Fly to Europe and Beyond for Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

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Looking for a way to get to Europe for very few miles later this summer?

You can fly from Boston or Houston to Europe using Flying Blue Promo Awards for 25% to 50% fewer points than regular award tickets.  Travel must be booked before June 30, 2014, and you must travel between August 1, 2014, and September 30, 2014.

This means you can fly 1-way from Boston to Amsterdam for 18,750 miles & ~$115, or Houston to Paris for 12,500 miles and ~$88!

But what if you don’t live near Boston or Houston?  I’ll explain a few possible ways to get there cheaply!

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You Can Fly to Europe From Boston or Houston for as Few as 12,500 Miles 1-Way

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM.  Although they’re part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you have to use Flying Blue miles (not miles from another SkyTeam airline, like Delta or Korean Air) to book your ticket.

But you can instantly transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue!

How Does It Work?

Link:   Flying Blue Promo Awards

Link:   Flying Blue Frequent Flyer Program

Several times each year, Flying Blue offers discounted award tickets on certain routes.  This promotion only includes 2 North American cities.  You can fly 1-way between:

  • Boston and Europe 1-way in coach class for 18,750 miles (25% off)
  • Houston and Europe 1-way in coach class for 12,500 miles (50% off)

You’ll pay fees and fuel surcharges which vary depending on the route.  KLM and Air France fly to Paris and Amsterdam from the US, but you can connect onwards to other European destinations.  Their definition of Europe has a few surprises!  For example, Israel and Morocco are included in the sale.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Save From 25% to 50% on Tickets Between Boston or Houston and Europe

You have to use Flying Blue miles and book directly with Air France or KLM to get the discount.  Remember, you have to book before June 30, 2014, and travel between August 1, 2014, and September 30, 2014.

And if you book an award ticket, you can cancel it with no penalty within 24 hours of purchase.

Is It Worth It?

12,500 miles for a 1-way ticket to Europe from North America sounds like a great deal!  And there are still a lot of award seats available.  You will pay fuel surcharges which vary depending on route, so you’ll have to do the math to decide if this is a good deal for you.

For example, you’ll pay 12,500 miles and ~$88 in taxes and fees 1-way from Houston to Paris in coach class on Air France.  There are still lots of award seats available in August and September.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Still Lots of Award Seats Available From Houston to Paris in August

There are fewer award seats in August from Boston to Europe (in this case, Amsterdam), but plenty available in September.   You’ll pay more miles (18,750 plus ~$115 in taxes and fees 1-way) because the discount from Boston is only 25%.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Boston to Amsterdam Has Many Award Seats Available in September

Keep in mind these prices are for 1-way tickets, and that taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on the return flight from Europe can often be more expensive.

For example, the fees from Houston to Paris are ~$88, but if you return from Paris they’re ~$176!  So you’d pay ~$264 in taxes and fees total for a round-trip ticket.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You’ll Pay 25,000 Miles and ~$264 in Taxes and Fees for a Round-Trip Ticket to Europe

That’s a lot of fees for a ticket, but it’s still much better than paying full fare on KLM or Air France.  And because most other airlines no longer have many award seats available for summer travel, this could be an option if you want to fly cheaply and use points to Europe.

To compare, I checked the same dates for Houston to Paris on Air France for a paid coach class ticket.  The cheapest fare was ~$1,280.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You’ll Pay ~$1,280 on Air France for the Same Ticket

I’d much rather spend 25,000 miles and ~$264 for a round-trip ticket to Europe!

Where Else Can You Go?

The best part of this deal is that you don’t have to terminate your trip in Paris or Amsterdam (the destinations served non-stop by Air France and KLM from Houston and Boston).  You can connect onward to other cities in Europe, near Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the same number of miles!

You could go to Moscow 1-way for 12,500 miles and ~$119.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

FlyingBlue Promo Awards Will Take You to Moscow!

There are still lots of award seats available for August and September.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

All the Way to Russia for 12,500 Miles and ~$119

To compare, a low-level award ticket from Houston to Moscow on United Airlines the same month costs 30,000 miles 1-way, but only ~$34 in fees.  But there are much fewer award tickets available, and you’d save a lot of miles using the Flying Blue Promo Award.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You’ll Pay More Miles, but Less Fees on United Airlines

Or you could head to Istanbul for 12,500 miles and ~$110.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You Could Fly to Turkey 1-Way for 12,500 Miles and ~$110

How about Israel?  You could also fly 1-way to Tel Aviv for 12,500 miles and ~$131.  But there aren’t as many award seats available.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Have You Wanted to Travel to Israel? Here’s a Great Opportunity!

You can even go all the way to Casablanca, Morocco for the same number of miles and ~$131 1-way.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Jet Away on an Exotic Vacation to Casablanca for 12,500 Miles and ~$131 1-Way

These destinations look very interesting!  I’d gladly pay the fuel surcharges to get to Africa or the Middle East with so few miles.

What If You’re Not in Houston or Boston?

If you’re not near Houston or Boston, you could cheaply use points (like British Airways Avios) to get there.  British Airways Avios are ideal for short-haul flights because they only charge 4,500 points 1-way for flights less than 649 miles, and 7,500 points for flights up to 1,149 miles.

Or if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you could get to Houston or Boston very cheaply.  That’s because with the Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.

However, be aware that Southwest flies into Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) while KLM and Air France fly out of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).  So you’d have to change airports if you fly in on Southwest.

Worst case, you could try to find a cheap paid ticket from your home airport to Houston or Boston.  But do the math to see if it makes sense.

How Do You Get Flying Blue Miles?

Link:   American Express Starwood Preferred Guest

Link:   American Express Platinum

Link:   American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum

Link:   American Express Premier Rewards Gold

Link:   American Express EveryDay Preferred

Because you can’t use miles from other SkyTeam airlines (like Delta) to book Flying Blue Promo Awards, you’ll need to book these tickets with Flying Blue miles.

You can transfer points from the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card to Flying Blue in a 1:1 ratio.

And if you transfer 20,000 points, you’ll get a 5,000 point bonus for a total of 25,000 Flying Blue miles.  So you’re really only spending 20,000 Starwood points plus fees for a round-trip ticket to Europe.  That’s a great deal! 

Note:   Starwood points take up to 4 weeks to transfer.  Although in my experience it’s taken from 2 to 12 days.  So if you plan on booking, keep in mind your exact award ticket might disappear while waiting for the points to transfer!

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Starwood Points Transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 Ratio…but You’ll Get a 5,000 Mile Bonus If You Transfer 20,000 Points

Alternately, if you have an American Express card that earns AMEX Membership Rewards points, like the American Express Platinum, American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum, American Express Premier Rewards Gold, or American Express EveryDay Preferred card, you can transfer your points to Flying Blue miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Fly To Europe And Beyond For Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

You Can Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points to Flying Blue 1:1

Note:   You won’t get an extra 5,000 miles on the transfer like you would with the Starwood Preferred Guest card.  However, there have been transfer bonus promotions in the past between AMEX Membership Rewards and Flying Blue.

Bottom Line

Using Flying Blue Promo Awards, you can fly to Europe and beyond on Air France or KLM for only 12,500 miles 1-way this August and September.  Travel is between August 1, 2014, and September 30, 2014, but you have to book by June 30, 2014.  Only travel booked through Air France or KLM directly using Flying Blue miles is eligible for the deal.

You will pay fuel surcharges and fees for award tickets.  But sometimes it could be worth it because you’re saving so many miles.  And there are still a good number of award seats remaining!

You aren’t limited to Europe!  With this promotion you can connect to North Africa, the Middle East and near Asia.

Both Starwood Preferred Guest points and American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio.  And you’ll get a bonus 5,000 miles if you transfer 20,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points, which makes the deal even sweeter!

Where will you go with Flying Blue Promo Awards?

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10 responses to “Fly to Europe and Beyond for Only 12,500 Miles 1-Way This Summer With Flying Blue Promo Awards

  1. Such a great deal and great find! Thanks for sharing.

  2. the deal is good. but the combo of YQ + miles needed for positioning flight to IAH/BOS kill the value for me.
    a route in which im interested would be UA 60k + $124 vs. AF 25k + $240 + SW 20k + $25 HOU-IAH shuttle.. the positioning flight expenditure kills the deal. only useful if you fly the IAH route and if you use avios to get to IAH..and guess which airline has very few routes to IAH using avios?

  3. If I have over 80,000 avios, can I transfer those to the Flying Blue program?

  4. @anum
    lol

  5. Anyway that I can transfer Amex Hilton Points into plain Amex points?

  6. Thanks for sharing. This could be a great deal for me, if I can book an award ticket with Flying Blue miles in my account for a friend flying alone. Daraius, do you know if this is allowed? Thanks!

  7. I’m still somewhat confused by fuel surcharges. When the AF chart you included indicates a mileage cost plus a dollar cost, e.g., 12500 miles plus $87.99, does that amount include the fuel surcharges as well as taxes and fees? Also, you’re correct that taxes are significantly higher for returning to US.

    • @anum – You can’t transfer Avios to Flying Blue.

      @Ali – Unfortunately, you can’t do that as well!

      @ Slava – I haven’t tried that, but it should be possible.

      @ Pat – That cost includes the taxes, fees, and surcharges.

  8. Are there any enrollment bonus codes for Flying Blue that anyone knows of? The only ones I’ve found are expired. Thanks!

  9. I tried this to book a flight Houston-Paris but I have “an error occurred” message at the end of the process. Do you know how to fix that?