Flying Blue can be fantasticaward travel program. Reserving rewards with the program is fairly easy, but it does present challenges at times.
You cannot build award travel like you can with other programs. Your call center agents are always nice, but agents are limited in what they can do.
This guide will walk you through finding Flying Blue award availability, how to keep and reserve awards, and how to make changes if your plans change.
Earning Flying Blue miles is easy. Points earned with American Express, Capital One, Chase and Citi are transferred to Flying Blue.
The best for travelersEarn 3 points on all meals and 2 times on travel purchases
Tarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Best for dining and shopping.Earn 4x points at restaurants globally and supermarkets in the US.
Gold American Express® Card
Best for gas stationsEarn 3 points at gas stations, as well as restaurants, supermarkets, and air travel and hotels
Citi Premier® Card
The best for expenses without bonusEarn 2x Capital One miles on all purchases
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The best for expenses without bonusEarn 2x Capital One miles on all purchases
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Search for Flying Blue award places
There are several ways to search for Flying Blue awards. The main loyalty program airlines, Air France and KLM, have similar sites showing the prices of Flying Blue awards.
AirFrance.com versus KLM.com
One of the unique things about Flying Blue is the different websites where you can make reservations. Both AirFrance.com and KLM.com display award availability and prices, and both are fairly easy to use.
If you're looking for a premium economy award or an award in "La Premiere" (Air France's ultra-luxury first-class cabin), you'll have to look on AirFrance.com.La Premiere awards are restricted to Flying Blue Golds and above. Most people can't book those.
KLM.com will not show premium economy or first class as they do not operate either cabin on any of their flights. Its highest cabin is business class.
It's worth noting that the prices displayed on each date tab are not always accurate! In general, it only takes into account the prices of Air France and KLM flights, not those of the partners. It doesn't even always show the exact price of AF and KL metal, as you can see below:
When you search for award flights, you can switch between cabins on the results page. You can also change the dates to see how the price varies if you have a little flexibility on dates.
Search by origin and destination
It's important to note that when searching for award space with Flying Blue, you should always search from origin to destination to get the exact price. You can't search segment by segment and expect to join those segments into a single reservation later. Air France and KLM are very strict about this, even when booking over the phone. In a few words: always search for your origin and destination.
Air France and KLM usematched thread logicfor award trips. That means the price of a non-stop flight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam can be more expensive than an award on the same flight from MSP to AMS, but with a connection to Frankfurt. Married segment logic is a strategy used by airlines to control revenue and it extends to awards with Flying Blue.
Flying Blue Award Prices
Why do award prices vary so much with Flying Blue? Two words: dynamic pricing. That is one of the biggest complexities of Flying Blue. Let's break it down.
What are dynamic prices?
Flying Blue has perhaps the most dynamic pricing of all loyalty programs. Prizes on Air France and KLM can be very attractively priced or ridiculously expensive, and anywhere in between.
For example, Washington, DC to Paris can be as cheap as 53,000 business class miles or as high as 287,000 miles. There are many prices between the two extremes. Due to variable prices, it is always worth booking award flights with Flying Blue before transferring or purchasing miles. More on that below.
Multiple passenger booking at different award levels
With dynamic pricing comes additional complexities when looking for prize space. If you're looking for four seats on an Air France or KLM flight and they're not offered at the cheapest level, it's worth looking around for one, two or three seats to see if there are any available at the lowest fares. You can book some passengers at the cheapest price and then book the additional seats at the highest price.
To better understand this, let's use an example. Here are the results when you search for a group of five from Atlanta to Rome on Thursday, August 6, 2021:
You will see that the price with KLM is 640,000 total miles or 128,000 miles per passenger. There are eight places left at the price.
If you search for the same date for a single passenger, you will get the following results:
Three seats are available at 69,000 miles per passenger. So what we can do is book three people at that rate, then passengers four and five at the 128,000 mile rate.
A search of three confirms that the price is available:
Once you place flights on hold for three passengers, the price for two passengers at the same fare will increase to 128,000 points each. You can then call back to reserve two more seats at the highest rater.
This is a tricky maneuver and is something I would recommend doing carefully. We absolutely recommend keeping each reservation by phone to store the price.
If you dare, you can try doing this on the website. You can calculate how many points you'll need, book the maximum number of passengers at the lower fare, and then proceed to book the remaining passengers at the higher fare.
You can also call and create a temporary reservation for some passengers at the lower price and then for the rest of the passengers at the higher price. That is the best option.
Flying Blue routing rules
The advantage of Flying Blue is that there are no strict routing rules. You can travel from San Francisco to Sydney to Johannesburg with Qantas, from New York to Rome to Buenos Aires with Air France, or from Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Singapore with KLM.
Generally speaking, you will see a maximum of three segments per direction of travel. Partner flights don't always mix well on the website either. While there may be availability with Delta from Seattle to Tokyo and Garuda Indonesia from Tokyo to Bali, it won't always show up online.
You really are at the mercy of the booking engine and can only book what appears online.
Search for prize slots on other websites
If you're traveling on a route served by Delta or Virgin Atlantic and looking for awards on those airlines, it's generally easier to find that award space on VirginAtlantic.com. Virgin's website is a bit easier to navigate and you don't need to log in to perform a search.
One of Flying Blue's overlooked partners is Japan Airlines. Fares for award travel from the US to Asia on JAL are not as competitive with Flying Blue as they are with American and Alaska, but are worth knowing.
You can search for Japan Airlines award availability on the American Airlines website. The flights you find on AA.com should be available to Flying Blue members, but they won't always appear online. It is always worth calling Flying Blue to check the availability of Japan Airlines rewards.
Booking partner flights through Flying Blue
Flying Blue is often the best program to book award flights on Delta or Virgin Atlantic.Air France, Delta, KLM and Virgin Atlantic are part of a transatlantic joint venture, but the price of prizes between programs can vary considerably.
Redeem Flying Blue miles for Delta flights
You can redeem Flying Blue miles for Delta travel anywhere Delta flies. Rates are much more competitive than what you'll typically find available when booking with Delta SkyMiles. If you're transferring points from Amex, Citi, or Chase to Flying Blue, it's worth considering Virgin Atlantic Flying Club for Delta awards, as they can be even cheaper depending on the destination.
Both Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club value Delta rewards differently. Flying Blue charges based on origin and destination, while Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubIt has a very complicated pricing scheme depending on the areas in which you travel.
Generally speaking, Delta flights from the US to the UK in any cabin are cheaper when booked through Flying Club. Delta's nonstop business class flights from the US to Europe are also cheaper through Flying Club. Other than that, Flying Blue is probably your best bet.
Flying Blue also does not charge surcharges on Delta awards, so you'll typically pay less in surcharges when you book Delta flights through Flying Blue.
Delta Award Seat Search
If you're looking at Delta flights, it's easier to search the Virgin Atlantic website if you're looking for specific segments. The calendar view does not always work as expected on the Flying Blue website. If award travel is available within a few days of when you search, VirginAtlantic.com will display those flights. Air France or KLM will likely take you back to the top search page and say "There are no awards available on this specific date."
For example, if you want to go to Tokyo, you can start by searching VirginAtlantic.com for flights from Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Atlanta. Once you find space on your long-haul flight with Delta, you can search from your specific US departure airport on the Flying Blue website on that date to see if a connecting flight is available.
There's no point in searching for Delta awards on Delta.com if you're going to be using Flying Blue miles or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. Inventory and prices never line up.
Once you've found space for prizes and determined that the best ticketing program is Flying Blue, you'll want to book these prizes over the phone. This is because the Air France and KLM websites often generate errors when you select Delta flights. If this happens to you, it doesn't mean it's a ghost space or anything, it's just Flying Blue's technology unable to process Delta rewards online for whatever reason.
Regardless, it's always a good idea to perform Delta Rewards over the phone before transferring points. That way you can secure space before issuing tickets. After setting up your reservations, you can select seats online at Delta.com or through the Delta app.
Redeem Flying Blue miles for Virgin Atlantic flights
If you're booking travel on Virgin Atlantic, you can save on award surcharges when you book those flights through Flying Blue. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club charges hefty surcharges on Virgin Atlantic award flights. Those don't carry over if you book with Flying Blue or even Delta SkyMiles.
You can book Virgin Atlantic flights by phone just like you can with other partner awards. It's always worth double-checking the price of different programs to see which one is the cheapest, and be sure to consider prize surcharges as well.
If you're traveling on Virgin Atlantic, be sure to compare prices between Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Delta SkyMiles, and Flying Blue.
Generally speaking, Flying Blue is the best program of the three for miles, so I would also consider it when transferring points from someone like Amex. Delta SkyMiles is prone to frequent devaluation, and Virgin Atlantic has fewer members, making your miles less valuable.
Hold and issue an award over the phone
Once you have found the flights you want to book, it is always recommended to create a temporary reservation and hold those flights before transferring points. That way, prices stay the same and you don't have to search for a more expensive reward once you transfer your points.
What to tell an agent
You can only book award flights by phone. Finding an agent who understands what you are asking them to do is the hardest part of this. Verbiage makes all the difference here.
I usually call the European call centers and you will usually get an agent in the EU or the Philippines. The Flying Blue number in Spain is +34 913 753 335. If you call from Google Voice it is only one center per minute.
If you ask the agent to book a flight for you, they may not understand what you are asking them to do. The key phrase appears to be "temporary reserve" and it mentions that it will transfer miles from American Express or Chase to Flying Blue.
Once the agent understands what you need, just tell them the itinerary, cabin of service and number of passengers, and you should have access to the same prices you see on the Air France and KLM websites. They will ask you for the names of the passengers and create a hold that is usually valid between 48 and 72 hours. You can even book partner flights, like Virgin Atlantic or Delta awards.
write down the details
Agents do not always ask the passenger's date of birth when they fly. If they don't, when you call back to set up the ticketing award, the agent will get an error after taking your card details and say "oh wait, we need to enter secure passenger details".
When you hold flights, be sure to ask for the Air France/KLM record locator and time limit on the reservation. I recommend calling the day before the suspension expires, as we have seen suspensions expire prematurely and things get complicated if prices change or flights are no longer available.
Call back to issue your tickets
Once you have an award on hold and miles in your account, you'll want to call Flying Blue again to issue the booking. You cannot issue a reservation made by phone online; must be billed by phone.
Call the service line, give them your booking locator and they will set up payment of taxes, fees and award surcharges. There is usually a telephone reservation fee of approximately $20 per passenger. It doesn't appear that Flying Blue is collecting them at this time, perhaps as a temporary benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You'll want to make sure you receive e-tickets via email. Those will be 13-digit numbers, starting with 057- (Air France shares) or 074- (KLM shares). Be sure to write them down. Please also request the partner record locator if you are traveling with partners other than Air France, KLM, Delta or Virgin Atlantic.
Selecting your seats
You can select seats online at AirFrance.com or KLM.com for AF and KL flights. For associated flights, you must go through the respective airline.
If you're traveling on Delta, you can get your reservation on Delta.com with the Flying Blue record. However, your Delta registration is different and will be completed when the reservation is loaded. The same is true for Virgin Atlantic awards. Other partners may have different record locators that you may need to request over the phone.
Reservations on the Flying Blue website
If you already have miles in your Flying Blue account and don't need to transfer points, or if you're an adrenaline junkie and don't mind paying more miles if the website crashes, you can go ahead and set up bookings online. That saves you the step of keeping reservations over the phone.
If your reservation includes anything on Delta, it is not recommended to use the Air France or KLM websites. You can usually select the flights, but then when you go to the page to enter the passenger details, the website crashes and takes you back to the search page. This problem does not seem to occur with any other partners.
You will need to select the flights you wish to book, go through the five booking pages and enter the passenger details, confirm the price and enter your credit card details.
Frozen Flying Blue accounts
If you are setting up a Flying Blue account for the first time and transferring a large number of points for a reservation, there have been cases where the account will be frozen. Flying Blue combats a large amount of fraud, and these measures are in place to verify the identity of newly created account holders and travelers to ensure nothing nefarious happens.
If you book your prizes over the phone, this won't be a problem. If by chance your account is blocked, you will need to visit an Air France ticketing office (at an airport served by Air France). You can also call a European call center and they can usually unlock the account for you. The North American call center does not seem to have the ability to do this.
This wasn't a frequent problem, but it wasn't uncommon. It's something to keep in mind, but Air France seems to be blocking accounts like this less and less.
One thing you'll want to make sure you do is use a credit card in the name of the Flying Blue account holder. That raises fewer flags when it comes to fraud.
Changing or canceling Flying Blue rewards
Fortunately Flying Blue is one of the most generous programs when it comes to making changes, but it does require doing so at least a few hours before departure.
Term for change/cancellation
If you need to make changes to or cancel a Flying Blue award, it is essential that you call at least four hours before departure. No changes or cancellations are allowed within four hours of departure and you will lose all miles. If you miss the four-hour deadline, you can request a partial tax refund.
To be on the safe side, plan to make changes at least one day before departure to avoid any issues.
If you have booked a Flying Blue award and need to make voluntary changes, you basically have to start from scratch. You'll need to view live pricing based on origin and destination to see how many miles you'll need to use.
For example, if you've booked an award from New York to Paris to Rome and want to change the Paris to Rome segment to a flight from Paris to Athens, you'll need to look up space and award prices.New York to Athens, even if you think you already have a seat on the New York to Paris leg.
So, by making voluntary changes, it's usually easy to cancel a reward, redeposit it, and start over. The rates are also reasonable. It is €45 or $55 per ticket to cancel an award or make changes.
Involuntary changes and even exchanges
The only case in which Flying Blue will not charge any difference in miles is during irregular operations or when the airline has canceled a flight in advance. If this happens, they have the ability to process any exchange as an "even exchange", which means you won't have to pay more miles or additional taxes.
During the COVID pandemic, Air France and KLM were very good at processing even the exchanges. They would usually accommodate you at a later date without changing the prize price. If your flights were cancelled, you could keep your ticket open, but would have to pay the difference for future travel, unless your flights were booked within a week of your originally scheduled departure date.
Cancellation of Flying Blue awards
Normally, if you need to cancel an award and redeposit the miles, it's just a fee of €45 or $55 per ticket. You'll get a full refund for miles, taxes and fees.
Due to the pandemic, most cancellations and changes are free with Flying Blue. They have a very flexible reservation policy.
It is important to remember thatall Flying Blue awards must be canceled at least four hours before departure or you will lose your miles.Since call centers are not open 24 hours a day, this can be a bit tricky depending on where and when you leave, so be sure to keep this policy in mind.
Flying Blue is an excellent program for award travel, especially to Europe. Once you've booked a few awards with Flying Blue, you'll see just how competitive the program is once you understand its intricacies.
Have you redeemed miles on Flying Blue before? How was your experience?
, 10,000 Flying Blue miles are worth about $140.How do I claim missing miles on Flying Blue? ›
How do I claim missing Miles? Want to claim the Miles earned with your travel cabin? All you have to do for flights operated by Air France or KLM is to send copies of your ticket and boarding pass to the Flying Blue customer service.How are miles calculated Flying Blue? ›
With Air France or KLM, the number of Miles you earn depends on how much you spend (excluding government-imposed taxes and fees) as well as your Flying Blue level. Explorers earn 4 Miles for each Euro spent. Silver members earn 6 Miles for each Euro spent. Gold members earn 7 Miles for each Euro spent.How long do you have to claim miles on Flying Blue? ›
You have up to 6 months from the date of your flight or transaction to submit your claim.How much is 50000 Flying Blue miles worth? ›
Spend on the Flying Blue cobranded credit card
The card also has a solid welcome bonus of 50,000 Flying Blue miles after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening. TPG values Flying Blue miles at 1.2 cents each, so this bonus alone is worth $600.
70,000 United miles are worth an average of $833, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.Can I claim miles from past flights? ›
Many major U.S. airline loyalty programs let you retroactively claim miles for flights. Even better, some let you do this even if you weren't a loyalty member when you flew. That said, it can be difficult to claim these miles. Many airlines hide retroactive crediting deep within their websites.How many true blue miles do you need for a free ticket? ›
How Much Are TrueBlue Points Worth? TrueBlue points are worth 1.28 cents each, on average, according to WalletHub's research. That means you need about 29,920 miles to get a free flight, based on the average domestic fare of $383.Can I claim old air miles? ›
Retroactive mileage credits for flights
Award and status miles can also be credited retroactively for flights taken up to 6 months in the past. This even applies if you were not a Miles & More member at the time of your flight.
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.
|Delta Air Lines||8,000-36,500||N/A|
Flying Blue miles may generally give you an average redemption value of around $0.012 — 1.2 U.S. cents — per mile. In other words, 10,000 Flying Blue miles may be worth about $120.How far back can you claim miles? ›
Have you taken a flight recently but noticed that no miles posted to your account? Maybe you forgot to include your frequent flyer number in your reservation. Fortunately, most airlines allow you to retroactively credit flights to your mileage account up to 12 months after you've flown them.How do I claim air miles? ›
How can I redeem my Air Miles? Visit our website www.airmilesme.com and click the 'Redeem Air Miles' page. There you will discover all of the places where you can redeem for e-vouchers or in-store at Air Miles partners, as well as access the Air Miles Travel Shop.Can I transfer Flying Blue miles to Delta? ›
No, you can't transfer miles to your Delta account from other airlines – not even partner carriers like Virgin Atlantic, Air France, or KLM. But you can use bank points from even non-Delta credit cards to boost your stash of Delta SkyMiles. And even hotel points can come in handy in a pinch.How much is 100000 air miles worth? ›
100,000 United miles are worth about $1,200.How much is 75 000 air miles worth? ›
|Number of AAdvantage Miles||Average Value|
|Rewards Program||Average Value of 100,000 Miles|
|Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles||$970|
Editorial and user-generated content is not provided, reviewed or endorsed by any company. 85,000 United miles are worth an average of $1,011.5, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.How much does 60000 airline miles get you? ›
|Number of United Miles||Average Value|
|Number of United Miles||Average Value|
For more points or miles: If you're paying for your flight in cash, flying first or business class will often help you earn more points and miles and can also help you maintain or earn elite status.Do airline miles reset every year? ›
Miles earned from flying expire after two years, but may be extended by taking another flight and crediting those miles to Flying Blue. Flights operated by Air France, KLM or partner airlines qualify. Miles expiration is also extended by two years when you make a purchase with an eligible co-branded credit card.Do True Blue miles expire? ›
JetBlue's program gives rewards called TrueBlue points. Joining the TrueBlue program is free and you can start earning points by booking flights online. Points do not expire.Can you transfer Flying Blue miles for free? ›
Transfer your Miles
Your Miles will be transferred within 72 hours. Please note that a fee applies. The exact amount of the fee depends on how many Miles you're transferring and is shown when selecting the number of Miles.
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. For example: You're a Silver member with 122 XP.Which airline miles do not expire? ›
Frequent flyer miles earned from the following major domestic airlines do not expire: Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United Airlines MileagePlus. Other airlines, including American and Alaska, have varying mileage expiration policies and ways to keep your miles active.What happens to unused AIR MILES? ›
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.Can someone else use my Flying Blue number? ›
Can you use your frequent flyer number for someone else? In most cases, you can choose who benefits from your frequent flyer points. The process is often as simple as buying a ticket for someone else (using your frequent flyer number but their name, passport number, etc).How much is 10k miles worth? ›
10,000 United miles are worth about $120.
10,000 American miles are worth about $150. How much are 25,000 American miles worth? 25,000 American miles are worth about $375.How much does 100000 air miles get you? ›
|Airline Loyalty Program||April 2023 Value (cents/point)||Value of 50,000 / 100,000 Points|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points||1.3||$650 / $1,300|
|Spirit Airlines Free Spirit Points||1.1||$550 / $1,100|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Miles||1.3||$650 / $1,300|
|United Airlines MileagePlus Miles||1.3||$650 / $1,300|
5,000 United miles are worth an average of $59.5, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.How much is 70000 miles worth in dollars? ›
|Number of AAdvantage Miles||Average Value|
Chip Lupo, Credit Card Writer
25,000 United miles are worth an average of $297.5, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.
50,000 United miles are worth an average of $595, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.How many air miles do I need to redeem a flight? ›
With general travel rewards cards, 1 mile usually equates to 1 cent in airfare. Therefore, to know exactly how many miles you need to pay for a ticket, you need to multiply the price of that ticket by 100.What is 20 000 air miles worth? ›
|Number of AAdvantage Miles||Average Value|
AIR MILES Cash lets you instantly use the Miles from your Cash Account towards everyday purchases at participating Partners in-store and online. 95 Cash Miles gets you $10 that can be used at checkout in $10 increments, up to $750 per Cash Account per day. Exceptions may apply. AIR MILES Cash Terms and Conditions.How much is 500000 Air Miles worth? ›
You can see the world with 500,000 miles or use them for over 20 domestic round-trip flights (Estimated Value: $8K).
How much are Air Miles worth? Cash Miles have a specific value because they are only redeemable for cash or a cash voucher. You can redeem 95 Cash Miles for $10 cash towards a purchase (or eVoucher), which gives each Air Mile Cash Mile a value of 10.5 cents.How much is 60000 airline miles in dollars? ›
60,000 United miles are worth an average of $714, according to WalletHub data. You will get the best value for your United MileagePlus miles when you redeem them for Travel, but there are multiple redemption options.Is it cheaper to drive or fly 1000 miles? ›
For the shortest trip, driving is slightly more economical than flying. But for the longer cross-country trip, flying is far cheaper. And keep in mind that this only considers solo drivers. Families or friends traveling in one vehicle can save money by driving, even on longer routes.How much is 65000 American Airlines miles worth? ›
|Number of AAdvantage Miles||Average Value|