Book Discounted Award Tickets to Europe for the Holidays!

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

The newest Flying Blue Promo Awards from KLM and Air France are out, and you can fly to Europe for 25% to 50% fewer miles in November and December.  So if you’re planning a trip for the holidays, you can book it now!

Each month, a new group of destinations goes on sale.  If you don’t have Flying Blue miles, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood points, or Citi ThankYou points.

With the new set of Flying Blue Promo Awards, you can fly between Europe and:

  • Detroit in coach class for 50% fewer miles
  • New York (JFK) in coach class for 25% fewer miles
  • Washington, DC, in Premium Economy class for 50% fewer miles

Tickets must be booked by September 30, 2014, for travel:

  • Between November 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 (for Detroit and Washington, DC)
  • Between November 5, 2014 and December 18, 2014 (for New York)

Even if you don’t live near Detroit, New York, or Washington, DC, you might still be able to use these awards, because there are lots of ways to get to these cities cheaply.  I’ll explain!

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Spend Thanksgiving in Barcelona, Spain?

How Does It Work?

Link:   Flying Blue Promo Awards

Link:   Flying Blue Frequent Flyer Program

Each month, Flying Blue offers discounted award tickets on certain routes.  Their current list includes 3 US cities, and you’ll save 25% to 50% off the number of miles for a regular award ticket.  You can fly between:

  • Detroit and Europe 1-way in coach class for 12,500 miles (normally 25,000 miles)
  • New York and Europe 1-way in coach class for 18,750 miles (normally 25,000 miles)
  • Washington, DC, and Europe 1-way in Premium Economy class for 25,000 miles (normally 50,000 miles)

You’ll pay fees and fuel surcharges which vary depending on the route.  KLM and Air France fly to Amsterdam and Paris from the US, but you can connect onwards to other destinations in Europe for the same price.

Flying Blue’s definition of Europe includes destinations in North Africa, the Middle East, and near Asia.  For example, Algeria, Turkey, and Lithuania are included in the sale.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You’ll Save 25% to 50% on Award Tickets to Europe (and Beyond!)

Although KLM and Air France are part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you use Flying Blue miles (not miles from another SkyTeam airline, like Delta or Korean Air) to book your ticket.

And if you book an award ticket, you can cancel it without penalty within 24 hours of purchase.

But after that, no changes, cancellations, or refunds are allowed.  And you can NOT add a stopover, because Promo Awards HAVE to be booked online.

Is It Worth It?

12,500 miles for a 1-way ticket to Europe from the US sounds like a steal, but remember, you will pay fees and fuel surcharges.  You’ll have to do the math and decide if this is a good deal for you.

Example:  Detroit to Paris on Air France

You can fly in coach class from Detroit to Paris for 12,500 miles and ~$88.  There are award seats available most days in November.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

There Are Lots of Award Seats Available From Detroit to Paris in November for 12,500 Miles and ~$88

There are fewer dates available in December, especially around the holidays.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You Have Fewer Options in December, but There Are Still Dates Available

Returning from Paris to Detroit in November, you’ll pay 12,500 miles and ~$169.  There are still award seats available on most days.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

There Are Still Lots of Award Seats Returning From Paris to Detroit in November

There are award seats available in the 1st 2 weeks of December almost every day, but closer to the holidays there are few seats left.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Early December Has Lots of Award Seats, but Later in the Month You Might Have Trouble!

So for a round-trip coach class award ticket between Detroit and Paris, you’ll pay a total of 25,000 miles and ~$257 in taxes and fees.  Although the fees sound expensive, consider that a paid Air France ticket in December for the same route costs ~$1,321.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

A Paid Ticket Costs ~$1,321

So if you would otherwise have to pay for a ticket, this could be a very good deal for you!

Example:   New York (JFK) to Amsterdam on KLM

It costs 18,750 miles and ~$88 to fly in coach class from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam on KLM.  The Flying Blue sale between New York and Europe is only for travel between November 5, 2014 and December 18, 2014 (not the entire months of November and December like the other destinations).

There are award seats available for almost every eligible date in the travel period.  Here’s what it looks like for November.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Most Dates in November Have Award Seats Available From New York to Amsterdam

Here’s the calendar of available award seats for December.  Remember, the sale is only good for travel until December 18, 2014, not the whole month.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You’ve Still Got Lots of Choices in Early December From New York to Amsterdam

Returning from Amsterdam to New York, you’ll pay 18,750 miles and ~$139.  There are plenty of seats available in November.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Returning From Amsterdam to New York, You’ll Pay 18,750 Miles and ~$139

And every day in the 1st 2 weeks of December has award seats available, too.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

There Are Plenty of Options Coming Back From Amsterdam Until Mid-December

So a round-trip coach class ticket between New York and Amsterdam costs 37,500 miles and ~$227.  This isn’t as good a deal as flying out of Detroit, because the discount is only 25%.

But it still could be a good deal for some folks, because a paid KLM coach class ticket for the same route costs ~$1,040.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

I’d Much Rather Pay 18,750 Miles and ~$227 for This Ticket

I’m surprised there are so many award seats available on this route during Thanksgiving!  This might be an option if you’re looking for a quick European getaway that week.

Example:   Washington, DC, to Paris on Air France

To fly from Washington, DC, to Paris, it costs 25,000 miles and ~$165.  That’s because the sale is for Premium Economy award seats on this route.

Most dates in November have award seats available.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You Can Find Award Seats Almost Every Day in November From Washington, DC, to Paris

December has most dates available, too.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Most Dates in December Also Have Award Seats Available

Returning from Paris, it costs 25,000 miles and ~$246.  There are a similar number of award seats available in November.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Almost Every Day in November Is Available From Paris to Washington, DC

And in December, there are still award seats available every day.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Every Day in December Is Available From Paris to Washington, DC

In total, you’ll pay 50,000 miles and ~$411 for a round-trip Premium Economy class ticket between Washington, DC and Paris.  This is still much cheaper than buying paid ticket, which costs ~$4,507.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

I think this is a very good deal for a Premium Economy round-trip ticket, even with the fees.

Where Else Can You Go?

What I like most about this deal is that you don’t have to end your trip in Paris or Amsterdam (the destinations served by Air France and KLM from the US).  For the same number of miles, you can connect onward to other cities in Europe, near Asia, Africa, and the Middle East!

This sale would be perfect for folks who want to visit 1 of Europe’s famous Christmas Markets, like the Christkindlmarkt in Zurich, Switzerland.  It runs from November 11, 2014, to December 24, 2014.  

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You Could Sample Local Foods and Sip a Hot Mulled Wine While Shopping for Handmade Goods at the Zurich Christkindlmarkt

There are still lots of award seats available in November and December.  A 1-way coach class ticket from Detroit to Zurich costs 12,500 miles and ~$113.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

You’ll Pay 12,500 Miles and ~$113 for a Coach Class Award Ticket From Detroit to Zurich

There are plenty of award seats available coming back, too.

If you’d rather escape to warmer weather, the beaches in Morocco might appeal to you.  They have some of the most beautiful and interesting beaches in the world!

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Escape the Cold Weather and Have an Adventure at Legzira Beach, Morocco

You’ll pay 18,750 miles 1-way plus ~$128 from New York to Casablanca.  There are lots of award seats available.

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

A Coach Class Award Ticket From New York to Casablanca Costs 18,750 Miles and ~$128, and There Are Plenty of Seats

Coming back, there are award seats available almost every day, too.

If you use your imagination, you can find lots of interesting and unusual destinations in Europe that might be harder to visit during the peak summer season.  And you’ll pay fewer miles!

What If You’re Not in Detroit, Washington, DC, or New York?

If you don’t live near the cities included in the sale, you might consider using points (like British Airways Avios) to get there.  British Airways Avios points are great for short-haul flights on American Airlines, because it only costs 4,500 points 1-way for flights up to 649 miles, and 7,500 points for flights up to 1,149 miles, with no fuel surcharges.

Another way to get to these cities cheaply is with the Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s because with the Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.

Or you could try to find a cheap paid ticket from your home airport to 1 of the included cities.  You might get lucky and find a seat sale or low fare!

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

Link:   American Express EveryDay Preferred

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier

Link:   Citi Prestige

You can only use Flying Blue miles to book Flying Blue Promo Awards, and not miles from other SkyTeam airlines (like Delta).  But if you have certain credit cards, they’re easy to get.

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

This can be a very good deal, because 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 coach class ticket to Europe. 

Note:   Starwood points can take up to 4 weeks to transfer, although in my experience it’s taken from 2 to 12 days.  So keep in mind the award ticket you want might disappear while waiting for the points to transfer!

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

Starwood Points Transfer to Flying Blue, but Can Take up to 4 Weeks

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

Book Discounted Award Tickets To Europe For The Holidays

American Express Membership Rewards Points Transfer Faster, and at a 1:1 Ratio

Note:   You don’t get an extra 5,000 miles on the transfer like you would with the Starwood Preferred Guest card.  However, sometimes there are balance transfer promotions between AMEX Membership Rewards and Flying Blue.

And you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to Flying Blue when you have the Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, or the no longer available Citi Chairman card.

Bottom Line

With the newest Flying Blue Promo Awards, you can fly from Detroit, New York (JFK), and Washington, DC to Europe and beyond on KLM and Air France for 25% to 50% fewer miles.

You must book by September 30, 2014, and travel between November 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014 (dates are slightly different for New York).  Only award tickets booked directly through the Flying Blue Promo Award website using Flying Blue miles are eligible for the deal.

The taxes and fees for these award tickets can be expensive.  But it might be worth it for you, because you’re saving so many miles.  And it’s much cheaper than a paid ticket!

There are still a good number of award seats available, and you can connect to North Africa, the Middle East and near Asia for the same number of miles.

Starwood Preferred Guest points, American Express Membership Rewards points, and Citi ThankYou 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!

Do you have a favorite winter holiday destination to recommend?

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 responses to “Book Discounted Award Tickets to Europe for the Holidays!

  1. The fees can make the trip a bit pricey. If you fly to a place beyond Paris, using the above examples, will the additional fees always be higher than just flying to Paris itself?

  2. How much do i have to pay if I have to cancel the booking with miles and want them back to my flying blue account? Thanks!

  3. The Automatic Grill Cleaning in Sky Mall has to be the coolest ever.
    I want one!