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I’m really confused with Flying Blue. I called Air France Flying Blue… to inquire, “if I buy a economy ticket on China Airlines from SIN to JFK and wanna use my flying blue miles to upgrade from economy to business… how many miles would I need. They said 52,000. I asked to upgrade and they were like call China Airline. I called and China Airline said if I’m a member of Flying Blue, I have to call them. I called Flying Blue back and they said… sorry Flying Blue miles can only be used to upgrade economy to business for Air France and KLM flight booked on their website and no other member airline. I questioned this information as it would be insane. She confirmed with her managers. If that is true… then Flying Blue is worthless.
[USER=5953]@David Z[/USER], in general you need the currency of the carrier you are flying to upgrade your seat. It would be very unusual to be able to use FB miles to upgrade a China Airlines ticket. That does not make them worthless, just not a good fit for your particular needs.
Very, very few airlines allow you to use their miles to upgrade a ticket on another airline. The airlines have to be close partners and/or have an agreement specific to this type of upgrade. Generally, it also requires a more expensive ticket to be eligible.
American allows you to use AAdvantage miles to upgrade a British Airways/Iberia ticket, but only Full Fare Economy tickets, select Prem Econ ticket and select Business tickets.
Star Alliance airlines also offer a similar upgrade policy, but again, restricted to specific paid fare classes.