50% Off Award Flights to Europe With Air France & KLM

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If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get to Europe this fall, the newest Flying Blue Promo Awards are out.  Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM.

You’ll save 25% to 50% off the regular number of points required for an award ticket on certain routes to or from Europe.  This time, the North American destinations included in the sale are Dallas and Montreal, Canada, and both are 50% off.

Tickets must be booked by July 31, 2014 for travel between September 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014.

If you don’t live near Dallas or Montreal, don’t worry.  There are ways to get there cheaply, and I’ll show you how.

Looking to Fly to Europe This Fall? Flying Blue Promo Awards Could Save You Points!

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.  The current promotion includes 2 North American cities, and they’re both 50% off.  You can fly:

  • Dallas and Europe 1-way in coach class for 12,500 miles (normally 25,000 miles)
  • Montreal and Europe 1-way in Business Class for 31,250 miles (normally 62,500 miles)
Mexico City is also included, but most folks don’t have an easy way to get there without spending a lot of money.
Save 50% on Award Tickets Between Dallas or Montreal and Europe

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.  And 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.

Flying Blue’s definition of Europe has a few surprises!  For example, Tunisia, Canary Islands, and Algeria are included.

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 July 31, 2014, and travel between September 1, 2014, and October 31, 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 coach class ticket, or 31,250 miles for a Business Class ticket to Europe from North America sounds great!  And there are still a lot of award seats available.  But you will pay fuel surcharges which can be quite expensive, so you’ll have to do the math to decide if this is a good deal for you.

Dallas to Amsterdam on KLM

A 1-way coach class award ticket from Dallas to Amsterdam on KLM costs 12,500 miles and ~$88 in taxes and fees.  There are still some award seats available in September.

There Are Some Award Seats Available From Dallas to Amsterdam in September

Here’s the calendar for the same route in October.

There Are Also Award Seats Available in October, but Fewer Toward the End of the Month

Returning from Amsterdam to Dallas in September, there are also award seats available for 12,500 miles.  But the taxes and fees are higher – you’ll pay ~$144.

The Taxes and Fees Are Higher on Flights Coming From Amsterdam

Here’s the calendar of available award seats for October on the same route.  There are fewer award seats available.

You’ll Have Fewer Choices of Flights With Available Award Seats in October
Montreal to Amsterdam on KLM

You’ll pay 31,250 miles plus (ouch!) ~$322 in taxes and fees to fly in Business Class from Montreal to Amsterdam on KLM.  But there are lots of award seats available in September.

31,250 Miles Plus ~$322 in Taxes and Fees 1-Way in Business Class From Montreal to Amsterdam

You’ll pay the same price in October, and there are still lots of award seats available then, too.

There Are Plenty of Award Seats Available in October From Montreal to Amsterdam

Returning from Amsterdam to Montreal in September, there are award seats available almost every day.  And the taxes and fees are about the same at ~$329.

You’ll Pay About the Same Taxes and Fees Returning From Amsterdam to Montreal

And there are lots of award seats available in October, too.

There Are Lots of Flight Choices in October From Amsterdam to Montreal

That’s a lot of taxes and fees!  But to compare, a 1-way paid Business Class ticket from Montreal to Amsterdam in September costs ~6,095 Canadian dollars (~$5,728).  So if you would have otherwise paid out-of-pocket for a Business Class ticket, you’re getting a very good deal!  I’d much rather pay 31,250 miles and ~$322!

Ouch! A Paid Ticket 1-Way in Business Class Costs 6,095 Canadian Dollars (~$5,728)

Where Else Can You Go?

What I like about this deal is that you don’t have to terminate your trip in Amsterdam (the destinations served non-stop by KLM from Dallas and Montreal).  You can connect onward to other cities in Europe, near Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the same number of miles!  You’ll still pay similar taxes and fees.

How about a trip to Florence, Italy in September for 12,500 miles and ~$110?

Enjoy the Late Summer Weather in Florence, Italy, for 12,500 Miles and ~$110

There are still a lot of flights with award seats available!

There Are Still Good Choices for Award Flights to Florence, Italy

Or you could splurge on a Business Class ticket from Montreal to Prague, Czech Republic for 31,250 miles and $322.

Head to Prague for a Stroll Across the Charles Bridge for 31,250 Miles and ~$322

There are still some award seats available this fall.

Still Lots of Choices If You Want to Fly Business Class From Montreal to Prague This Fall

Just to compare, I checked United Airlines for open award seats in Business Class from Montreal to Prague 1-way.  There aren’t many award seats available until October.

There Are Few Business Class Award Seats Available in September, but October Is Better

For a 1-way Business Class saver award ticket, you’ll pay 70,000 miles and ~$115.  So you’re paying roughly double the miles, but about a third of the taxes and fees.

You’ll Pay More Points on United Airlines, but Less Taxes and Fees

What If You’re Not in Dallas or Montreal?

If you’re not near Dallas or Montreal, you could cheaply use points (like British Airways Avios) to get there.  British Airways Avios are perfect 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 Dallas very cheaply.  That’s because with the Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.

Note:   Southwest flies into Dallas Love Field (DAL) while KLM flies out of Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW).  So you’d have to change airports if you fly in on Southwest.  And Southwest does NOT yet fly to Montreal.

At worst, you could try to find a cheap paid ticket from your home airport to Dallas or Montreal.  But do the math to see if it makes sense.

How Do You Get Flying Blue Miles?

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz

Link:   Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Link:   Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

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

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

And remember, 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.  That’s a great deal! 

Note:   Starwood points can 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 With Flying Blue Promo Awards

Or, 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
American Express Membership Rewards Points Transfer 1:1 to Flying Blue
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

With Flying Blue Promo Awards, you can fly to Europe and beyond on KLM for only 12,500 miles 1-way this September and October.  The North American destinations included are Dallas and Montreal, Canada.

You must travel between September 1, 2014, and October 31, 2014, and you have to book by July 31, 2014.  Only award tickets booked directly through Air France or KLM using Flying Blue miles are eligible for the deal.

You will pay (sometimes quite expensive) taxes and fees for award tickets.  But it could be worth it because you’re saving so many miles.  And depending on your route, there are still a fair number of award seats remaining.

Plus, 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 better!

Do you have a destination in mind for a fall trip with Flying Blue Promo Awards?

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