blue flightis the frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM. It is one of the largest loyalty programs in Europe. The program also serves as the frequent flyer program for Kenya Airways and TAROM, and the small regional airline Aircalin in New Caledonia.
Amex, Capital One, Chase and Citi points are transferred to Flying Blue. It's an easy program to earn miles through credit card spending and sign-up bonuses.
This guide covers how to earn Flying Blue miles, how togain elite statusand the different levels of status, and how to redeem miles.
In this post:
About Flying Blue: Air France/KLM loyalty program
Flying Blue is a nifty program, especially for those looking to travel to Europe in business class. Award fares across the Atlantic start at just 53,000 business class miles per direction.
However, the program is not without its quirks. You can't manually create itineraries like you can with other programs. The website has limited functionality. You cannot redeem miles for first class tickets unless you are a Gold or Platinum elite member.
Flying Blue partners and alliance
Flying Blue is unique in that it serves as a loyalty program for many airlines. It is the frequent flyer program of: Air France, KLM, Kenya Airways, TAROM, Aircalin, Air Corsica, Chalair Aviation and TwinJet.
Flying Blue's founding members Air France and KLM are part of the SkyTeam alliance. As such, Flying Blue is essentially a SkyTeam loyalty program. If you earn elite status with the program, you will have SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus status.You can also earn and redeem miles for travel with SkyTeam airlines.
Here is the full list of Flying Blue SkyTeam members:
Middle East Airlines (MEA)
Flying Blue has other partner airlines outside of the alliance. Here is the full list of non-alliance partners:
It's unique to be able to earn miles flying Delta and redeem them for award travel on Japan Airlines!
Advantages of Flying Blue
There are many benefits to earning and redeeming Flying Blue miles. Flying Blue partners with all major transferable point currencies in the US, so earning miles is easy. You can also find reasonable redemption rates for travel on Air France and KLM and monthly award sales.
Before the COVID pandemic, Flying Blue had monthly promotional prizes. These awards were discounted up to 50% off the award costs of economy, premium economy or business class award tickets. Tickets were limited to certain markets and could not be changed or cancelled, but they were excellent value.
I am optimistic that Flying Blue will get these awards back once travel normalizes a bit.
Flying Blue frees up a lot of saving space on Air France and KLM flights. With a little flexibility, you can earn business class awards from the US to Europe for as little as 53,000 miles (even outside of promotional awards).
Prizes can cost more than that, as Flying Blue has a dynamic pricing structure. Seats at the cheapest prices are limited, although you can always find an award space if a seat is on sale. Air France and KLM have last seat award availability. That means if a seat is on sale, you can use miles to reserve it.
Flying Blue opens its schedules 360 days in advance. That's great for those planning trips in advance, since you can make reservations almost a year in advance. When Air France and KLM upload their schedules, they usually also make a good number of award seats available at low fares.
Transfer miles from any US transferable points currency to Flying Blue, making it easy to earn Flying Blue miles. Points from most Amex, Capital One, Citi and Chase credit cards can be transferred to Flying Blue.
Flying Blue miles expire if your account has no activity for 18 months. Just a small transfer or purchase of 1,000 points is enough to prevent all your miles from expiring, so it's easy to keep them active.
Flying Blue call center has very friendly agents, and calling them can be quite pleasant compared to other call centers. They have service centers all over the world, but their European agents are generally the best trained and most willing to help with complicated requests.
However, Flying Blue allows you to have awards before you transfer miles. You can put Air France, KLM and partner flights on hold up to 72 hours before transferring points. That allows you to lock in the price, so availability doesn't disappear before you make a transfer. There is a $15 per passenger fee to do this, which I find quite reasonable.
Flying Blue also has much lower surcharges than other European airlines such as British Airways, Austrian and Lufthansa. They have found a middle ground. Awards from the US to Europe on Air France or KLM will typically have between $215 and $250 in surcharges. Prizes originating in Europe will be more expensive.
If you need to make any changes to a Flying Blue award, the change fees are also quite reasonable. It only costs $55 or €50 to make a change to a prize or cancel a prize and redeposit. You can also cancel your award up to two hours before check-in, giving travelers a lot of flexibility.
Flying Blue also has some very generous routing rules. You can fly from South America to North America via Europe, from the US to Asia via Australia, or from the US to Africa via Europe (assuming you can find award space). The routes must appear on the Flying Blue website in order to book them. Unfortunately, Flying Blue does not allow stopovers on award tickets.
Flying Blue also has partnerships with Qantas and Japan Airlines. You can redeem miles for travel on those carriers. That gives you additional options for award travel to Asia and Australia.
Flying Blue used to have a program for those who work in the energy industry called Flying Blue Petroleum. The show was popular but unfortunately it closed. It stopped accepting new members in 2019 and will close completely on March 31, 2021.
Limitations of the Flying Blue program
Flying Blue has some limitations to be aware of.
You can't manually create itineraries like you can with other programs. An itinerary must be available from origin to destination, which means you can't change a single segment in an itinerary or add another segment later.
Here is an example of how this works. If you have a ticket booked to travel from New York to Paris to Barcelona, you cannot change the last segment without changing the price of the entire award. If you want to change from New York to Paris to Rome, you would have to change the price of the entire prize.
If you have a reservation on a partner airline like Delta, this can become even more problematic. Let's say you've booked something like Austin to Atlanta to Amsterdam to travel on Delta. If you want to change your origin from Austin to Dallas, there must also be award space available on the Atlanta to Amsterdam leg. Otherwise, you will have to start from scratch.
This also means that you cannot mix cabins on some Flying Blue itineraries. If business class award space is not available on a particular flight, you generally cannot combine economy and business class segments on the same ticket. Sometimes Flying Blue will show shorter economy class connections within Europe, but outside of that you generally can't mix cabins.
How to earn Flying Blue miles
Flying Blue miles are some of the easiest to earn. Amex, Capital One, Citi and Chase points can be transferred to the program.
You can also earn Flying Blue miles by flying with Air France, KLM and their partners. There is also a shopping portal where you can earn Flying Blue miles for everyday online purchases.
Flying Blue also partners with RocketMiles. That allows you to earn miles on hotel stays around the world.
Volar con Air France y KLM
Flying Blue awards redeemable miles based on how much you spend rather than how much you fly. You will earn miles based on your travel expenses on Air France, KLM, HOP and JOON. You'll earn miles not only based on airfare (minus government-imposed taxes and fees), but also for additional fees like paying for premium seats, baggage, etc.
With the Flying Blue program, you will earn miles at the following rates:
Flying Blue Elite Level:
Explorer (general member)
4 miles for every euro spent
6 miles for every euro spent
7 miles for every euro spent
8 miles for every euro spent
Earning rates for flying with Air France and KLM aren't great, but if you're based in Europe and fly frequently, it's worth crediting the flights to the program.
fly with partners
You can earn Flying Blue miles every time you fly with SkyTeam airlines or any of the non-alliance partners of Air France and KLM.
If you fly with a partner airline, you will earn miles based on cabin class and flight distance. In this case, Flying Blue miles really are miles. Flying first and business class will earn you more miles than flying on discounted economy tickets.
Flying Blue's most helpful partner in the US is Delta. On Delta flights, you can earn up to 300% of miles flown as award miles for full fare first class tickets, or as little as 25% of miles flown for the cheapest basic economy tickets.
You can find a full list of Flying Blue partners and earning rateshere on the Flying Blue website.
Transfer credit card points
Amex, Capital One, Citi and Chase points are transferred to Flying Blue. Being able to mix and match a variety of transferable points makes earning Flying Blue miles easy. There are very few programs that all transferable point coins are associated with.
Transfer points to Flying Blue with these credit cards:
- Tarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Reserva Chase Sapphire®
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Gold American Express® Card
- The American Express Platinum Card®
- Citi Premier® Card
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Spark Miles for Businesses
Tarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Learn more Terms apply.
- 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3x points on dinners
- 2x points on travel purchases
Reserva Chase Sapphire®
Learn more Terms apply.
- 3x points on travel after $300 annual travel credit
- 3x points in Dining
- $300 travel credit
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Learn more Terms apply.
- Earn 3x points on trips
- Earn 3x points on shipping purchases
- cell phone protection
Gold American Express® Card
- 4x points in restaurants
- 4x points in US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 in annual purchases
- 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com
The American Express Platinum Card®
- Earn 5x points on flights purchased directly from airlines or through Amex Travel (up to $500k/yr)
- $200 Annual Uber Credit
- Access to the Amex Centurion salon
Citi Premier® Card
- Earn 3x points on airfare
- Earn 3x Points on Hotels
- Earn 3x Points at Restaurants
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Learn more Terms apply.
- Earn double Venture miles on every purchase
- No foreign transaction fees
- 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Learn more Terms apply.
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- No foreign transaction fees
- Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
Capital One Spark Miles for Businesses
Learn more Terms apply.
- Unlimited 2x miles per dollar
- No foreign transaction fees
- Capital One Travel Portal
- $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
All points are transferred at a 1:1 ratio, with the exception of Capital One points, which are transferred at a 2:1.5 ratio. There are occasional transfer bonuses from Amex, Capital One, and Citi, although Chase rarely offers transfer bonuses.
Buy Flying Blue miles
Flying Blue frequently has offers on purchases of miles and bonuses for transfers between members. Given the number of transferable points that can be converted into Flying Blue miles, I don't usually recommend buying them.
However, if you are outside of the US or do not have access to credit card points, purchasing miles can be a great value during sales.
The bonus for purchased miles typically tops out at around 75%. Being able to buy bonus miles and use them for Flying Blue Promo awards or economy business class awards can be fantastic value.
Flying Blue miles promotions are worth keeping an eye out for if you think buying miles might be right for you.
Flying Blue has a lineshopping portal with partner retailersthat allows you to earn miles for online purchases.
You can also earn miles for booking hotel stays through RocketMiles.RocketMilesis an online travel agency that awards your miles for hotel stays in your choice of more than three dozen airline mileage programs.
Spend Flying Blue Miles
You can redeem Flying Blue miles for most of its members on the website.
You can redeem Flying Blue miles for any seat on an Air France, KLM, HOP, JOON or Transavia flight. The number of miles required will be calculated based on the origin, destination and date of your flight. In other words, you can expect the number of miles required to be closely related to the cost of a ticket.
Here are some of the best ways to redeem Flying Blue miles:
Redeem for Flying Blue promotional rewards
One of the best uses of Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles is to book your promotional rewards. Flying Blue publishes them every month and they offer 20-50% discount on selected award tickets on Air France and KLM metal.
You can get discounts of up to 50% on Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class awards. The booking window is usually one month, while the travel window is two months.
There is one important thing to note with promotional prizes: there are absolutely no changes or cancellations allowed on these tickets, even with a fee. You'll want to make sure you only book trips that you're sure you can take.
Redeem for travel on Air France and KLM
Apart from the promotional rewards, redeeming Flying Blue miles for ordinary tickets on Air France and KLM can be fantastic. Business class awards can be as low as 53,000 miles from the US to Europe, plus taxes, fees and surcharges starting at around $215.
Air France and KLM make much more space for prizes available to Flying Blue members. This is not always available on the savings level. Flying Blue prices for Air France and KLM flights are variable. Having a wider selection of flight dates and times to choose from, even if it may cost a little more in miles, is certainly valuable.
Redeem for travel on partners like China Airlines and Japan Airlines
While Flying Blue does not publish a traditional award table, it does follow one for partner awards. Delta and Virgin Atlantic awards from the US to Europe are 72,000 Flying Blue miles, for example. Awards with Delta, China Eastern, Japan Airlines or Korean Air to Asia generally start at approximately 115,000 business class miles.
The only limitation on partner awards is that you can only book options that appear on the Flying Blue website. You can't manually search for partner space and mix and match itineraries over the phone like you can with other loyalty programs.
If you're transferring points from a credit card program to Flying Blue, it's best to check other programs first, as they tend to have better redemption rates.
Redeem for Domestic Travel on Delta
If you want to redeem miles for domestic flights in the US, it's always worth checking Flying Blue's fares and availability. Delta frees up a decent amount of savings rewards space for members. Flying Blue award prices for travel within the US can be very good.
Delta flights can often be booked at much lower fares through Flying Blue than with Delta SkyMiles. Flights to Hawaii, for example, start at 35,000 round-trip economy miles from the US It's not uncommon to see the same itinerary start at 75,000 SkyMiles.
This usually requires a bit of flexibility (and navigating Flying Blue's clunky website). The savings can be substantial and well worth the effort.
Miles for magazines, donate miles or experiences
Flying Blue allows you to redeem miles for magazines, like many other loyalty programs. This isn't a great value, but it can be a good use of stranded miles.
You can also donate miles to charity, but the charity won't actually receive anywhere near the actual value of the miles. If you're looking to make a charitable donation, money is always better. I would only donate miles if you're not really going to use them.
Flying Blue allows you to redeem miles for travel experiences in Amsterdam and Paris. These are one-time deals, but nothing you can't afford otherwise. The redemption rate is not surprising. Again, if you have some miles that you can't use any other way, this could come in handy.
How to maximize Flying Blue miles
Given how easy it is to earn Flying Blue miles, knowing a few tips when it comes to redeeming them will help you maximize your miles.
Flying Blue has a hidden award table for partner flights. Award flights on Air France and KLM can vary greatly. If you have some flexibility on dates, you can usually find great deals on Air France and KLM flights.
Flying Blue publishes "Promo Awards" every month. These awards between specific Air France and KLM markets are up to 50% off the price of a ticket with miles. Unfortunately Flying Blue has discontinued promotional prizes for the time being due to the COVID outbreak. However, it seems the show intends to bring them back once travel picks up.
If you can take advantage of a promotional award, you'll get great value for your miles.
There are some other tips and tricks to maximize Flying Blue rewards. If you're originating from the US and flying to Europe, it's always worth looking for a cheaper space with Delta Airlines. Surcharges for traveling on Delta are much lower than Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.
A Delta award from Los Angeles to Paris would be 72,000 miles + $12 in tax, for example. An award on Air France or KLM may require fewer miles, but taxes, fees and surcharges would be $215 or more.
However, for those same flights, it's also worth looking into a program like Virgin Atlantic Flying Club if you're transferring miles from a credit card. Flying Club generally has cheaper prizes than Flying Blue.
Estatus Flying Blue Elite
Flying Blue has an elite qualification system similar to what you'll find on British Airways, Cathay Pacific etc, which requires you to earn a certain number of status credits or tier points to earn status.
Flying Blue status will be based on the number of experience points (“XP” for short) you earn. You can earn between two and 60 XP per flight (including SkyTeam partner airlines), depending on the length of the flight and the cabin you travel in, as follows:
Then getting the status will require between 100 and 580 XP, depending on what level you're after, as follows:
You will need 100 XP to qualify for Silver, 180 XP to qualify for Gold, and 300 XP to qualify for Platinum. However, those are incremental requirements. That means if you currently have no status, you'll need to earn 100 plus 180 plus 300 XP to earn Platinum. In the meantime, if you're already Platinum and just looking to re-qualify, you only need to earn a total of 300 XP.
Members registered in France and Monaco are no longer disadvantaged, and you can qualify based on a consecutive 12-month membership year instead of just the calendar year. Qualification requirements are higher for those living in France and Monaco, and until now, qualification has been based on the traditional calendar year.
One of the benefits of having Flying Blue elite status is being able to book Air France La Premiere first class awards using Flying Blue miles. The Premiere is one of the most luxurious and complete first-class products. Booking those flights with miles is prohibited for those who do not have Flying Blue elite status.
Flying Blue FAQ
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Flying Blue programme.
What are Flying Blue XP?
XP stands for Experience Points. You are awarded a certain amount of XP based on the distance and cabin of any particular flight. XP is used to gain elite status.
What is Flying Blue for elite members during the COVID-19 pandemic?
All miles are prevented from expiring during the pandemic. Flying Blue has not announced an end date for this measure. Also, all elite statuses are staying as they realize most members are not flying at the moment, especially those based in Europe where lockdown restrictions are still very tight. Excess XP points will also carry over. The program also makes it much easier to change and cancel award tickets.
What elite levels of Flying Blue are SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus?
Flying Blue Silver members have SkyTeam Elite status. Flying Blue Gold and Platinum members have SkyTeam Elite Plus status.
When do Flying Blue miles expire?
In normal times, miles are valid for two years after your most recent flight with Air France, KLM, Aircalin, Kenya Airways or TAROM. Taking a flight extends the validity of all miles for two more years. Miles earned from car rentals, hotel stays and experience partners also extend the validity of the miles by two years.
Flying Blue miles will not expire during the pandemic.
Can I buy or transfer Flying Blue miles?
If you can. Flying Blue miles often have promotions to buy and transfer miles. Check the Flying Blue website for the latest offers.
How many Flying Blue miles will I earn with my flight?
You earn Flying Blue miles based on the cost of the ticket. Earning rates range from 4 to 8 miles per euro spent and depend on your elite status. If your ticket was purchased in a currency other than Euro, Flying Blue will convert the cost of the ticket to Euro and award miles at the applicable exchange rate.
What is the phone number for Flying Blue?
The US number is +1 800 375 8723. You can call the European call center via their French number, which is +33 9 69 39 36 54. European call centers generally have shorter wait times and friendly, competent agents.
You can extend the validity of your Miles for 2 years when you complete a flight with Air France, KLM or one of our 32 airline partners around the world. Or you can use your Miles to book a reward ticket. If you're not ready to plan your next journey you can make each day a journey of its own with Flying Blue!How many Flying Blue Miles do I need to upgrade to business class? ›
On short-haul flights, upgrades cost between 20k-30k miles. It's not challenging to upgrade these, but then short-haul business class isn't that much different from economy these days. If you're flying long-haul, upgrades can range anywhere from 40k-200k miles.How many Miles to get Gold for Flying Blue? ›
You need to have the minimum amount of XP corresponding to your status to maintain it (Silver = 100 XP, Gold = 180 XP, Platinum = 300 XP). Your membership period at this level will then be renewed for 12 months.How do you maintain Flying Blue Gold status? ›
You'll have 12 months (after a year of being Gold) to gain enough XP to maintain or increase your level. Earn 180 XP to maintain your Gold status. After 12 months, we'll subtract the 180 XP from your total and you'll keep the rest. If you earn 300 XP during these 12 months, you'll move up to Platinum.How much is 100000 Flying Blue miles worth? ›
How much are 100,000 Flying Blue miles worth? , 100,000 Flying Blue miles are worth about $1,400.Do miles expire in Flying Blue? ›
How long do my miles stay valid? As long as 1 of the following conditions is fulfilled, your Miles remain valid for life: You travel at least once every 2 years on an eligible flight with Air France, KLM or one of the partner airlines. You are a Silver, Gold or Platinum member.Is it better to upgrade to business class at the airport or online? ›
It depends on the airline you're flying with, but it is generally cheaper to upgrade to business class at the airport than it is to book a business class ticket from the outset. To upgrade at the airport, you will need to ask about availability and then pay the difference in fare.How many miles do you need to upgrade from economy to business class on Emirates? ›
You must have the appropriate number of miles in your Emirates account to use the auto upgrade feature. In my case, that means I needed at least 30,000 miles in my account. To use the auto-upgrade feature, you have to set it up at least 72 hours before your scheduled departure.Is it easy to upgrade to business class at the airport? ›
Realistically, it's a gamble and getting upgraded to business class at the airport is pretty rare. If luxury and extra legroom is really important to you, book it in advance. However, if you're perfectly willing to fly economy class, and willing to roll the dice, a last-minute upgrade can be the cheapest option.Does Flying Blue Silver get lounge access? ›
Access at a fee
Flying Blue Silver members get a 25% discount on access to the lounges. Please note that the discount is only valid if you book in advance.
All members who have one million lifetime flight miles or more earn annual status benefits for themselves, as well as the option to extend their current Premier status to a companion (defined as a spouse, significant other or individual who resides at the same home address, based on MileagePlus profile information) on ...Do I earn Flying Blue miles on Delta? ›
Since Flying Blue is a SkyTeam member, you can earn miles with its 20+ alliance partners, such as Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. Flying Blue also has a handful of non-alliance partner airlines such as Japan Airlines (JAL), Air Corsica, and others.Do you lose air miles if you don't use them? ›
While Air Miles themselves do not expire, the account they're tied to will become inactive within 24 months without a purchase or redemption. Once an account is deemed inactive, the points contained within it will be lost and cannot be recovered without buying them back.Will I lose my air miles points? ›
If no Miles are posted to any of your Collector Accounts or used from any of your Collector Accounts for a period of 24 consecutive months, we may cancel the Miles recorded in all of your Collector Accounts without notice or compensation to you.Why did my air miles disappear? ›
Generally speaking, Air Miles do not expire, so long as you keep your account active. If your account has remained inactive for 24 consecutive months, or two years, your Air Miles will expire and disappear completely.Do you lose airline miles if you cancel credit card? ›
If your card earns hotel points or airline miles, your miles and points are deposited directly in your hotel or airline account when they are earned. In this case, canceling the card will not have any impact on your hotel or airline rewards account.