Flying Blue’s Awesome Rollover Elite Status Feature

Flying Blue’s Awesome Rollover Elite Status Feature

20

I recently wrote about how I’m thinking of going for Air France-KLM Flying Blue elite status. The more I look at Flying Blue’s elite status program, the more tempted I am. In this post I wanted to take a look at Flying Blue’s rollover elite status feature, which is largely unadvertised, and might just be the best in the industry.

Rollover elite status is a great concept

Many people are probably familiar with Delta SkyMiles, and its rollover miles concept. The way this works, Delta will roll over any elite miles (known as Medallion Qualifying Miles, or MQMs) that you earn beyond what’s needed to qualify for the elite status you have.

For example, Delta Diamond Medallion requires earning 125,000 MQMs in a year, so if you earned 250,000 MQMs in a year, you’d earn Diamond status, and then you’d have 125,000 MQMs roll over to the next year, meaning you’ve already satisfied the MQM requirement for the following year.

To me this seems like a great reward for loyalty. Sometimes when people qualify for top tier status, they wonder if it makes sense to instead go for status with another program, since over qualifying is often not rewarded very well. Meanwhile when there are rollover miles, you’re already getting a head start on elite status for the following year.

There’s one major limitation with the Delta SkyMiles rollover miles feature — qualifying for status not only requires earning a certain number of MQMs, but also requires earning a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs), meaning you have to spend a certain amount to earn status, or need a credit card waiver. MQDs don’t have a rollover feature.

If you ask me, this severely limits the usefulness of rollover miles. In the above example, earning 250,000 MQMs with Delta in a year wouldn’t get you Diamond status for two years. Each year you’d still need to either satisfy the MQD requirement, or get a credit card waiver.

Delta has a rollover miles feature, but it has limitations

How Flying Blue’s rollover elite status feature works

Flying Blue offers a true elite status rollover feature, with no strings attached, much better than what you’ll find at Delta. For context, Flying Blue uses “XPs” (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
The rate at which you earn XPs with Flying Blue

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

There’s a beauty to the simplicity of Flying Blue status requalification, as the program offers a true rollover elite status feature. Essentially the XPs you earn keep racking up, and then when your membership is up for renewal, the XPs required for status are simply deducted from your account.

For example, say you’ve earned Flying Blue Platinum status, and you have a really busy year of travel, and earn 900 XPs. That would essentially earn you Platinum status renewal for three years, with absolutely no flying or activity requirement:

  • When your account is up for renewal, you’d have 300 XPs deducted from your account, requalifying you for Platinum and leaving you with 600 XPs
  • Then 12 months later, you’d have another 300 XPs deducted from your account, requalifying you for Platinum and leaving you with 300 XPs
  • Then 12 months later, you’d have another 300 XPs deducted from your account, requalifying you for Platinum and leaving you with no XPs

Also keep in mind that Flying Blue offers lifetime Platinum status after earning Platinum for 10 consecutive years. So in theory, you could earn lifetime Platinum status if you have Platinum status and then rack up 3,000 XPs, as the rollover XPs would get you there. I say “in theory,” because this assumes there aren’t any program changes over the next decade (and that seems unlikely).

Flying Blue has a great elite status rollover program

Flying Blue also offers elite status soft landings

Not only does Flying Blue offer rollover elite status, but the program also formally offers status soft landings. That means you’ll never drop more than one status tier in a year, even without any activity:

  • If you’re a Platinum member and don’t requalify, you’ll only drop down to Gold
  • Even with no further activity, after a year you’ll only drop to Silver
  • Then with no further activity, you’d finally lose your elite status after a further year
Flying Blue also offers elite status soft landings

Bottom line

It’s always fun to dig a bit deeper into elite status with programs you hadn’t previously considered pursuing status with. While I wouldn’t say Flying Blue is the richest program in terms of elite perks (you primarily get standard SkyTeam elite perks, plus access to Air France first class awards), the program has some unique features.

In particular, Flying Blue has one of the best rollover elite status features I’ve seen at any airline. Double qualify for status? It’s now valid for two years. Triple qualify for status? It’s now valid for three years. On top of that, Flying Blue offers soft landings for elite status, so you’ll never drop more than a tier.

I think these two policies do a great job with helping to garner long term loyalty, as status feels much less transactional and temporary this way.

Anyone else appreciate Flying Blue offering a true elite status rollover and soft landing feature?

Conversations (20)
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. Shawn Guest

    Aeroplan has this too for premium cardholders. Both elite qualifying miles and eupgrades rollover (max 200k and 50, respectively).

  2. Nick Guest

    100 CGK-KUL should net 3000 XPs. 200 a pop, you can be done for 20K.

  3. NathanJ Gold

    Speaking of landings, as a long-term reader, I’d really appreciate an article on which loyalty programmes offer hard vs soft landings. I’ve often managed to forget which does what, so if anybody can put together this info onto one easily digested and retrievable article, it’s you, Ben! ;-)

  4. Frog Guest

    Yup, that's right. The FB XP scheme is really thought through and well designed.

  5. Levi Gold

    Unlikely without some special effort from Ben (e.g. not flying partner flights), but XP earned from BIS on AFKL coded flights are also Ultimate XP: accumulating 1800 UXP over a rolling two calendar-year period qualifies for Platinum Ultimate status, though the benefit provision to ULTI is reputed to be rather inconsistent (and mostly things like being able to have La Premiere wine in business class or at some of the lounges having a reserved area...

    Unlikely without some special effort from Ben (e.g. not flying partner flights), but XP earned from BIS on AFKL coded flights are also Ultimate XP: accumulating 1800 UXP over a rolling two calendar-year period qualifies for Platinum Ultimate status, though the benefit provision to ULTI is reputed to be rather inconsistent (and mostly things like being able to have La Premiere wine in business class or at some of the lounges having a reserved area (e.g. since the restaurant in KLM's Non-Schengen Crown Lounge isn't reopening, the space will become an ULTI area)).

    1. Frog Guest

      The restaurant in the KLM lounge was stupid idea from the start. Glad they finally came to their senses and closed it for good. The one silver lining was that you could sit in the restaurant are and get your first drink for free without ordering anything to eat drink - which not many people knew about and was largely unadvertised.

    2. FlyingPhysicist Member

      Personally, I get recognized as an ULTI once or twice a year, unfortunately.

  6. Levi Gold

    If Flying Blue decides that there are too many flyers who got 3000 XP (e.g. doing repeated LIS-CDG-AMS-KRK-AMS-CDG-LIS runs) in one year and then stopped flying, the easiest way for them to stop that (without ending rollover) is to introduce a Diamond level at 500 XP with some token extra perks above Platinum (e.g. some restricted form of a SWU like what Platinum Ultimates get?). That's something that can be cast as an actual enhancement...

    If Flying Blue decides that there are too many flyers who got 3000 XP (e.g. doing repeated LIS-CDG-AMS-KRK-AMS-CDG-LIS runs) in one year and then stopped flying, the easiest way for them to stop that (without ending rollover) is to introduce a Diamond level at 500 XP with some token extra perks above Platinum (e.g. some restricted form of a SWU like what Platinum Ultimates get?). That's something that can be cast as an actual enhancement but would destroy the "vest and rest until lifetime plat" crowd.

    That said, I doubt there are many who go to the trouble of accumulating 3000 XPs quickly who then stop flying AFKL (and a Lifetime Plat who never flies doesn't actually cost AFKL very much).

  7. TravelinWilly Diamond

    For those who used to purchase (or plan on purchasing) XPs for upcoming AF flights, AF (but not, apparently, KLM (yet?)) has suspended the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) program. SO...unless/until they revive the program, it's no longer available on the AF site for AF bookings. Which means you'll need BIS flights to accrue XPs.

    1. FlyingPhysicist Member

      KLM still allows the SAF and CO2 programs. Such a shame that AF not longer allows it.

      This has been really nice for those based in America, because it was $10/XP, which is equivalent to a regular XP run within Europe.

    2. TravelinWilly Diamond

      There’s something going on in France with the program, though I can’t pinpoint what it is.

      Even AF’s own website basically says “Go to KLM and ‘donate’ there, even if you buy a ticket on AF!” so it’s not like AF Group is pausing the the program, only AF is.

  8. Lee Guest

    Ben, YOU will likely fly US domestic first, intra-Europe business, or international business. Given the premium cabin ticket, you receive virtually all of the benefits that SkyTeam tier status would offer. Other than the opportunity to access Air France first class award inventory, what meaningful benefits would tier status actually provide?

    Separately, the absence of rollover Loyalty Points in AA's program caps my desire to accumulate them.

  9. Bertrand Guest

    XP Rollover is really the best thing with Flying Blue and I don't understand why other programs don't do the same : it keeps people Flying/Staying even after they earned the desired status instead of slowing down or trying the competition.

    However you will have to wait 10 years to get your lifetime platinum. I achieved the required amount of XPs in 2017 but won't be officially lifetime before december 2022.

    1. Petri Diamond

      Well done! I had the platinum for seven years, then fell ill and had to slow down. Now I had to start the ten consecutive years again. I should have stayed with them and not to try all the other airlines after having collected the annually required status miles. That we could have celebrated the life status together.

  10. FlyingPhysicist Member

    Some people have been getting like 2000 XP in a year, and then barely fly with FB for the next few years. They get to keep Plat status, stay on track for Plat for life, and get to aim for status on different carriers in the meantime. The only requirement is to have one "account activity" every year, so credit a flight to FB once a year.

  11. Jones Guest

    Hello, LH M&M; are you listening?

    1. Klaus Guest

      M&M is listening and will change to a points based qualification…without the rollover, though ;)

      When it comes to status, M&M actually is not too bad: Senator (*A Gold) is valid for minimum two years (26 months) and can be extended by another two years while having the gold status.
      There is a 25% earning bonus (based on the actual distance - so whether you fly deep discount economy or full fare first, it’s...

      M&M is listening and will change to a points based qualification…without the rollover, though ;)

      When it comes to status, M&M actually is not too bad: Senator (*A Gold) is valid for minimum two years (26 months) and can be extended by another two years while having the gold status.
      There is a 25% earning bonus (based on the actual distance - so whether you fly deep discount economy or full fare first, it’s still 25% on the distance). And M&M has a soft landing - HON to SEN to FTL. FTL actually is quite appealing as you do have access to Lufthansa lounges.

      Disadvantage of Miles&More: award miles come with ridiculous taxes and fees

    2. DTS Guest

      The two year status will go away with the update though...

  12. Klaus Guest

    How about you earn 900XP in one year - could you be a gold member for 5 years instead of platinum for three and gold for one year?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Klaus -- No, you automatically have the XPs deducted for whatever the highest status is that you have enough XPs for.

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.

TravelinWilly Diamond

For those who used to purchase (or plan on purchasing) XPs for upcoming AF flights, AF (but not, apparently, KLM (yet?)) has suspended the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) program. SO...unless/until they revive the program, it's no longer available on the AF site for AF bookings. Which means you'll need BIS flights to accrue XPs.

2
FlyingPhysicist Member

Some people have been getting like 2000 XP in a year, and then barely fly with FB for the next few years. They get to keep Plat status, stay on track for Plat for life, and get to aim for status on different carriers in the meantime. The only requirement is to have one "account activity" every year, so credit a flight to FB once a year.

2
Levi Gold

If Flying Blue decides that there are too many flyers who got 3000 XP (e.g. doing repeated LIS-CDG-AMS-KRK-AMS-CDG-LIS runs) in one year and then stopped flying, the easiest way for them to stop that (without ending rollover) is to introduce a Diamond level at 500 XP with some token extra perks above Platinum (e.g. some restricted form of a SWU like what Platinum Ultimates get?). That's something that can be cast as an actual enhancement but would destroy the "vest and rest until lifetime plat" crowd. That said, I doubt there are many who go to the trouble of accumulating 3000 XPs quickly who then stop flying AFKL (and a Lifetime Plat who never flies doesn't actually cost AFKL very much).

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published