AirFrance/KLM's Flying Blue loyalty program is a 1:1 American Express transfer partner, which makes it easily accessible for American Express card holders with a Gold or Platinum Membership Rewards card.
Flying Blue does NOT publish an award chart and their 'Spend Miles' page is broken, but you can look up award levels through milez.biz with random city pairs.
The award chart has some good values in economy – for example:
– Europe to North America (incl. Mexico) for 50,000 miles
– Taipei to Indonesia for 20,000 miles
– Europe to the Middle East for 30,000 miles
Flying Blue also runs promo awards that reduce the mileage required by 25%-50%. Plus you can book one-way awards for 50% of the mileage required.
So what's not to like? The persistent fuel surcharges!
The good news is that some routes and some Skyteam partners have much lower fuel surcharges than you'd expect.
Yes, Delta is possibly the best redemption partner as it incurs no fuel surcharges. Use the delta.com award calendar to find availability and then punch the dates with saver space into airfrance.us
Aeromexico works well for destinations in the South/South West US.
KLM (to the Middle East)
TAROM has a very limited set of destinations but fuel charges are low as well.
High fuel surcharges can usually be found with Air France and sadly Kenya Airways. Kenya Airways is Skyteam's only partner in Africa and many fares are 70% fuel surcharges.
Copa Airlines has no fuel sucharges and flies all over North, South and Central America from its hub in Panama City.
GOL serves South America and the Carribean with low fuel surcharges as well.
Japan Airlines has high fuel surcharges but is another option with Flying Blue.
Jet Airways and Air Corsica are more options but usually these domestic flights are a better buy with cash than by using Flying Blue miles.
Bangkok Airways serves a number of small airports in South East Asia.
Tomorrow we are going to take a look at the recent promo awards and show you how to get from the US to Europe for just 25,000 miles and $100 in taxes and fees.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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