17 Best Ways to Redeem Flying Blue Miles (Air France/KLM Airlines) for Max Value

KLM Business Class Seating

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Flying Blue is the loyalty program of Air France, KLM and several partner airlines. With its range of mile earning opportunities and a large group of airline partners, Flying Blue offers strong value to travelers.

Using Flying Blue miles for award flights is relatively simple. Many itineraries can be booked online. Award charts and routing rules are straightforward across member airlines.

Flying Blue utilizes a variable award pricing structure, and award prices change depending on the day, exact route, and even the date of search.

Plus, there are great values including monthly Promo Awards for discounts of 20-50%. Let’s find some of the best Flying Blue values!

Best Ways to Earn Flying Blue Miles

Flying Blue miles can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi Thank You Rewards (all at a rate of 1:1), from Capital One at a 2:1.5 rate, or from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1.

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Marriott Transfers

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Flying Blue at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Flying Blue miles bonus.

The 17 Best Ways to Redeem Your Flying Blue Miles

1. Save 20-50% With Flying Blue Promo Awards (Air France / KLM)

Use Flying Blue Promo Awards to get a seriously good deal on flying Air France in business class. Image curtesy of airliners.net.
Use Flying Blue Promo Awards to get a seriously good deal on flying Air France in business class. Image courtesy of airliners.net.

The best ways to use Flying Blue miles while getting the highest values per point are monthly Promo Awards. Discounts range 20-50% off the miles price!

Promo Awards are bookable for travel within 3 months. You still pay the full fees and any applicable surcharges.

Each Promo Award specifies the available dates, route, airline (Air France and/or KLM) and class (economy or business). Some Promo Awards are between 2 specific cities, while others are between a city and region.

Example: A US city may offer 50% off to Europe, so one-way economy is anywhere from 10,750-14,500 miles. Check regularly as these offers come and go. You must book online.

Hot Tip: Even if there is no Promo Award from your home airport, it might be a good deal to buy a Promo Award from another airport and a separate, cheap ticket to get to that airport. This is called a ‘positioning flight’.

2. Israel and North Africa

Visit Chefchaouen in Morocco for the same number of miles as going to Europe with KLM/Air France Flying Blue. Image courtesy of lonelyplanet.com
Visit Chefchaouen in Morocco for the same number of miles as going to Europe with KLM/Air France Flying Blue. Image courtesy of lonelyplanet.com

Flying Blue places Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and the Canary Islands as part of Europe as far as pricing goes, even though the model is variable. Most other programs put them in Middle East or Africa regions which are more expensive than Europe when coming from North America.

Coming from the US, Classic Awards range from only 43,000-58,000 miles round-trip in economy and 106,000-135,000 in business.

When these go on Promo Award sale you have huge savings!

In addition to Air France/KLM flights, Delta flies to Israel and Alitalia to North Africa.

The flip side of this is an Israel to Middle East award is quite expensive even if just a short flight.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Paris (CDG) – Tunis (TUN) on Air France round-trip economy for 43,000 miles or business for 106,000 miles
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Moscow (SVO) – Tel Aviv (TLV) on Aeroflot round-trip economy for 58,000 miles or business for 106,000 miles
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – Algiers (ALG) on Air France round-trip economy for 58,000 miles or business for 106,000 miles

3. US 48 to Hawaii (Delta and Alaska Airlines)

use flying blue miles to travel to Hawaii
Using your Flying Blue to get to Hawaii can present some incredible value! Image courtesy of hawaii.com.

Using Flying Blue partner airlines Delta and Alaska, a great Flying Blue redemption is for flights from the US 48 to Hawaii. Round-trip starts at only 35,000 Flying Blue miles in economy and less than $10 in fees.

This is less than US programs charge their own members!

Hot Tip:  If you’re flying Delta, The Platinum Card® from American Express will grant you access to the Delta Sky Club lounge for your flight.

4. US 48 to the Caribbean (Delta and Alaska Airlines)

use flying blue miles to travel to the Caribbean Beach
Relax on a Caribbean beach for only 30,000 Flying Blue miles. Image courtesy of caribbeanislandcruises.com

Like Hawaii, US 48 to the Caribbean on Delta is a good deal at 29,000-35,000 miles round-trip in economy.

Delta has many Caribbean flights from New York and Atlanta.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Aruba (AUA) on Delta round-trip economy for 29,000 miles or business for 72,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) – St. Maarten (SXM) on Delta round-trip econmoy for 35,000 miles or business for 86,000 miles

5. Caribbean to Hawaii (Delta and Alaska Airlines)

Even cheaper than US to Hawaii is Caribbean to Hawaii, just 25,000 miles round-trip!

6. The Caribbean to Europe (Air France/KLM)

Air France/KLM has many routes between the Caribbean and Europe.

A one-way economy class award ticket will cost 25,000-27,000 Flying Blue miles and a one-way business class award ticket will cost 67,500-79,000 miles.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Punta Cana (PUJ) – Paris (CDG) on Air France for 27,000 miles in economy or 79,000 miles in business
  • Havana (HAV) – Moscow (SVO) on Aeroflot for 27,000 miles in economy or 67,500 miles in business

7. US to Mexico (AeroMexico, Delta and Alaska Airlines)

use flying blue miles for AeroMexico Business Class
Use Flying Blue miles to plan a fun multi-destination trip with partner AeroMexico. Image courtesy of businesstraveler.com.

Flights between Mexico and the U.S. are ridiculously cheap too!

Round-trip economy is around 29,000 miles, which can be even cheaper than U.S. domestic awards.

Hot Tip: Look for routes with AeroMexico’s 787 Dreamliner: New York City (JFK) – Mexico City (MEX) often has one flight daily with this plane featuring lie-flat seats in business class.

8. Cheap Economy Flights to the South Pacific (Air France, Aircalin, Delta)

US 48 to the South Pacific ranges from only 51,000-97,000 miles round-trip in economy. Air France flies Los Angeles to Tahiti.

In addition, you can fly to South Pacific via Japan on Aircalin or via Australia on Delta.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tahiti (PPT) on Air France round-trip economy for 51,000 miles or business for 128,000 miles
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Noumea (NOU) on Aircalin round-trip economy for 69,000 miles or business for 173,000 miles
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD) on Delta round-trip economy for 97,000 miles or business for 242,000 miles

9. Pacific Island Hopping (Aircalin)

travel on flying blue to south pacific and see the New Caledonia Shark
Dive the South Pacific and see the sharks in New Caledonia with a Flying Blue award on Aircalin. Image courtesy shutterstock.com

Aircalin is a South Pacific airline that connects some of the most remote and beautiful islands in the world.

With the South Pacific, flights are around 35,000 miles round-trip in economy, often a great deal for how expensive these tickets can be. Visit Wallis and Fortuna, so small the two islands share only one ATM!

10. Central America Beaches and Jungles (Copa)

Copa is a Star Alliance airline yet partners with Flying Blue. From its hub in Panama City you can reach Central and South America destinations that are often expensive cash tickets.

US to Central America round-trip is just 35,000 miles round-trip in economy. Within Central America, flights are 23,000-29,000 round-trip in economy.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Panama City (PTY) on Copa Airlines round-trip economy for 35,000 miles
  • Panama City (PTY) – Guatemala (GUA) on Copa Airlines round-trip economy for 23,000 miles
  • Panama City (PTY) – San Salvador (SAL) on Copa Airlines round-trip economy for 23,000 miles

11. Europe Domestic Flights

Air France, KLM and its partners such as Alitalia and Czech Airways cover much of Europe. Awards start starting at just 10,000 miles one-way. Focus on economy because intra-Europe business class is not much different from economy.

Always shop around because Europe flights usually have a high cash component due to taxes, which are passed on for awards. It may be better value on some trips to buy a cash ticket.

12. Visit Corsica, Napoleon’s Home Island (Air France, Air Corsica)

Speloncato Village Corsica
What better than a combination of France and Italy with spectacular beaches and towering mountain villages? Image courtesy shutterstock.com

Corsica is a ravishing island blending French and Italian culture, and is the birthplace of Napoleon.

Air France and Air Corsica awards are available to the island’s 4 airports: AJA, BIA, CLY and FSC. You have many options and it is really hard to choose where to go for your Corsica vacation!

Hot Tip:  When visiting tourist attractions, you can often get 2x points when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

13. Into India (Jet Airways)

Flying Blue now partners with India’s Jet Airways so you no longer have to book an award to New Delhi or Mumbai and then add a separate domestic ticket to continue to India’s many wonderful destinations.

Now you can add a Jet Airways segments to your award to India.

US to India starts from 68,000 miles round-trip in economy. Business is more expensive at 170,000 miles.

In contrast, because domestic flights in India are typically cheap, it is not often a good award value to use Flying Blue for purely domestic India award flights.

14. Into Japan (Japan Airlines)

SkyTeam lacks a Japanese partner airline, so it is great that Flying Blue partners with Japan Airlines.

Like using Jet Airways in India, if you are booking a Flying Blue award to Japan, you can fly Japan Airlines all the way or fly another airline and add a Japan Airlines domestic flight in Japan.

The US to Japan award price is more expensive than India’s, despite being closer to the United States. Awards start at 92,000 miles round-trip in economy class, while business is prohibitively expensive at 190,000 miles.

You can read about more ways to fly to Japan using points and miles here.

15. Visit Africa From Tip to Toe (Air France/KLM and Kenya Airways)

With the colonial legacies of France and Netherlands, Air France and KLM have extensive Africa networks. Add in Nairobi-based Kenya Airways and you have one of the most extensive Africa networks in the sky.

Many of these tickets are extremely expensive in cash so use your Flying Blue miles to travel around Africa!

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Paris (CDG) – Johannesburg (JNB) on Air France round-trip economy for 54,000 miles or business for 165,000 miles
  • Marrakesh (RAK) – Nairobi (NBO) on Kenya Airways round-trip economy for 48,000 miles or business for 113,000 miles
  • Addis Ababa (ADD) – Nairobi (NBO) on Kenya Airways round-trip economy for 27,000 miles or business for 54,000 miles

16. Indian Ocean Island Hopping (Air Mauritius)

Air Mauritius is a key Flying Blue partner that gets you to magnificent Indian Ocean islands such as Mauritius, Reunion, and Madagascar.

US to these islands is 92,000 miles round-trip in economy, 170,000-220,000 in business.

If you love flying business class, you can sometimes go one island to the other via Paris on Air Mauritius or Air France. Don’t do this in economy!

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG) – Antananarivo (TNR) on Air France round-trip economy for 92,000 miles or business for 182,000 miles
  • New York City (JFK) – Rome (FCO) – Mauritius (MRU) on Delta and Alitalia round-trip economy for 92,000 miles or business for 170,000 miles
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) – St. Denis (RUN) on Air France round-trip economy for 92,000 miles or business for 182,000 miles

17. The Remote African Beaches of Cabo Verde (Transavia)

flying blue miles to Cabo Verde islands
Drift away your cares in the Cabo Verde Islands, image courtesy shutterstock.com

The beaches of the islands of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) are not easy to reach but oh, so beautiful.

Transavia is a subsidiary of Air France/KLM and you can use Flying Blue miles for awards to their destinations around Europe, Morocco and all the way to Praia and Sal in Cape Verde.

Check the Transavia website for Flying Blue award availability.

More Ways To Earn Flying Blue Miles

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou Rewards also transfer to Flying Blue at the same rates of 1,000 points for 1,000 Flying Blue miles. Transfer take about 48 hours.

Earn ThankYou points with these Citi credit cards:

Hotel-Branded Credit Cards

You can transfer several major hotel program points to Flying Blue miles:

Hotel Loyalty ProgramConvertTo Flying Blue
Hilton Honors10 Honors Points*1 mile
Hyatt Gold Passport1,250 Gold Passport Points**500 miles
Marriott Bonvoy3 Marriott Bonvoy Points***1 mile
IHG Rewards Club10,000 Rewards Club Points2,000 miles

*Must transfer a minimum of 20,000 Honors Points; can then increase in increments of 10,000 points.
**Convert 50,000 points to receive a 5,000-mile bonus
***Convert 60,000 points to receive a 5,000-mile bonus

Remember how we showed you how to earn miles by transferring them from some of the top hotel loyalty programs? Build those loyalty balances by earning miles with the following credit cards:

See Ways To Earn Lots of Flying Blue Miles for more!

Flying Blue Program

To get started, you simply need to sign up for the loyalty program. Sign up with Flying Blue for free here.

Award Booking Guidelines

Flying Blue allows one-way and round-trip awards.

What Flying Blue calls a ‘multi-destination award’ online is really an open-jaw, meaning you can fly to one destination and return from another. You cannot add additional stops and you must return to your origin.

Most partner airlines can be searched on the Air France website. For others, you can search alternate sites or call Air France for availability.

Hot Tip: Not all partner airlines show on award searches with Air France/KLM. For example, you can use American Airlines’ website to check Alaska Airlines award availability.

Phantom Partner Award Availability

The Air France website is great for searching partners. It has one big flaw: so-called phantom availability on partner airlines.

Sometimes award will show as available but then be possible to book. Either the award is not available or the routing is not possible to book with Flying Blue.

It is always best to call Air France to confirm an award is available PRIOR to transferring miles to Flying Blue.

There are no award holds, however American Express and Chase transfer are instant, so if the agent confirms availability, you can immediately transfer and book the award. There is no phone booking fee.

Classic Awards and Flex Awards

The main types of Flying Blue flight awards are Classic Awards and Flex Awards.

Classic Awards are lower-priced and less available. All partner awards except Kenya Airways and TAROM are Classic Awards.

Flex Awards are higher-priced awards on Air France, KLM, Kenya Airways and TAROM. While Classic Awards may be hard to find, Flex Awards are available for most flights.

Hot Tip: If you must take a specific flight and have enough miles, you can lock in a Flex Award since it is free to change or cancel, then keep checking back to see if a cheaper Classic Award becomes available.

How Much Do Flights Awards Cost?

Flying Blue does not publish full award charts. Instead, check the cost of award flights using the Flying Blue Miles Calculator.

Air France Award Search
Use Air France’s award search function to plan your travel. Image courtesy of airfrance.us.

Pricing is variable and will fluctuate depending on many factors. Unlike many other airlines, award prices in miles are the same regardless of airline.

What can differ among airlines is the cash component since some Flying Blue partner airlines assess fuel surcharges and others do not. Always check alternate Flying Blue partner options for your trip.

Example: Taipei-based China Airlines does not have fuel surcharges while Shanghai-based China Eastern and Guangzhou-based China Southern, do. A similar itinerary may cost several hundred dollars more on China Eastern or China Southern.

Flying Blue vs Delta SkyMiles

Air France / KLM and Delta are both SkyTeam members so in many cases you can use either miles for the same trip.

Generally, the differences are:

  • Air France First Class can only be booked with Flying Blue miles and only by Flying Blue elites (same for Flex Business Class awards)
  • US domestic awards on Delta will have less availability for Flying Blue but often lower prices
  • International awards typically cost fewer miles but higher cash on Flying Blue than SkyMiles
  • Flying Blue has partners such as Air Mairitius and Aircalin that are not SkyMiles partners
  • SkyMiles has partners such as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia that are not Flying Blue partners
  • SkyMiles has award blackout dates on China Airlines, China Southern and Korean Air, while Flying Blue has no partner blackout dates

What are Flying Blue Promo Awards?

Released monthly, Flying Blue Promo Awards are discounts of 20-50% of mileage for award travel.

Flying Blue Promo Awards
Check Flying Blue Promo Awards for new offers every month!

You must book Promo Awards online. If you call to book you will be charged the full price.

Promo Awards offered for travel between two specific cities or regions. You can travel in either direction, one-way or round-trip.

Each promo award is specified for Air France or KLM or both.

You cannot change, cancel or refund Promo Awards.

Book Upgrade Awards

Upgrade awards are available on Air France, KLM and several partner airlines (Delta, Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Aircalin, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Korean Air).

Flying Blue Upgrade Awards
You can upgrade paid flights on Air France, KLM and select airline partners.

Air France and KLM upgrades are the most flexible. They can be requested online up to 24 hours departure and may also be available at the airport or on board the aircraft.

Partner awards are subject to availability and various restrictions specific to the airline, route and fare class of ticket. Best is to contact Flying Blue at least 72 hours prior to departure for availability and price. See upgrade award terms here.

Check the cost of upgrade awards using the Flying Blue Miles Calculator.

Fees, Changes and Cancellations

There are three different types of awards: Classic, Flex, and Promo.

  • Classic Awards have a €45 change or cancel fee.
  • Flex Awards are free to change or cancel.
  • Promo awards cannot be changed or canceled.

There is no phone booking fee, thankfully. However, Promo Awards must be booked online.

Mileage Expiration Caveat

To keep miles from expiring, you need to meet at least one of these conditions:

  1. Take an eligible flight at least once every 2 years with Air France, KLM, Joon, HOP!, or any SkyTeam partner
  2. You’re a Silver, Gold or Platinum member;
  3. You make a purchase with an eligible partner bank card at least once every 2 years.

Final Thoughts

Flying Blue is a versatile airline frequent flyer program with strong mileage values and a wide range of partners. Flying Blue has some great values like Promo Awards and Israel in the Europe region. It is a contender for best overall SkyTeam mileage program.

Now that you know some of the best ways to use Flying Blue miles, we hope you’ll enjoy your next redemption!


Featured Image: Courtesy of KLM

FAQ

What is Flying Blue? How much does it cost?

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of Air France and KLM. It is free to join and you can earn miles from flying Air France, KLM and their airline partners.

Flying Blue also has many other travel and non-travel partners where you can earn miles.

You can use Flying Blue for award flights, upgrades, and more!

How do I enroll in Flying Blue?

Sign up for Flying Blue here.

Is there a Flying Blue credit card that earns miles?

There is not a Flying Blue credit card in the US, however there are plenty of other ways to earn Flying Blue miles with credit cards.

Flying Blue partners with several credit card loyalty programs, where you can transfer your credit card points to Flying Blue miles.

Here are just a few examples of credit cards that you can use to earn Flying Blue miles:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
  • Membership Rewards: The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, or the Gold Card from American Express
  • Citi ThankYou: Citi Prestige Card or Citi Premier card

You can also transfer points from hotel loyalty programs:

  • Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
  • Hilton Honors: Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Where can I log in to my Flying Blue account?

Sign in to your Flying Blue account on the Flying Blue website. You can learn about Flying Blue, check account activity and research awards. In order to book award flights, you’ll need to use the same log-in on either the Air France or KLM website to search and book.

Can I earn miles with Flying Blue partners?

Flying Blue has many partners such as airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, retailers, and many more.

How much do Flying Blue award flights cost?

Check the cost of award flights using the Flying Blue Miles Calculator. Prices are zone-based regardless of airline.

What are Flying Blue Promo Awards?

Flying Blue Promo Awards are monthly discounts of 20-50% for award travel. Promo Awards are for travel between two specific cities or regions, in either direction, one-way or round-trip. Each promo award is available for Air France or KLM or both. You cannot change, cancel or refund Promo Awards. You must book Promo Awards online.

Is it possible to upgrade a flight with Flying Blue Miles?

Yes, you can upgrade Air France or KLM flights with Flying Blue miles.

How can I earn Flying Blue Miles shopping online?

Earn miles by shopping at the Flying Blue Shop & Earn Store or the Air France Online Store. From these portals you can earn miles shopping at participating major retailers.

Which airlines are in the Flying Blue loyalty program?

KLM and Air France are members of SkyTeam along with airlines such as Delta and Alitalia. Fliyng Blue has additional airline partners such as Air Mauritius, Alaska Airlines, and Japan Airlines, see all Flying Blue airline partners here.

Can I earn Flying Blue Miles by flying Delta?

Yes, you can earn Flying Blue miles on Delta flights marketed as DL, AF, KL, or a SkyTeam-partner. You will earn Flying Blue miles at the rate of the marketing airline on the ticket, meaning that if you ticket shows an AZ-coded flight (sold by Alitalia) operated by Delta, you will earn according to Flying Blue’s rates for Alitalia. This mostly occurs with connecting tickets that involve multiple airlines.

Can I transfer Flying Blue miles to Delta SkyMiles?

You can’t transfer Flying Blue miles to Delta SkyMiles, however you can use Flying Blue miles for awards on Delta flights. Sometimes the miles price is much lower, too! Note that award availability differs, so a flight Delta makes available to SkyMiles members may not be available to Flying Blue members.

When do Flying Blue Miles expire?

You must satisfy one of these conditions to prevent mileage expiration:

– you take an eligible flight at least once every 2 years with Air France, KLM, Joon, HOP!, or any SkyTeam partner;
– you’re a Silver, Gold or Platinum member;
– you make a purchase with an eligible partner bank card at least once every 2 years.

Can I rent a car to earn Flying Blue Miles?

Yes, Flying Blue has car rental partners including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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