of Wednesday), and for travel between August 1 and August 31, 2016.
This is obviously a peak summer travel period, and generally over those periods there aren’t as many good Promo Awards available. However, there are two good ones available out of North America:
- You can book Boston to Europe in Air France business class for 25% off
- You can book Montreal to Europe in KLM business class for 25% off
In both instances, the normal one-way redemption cost is 62,500 miles, meaning through this promotion you’d pay just 46,875 miles one-way.
For that cost 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. There are also ~$200 in fuel surcharges each way.
Once this discounted award becomes bookable, any saver level space on Air France and KLM metal will reflect the discounted cost. The great news is that availability is excellent, with most dates having several award seats available.
There are generally two daily Air France flights between Boston and Paris. One of the daily frequencies is consistently operated by an A330, which features Air France’s old business class seat. Meanwhile the other daily frequency rotates between a 777-200 and 777-300. For what it’s worth, the 777-200 seems to have Air France’s new business class product, while the 777-300 operating this route doesn’t. If you can snag a seat in Air France’s new business class, which I recently reviewed between Paris and Toronto, I highly recommend it.
Also keep in mind that since there’s no first class on the plane, 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
Out of Montreal, unfortunately the KLM flight is operated by an A330, which features KLM’s old business class product. So I’d only book that if you need to fly nonstop between the two markets.
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 several cards:
Promo Awards are always worth checking out, and in this case we’re seeing two good business class Promo Awards between North America and Europe in the peak of summer, which is pretty good. Business class award availability in these markets is excellent, so if you’re interested, you can book starting tomorrow.
That being said, I wouldn’t go out of my way to take advantage of these Promo Awards if you’re not based in Boston or Montreal. By the time you factor in the fuel surcharges and positioning costs, the savings aren’t that huge.
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