Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Looking for a way to get to Europe, the Middle East, or northern Africa for very few miles this fall?
You can fly from Boston or Dallas to Europe (and beyond) using Flying Blue Promo Awards for 25% fewer miles than regular award tickets.
You can fly 1-way from Boston to Amsterdam for 18,750 miles and ~$98, or Dallas to Paris for 18,750 miles and ~$93!
I’ll explain how to take part in this promotion!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Flying Blue Promo Awards
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 an award ticket.
But you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points, or Starwood points to Flying Blue!
Each month, Flying Blue offers discounted award tickets on certain routes. The current promotion includes 2 North American cities. You can fly 1-way to Europe in coach for 18,750 miles (25% off) from Boston or Dallas.
You must book by August 31, 2015, and travel from October 1, 2015, to October 31, 2015.
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 to other destinations.
Their definition of Europe has a few surprises! For example, Israel and Morocco are included in the sale.
And if you book an award ticket, you can cancel it with no penalty within 24 hours.
Is It Worth It?
18,750 miles for a 1-way ticket from North America to Europe is a great deal! And there are still a lot of award seats available. Because you’ll pay fuel surcharges which vary depending on route, do the math to decide if this is a good deal for you.
For example, you’ll pay 18,750 miles and ~$93 in taxes and fees 1-way from Dallas to Paris in coach. There are still lots of award seats available in October.
Keep in mind that taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges on the return flight from Europe can often be more expensive.
For example, the fees from Dallas to Paris are ~$93, but if you return from Paris they’re ~$143. So you’d pay ~$235 in taxes and fees total for a round-trip ticket.
That’s a lot of fees for an award ticket, but it’s still much better than paying full fare on KLM or Air France.
To compare, I checked the same dates for Dallas to Paris on Air France for a paid coach class ticket. The cheapest fare was ~$1,437.
I’d much rather spend 37,500 miles and ~$235 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 end your trip in Paris or Amsterdam (the destinations served by Air France and KLM from Boston and Dallas).
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 Tel Aviv 1-way for 18,750 miles and ~$109.
There are still lots of award seats available for October!
To compare, a low-level award ticket from Boston to Tel Aviv on United Airlines the same month costs 42,500 miles 1-way, and only ~$31 in fees. But there are much fewer award tickets available, and you’ll save a lot of miles with the Flying Blue Promo Award.
Or you could head to Istanbul for 18,750 miles and ~$109.
You can even go to Casablanca, Morocco, for the same number of miles and ~$109 1-way.
There are many interesting destinations! I’ll gladly pay the fuel surcharges to get to Africa or the Middle East with so few miles.
What If You’re Not in Boston or Dallas?
Southwest – If you need more Southwest points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Southwest. Plus, if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend can fly with you for (almost) free!
Note: KLM flies from Dallas – Fort Worth airport, while Southwest flies to Dallas – Love Field. So you’d have to change airports.
British Airways – If you’re a short flight away from Boston or Dallas, you can save miles by using British Airways Avios points to book an award flight on American Airlines.
Or you could try to find a cheap paid ticket from your home airport to Boston or Dallas. But as always, do the math to see if it makes sense for you.
How Do You Get Flying Blue Miles?
Link: Citi Prestige
Link: Citi ThankYou Premier
Because you can’t use miles from other SkyTeam airlines (like Delta) to book Flying Blue Promo Awards, you’ll have to book award tickets with Flying Blue miles.
You can transfer points from the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio.
And if you transfer 20,000 Starwood points, you’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus for a total of 25,000 Flying Blue miles. So you’re only spending 20,000 Starwood points plus fees for a round-trip ticket to Europe. That’s a great deal!
Note: Starwood points can take up to 4 weeks to transfer to Flying Blue. Although in my experience it’s taken from 2 to 12 days. If you plan on booking, keep in mind your exact award ticket might disappear while waiting for the points to transfer!
Or if you have an American Express card that earns AMEX Membership Rewards points, like The Platinum Card from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, or American Express EveryDay Preferred card, you can transfer your points to Flying Blue miles at a 1:1 ratio.
With monthly Flying Blue Promo Awards, you can fly to Europe and beyond on Air France or KLM for only 18,750 miles each way this fall from Boston or Dallas. But you’ll pay taxes and fees.
You must book by August 31, 2015, and travel from October 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015.
Only travel booked through Air France or KLM directly using Flying Blue miles is eligible for the deal.
You aren’t limited to Europe! With this promotion you can connect to North Africa (like Morocco), the Middle East (like Israel), and near Asia (like Russia).
Starwood points and American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. And you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles if you transfer 20,000 Starwood points, which makes the deal even sweeter!
Are you planning a trip with the new Flying Blue Promo awards?