In early October there were signs pointing towards FlyingBlue, the frequent flyer program of Air France & KLM, becoming revenue based. Specifically for a brief moment the FlyingBlue online mileage calculator showed the following mileage earning rates for travel as of May 1, 2018:
- Ivory: 4 miles per EUR spent
- Silver: 6 miles per EUR spent
- Gold: 7 miles per EUR spent
- Platinum: 8 miles per EUR spent
However, they quickly removed the above from their website, though I took that to mean that they simply released the information prematurely, rather than this being an error.
As reported by View from the Wing, it looks like on Monday FlyingBlue will announce a revamp of the frequent flyer program, which will go into effect as of April 1, 2018. Apparently they have a press briefing on Monday, so we can expect all the details then.
I assume that the changes will be exactly as expected, and that the program will go fully revenue based, which is the first time we’re seeing this from one of the major global European airlines. I still don’t really get their motivation here. The current FlyingBlue program already addresses many of the “problems” that US airlines had that caused them to introduce a revenue based earning structure. Specifically, FlyingBlue only awards 25% miles for discounted economy tickets, which has the same effect as a revenue based program does.
Unfortunately FlyingBlue’s revenue based program will be even less generous than in the US, as they’re awarding four miles per EUR, rather than five miles per USD.
I suspect this is being done because of Delta’s influence over Air France & KLM. They have deep connections, and I imagine they just want the programs to be aligned as much as possible. I’d also be willing to be that this is only the first step, and that revenue based redemptions are on the horizon as well.
The big question is what other changes will be made to the program. Here’s to hoping there are at least some positives (though I’m skeptical).