I’m Thinking Of Going For Flying Blue Elite Status

I’m Thinking Of Going For Flying Blue Elite Status

71

Nowadays I don’t seek out airline status as I used to in the past. While I still think there’s huge value to earning airline miles, the value of status simply isn’t there in the way that it used to be — upgrades are tougher to come by, premium cabins are often priced more reasonably in cash, and all the while airlines have (mostly) made status harder to earn.

That being said, I’m finding myself interested in pursuing a new airline status opportunity for the first time in a long time. I’m thinking of going for elite status with Air France-KLM Flying Blue, so let me explain why.

What intrigues me about Flying Blue elite status

There are a few reasons I’d like to pursue elite status with Flying Blue, though let me start with the biggest — it sure would be nice to be able to redeem miles for Air France first class.

I rank Air France as having one of the best first class products in the world (and the ground experience is the best in the world), though you can only redeem miles for it if you have Flying Blue Gold elite status or above.

Air France first class (La Premiere) on the Boeing 777-300ER

Admittedly even if you have elite status, these awards aren’t cheap. For example, flying from the United States to Europe will cost you 220,000-230,000 miles one-way in first class. While that’s steep, I’d argue that there are cases where this could be a good option:

My intent is by no means to just constantly fly across the Atlantic in Air France first class with miles, since it’s still not cheap. However, I do think there are cases where it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion, and having Flying Blue elite status is the easiest way to accomplish that.

Even beyond the first class angle, there are some reasons that I think crediting SkyTeam flights to Air France-KLM Flying Blue is the best option:

  • I find Flying Blue to be the most useful SkyTeam loyalty program, especially for those looking to travel across the Atlantic in business class; Flying Blue has a lot more access to Air France and KLM business class awards than partner programs do
  • I fly SkyTeam airlines a fair bit (including Delta), though frankly I don’t really have much interest in going for elite status or crediting my flights to Delta SkyMiles
Flying Blue is useful for transatlantic award tickets

What it takes to earn Flying Blue elite status

Flying Blue uses “XP” (which stands for “experience points”) as the metric for earning status. The system of qualifying for status works a bit differently than with other programs:

  • 100 XPs gets you Flying Blue Silver status
  • You then need 180 additional XPs to earn Flying Blue Gold status
  • You then need 300 additional XPs to earn Flying Blue Platinum status

However, there’s a bit more nuance to this, which also makes it easier to earn status. For example, you don’t need 580 XPs in a year to earn Platinum status:

  • Once you earn 100 XPs in a year, you’ll earn Silver status
  • Your status will then be reset, and you’ll need to earn 180 XPs over the next 12 months to earn Gold status
  • Your status will then be reset, and you’ll need to earn 300 XPs over the next 12 months to earn Platinum status
  • Maintaining status on an ongoing basis simply requires 100 XPs for Silver, 180 XPs for Gold, and 300 XPs for Platinum

I think earning Flying Blue Gold status is sufficient, though if I get into the Flying Blue ecosystem and find it to work well for me, it’s worth noting that you get lifetime Flying Blue Platinum status if you earn the status for 10 consecutive years.

As far as earning XPs goes, below is the chart showing how many XPs you earn per segment.

The rate at which you earn XPs with Flying Blue

It’s definitely easiest to rack up XPs with short haul international flights. Just to give a couple of examples:

  • A roundtrip nonstop Delta business class ticket from Tampa to New York would earn you 12 XPs
  • A roundtrip Aeromexico business class ticket from Miami to Lima via Mexico City would earn you 78 XPs
  • A roundtrip Aeromexico business class ticket from New York to Sao Paulo via Mexico City would earn you 108 XPs
Rack up Flying Blue XPs on partner airlines

How I would earn Flying Blue elite status

I’m not looking to spend my entire life mileage running in order to earn Flying Blue elite status. Quite to the contrary, I think I could earn it with fairly minimal effort:

  • The Air France-KLM Flying Blue Card in the United States often offers XPs as part of the welcome bonus; for example, this past spring we saw a bonus that included 100 XPs (in addition to miles), so I’ll wait until an offer like that is available once again
  • I would simply credit the Delta flights that I take within the United States to Air France-KLM Flying Blue instead of Delta SkyMiles
  • Pursuing Flying Blue elite status would be a good motive to review some more SkyTeam products; for example, maybe this is the push I need to do another Aeromexico review, as I’d like to review the carrier’s Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787-9 business class
  • Flying Blue awards members with XPs for donating to charity or buying carbon offsets, and XPs potentially rack up pretty quickly this way (however, it looks like part of this program has been suspended, maybe temporarily)

If nothing else, perhaps pursuing Flying Blue elite status would help me form some sort of a strategy with SkyTeam, since currently I’m not really invested in any SkyTeam program beyond transferring points to Flying Blue when there are transfer bonuses and I’m looking to fly across the Atlantic.

It sure would be nice if there were some sort of a status match or status challenge program from Flying Blue, but even starting from scratch, this shouldn’t be that complicated.

Bottom line

I’m seriously considering going for elite status with Air France-KLM Flying Blue. One of my primary motivations is getting access to Air France first class awards, given that only Flying Blue Gold members can redeem miles this way.

Bigger picture, it just seems to make sense to pursue status with some SkyTeam program, since currently I don’t have much of a strategy with crediting my SkyTeam flights. It would also just generally be interesting to see how good Air France and KLM are when it comes to elite recognition.

Does this idea seem totally stupid? I’m open to feedback and ideas, and am curious if anyone else takes a strategy like this.

Conversations (71)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Bertrand Guest

    Flying Blue is far from being the best program as Skyteam is not the best alliance but if you want to get a Skyteam Status it's the best option.

    Before the latest overhaul of the program the threshold were lower for people living outside of France but it's not the case anymore.

    The major downside I see is they are not good at reciprocal recognition : if you're domestic traveling with Delta in economy...

    Flying Blue is far from being the best program as Skyteam is not the best alliance but if you want to get a Skyteam Status it's the best option.

    Before the latest overhaul of the program the threshold were lower for people living outside of France but it's not the case anymore.

    The major downside I see is they are not good at reciprocal recognition : if you're domestic traveling with Delta in economy your FB elite status won't allow you to access their lounge while Delta elite customers are always welcome in AF lounges no matter the class or the flight.

    1. Stanley C Diamond

      Isn’t that a reason of SkyTeam benefits rather than reciprocal benefits being recognized by Delta or Air France? You cannot access SkyTeam affiliated lounges on a domestic flight unless connecting on an international flight. Delta does not allow entrance to its SkyClubs for Air France Gold or Platinum because of it being a domestic flight. If you are flying with an international itinerary, you will be granted access. Air France allows it probably because those...

      Isn’t that a reason of SkyTeam benefits rather than reciprocal benefits being recognized by Delta or Air France? You cannot access SkyTeam affiliated lounges on a domestic flight unless connecting on an international flight. Delta does not allow entrance to its SkyClubs for Air France Gold or Platinum because of it being a domestic flight. If you are flying with an international itinerary, you will be granted access. Air France allows it probably because those Delta flyers are traveling internationally.

  2. Stanley C Diamond

    Is this credit card still available? I just checked it on the BOA webpage you provided. It stated that this credit card application is unavailable.

  3. JC Guest

    Hello interesting as always. My rather urgent question is if you know or anyone here knows of any Star Alliance airline doing a status match with Qantas or Oneworld Gold right now? The key word is right now as I need to travel with Thai Airways and need almost immediate recognition of my Gold membership so a status match with any Star Alliance airline right now would be ideal, I joined Aeroplan of Air Canada...

    Hello interesting as always. My rather urgent question is if you know or anyone here knows of any Star Alliance airline doing a status match with Qantas or Oneworld Gold right now? The key word is right now as I need to travel with Thai Airways and need almost immediate recognition of my Gold membership so a status match with any Star Alliance airline right now would be ideal, I joined Aeroplan of Air Canada and all email addresses for their customer service centre are bouncing so I tried a link to request the status match and it bounced too. I am a bit desperate to get this done ASAP please so any tips will be greatly appreciated.

  4. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    Chief issue here for US-based flyers is that crediting Delta domestic flights to FB works out very poorly. From an XP perspective a flight from LGA-BOS doesn’t credit any differently than a flight from JFK-LAX.

    To clarify - FB XP resets upon reaching each tier level so cumulatively you need 280 for Gold (100XP for Silver, 180 more for Gold ) and 580 for Platinum (100 + 180 + 300)

  5. Nokinonac Guest

    Sorry, I'm wrong. Gold status can have upgrade to La Première.

  6. Nokinonac Guest

    I think you need to be Platinum, not Gold, to be able to upgrade to La Première.

  7. beachmouse Member

    Agree that the FB-Accor partnership is painless to sign up for and a very easy way of getting some bonus points/miles in both programs.

  8. Gus Guest

    I've had the Gold status on FB for 4 years now (made a lot easier by the COVID extension they provided) and my only problem with it is that paying cash for J tickets is expensive. If that's something you (or the company you work for) can afford, then by all means, go for it. Flying J or F makes the status really easy to maintain and the benefits are great, especially if you are going through CDG, as the lounges available are great.

  9. Sean Hammerle New Member

    I absolutely love Air France/KLM. I received my Platinum status last year (through work travel) and was able to upgrade to La Première (round trip) JFK-CDG for me and my husband earlier this year. It was our first experience in La La Première, and we were the only two up front for both legs! I was also able to upgrade my parents to La La Première for our upcoming vacation, CDG-JNB. The four seats will...

    I absolutely love Air France/KLM. I received my Platinum status last year (through work travel) and was able to upgrade to La Première (round trip) JFK-CDG for me and my husband earlier this year. It was our first experience in La La Première, and we were the only two up front for both legs! I was also able to upgrade my parents to La La Première for our upcoming vacation, CDG-JNB. The four seats will be my parents, my husband and me for that flight! (I had to keep check expert flyer for the award availability for that one date, It seemed that every date around it was available.) And, you are correct that there is a lot of award availability and for some dates, La Première can be as high as three. Business award availability is always high. Also, on a side note: I just flew home to Panama (after being on the road for three months) AMS-PTY, and the crew gave me a handwritten note on a KLM postcard signed by the business class flight attendants. I have been 1K since the Continental/United Merger (was Continental Platinum prior) prior and have never received such a simple but greatly appreciated gesture. Totally agree with your goal for Flying Blue Status!

  10. Andrea Guest

    I’m Lufthansa Senator, BA gold and FB Platinum.
    Though probably I find it easier to get award figures on Lh I have to admit FB had one huge benefit; it lets you rollover points from one year to the next. Meaning I have 1370XPs right now and at 300 a year I could avoid flying on AF/KL/skyways and anyway keep status for another 3 years +

  11. Daniel Christen Guest

    Go for it. I have platinum and I am very happy.

  12. Fil Guest

    FB just cancelled possibility to obtain xp for Carbon offset.

  13. Nic Guest

    I am Lifetime Platinum with FB and when I travel from Australia to Europe on an Air France ticket with my family of 3 (all no status), we usually get upgraded from economy to premium economy for free when on AF metal. Good recognition I reckon :)

  14. Clem Diamond

    I actually quite enjoy my Gold status. I am French but have been living in the US for well over a decade and still credit all my Delta flights to FB - never credited a single flight to SkyPesos. Flying Blue "saver" awards are very noticeably harder to come by and it requires quite a bit of playing around to find them via connections, but usually something always comes up.
    As far as La...

    I actually quite enjoy my Gold status. I am French but have been living in the US for well over a decade and still credit all my Delta flights to FB - never credited a single flight to SkyPesos. Flying Blue "saver" awards are very noticeably harder to come by and it requires quite a bit of playing around to find them via connections, but usually something always comes up.
    As far as La Première awards, I guess it really depends but if you have millions and millions of points readily available why not... Although at what I assume (maybe wrongly) your income is, you may just be better off purchasing a LP trip every now and then? And that would actually give you SkyTeam status pretty easily depending on the itinerary.

  15. rudie Guest

    Accor hotels give fb miles as well and that helps a lot.

  16. glenn t Diamond

    A downside of FB is that fuel surcharges/carrier imposed charges are unavoidable. Not as punitive as BA of course (world-class gouger) but there nonetheless and needed to be factored in to calculations.
    On the upside, AF and KLM availability is good. This week I booked CDG-SIN Business for 70,000 miles with ease on AF which I consider great value.

  17. Shri Nathan Guest

    Where do you live? I live in Delta country Atlanta. I have been Platinum on Delta for a while but that status is fairly useless as it seems a lot of Delta flyers are Diamond nowadays. So once I pass Platinum a good strategy for me could be routing the additional miles on Flying Blue. .. Caveat I only take 2-3 leisure trips internationally a year

  18. Levi Gold

    It's worth noting that, as awesome as the 100XP offer was, the normal offer of 60XP for opening an account (whether or not you do any spending) isn't too shabby. 20XP at anniversary and an additional 40XP if you did $15k in the previous year is also not nothing (there are regular threads on FT about issues getting the 40 XP... I avoided spending any money in the last month of my anniversary year and...

    It's worth noting that, as awesome as the 100XP offer was, the normal offer of 60XP for opening an account (whether or not you do any spending) isn't too shabby. 20XP at anniversary and an additional 40XP if you did $15k in the previous year is also not nothing (there are regular threads on FT about issues getting the 40 XP... I avoided spending any money in the last month of my anniversary year and it posted no problem, so I think it may be based on statements closing in the year?).

    Had FB account but never earned an XP
    60 XP in October 2021 (need 40 XP by October 31, 2022 to get Silver)
    6 domestic F segments on Delta December-February to bring me to 96 XP
    BOS-DUB in May for 24 XP minus 100 XP for Silver (need 80 XP by May 31, 2023 to keep Silver)
    AMS-BOS in May for 30 XP (did an economy award DUB-AMS: used Priority Pass for the DUB lounge and Euro business on an RJ is pointless)
    60 XP from card in October 2022
    4 domestic F segments on Delta this month, so sitting on 134 XP: 46 XP by May gets me Gold, or (with card XP) I need one domestic F segment to stay Silver through May 2024

    FB's non-SkyTeam partners are reasonably extensive. South America (especially if unwilling to fly AR) and India are the notable gaps, but AF/KL/DL/VS/AM/CI/KE/KQ/JL/QF is a strong network.

  19. Mike Guest

    I have it and love it. Great program, even phone support is really solid in my experience. Great airline and great program.

    AF First is amazing to fly on miles only — mainly because while I do a paid upgrade often, you don’t know for sure if you’ll be able to score until 24 hours prior (at which point you can choose the open first class seats on the seat map and pay to...

    I have it and love it. Great program, even phone support is really solid in my experience. Great airline and great program.

    AF First is amazing to fly on miles only — mainly because while I do a paid upgrade often, you don’t know for sure if you’ll be able to score until 24 hours prior (at which point you can choose the open first class seats on the seat map and pay to upgrade to first). Don’t forget to book your free chauffeur when going to or from paris! Not possible on upgrades but yes possible on Miles tickets.

  20. Todd Guest

    I'm sure there are a number of us out here who are interested in flying AF 1st and thus Gold status. My guess is that you will figure out a path and I for one would love to follow along. Please figure out a way for us to follow along.

  21. Erikjan Guest

    The best thing about this program is the great opportunity with XP rollovers . I am a FB plat for 8 years now but have sufficient XP’s for another 6 years. Hence plat4life is in the pocket. If you fly Z class and up racking XP’s is relatively easy to do.

  22. Pierre-Jean Guest

    I am actually you are looking forward reaching FB Platinum after constantly describing the Skyteam alliance as the weakest one.
    I am personnaly on my 8th year as a platinum and have accrued sufficient XP to maintain it for 10 year in a row.
    Really looking forward benefiting from this advantage for the rest of my life without needing to maximise my XP runs
    Living in France, FB platinum status has given...

    I am actually you are looking forward reaching FB Platinum after constantly describing the Skyteam alliance as the weakest one.
    I am personnaly on my 8th year as a platinum and have accrued sufficient XP to maintain it for 10 year in a row.
    Really looking forward benefiting from this advantage for the rest of my life without needing to maximise my XP runs
    Living in France, FB platinum status has given me a lot of great travel experiences over the year - makes me wonder why so many people see the Skyteam alliance as the weakest of all
    In any case, welcome onboard Skyteam, hope you enjoy the ride !
    Take care and hello to Miles ( my kid was born a couple of weeks after Miles!)
    Greetings from France

  23. aoz Guest

    I think you forgot one of the most attractive/generous policies of FB, which is the rollover XP, i.e. you earn 380 XP in your status year, -300 for renewing platinum status, start your new membership year already with 80 XP

    Definitely worth being aware of, imo

  24. UGC Guest

    Ben
    Just do it! Redeeming miles and maintaining status with FB is incredibly easy…
    BTW I had the opportunity to talk to a few LH executives and the new F class will have a much smaller footprint than nowadays. For sure 787s will have 4 seats only, and probably not all of them. Same for 350s, whereas the refurbished 747s will have probably 5. Will be tough to score an upgrade or redeem miles…

  25. TFDB Guest

    One way to speed up your qualification is by buying one of the Air France Discount passes. These give up to 40XP. https://wwws.airfrance.fr/en/information/offres/cartes-abonnement-air-france#combinee

  26. DCS Diamond

    While I still think there’s huge value to earning airline miles, the value of status simply isn’t there in the way that it used to be — upgrades are tougher to come by, premium cabins are often priced more reasonably in cash, and all the while airlines have (mostly) made status harder to earn.

    That is what happens when propagandists imbibe too much of their own kool-aid. Their opportunities tend to shrink because the only...

    While I still think there’s huge value to earning airline miles, the value of status simply isn’t there in the way that it used to be — upgrades are tougher to come by, premium cabins are often priced more reasonably in cash, and all the while airlines have (mostly) made status harder to earn.

    That is what happens when propagandists imbibe too much of their own kool-aid. Their opportunities tend to shrink because the only way they see what is out there is through the very narrow lens of their own bias. Here is an unvarnished view of the claims above about why "the value of status simply isn’t there in the way that it used to be":

    upgrades are tougher to come by
    -- Upgrades have never been easier to come by than since UA introduced their PlusPoints and, having been a UA 1K since ~2010, the comparison is vs. SWU, vs. GPU, vs. etc

    all the while airlines have (mostly) made status harder to earn
    -- at least right now, only AA has made status harder to earn, not all airlines;

    premium cabins are often priced more reasonably in cash
    -- According to airlines execs "ticket prices have spiked by 25% in the past year — the biggest annual jump since 1989"

    G'day!

    1. Levi Gold

      UA status is harder to earn than it was pre-PQP. DL status will likewise be harder to earn than it was.

      Most of the ticket price spike is economy fares. The differential between premium cabins and economy cabins is for the most part a lot smaller than it's been in the past, and airlines have reduced their effective asking prices for a buy-up from economy (whether we're talking a fixed price upgrade offering or being...

      UA status is harder to earn than it was pre-PQP. DL status will likewise be harder to earn than it was.

      Most of the ticket price spike is economy fares. The differential between premium cabins and economy cabins is for the most part a lot smaller than it's been in the past, and airlines have reduced their effective asking prices for a buy-up from economy (whether we're talking a fixed price upgrade offering or being more willing to accept lower bids on PlusGrade et al). This of course means that across the industry, complimentary and instrument-supported upgrades are generally less likely to clear than they were before.

    2. DCS Diamond

      @Levi -- UA status may get harder to earn if the program were to reset the requirements to what they were changed to briefly just before the pandemic, but right now UA status is still still cheaper.

      About the cost of premium cabin tickets, that is objective info. Please provide links.

      It may be true that AA upgrades are "generally less likely to clear than they were before", but it is definitely not true...

      @Levi -- UA status may get harder to earn if the program were to reset the requirements to what they were changed to briefly just before the pandemic, but right now UA status is still still cheaper.

      About the cost of premium cabin tickets, that is objective info. Please provide links.

      It may be true that AA upgrades are "generally less likely to clear than they were before", but it is definitely not true of UA's PlusPoints upgrades (will be happy to link to objective evidence based on first-hand experience).

    3. Harry Guest

      If I understand correctly, it's not about upgrades. It's about being in position to use points for 1st class. I'm in process of doing exactly what Ben is stating. First was I've secured my BOA Flying Blue credit card. That's a 100 FB XPs + of course miles. My argument to all seeking status. You fly miles and not loyalty points in the case of AA. Again you have to be gold or higher to...

      If I understand correctly, it's not about upgrades. It's about being in position to use points for 1st class. I'm in process of doing exactly what Ben is stating. First was I've secured my BOA Flying Blue credit card. That's a 100 FB XPs + of course miles. My argument to all seeking status. You fly miles and not loyalty points in the case of AA. Again you have to be gold or higher to book 1st class. Just one time is all we want. Singapore already booked this spring all (transferred) points. Call it bucket list or whatever.

    4. DCS Diamond

      If I understand correctly, it's not about upgrades. It's about being in position to use points for 1st class.

      Well, I referred to cabin upgrades using upgrade instruments and the point stands, even if the context were about "buy-ups", which is the term that should have been used.

  27. Speedski Guest

    Was platinum. Didnt get XP this year to cover as was only able to fly for the last third of the year and due to the shambles in AMS was told to avoid it. They hard-stopped the extensions to status - despite trying to explain it was nigh on impossible.

    Have rolled down to gold for this year as a result. Now looking for a new place for my loyalty (and as a result airline...

    Was platinum. Didnt get XP this year to cover as was only able to fly for the last third of the year and due to the shambles in AMS was told to avoid it. They hard-stopped the extensions to status - despite trying to explain it was nigh on impossible.

    Have rolled down to gold for this year as a result. Now looking for a new place for my loyalty (and as a result airline of choice) - majorly irritated with FB - especially as I used to purposely position through AMS for the XP instead of delta metal out of LHR.

  28. Jan Guest

    My trouble with FB is I can't seem to find the good J deals that many people are having on a consistent basis. Granted, not as invisible as the Virgin points on ANA F thing, but a lot of the itineraries I look at seem to be as expensive as SkyPesos J flights. But still, it is tempting to try out FB, as a Skymiles member MQD will be harder to attain next year, and if they increase the AMEX MQD waiver, it may be time for me to explore other options...

    1. Gabe Guest

      I’m considering switching to UA because of the increased MQD’s. Thoughts?

    2. Jan Guest

      I haven't flown UA in a minute now, and I can still qualify for at least DL Platinum through Amex MQD waiver. That being said, UA/Star Alliance is tempting to me also because it's super strong in Asia/Oceania, where I kinda want to focus my travels in the near future... having Emirates and Singapore as a partner just sounds overpowered, haha. Then add ANA, EVA, Thai to the mix... wow

  29. Ryan Guest

    I live in AMS and my most common route is AMS-SEA (usually in J) as well as short hops around Europe on KL. I was once a platinum in FB but later moved to Delta after Flying Blue introduced the XP approach. I’m now a Delta Diamond thanks to the MQM waiver.

    The two programs have pros and cons. I always found that Delta miles were a lot easier to earn but harder to spend...

    I live in AMS and my most common route is AMS-SEA (usually in J) as well as short hops around Europe on KL. I was once a platinum in FB but later moved to Delta after Flying Blue introduced the XP approach. I’m now a Delta Diamond thanks to the MQM waiver.

    The two programs have pros and cons. I always found that Delta miles were a lot easier to earn but harder to spend at a reasonable rate. Flying Blue was the opposite. Luckily I haven’t found it too hard to redeem SkyMiles for KL business class flights out of AMS, and at much better redemption rates than for their own flights ex-US.

    When I was flying blue platinum, I often received OpUps when flying KL metal, something that has never happened to me as a DL Diamond. I also like the ability to earn GUC and bonus miles when qualifying for higher status levels. I do miss the increased award availability that FB gives to its elites, as well as the ability to book AF F. It is nice that SkyMiles offers the ability to do cash + miles, and I’ve found ways to squeeze out value for tickets that I don’t think would be possible with FB.

  30. Neo Guest

    Also, Flying Blue miles never expire!

    @Lucky:
    I used to have Flying bllue status when I was based out of France. I'm now looking to join a One World program because we have been doing some long haul biz class flights (Sri Lankan) and need a home for those points. Any recommendations as to who is worth crdditing them to? (I'd love a program, like Flying Blue, where the miles never expire. Any in One World?)

    Thank you!

    1. DM Guest

      Alaska claims their miles do not expire

    2. DenB Diamond

      Surely expiry is a trivial issue. Choose a program that offers best redemption value/choice. Expiry is easily prevented in AA, AS, BA, etc.

    3. Levi Gold

      FB miles do expire, but elite status extends the clock.

  31. Mark Guest

    Asking for some clarification on XP status if anyone can help.

    Scenario 1: Have no status, 0 XP. Take a flight that earns 180 XP. That makes me Gold? XP balance 0. Now I have 12 months to get 180 more XP to maintain Gold. Get the credit card and get 100XP (recently was offered) as a bonus. Now I need 80 more XP to maintain.

    Scenario 2: Have no status, 0 XP. Get...

    Asking for some clarification on XP status if anyone can help.

    Scenario 1: Have no status, 0 XP. Take a flight that earns 180 XP. That makes me Gold? XP balance 0. Now I have 12 months to get 180 more XP to maintain Gold. Get the credit card and get 100XP (recently was offered) as a bonus. Now I need 80 more XP to maintain.

    Scenario 2: Have no status, 0 XP. Get the card with 100 XP bonus. Makes me silver. 100XP removed so balance 0. Take the flight get 180XP and makes me gold, balance 0. Now I need 180 more XP to maintain.

    Is my mistake in Scenario 1 that I need 280K to make gold, not 180K?

    1. atcsundevil Guest

      You need 280XP for gold. 100XP "buys" you silver status, and your balance is removed. You then need 180 for gold, then an additional 300 for platinum. But, the clock resets, so once you move up in status, you have one year to reach the next mark. You don't need 280XP each year to requalify for gold, you only need 180 to maintain that status.

    2. JDA Guest

      Scenario 2 is correct: 280 total for Gold. I learned this the hard way last year when a blog (not this one) claimed you only needed 180 total XP to obtain Gold. Definitely not true. I hit 132 XP after a few flights, got Silver, and the balance was reduced to 32 XP (minus 100 for making Silver). I then had 12 months to reach 180 XP to move up to Gold.

    3. Mark Guest

      Thanks @atcsundevil and @JDA!

  32. TravelinWilly Diamond

    I’m gold on FB and soon to hit plat.

    Best program out there for me, and status is extremely easy to attain, especially if flying revenue AF La Première flights.

    1. Lee Guest

      I do F trans-Atlantic eight times a year. I appreciate an elevated level of service. But, JFK/CDG on AF is about twice the price of other carriers. Can't get my mind around it.

  33. atcsundevil Guest

    I've been doing the same. I love that the program isn't revenue based, so it still gets you to hunt for some bargains and find ways to maximize XPs. I'll get most of the way to gold in a single week of trips in December (about 30XP shy), which is something that's pretty tough to do with other programs. It seems like a pretty solid program, so I figured I'd just have some fun with...

    I've been doing the same. I love that the program isn't revenue based, so it still gets you to hunt for some bargains and find ways to maximize XPs. I'll get most of the way to gold in a single week of trips in December (about 30XP shy), which is something that's pretty tough to do with other programs. It seems like a pretty solid program, so I figured I'd just have some fun with it for a little while and see how it goes. As long as I can snag a La Premiére redemption out of it, I'll be happy.

  34. John Guest

    I like the ideas!

    Having said that, I'm currently using DL. I guess for me the rationales are different. I'm German so no MQD requirement. I also do a number of TATL flights in Skyteam eco each year, and that is kind of a sweetspot with DL Skymiles. You can do a €350-400 eco light fare (on AF/KL codes in booking class V) and earn 15,000 MQM on a round-trip to the west coast if...

    I like the ideas!

    Having said that, I'm currently using DL. I guess for me the rationales are different. I'm German so no MQD requirement. I also do a number of TATL flights in Skyteam eco each year, and that is kind of a sweetspot with DL Skymiles. You can do a €350-400 eco light fare (on AF/KL codes in booking class V) and earn 15,000 MQM on a round-trip to the west coast if you don't mind a few stopovers. You'll get full elite benefits, too, as this isn't considered equivalent to DL basic eco. [The €350-400 price tag mostly applies if your origin is Scandinavia, but on occasion, you can find these ex *A hubs in Germany and Switzerland, too.)

  35. jfkeze Guest

    Delta flights don't work from an XP value since even a JFK-LAX in D1 would get only 6 XPs as its domestic. The real value are the international hops. In the Americas, flying Aeromexico from Canada or JFK gives 24 XPs as those flights are over 2000 miles. So a YYZ-MEX-LIM would give 96 XPs RT in Business Class. Sadly most North America flights are on 737s with recliners.
    You can also /offset/ carbon and get around 10E per XP... the double hop from KRK-TRF via AMS/CDG

    1. Mike C Diamond

      As an Australian, I've noticed that drawback too but it's fine if you fly shorter and not longer domestic flights. Pick another airline or program for longer non-stop and direct flights (I could post QF flights to either FB or QF). For DL, a lot of trips seem to be two or even three short segments: FB would seem reasonable for them.

    2. Levi Gold

      The secret there is connecting flights on DL in F. If you can keep your average DL F segment below about 1100 miles, you're getting more XP relative to FB Gold per flight than you'd be getting MQM relative to DL Gold per flight (and with DL, you might have to worry about MQD, though $258/segment would get you over the MQD hump), and FB Gold is probably more valuable than DL Gold, just from La Premiere redemptions.

  36. Bobby J Guest

    I've considered this myself many times. Flying Blue is to Skyteam what Aeroplan is to Star Alliance; that is, they have so many non-alliance partners that make the program more worthwhile - good ones. I'd even argue that all the codeshares and non-alliance partners give Air France/KLM a much better route network than Star Alliance, even within Europe. It may not be as seamless, but it's still competitive. Add in the ease of use of...

    I've considered this myself many times. Flying Blue is to Skyteam what Aeroplan is to Star Alliance; that is, they have so many non-alliance partners that make the program more worthwhile - good ones. I'd even argue that all the codeshares and non-alliance partners give Air France/KLM a much better route network than Star Alliance, even within Europe. It may not be as seamless, but it's still competitive. Add in the ease of use of miles, and voila. Only real negative here is the fuel surcharges, which are laughably bad and will only get worse as fuel costs increase worldwide. Go for it, I say.

  37. Michael SEA Member

    @Lucky. An article on which program you are earning status in for each alliance would be an interesting read. Some of us don’t fly premium cabins very often so it would be nice to know how to best get lounge access through status for each alliance.

  38. john Guest

    Why not use maintain the minimum levels to retain the necessary alliance status then go free agent?

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      I’m gold on FB and soon to hit plat.

      Best program out there for me, and status is extremely easy to attain, esp if flying revenue AF La Première flights.

  39. Omar Guest

    I'm thinking along the same lines. I have more amex and citi points than I'll ever realistically be able to spend so having this as an option is worthwhile if the effort is truly minimal.

  40. Morgan Diamond

    Yeah do it!

    Will make for some great reviews to!
    Though which OW airline have you settled on to go fro emerald?

  41. Lee Guest

    I considered doing what you're contemplating but decided it simply wasn't worth it. If someone is flying in any premium cabin, one will receive all of the benefits that SkyTeam tier status offers, other than point-earn rate bonus and elevated assistance during irregular operations. SkyTeam tier status in itself does not grant lounge access (unless traveling on an international itinerary) - but, if you're in a premium cabin, you receive access, so what's the point?...

    I considered doing what you're contemplating but decided it simply wasn't worth it. If someone is flying in any premium cabin, one will receive all of the benefits that SkyTeam tier status offers, other than point-earn rate bonus and elevated assistance during irregular operations. SkyTeam tier status in itself does not grant lounge access (unless traveling on an international itinerary) - but, if you're in a premium cabin, you receive access, so what's the point? In the end, the only tangible benefit was access to AF first class award inventory and the point prices are nonsensical. Too little juice for too much squeeze.

    1. alinsfca Guest

      That is so true. I am based in SFO and is Flying Blue Gold. I like flying AF to Europe, but they are usually more expensive. So I am not sure it make sense to maintain that if you only fly business. Of course unless you ended up in premium economy on occasion.

    2. Riku Guest

      Only giving lounge access on international flights seems a way to exclude lounge access when travelling domestic in the USA (One World and Star Alliance implement this differently) but I wonder if they really enforce it in other countries. It would mean no lounge access when flying domestic in France for example.

    3. Levi Gold

      Air France's lounge access rules don't have a domestic limitation. This only applies to lounges operated by or contracted by Air France.

      The SkyTeam rule means that no SkyTeam member lounge can deny entry to an Elite Plus on an international itinerary, but the lounges are free to additionally allow entry under other circumstances (e.g. Elite Plus on domestic AF itinerary).

  42. Alec Guest

    What benefits would you get flying delta? You should do a post on earning foreign status to get alliance benefits (eg star alliance gold to get united club access on domestic flights)

    1. Lee Guest

      It does not work the same way with SkyTeam. Tier status in a non-US SkyTeam program does not grant lounge access when traveling on flights that are wholly in the US and/or Caribbean.

  43. FlyingPhysicist Member

    FB is probably the easiest status to maintain out there. Also, maintaining FB Plat for 10 years get lifetime Plat status and I just need 5 more years for this. In addition to what Antjuan here points out, there are also CO2 offset donations you can add to your flight. I was reading the Flying Blue subforum on Flyertalk and this person was flying YYZ-AMS-ICN in J and back and paid an extra 4000 Euros...

    FB is probably the easiest status to maintain out there. Also, maintaining FB Plat for 10 years get lifetime Plat status and I just need 5 more years for this. In addition to what Antjuan here points out, there are also CO2 offset donations you can add to your flight. I was reading the Flying Blue subforum on Flyertalk and this person was flying YYZ-AMS-ICN in J and back and paid an extra 4000 Euros for sustainable fuel, and that translated to 400 FB XP, or 10 Euros/XP which is a bargain, so you don't even need to fly a lot to maintain status.

  44. NathanJ Gold

    Not stupid at all. Who amongst us can truly say they haven’t thought of doing just this in order to snag a La Première redemption? Or sadly even Miles&More status to gain the unobtainable Swiss redemption?

    Go for it, mate!

  45. Ian Guest

    If you credit a Delta flight to Flying Blue, do you still get Skyclub access with Amex Platinum?

    1. Nancy Wallace Guest

      how do you credit a delta flight to Flying Blue?

    2. Mike C Diamond

      No experience with DL/FB but if other trips I've booked are a guide there is an option during the process to enter your FF program and number. That should work even if you're logged into your DL (or any other) account at the time. You should also be able to go to 'Manage my Booking' or whatever it's called to change the FF account any time before you check in (or possibly at check-in).

    3. globetrotter Guest

      You go Flying Blue online and look for claims missing miles. Then you need to download your Delta itinerary. You have six months from the departure date to submit the claim.

  46. Antjuan Guest

    I've earned FB Platinum just this year with the XP boost that lasted until this past June.

    In addition to the amazing XP runs you can do in Europe (i.e KRK-CDG-AMS-CPH and back in J for about 490 Euros which gives 90 XP), there are frequent sales for miles where they give an extra 100% bonus. Also, if you don't have the points, but have the cash, there are LP "sweet spot" routes from...

    I've earned FB Platinum just this year with the XP boost that lasted until this past June.

    In addition to the amazing XP runs you can do in Europe (i.e KRK-CDG-AMS-CPH and back in J for about 490 Euros which gives 90 XP), there are frequent sales for miles where they give an extra 100% bonus. Also, if you don't have the points, but have the cash, there are LP "sweet spot" routes from BUD or other places in Europe to North America roundtrip for around 5000-6000 Euros, which is just a little bit more than the price for a transatlantic roundtrip.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

FlyingPhysicist Member

FB is probably the easiest status to maintain out there. Also, maintaining FB Plat for 10 years get lifetime Plat status and I just need 5 more years for this. In addition to what Antjuan here points out, there are also CO2 offset donations you can add to your flight. I was reading the Flying Blue subforum on Flyertalk and this person was flying YYZ-AMS-ICN in J and back and paid an extra 4000 Euros for sustainable fuel, and that translated to 400 FB XP, or 10 Euros/XP which is a bargain, so you don't even need to fly a lot to maintain status.

4
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Ian -- Yep!

4
JDA Guest

Scenario 2 is correct: 280 total for Gold. I learned this the hard way last year when a blog (not this one) claimed you only needed 180 total XP to obtain Gold. Definitely not true. I hit 132 XP after a few flights, got Silver, and the balance was reduced to 32 XP (minus 100 for making Silver). I then had 12 months to reach 180 XP to move up to Gold.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT