Yay: The Flying Blue Award Calendar Is Back!

Typically when you think of the value offered by an airline loyalty program, the mileage earning and redemption rates, along with elite perks, might be the first things that come to mind.

However, there’s also something to be said for how easy a program makes it to search for award availability and book award flights.

Air France and KLM’s loyalty program is Flying Blue, and in June major changes were made to the program, which were overwhelmingly negative. Miles are now awarded based on how much you spend rather than how far you fly, and award pricing is now dynamic, rather than region-based.

Around the same time that Flying Blue made these changes, they also made one other change that I found to be annoying. Specifically, Flying Blue eliminated the option to do a flexible date search on their website for award tickets. Prior to that you could search availability for a month at a time, which is quite frankly necessary given how little award availability they sometimes release.

But overnight they eliminated that from their website. I’m not sure if that was intentional, in order to encourage people to not “shop around” as much under the new dynamic pricing. Or I suppose it could have just been a glitch. However, given that they eliminated the calendar search for several weeks, it led me to believe that it was intentional.

There’s some good news on this front — the Flying Blue award calendar has returned. To access the search calendar, just go through an award search as you’d usually do.

Then when you’re on the results page, click on “search” at the top left, and you’ll be brought to a page where you can check the “you are looking for a flight around these dates” box.

And that’s it, the next page will once again show you the calendar.

It’s great to see this functionality back, given that SkyTeam doesn’t have many great websites for searching award availability.

Lastly, remember that Air France and KLM availability you see through Flying Blue won’t necessarily be available through partner airlines. They only make a sub-set of their saver awards available to partners, so just because you see space there doesn’t necessarily mean that Delta SkyMiles would have access to those seats, for example.

Do you think Flying Blue eliminated this calendar intentionally and brought it back due to member feedback, or that it was a glitch all along?

Comments

  1. @Lucky- just did a search on my phone app. No availability calendar seems to exist. Was this ever a possibility on the mobile app?

  2. Great, that is helpful. The new FB website so far is quite underwhelming. I always wonder if programmers ever consult actual users or that they just live in their own freaky cocons. Very few IT peple I have worked with have actual social and communication skills.

  3. @ron Programmers are typically not responsible for talking to users / deciding what to build , that is the job of Product Managers and designers.

    Also stop projecting your social ineptitude onto others.

  4. @K

    Obviously I am aware of the common conventions, which is precisely why I challenge them as they typically do not work. I have employed hundreds of programmers as well as plenty of designers but in order to come up with user friendly solutions I have always insisted that programmers could not just hide behind their laptops. To deliver a great UX, one cannot rely on the designer only to define the intended experience.
    I take it you were offended.

  5. Lucky, It appears to me that the flying blue Hawaii awards have all but disappeared. Do you or anyone else have any info on this?

  6. Since going revenue based Flying Blues program has gone from dependable and useful to a non entity. Wonder how Chase sees these are a partner now that their points are worth a tiny fraction of what they paid for. Might have to fly budget airlines in Europe, and transatlantic is totally off the table.

  7. I called Flyingblue about it a few weeks ago, the representative said they also found it quite annoying that the function got removed (since it was intentional). Phone agents however were still able to see a monthly view. She mentioned that the issue was also addressed by employees, because more people were calling Flyingblue to book an award and find award space.

    She also said that there are no plans yet to bring back the monthly view, I guess all the complaints really worked 😀

  8. Ben have you heard that Hyatt is trying to take over NH Hotels? Not sure what their footprint is in the Americas and Asia, but they have a relatively strong presence in Europe.

    Here’s a link to an article:
    http://flip.it/HyNnC0

  9. Ben have you heard that Hyatt is trying to take over NH Hotels? Not sure what their footprint is in the Americas and Asia, but they have a relatively strong presence in Europe.

  10. Thanks Ben for great new. Huge welcome for me as I am mostly FB user and AF/KL flyer. Would you mind doing some research of best use of FB miles? Or can anyone give a few advices?

  11. @Nico A great use of FB miles is looking at promo awards of Flyingblue. I got a 25K oneway business class ticket between Dubai and Paris, then upon checkin I could upgrade to La Premiere with Air France for 1000 euro!. That is exceptional value.

    Right now Europe – Washington US oneway is 12K Miles economy, that is also a solid deal. Just take a look at Promo Awards and you will definately find something interesting.

  12. @Ryan yeah I knew about cheap C to Dubai (25k from Munich via CDG or AMS too), which was lovely. Did it a few times, never been offered this thought (only did CDG-DXB the day flights). Not looking to spend my miles in times of cheap economy tatl tickets, thanks. I used to also do HKG-DPS on Garuda which is not the case nowadays. 53k miles for C to SFO doesn’t sound good to me either. Btw I have never seen Garuda F available, does anyone know why?

  13. Welcome news but ,as has been said, Air France really F’ed up these changes, big time, and they’re going to have to do more than this to regain credibility.

  14. It still doesn’t work. When I check looking for flights around these date nothing is available. After i uncheck it, then a flight is available.

  15. Lucky are you going to release any flight reviews or trip reports anytime soon? Kind of tired of seeing just news after news on credit cards…

  16. French and Dutch IT, a bad mix, what do you expect! France, a nation that still had millions of active Minitel users up until the late 2000’s!

  17. I spent a couple of hours last night browsing award ticket and found that garuda offers really good deals for less than 10000p and low fees

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *