Flying Blue Adding Free Stopovers On Award Tickets

Flying Blue Adding Free Stopovers On Award Tickets

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A massive, positive change is being made to the Air France-KLM Flying Blue loyalty program…

Free stopovers on Air France & KLM awards

Nowadays very few airline loyalty programs allow good-value stopovers on award tickets. The two most popular exceptions are Air Canada Aeroplan and Alaska Mileage Plan. Soon another valuable program will be adding stopovers — Air France-KLM Flying Blue is expected to introduce free stopovers on award tickets in the near future.

This was revealed during a webinar for Flying Blue members in Northern Europe.

More details should be available in the coming days, though I’m getting the sense that this is every bit as good as it sounds.

We’re not just talking “free” stopovers when booking the highest cost awards as a roundtrip, but it’s my understanding that this will even be possible on one-way awards booked at the lowest award levels. Like I said, we should learn more details shortly, and I’ll be sure to publish all the details once it’s confirmed.

Air France business class Boeing 777-200ER

This could be a game-changer for Flying Blue miles

Flying Blue is an incredibly useful frequent flyer program. Not only does the program have access to the most Air France and KLM transatlantic business class award space, but the miles are also easy to come by. Flying Blue is transfer partners with all major transferable points currencies, including American Express Membership RewardsCapital OneChase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.

While we’ll have to wait for the full details, the potential implications here are awesome. Traveling from New York to Dubai via Paris? You’ll be able to have a stopover in Paris. Traveling from Chicago to Cape Town via Amsterdam? You’ll be able to have a stopover in Amsterdam.

It’s fun to be able to break up a long trip with a stopover, especially if it’s in a city you want to visit (and Air France and KLM are both blessed with especially awesome hub cities).

KLM business class Boeing 787-10

Bottom line

The Air France-KLM Flying Blue program is in the process of rolling out stopovers on award tickets, which is an exciting change. I’ll be sure to provide an update once I have all the details, though in the meantime this is something to look forward to.

Are you excited about Flying Blue adding stopovers on awards?

Conversations (22)
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  1. Chris thomas Guest

    What a marketing spin! I dont want to have to spend an additional 25-30 hrs in AMS every time i travel to the States. Extra days, extra hotels extra food extra travel time used up! All because they are canceling key connecting routes. Not to mention i now have to 'check in' twice. Oh boy! Im exicited! NOT!

    1. Mike C Diamond

      I don't think the stopovers are compulsory.

  2. Sonny Guest

    One of the worst european programs. They dinamic pricing is nasty. You need to donate an organ in miles to book a J award long haul seat

  3. Dwondermeant Guest

    I dumped 500k into this program and fairly disappointed.Delta awards are near non existent and sky high Redemptions on KLM awards typically.How about 900 k from West coast to AMS in business class.WTF? Granted some are much less like 325k one way but still outrageous
    It does seem like some better value redemptions are departures from the East Coast
    Cancel fees for changes and redeposits are the norm
    And some fairly crappy...

    I dumped 500k into this program and fairly disappointed.Delta awards are near non existent and sky high Redemptions on KLM awards typically.How about 900 k from West coast to AMS in business class.WTF? Granted some are much less like 325k one way but still outrageous
    It does seem like some better value redemptions are departures from the East Coast
    Cancel fees for changes and redeposits are the norm
    And some fairly crappy phone reps with some exceptions here or there
    On my last booking the agent insisted the award I wanted to change too to was not available.
    But I booked it online while on the phone with her after going back and forth .Have to see how this all plays out with the stopover I suppose

    1. Sonny Guest

      Worst program ever in Europe

  4. Mark Guest

    Given the state of Schipol airport, wouldn't free stopover at AMS make things infinitely worse?

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Agree entirely with Mark. Schipol is still a nightmare to negotiate, and arriving 3 hours before flight time is scarcely enough time.
      Check-in desks close way early, (check-in on-line if you can) and the slow moving security lines are unbelievable. Forget lounge time unless you arrive 4+ hours before departure.
      All over the Netherlands everything is chronically understaffed making for an unpleasant stay. Hate to say it, but avoid for the next 12...

      Agree entirely with Mark. Schipol is still a nightmare to negotiate, and arriving 3 hours before flight time is scarcely enough time.
      Check-in desks close way early, (check-in on-line if you can) and the slow moving security lines are unbelievable. Forget lounge time unless you arrive 4+ hours before departure.
      All over the Netherlands everything is chronically understaffed making for an unpleasant stay. Hate to say it, but avoid for the next 12 months or so, especially AMS.

  5. Khatl Diamond

    Need to take this with a large grain of salt... and a certain amount of trepidation.

    Redemptions from US to CDG/AMS have been significantly devalued by almost 30%.
    Last year, 55k were the best value redemptions for one-way biz on AF/KLM. Now the lowest pricing is 70k.

    BUT, if you do stopovers, such as MIA-CDG/AMS-LHR, the lowest pricing remains 55k biz class one way. My fear is that these no-cost stopovers will...

    Need to take this with a large grain of salt... and a certain amount of trepidation.

    Redemptions from US to CDG/AMS have been significantly devalued by almost 30%.
    Last year, 55k were the best value redemptions for one-way biz on AF/KLM. Now the lowest pricing is 70k.

    BUT, if you do stopovers, such as MIA-CDG/AMS-LHR, the lowest pricing remains 55k biz class one way. My fear is that these no-cost stopovers will eliminate the 55k redemptions, and we'll be left with everything at a minimum of 70k.

    If that happens, it simply solidifies the 30% devaluation in the past 12 mths.

    1. CSP18 Guest

      I have the same impression. I was recently looking for a one-way J award from East Asia to Europe. The cheapest awards used to be 70,500 miles (until ten days ago). It seems that the price has now gone up to 90k. You still find some for the old price, but they are far and far between. I guess that is the price that you have to pay for the stopovers and the new doors...

  6. DenB Diamond

    Beware the smiling guy (and his fanboys) promising "more choice", or "flexibility". They're always always always reducing value, if not at the same time, then soon thereafter.

  7. magice Member

    I wonder how it works if their price is dynamic... After all, what's the difference between a free stopover and 2 separate one-way?

  8. pstm91 Diamond

    This is awesome news and will no doubt sway me to check them first when flying to Africa, but their fuel/surcharges are so high...

  9. Grogg Member

    The first two sentences say "Nowadays very few airline loyalty programs allow free stopovers on award tickets. The two most popular exceptions are Air Canada Aeroplan and Alaska Mileage Plan." I thought that Aeroplan charges 5,000 miles for a stopover. Am I mistaken?

  10. Jan Guest

    Noice. I've done SE Asia flights through AF/KLM with 12-14hr layovers in Paris and Amsterdam before, an actual stopover would be bonkers. I only wish they'd do this for paid flights as well.

  11. stvr Guest

    LH can't compete with this (if this is real) because let's face it Frankfurt ain't Paris honey

    1. Bobby J Guest

      LH can't compete with this not because of Frankfurt (Munich ain't bad, and Vienna is great).

      LH can't compete with this because Miles & More is a joke of a frequent flier program.

    2. CSP18 Guest

      I actually find M&M quite useful. Sure, the surcharges are significant, but award availability in business and first class is decent. I recently booked three seats in LH First nine months out, which is probably difficult in most other programs. And you can use the miles rather easily for upgrades as well. By contrast, I get much less value out of Flying Blue. FB is only useful for awards on AF and KLM, and availability...

      I actually find M&M quite useful. Sure, the surcharges are significant, but award availability in business and first class is decent. I recently booked three seats in LH First nine months out, which is probably difficult in most other programs. And you can use the miles rather easily for upgrades as well. By contrast, I get much less value out of Flying Blue. FB is only useful for awards on AF and KLM, and availability is much worse than for M&M (if you do not count the ridiculous 700,000 miles one-way awards for J). I think the program only shines in comparison to Delta Skymiles.

  12. Frank B Member

    Since Flying Blue has dynamic pricing, the mechanics of this are going to be wild.

  13. Matt Guest

    Only good if it means you can go to two cities with the SAME fuel surcharges. It helps often the impact of the high fuel surcharges of these awards.

  14. ECR Member

    Interested if this is just for Paris/Amsterdam (okay) or if any city is allowed (great)

    1. DLPTATL Guest

      It will be interesting if they allow this in partner hub cities where you're arriving on AF/KLM, if say you're ongoing flights are on DL, could you stay over in NY, ATL, SLC, etc. I doubt it, but it could create some very interesting opportunities.

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Mike C Diamond

I don't think the stopovers are compulsory.

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Andrew Guest

Correct

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DLPTATL Guest

It will be interesting if they allow this in partner hub cities where you're arriving on AF/KLM, if say you're ongoing flights are on DL, could you stay over in NY, ATL, SLC, etc. I doubt it, but it could create some very interesting opportunities.

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