Air France-KLM and Etihad have just expanded their partnership, and this includes reciprocal award redemptions. The most exciting development here is the ability to redeem Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles for travel on Etihad, so I wanted to go over the redemption possibilities in this post.
In this post:
The basics of redeeming Flying Blue miles on Etihad
It’s now possible to redeem Flying Blue miles for travel on Etihad directly through the Flying Blue website and app. A few things to note about these redemption opportunities:
- The award pricing seems to be route based, so pricing isn’t consistent by region
- Award pricing is per segment, so if you fly multiple segments, the pricing is additive
- Flying Blue allows stopovers on one-way awards, but that’s not of much value when pricing is additive, since you’re paying the per segment pricing anyway
- Flying Blue is imposing surcharges on these redemptions, though they’re fairly mild in the scheme of things (at most $200 for a long haul flight)
- As of now I see redemptions available in business class and economy class, though I don’t yet see first class redemptions; I’m curious if these are rolled out, given that Flying Blue is increasingly offering partner first class redemptions
So, what is pricing like? A one-way Abu Dhabi to Muscat business class award will cost you just 6,000 miles, plus $112.70 in taxes and fees.
A one-way Abu Dhabi to Geneva business class award will cost you 45,000 miles, plus $207.70 in taxes and fees.
A one-way Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur business class award will cost you 51,000 miles, plus $207.70 in taxes and fees.
A one-way Abu Dhabi to Washington business class award will cost you 87,500 miles, plus $246.60 in taxes and fees.
Where I see value with this redemption opportunity
Flying Blue’s redemption rates on Etihad aren’t amazing, but I still think there’s a lot of value here. Keep in mind that when it comes to redeeming for Etihad business class, historically the best programs have been American AAdvantage and Air Canada Aeroplan. However, Aeroplan currently doesn’t have access to Etihad first and business class award space, meaning that there’s only AAdvantage (and partner programs in general are having issues with Etihad award space).
With that in mind, a few thoughts:
- This opportunity is useful for those with transferable points currencies, since Flying Blue partners with all major transferable points currencies, while AAdvantage doesn’t
- Flying Blue often has bonuses from transfer points currencies, where you can often get a 25% bonus when transferring points, so you can get even more value that way
- Flying Blue has particularly good Etihad redemption rates for short haul flights, so that’s a great competitive advantage
I wouldn’t say this redemption opportunity is the most exciting thing ever, but there are definitely situations where I could see myself redeeming this way.
Flying Blue has rolled out award redemptions on Etihad, which is a cool development. Redemption rates are reasonable, though there are some mild carrier imposed surcharges on these awards. This is a great way for those with transferable points currencies to redeem miles for Etihad.
What do you make of redeeming Flying Blue miles on Etihad?