Air France KLM Flying Blue

TYPE
Airline
PHONE
+1 800 375-8723
BEST WAY TO REDEEM
Flight Awards

Flying Blue is the unified loyalty program for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, and several other partner airlines. Since being added as a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and launching a co-branded credit card issued by Brim Financial, Flying Blue is poised to become a much larger player in the Canadian loyalty space.

The Flying Blue program offers Canadians an easy way to tap into SkyTeam-member airline redemptions. With Flying Blue miles, members can book award flights across nearly 35 partner airlines, including Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and China Airlines.

Flying Blue uses a dynamic award pricing system, where the cost of awards fluctuates based on factors such as the date and route. This sometimes leads to exceedingly high redemption costs. However, Flying Blue releases monthly Promo Rewards, offering a discount on redemptions by 20% to 50% for specific routes and cabins, which can help counter the impact of varying prices.

Let’s delve into the specifics of the Air France KLM Flying Blue program, with a comprehensive guide on how to earn and make the most of your miles.

Acquiring Flying Blue Miles

As one of the most accessible frequent flyer programs in Canada, Flying Blue miles can be obtained through various channels. You can quickly amass miles by converting transferable points currencies, using the co-branded Air France KLM Flying Blue credit card, and making online purchases via the Flying Blue shopping portal.

Furthermore, entering the US credit card market significantly simplifies the process of acquiring Flying Blue miles. Because Flying Blue is partnered with all four major US transferable points currencies, the most direct way to accumulate miles is through welcome bonuses offered by American Express, Chase, Citibank, and Capital One on their respective credit cards.

You can also obtain Flying Blue miles directly through purchase or by transferring them from select hotel loyalty programs.

Flying on Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam Member Airlines

For Air France and KLM marketed flights you will earn miles for every euro spent. This includes airfares, upgrades, seat selection, baggage fees, and in-flight food and drinks. Government-mandated taxes and fees included on your ticket do not count toward eligible spending for earning miles.

Earning rates for flights with Flying Blue program.

The total number of miles earned is determined by your status level within the Flying Blue loyalty program. Base-level Explorer members earn 4 miles per euro spent while top-tier Platinum members earn 8 miles per euro spent.

Meanwhile, flights taken with SkyTeam and Flying Blue partner airlines accumulate miles based on a combination of distance, cabin class, and Elite bonus earning percentage. Flying Blue Elite members receive a bonus of 50% additional miles for Silver status, 75% extra miles for Gold status, and 100% more miles for Platinum status.

The calculation is broken down as follows:

Miles earned = (distance x booking class earning percentage) + (distance x elite bonus earning percentage)

For example, if you took a China Airlines flight from Taipei to Vancouver in business class, and hold Silver Elite status with Flying Blue you would earn based on the following:

  • Taipei to Vancouver distance = 5,971 mi
  • Booking class J earning percentage = 130% for China Airlines flights
  • Silver Elite Flying Blue member earning bonus = 50%

This will calculate as:

Miles earned = (5,971 x 130%) + (5,971 x 50%) = 7,762 + 2,986 = 10,748

The earning percentage for booking classes differs among the various SkyTeam airlines. To figure out the precise earning rates, you’ll need to check the earning structure specific to each airline.

Co-Branded Credit Cards

If you’re looking to earn Flying Blue miles directly with the program in Canada, Brim Financial issues the co-branded Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard. Since its inception, the card has typically not offered any Flying Blue miles as part of a welcome bonus. However, the card does provide a shortcut to Flying Blue Elite status with 60 XP in the first year and 30 XP each year as an ongoing benefit.

The other noteworthy benefit is the accelerated earning rate of 5 additional Flying Blue miles earned on Air France and KLM flights. These bonus miles are earned in addition to the standard earning rates tied to your existing Flying Blue status. The everyday earning rates of 2 Flying Blue miles per dollar spent on dining and 1 Flying Blue mile everywhere else are relatively standard across the industry for co-branded airline cards.

Brim Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard

The Brim Financial Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard offers Flying Blue Miles on purchases that can be used for flights around the world, along with a way to increase your status with Flying Blue.

Check out our Brim Financial Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard review for more details.

BONUS
60,000 Flying Blue Miles
MINSPEND
$10,000
NET VALUE
$1,008+
ANNUAL FEE
$132
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY
Jun 10, 2024

The US-issued Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard (US) is also available for individuals who are able to access the US credit card market. It provides a welcome bonus averaging around 50,000 miles and earns 3x miles on Air France/KLM flights. With no foreign transaction fees, it carries an $89 USD annual fee.

Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard

The Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard earns Flying Blue Miles on all purchases and offers cardholders the ability to earn XP towards Flying Blue status through holding the card and spending.

BONUS
50,000 Flying Blue Miles
MINSPEND
$2,000
NET VALUE
$861+
ANNUAL FEE
$89
FOREX FEES
No
EXPIRY

Transferring Points From Other Loyalty Programs

Accumulating Flying Blue miles quickly and efficiently is best achieved by earning transferable points currencies from the numerous financial institutions in Canada and the US. Flying Blue is partnered with American Express Membership Rewards in Canada. Additionally, Flying Blue is a transfer partner with all four major flexible points currencies in the US: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One Miles. This means you can transfer points from any of these programs to your Flying Blue account.

Flying Blue miles can also be acquired through the conversion of hotel loyalty points into Flying Blue miles, with the exchange rates varying across the different hotel loyalty programs.

Transfers from American Express Canada Membership Rewards and hotel programs generally take around 2-3 days to complete. However, transfers from financial institutions based in the US are typically instant.

If you lack the necessary points in your Flying Blue account for a redemption but still want to proceed with the booking, you can call the Flying Blue contact center to place a temporary hold on an award ticket for a maximum of three days. This window should allow sufficient time to transfer the required points needed for the booking, ensuring the seat is secured without concerns of it being taken by another traveler.

The list of transfer partners and their respective transfer ratios are as follows:

Financial Institution PartnerConversion Rate
American Express Membership Rewards (Canada)1,000 Membership Rewards : 750 Flying Blue miles
American Express Membership Rewards (US)1,000 Membership Rewards : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Chase Ultimate Rewards (US)1,000 Ultimate Rewards : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Citi ThankYou Rewards (US)1,000 ThankYou Rewards : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Capital One Miles (US)1,000 Capital One Miles : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Hotel Transfer PartnerConversion Rate
Accor ALL Rewards2,000 ALL Rewards points : 2,000 Flying Blue miles
World of Hyatt50,000 World of Hyatt : 25,000 Flying Blue miles
Hilton Honors10,000 Hilton Honors : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Best Western Rewards6,000 Best Western points : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Marriott Bonvoy60,000 Marriott Bonvoy : 25,000 Flying Blue miles
IHG One Rewards10,000 IHG One Rewards : 2,000 Flying Blue miles
Radisson Rewards10,000 Radisson Rewards : 1,000 Flying Blue miles
Shangri-La Golden Circle1,000 Golden Circle Awards : 1,000 Flying Blue miles

Given the weaker transfer rate of 1,000 MR to 750 Flying Blue miles from American Express Canada, using transferable points from the US-based financial institutions is going to be the preferable way for most users to accumulate Flying Blue miles.

Further to this, it’s common to see a 25% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards (US) and Chase Ultimate Rewards several times per year. Capitalizing on these transfer bonuses along with a Promo Rewards redemption could lower the cost of a one-way transatlantic flight on KLM or Air France in business class to around 30,000 US Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Flying Blue transfer bonus.

You can obtain your first US credit card from American Express via Nova Credit or Amex Global Transfer. Once you’ve established a few years of US credit history and acquired an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), you’ll be eligible for additional cards from American Express, Chase, and Citi.

If you haven’t obtained an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number yet, our ITIN service is a great way to expedite your progress toward obtaining additional US credit cards.

Flying Blue Shop for Miles eStore

Shopping portals offer an excellent way to “double-dip” on your online purchases, allowing you to earn points both from your credit card and the shopping portal in a single transaction. If you’re new to shopping portals, our comprehensive guide can walk you through the process of earning points and miles when making your online purchases.

Flying Blue 'Shop for Miles' shopping portal.

The selection of retailers on the Flying Blue eStore is relatively small in comparison to major shopping portals in Canada, offering fewer than 40 retailers. While the Flying Blue eStore has a somewhat limited selection of retailers, leveraging shopping portals remains a fantastic approach to boost your points collection, especially if you are aiming to accumulate more Flying Blue miles.

Once you’re logged in to your Flying Blue account, select the retailer you want to make a purchase at and click the blue “Shop Now” button. This will direct you to the selected retailer’s website where you can complete your purchase.

Do keep in mind that shopping portals may utilize cookies to track your purchases. Ensure that you don’t have any adblockers or other add-ons running that might disrupt the tracking of your activity.

Experiences

Flying Blue has partnered with a few live events and tour operators, allowing members to earn additional miles when booking through these agencies.

Flying Blue Experiences in New York City

For each purchase made through GetYourGuide, you’ll earn 3 Miles for every euro spent. Flying Blue members can access over 60,000 tours and sightseeing activities globally via GetYourGuide, offering a wide array of experiences such as walking tours, cooking classes, dinner cruises, and museum tickets. To earn Flying Blue miles, simply input your Flying Blue number during the booking process; the miles will be deposited into your account within four weeks after your activity is completed.

Flying Blue has its own dedicated Ticketmaster portal where members can earn extra miles on live events such as concerts and sports. Earning rates vary by event and ticket price. Ensure you’re logged into your Flying Blue account to view the miles you can earn per ticket.

Flying Blue Ticketmaster portal.

The Flying Blue Ticketmaster portal can be accessed at this dedicated link.

Flying Blue Hotels for Miles

Booking hotel accommodations through third-party booking portals is typically not something we recommend because you won’t receive any of the benefits associated with your hotel loyalty status. However, when booking independent hotels or properties where you don’t have any loyalty status, utilizing booking portals that provide cash back or miles as rewards can be a great way to maximize your points earnings.

The number of Flying Blue miles earned per night fluctuates based on the property and its nightly rate, up to a maximum of 10,000 miles per night.

Booking.com Flying Blue Portal

Members can accumulate 2 Flying Blue miles for each €1 spent on reservations for hotels, B&Bs, cruises, and other bookings made through the Booking.com Flying Blue portal.

Just fill in your Flying Blue number on the last page of the booking process, and your miles will be credited to your account following your stay.

Car Rentals

Flying Blue has partnered with many of the major car rental agencies, where you can earn miles on all your car rentals. Below are the earning rates for each car rental agency.

Car Rental AgencyEarning Rate
AvisUp to 900 Flying Blue miles/rental
BudgetUp to 1,000 Flying Blue miles/rental
CarTrawler1 Flying Blue mile per € spent
DollarUp to 4 Flying Blue miles per € spent
Enterprise4 Flying Blue miles per € spent
EuropcarUp to 1,000 Flying Blue miles/rental
HertzUp to 12 Flying Blue miles per € spent
SixtUp to 1,200 Flying Blue miles/rental
ThriftyUp to 8 Flying Blue miles per € spent

Purchasing Flying Blue Miles

Purchasing points from frequent flyer programs can be a discerning strategy to significantly reduce the cost of business and first class-flights. It can also be useful if you’re just a few points shy of a flight redemption. However, we do not recommend buying points without an immediate or short-term need because of the risk of potential devaluations. Despite the tempting purchase bonus promotions, it’s usually not worth putting your points and miles at risk.

Flying Blue promotion 100% bonus on purchasing miles.

Flying Blue has purchase promotions several times per year. Therefore, if you decide to purchase Flying Blue miles, it’s advisable to wait for a promotional offer to make the most of your purchase.

You can buy Flying Blue miles here.

Flying Blue Elite members have the advantage of being allowed to purchase an unlimited number of miles. However, base-level Explorer members are restricted to purchasing or receiving a maximum of 100,000 miles per calendar year, unless a promotion is in effect allowing them to acquire miles exceeding the 100,000 limit.

Purchasing the maximum allowable number of miles of 100,000 Flying Blue miles during a 100% bonus promotional offer will cost $3,050 USD ($4,150 CAD). Which equates to acquiring 200,000 Flying Blue miles at a rate of 1.525 USD cents per point.

Purchasing Flying Blue miles is handled through Points.com, and it’s important to note that these transactions are not categorized as airfare purchases. If you are purchasing miles, consider using a card that maximizes your return on spending, such as a card that you’re working to meet minimum spending requirements on.

Redeeming Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue miles can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, in-flight meals, lounge access, as well as baggage and preferred seat fees. There is also the option to redeem for hotel stays booked via the Flying Blue Hotels for Miles platform, or for merchandise from the Flying Blue Store.

However, like with any frequent flyer program, we recommend exclusively utilizing your Flying Blue miles for flight rewards to maximize their value. Any other redemption option besides an award flight will typically yield significantly lower value in comparison.

Remember that Flying Blue utilizes a dynamic pricing model, leading to varying prices depending on the date and each particular flight. If you’re familiar with how Aeroplan dynamic pricing works, Flying Blue operates in the exact same manner, which ensures that all available seats on Air France and KLM-operated flights can be purchased as an award flight, albeit with wildly fluctuating rates.

Another factor to be aware of is that the Flying Blue program imposes carrier surcharges on redemptions, ranging from low to moderate, these surcharges differ for each carrier and cabin class. On average, economy transatlantic trips tend to impose approximately $80 in surcharges. However, for premium cabin award redemptions, the carrier surcharges increase significantly, at up to roughly $250 for one-way redemption. Although this probably isn’t a deal-breaker for most people, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering a Flying Blue redemption.

Prior to transferring any of your flexible points currencies to your Flying Blue account or making any redemptions, we recommend that you review our Best Practices When Booking Award Flights article.

Redeeming Flying Blue Miles for Flights

Flying Blue is one of the most useful frequent flyer programs for booking transatlantic flights in both economy and premium cabins. This is due to the extensive transatlantic route network offered by Air France and KLM, coupled with their alliance partners Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, both of which also boast robust transatlantic networks.

Air France and KLM combine to serve six destinations in Canada and another dozen in the US. As a result, if you live near one of the primary Canadian hubs or can easily position yourself to one of the major US airports, you’ll find abundant redemption opportunities available. 

Flying Blue redemptions can be made on either the Air France or KLM website. Your Flying Blue login credentials and points balance are shared between each airline. Moreover, award availability, pricing and the booking process is identical across their respective websites.

Once you’ve logged in to your account, select the “Book with Miles” tab and input your origin, destination, preferred travel date, number of passengers, and desired cabin class to begin your search.

Flying Blue 'Book with Miles'

If you have a bit of flexibility with your travel dates, leave the departure date field empty. This will show a monthly calendar overview, enabling you to view a whole month’s availability at a glance, instead of having to search each day separately.

From the calendar, you’ll be shown the lowest-priced flight available for each day. Here you can see Flying Blue’s dynamic pricing in effect, where certain days may require only 37,500 Flying Blue miles for a business class flight from Toronto to Paris, while on other days, the same flight could demand as much as 133,000 Flying Blue miles.

Flying Blue calendar view for YYZ to CDG in business class.

You can navigate through the calendar by toggling between months at the top, displaying the lowest available award prices for each month. Promo Awards, marked in orange, are set at 37,500 Flying Blue miles for this particular one-way flight in business class. Considering many loyalty programs price their economy transatlantic awards similarly, these represent a rather exceptional deal.

Once you’ve selected your preferred travel date, you’ll be presented with all the available flights for that day. You can narrow down the results using filters for price, departure/arrival times, number of stops, and duration.

Selecting the Promo Reward flight for 37,500 Flying Blue miles expands all the details for the flight, including benefits, rules for changes, and cancellations, along with taxes and fees totaling $325.

The following page will show a summary of your booking which includes all the relevant information for the selected flight including price and fare conditions. From here, continue as you would to book any other flight, where you’ll be asked for passenger information, seat selection and payment. 

If you are short on miles, Flying Blue offers members a Miles & Cash option. This allows you to utilize additional cash for a booking, covering up to 25% of your award ticket cost. However, we advise you to steer clear of these types of redemptions, as the airlines typically charge a premium to purchase points during the booking process. If you are short on points for an imminent redemption, you’ll almost certainly be better off purchasing the required points separately during a purchase promotion.

Flying Blue Award Chart

Flying Blue publishes an award chart that breaks down prices between each award zone and cabin class. Do note that all prices listed on this chart are the “starting at” prices for redemptions. Additionally, the fares on this chart are quoted for one-way and only for travel on Air France or KLM operated flights.

Flying Blue Award Chart

Flying Blue doesn’t provide a set award chart for partner airlines; instead, each partner airline is subject to its own individual pricing scheme set by the program.

The full Flying Blue award chart can be found here.

The Flying Blue website also features a rewards map, where members can get an estimate of how much a particular route will cost. Once more, take these prices as a baseline, starting from this point. They do not fully represent the dynamic nature of Flying Blue redemption pricing.

Enter your origin and destination, along with the preferred class, to get an idea of the initial award costs for a specific route.

Also on the rewards map page, members can enter the number of miles they have to see all of the destinations they could theoretically travel to with those miles. Let’s say you have 80,000 Flying Blue miles and want to fly in business class from Toronto. This map will show all the possible locations you could fly to from Toronto with those miles.

However, keep in mind that the map only reflects the minimum redemption rates and Flying Blue’s dynamic pricing is not taken into account for the displayed prices.

As with the award chart, all prices quoted on the rewards map are for Air France or KLM operated flights only.

From the map, we can see that an 80,000 Flying Blue mileage balance would suffice for a business class flight from Toronto to virtually any European destination and even a few cities in Northern Africa, granted that you secure a flight at the lower end of the dynamic pricing scale.

Flying Blue Redemption Sweet Spots

While the dynamic pricing and marginally increased fees for redemptions through Flying Blue might discourage some, the consistently favorable redemption rates and the ample availability of award seats often compensate for these factors. Additionally, with the ease in which Flying Blue miles can be earned, there are many beneficial sweet spots to take advantage of. Whether you’re crossing the Atlantic, heading to Africa, or exploring the Asia-Pacific region, there are a lot of valuable redemptions to consider.

Promo Rewards

We’ve already covered Promo Rewards in some detail, so to recap, the Flying Blue program releases new Promo Rewards on the first Monday of every month, and provides a 25% to 50% discount on specific awards for Air France and KLM flights. The Promo Rewards are specifically aimed at reducing the program’s “starting at” prices by offering discounts on the lowest published award rates for the specific route.

Flying Blue Promo Rewards to Boston, Cairo, Washington, Montreal, Vancouver, Osaka, and more.

You can view the current Promo Rewards here.

Promo Rewards pricing are typically valid for booking flights up to six months in advance. Bear in mind that Promo Rewards apply to specific cabin classes, with Promo Rewards for premium cabins being tougher to come by during peak travel season. However, if your aim is to secure the most affordable route to Europe in economy class, you won’t find a better deal than the example below.

Traveling with Young Children

For families that often travel with their younger children, the Flying Blue program provides another great way to save on the cost of a redemption. Members can enjoy a 25% discount on award tickets for children aged 2 to 11 when accompanied by an adult. This benefit applies exclusively to travel with Air France and KLM operated flights and is not applicable for partner airline flights.

For example, let’s say you want to fly with your child from Toronto to Amsterdam in business class. To get started, make sure to indicate one child (2 – 11 years) along with at least one adult when initiating your search.

Flying Blue child (2-11) passenger discount.

The results for direct flights show a suitable option with a combined cost 96,250 Flying Blue miles for two passengers.  

Looking up the price breakdown of this flight, the adult fare amounts to 55,000 Flying Blue miles, while the child fare, benefiting from a 25% discount, totals 41,250 Flying Blue miles.

It is possible to use a Promo Rewards fare in conjunction with an adult and child fare; however, only the adult fare will benefit from the Promo Rewards discount. A Promo Rewards discount cannot be applied to a child fare for further reductions.

North America to Europe in Business Class

Flying Blue miles can secure fantastic deals for Air France or KLM business class flights to Europe, even without Promo Rewards.

Pricing starts at 50,000 Flying Blue miles one-way in business class. This is an incredibly attractive price for a business class ticket if you have some flexibility in your travel dates and can find availability at this price. 

You can book connecting flights at no extra cost, as long as both flights are available at their standard base-level prices. Such as something similar to this business class itinerary of San Francisco (SFO) to Lisbon (LIS) via Paris (CDG) on Air France.

The same approach works for any of Air France or KLM’s transatlantic flights paired with one of their European destinations.

North America to Northern Africa in Business Class

Thanks to a unique quirk in the Flying Blue award chart, most of Northern Africa is priced at the same rate as continental Europe. This means, you could fly from anywhere in North America to Tunisia via either Amsterdam or Paris in business class for the same 50,000 Flying Blue miles.

It’s almost unheard of for frequent flyer programs to offer the same redemption rates for any part of Africa as they do for Europe. Typically, flights to Africa come at a significant premium in terms of miles. Therefore, this particular pricing for Northern Africa within the Flying Blue program is a noteworthy sweet spot worth remembering.

West Coast to Taipei in Business Class

With transpacific award availability — especially in premium cabins — being extremely hard to come by these days, an often-overlooked redemption is China Airlines from the West Coast of North America to Taipei. Award availability is usually plentiful if you are able to book a full year in advance, and China Airlines offers a solid business class product with their relatively new fleet of A350’s.

Flights between their only Canadian destination of Vancouver (YVR) and Taipei (TPE) cost a respectable 83,000 Flying Blue miles and a moderate sum of fees.

Meanwhile, their California destinations of San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX) and Los Angeles (ONT) price slightly higher at 94,500 Flying Blue miles. 

Although these award prices skew slightly higher compared to competing programs, the generous availability of award seats makes these a strong backup option if nothing else is available. Furthermore, by leveraging a 25% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can reduce a China Airlines redemption to slightly under 70,000 Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points, which would put this redemption right in line with award rates from other programs.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to London

Virgin Atlantic is a program that offers very competitive award pricing for their business class redemptions; however, these redemptions are saddled with exorbitant surcharges, often coming close to $1,000 USD.

By instead booking a Virgin Atlantic redemption via Flying Blue, you’ll have to pay an additional 27,500 miles, but you’ll save over $1,000 CAD by doing so.

However, keep in mind that Virgin Atlantic redemptions only make sense when traveling eastbound, as flights departing from London Heathrow will be subject to the UK Air Passenger Duty. Along with the carrier-imposed surcharges, you’ll be out-of-pocket for over $700 in taxes and fees when choosing to depart from the UK.

Free Stopovers on Award Tickets

To further maximize these sweets spots, Flying Blue allows members to include a free stopover on all Flying Blue redemptions, enabling travelers to visit two cities for the price of one. Only a couple of other frequent flyer programs offer stopovers at all, let alone free ones, making this benefit quite valuable and worth taking advantage of.

Stopovers on redemptions can range from a minimum of 24 hours up to a maximum of one year and are valid for travel on any Flying Blue partner airline.

To book a flight award that includes a stopover, you’ll need to book by phone via the Flying Blue contact center. Flying Blue intends to eventually introduce the ability to book stopovers online; however, there is currently no timeline for when this will be possible.

It’s a good idea to spend a bit of time finding award availability for each segment and piecing together your itinerary online prior to calling Flying Blue to book your redemption. Furthermore, as Flying Blue uses dynamic award pricing, itineraries including a stopover will only price accurately if all segments are priced at the lowest award cost. Use the Flying Blue price estimator to approximate the total cost you should expect.

Other Flying Blue Redemptions

While there are other ways to use your Flying Blue miles, we strongly recommend against redeeming them for these alternatives. Their value in such redemptions is notably diminished compared to the value you’d get from using them for flight rewards.

Upgrades and Amenities

Upgrades are available on Air France, KLM and select partner airlines. Based on availability, upgrades can include preferred seating, additional baggage, lounge access, priority boarding and more. 

Flying Blue benefits, upgrades, and amenities.

Award tickets are eligible for upgrades once check-in for your flight has opened and are payable in miles, cash or a combination of the two.

If you had hopes of upgrading your Air France business class ticket to La Premiere First Class, you’re sadly out of luck, as redemptions are not eligible for upgrades to La Premiere.

Hotel Stays

Through the Flying Blue Hotels for Miles portal, you can book hotel stays using your miles. The redemption rates appear to be loosely tied to the nightly cash rate and the valuation for your miles comes in at well under 1 cent per point. In the example below you’ll be getting roughly 0.5 cents per point (CAD).

It goes without saying that this redemption option is hardly worth considering, much like the next option we’ll look at.

Merchandise from the Flying Blue Store

Similar to many loyalty programs, there’s the ability to exchange miles for various household goods and electronics via the Flying Blue Store. However, these stores consistently offer dismal value compared to almost any other redemption available. As always, we strongly advise to steer clear of using your miles for these types of items and instead stick to redeeming for award flights.

Flying Blue Membership Levels and Elite Status

Flying Blue utilizes a unique currency system called Experience Points (XP), which tracks your advancement within the program. Flying Blue Elite status consists of four tiers: Explorer, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All members start as an Explorer and ascend through the levels by accumulating XP through flying activities. Similar to other airline status programs, each level offers perks like priority check-in and boarding, complimentary seat choice, lounge access, and additional benefits.

Flying Blue cards showing Explorer, Silver, Gold, and Platinum status.

XP are earned through flight activities on Air France, KLM and other eligible Flying Blue partner airlines including those in the SkyTeam alliance, enabling members to progress through the different levels of the Flying Blue program. Earning XP is exclusively tied to flying, and typically can’t be earned through any other means.

The amount of XP earned per flight is based on the distance of the flight and cabin class, as outlined in the following chart:

Once you begin accruing XP, you have a 12-month period to earn enough XP to advance to the next status level. Upon reaching the required XP for the next level, you’ll receive the associated benefits for 12 months. Each time you level up or drop a level a new rolling 12-month period begins.

To retain your existing elite status level, you must earn the required XP annually. Falling short in re-qualifying for the same tier within 12 months will result in a downgrade to the previous tier.

If you’re aiming to boost your status within the Flying Blue program, you might want to consider opening a co-branded Air France KLM credit card. The co-branded cards from Brim and Bank of America offer bonus XP annually as a perk for holding the card, which will fast-track your progress to Elite status each year. Outside of flying, the Air France KLM co-branded credit cards are the only way to accumulate a meaningful sum of additional XP.

Benefits of Flying Blue Elite Status

Flying Blue Elite status unlocks a range of perks spanning earning rates, flight benefits, airport amenities and services, applicable to both Air France and KLM flights as well as those operated by SkyTeam partner airlines. Reaching Flying Blue Gold status will earn SkyTeam Elite Plus privileges, which includes access to SkyTeam lounges worldwide.

Benefits of Flying Blue status.

Flying Blue Family Groups

Flying Blue members have the option to establish a Family Blue Family, consisting of up to eight members, allowing families to pool and share their miles. Household and family accounts are a great way to leverage signup bonuses and referrals from several individuals, consolidating points into a larger collective balance.

Flying Blue members over 18 can create a Flying Blue Family and invite others to join the group. The member who creates the Flying Blue Family will become the Flying Blue Family leader.

Flying Blue Family groups can be created from your account dashboard. Simply enter the family member’s name and Flying Blue number to send the invite.

There are no specific terms stating that any member of a Flying Blue Family group must actually be related or live within the same household. Though do take note of the restrictions in place to limit how often an individual can leave or join a new Family Blue Family group.

Frequently Asked Questions

One Flying Blue mile holds an approximate value of 2 cents. This value should serve as a baseline for your Flying Blue redemptions.

Flying Blue miles will expire after two years of inactivity. To prevent the expiry of your Flying Blue miles, take an eligible flight on Air France, KLM or any airline partner at least once every 2 years or make a purchase with an eligible co-branded credit card at least once every 2 years. 

Additionally, Flying Blue Elite members (Silver, Gold, Platinum) miles will never expire.

Yes. Changes or cancellations to any Flying Blue award booking will incur a €50 fee per person.

American Express Canada states an estimated transfer time of three days to convert Membership Rewards to Flying Blue.

Transfers from American Express (US), Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Capital One Miles are instant.

Flying Blue miles can be redeemed for various rewards, including flights, upgrades, hotel stays and merchandise.

Posts About Flying Blue

flying-blue-promo-rewards-on-laptop-featured-image The Complete Guide to Flying Blue Promo Rewards Flying Blue Promo Rewards offer a 25% discount to point redemptions on Air France & KLM. Click to learn more about how you can take advantage!
Review: Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard The Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard is the only card that directly earns Flying Blue miles in Canada. Is it worth adding to your wallet?

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