Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Flying Blue, the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, along with a few other airlines, introduced free stopovers on award tickets in late 2022, allowing you to book awards and stop in different cities along the way. As recently confirmed on FlyerTalk by Ben Lipsey, Senior Vice President of Customer Loyalty for Flying Blue, the program has added the ability to book partner awards with free stopovers. This new change will make Flying Blue awards even more valuable, and the process to include the free stopovers is fairly simple.
What Is a Stopover?
A stopover is an itinerary that includes a stop in a different city than your origin or destination that’s still part of the original ticket. For example, let’s say you had an award from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) to Milan (MXP), but stopped in Paris for a period of greater than 24 hours. Because this period of time is more than 24 hours and isn’t just a connection, Paris would be a stopover city on this itinerary.
On a stopover, you’re actually trying to visit that city. Many people utilize stopovers as a free opportunity to see another destination as part of a larger award.
Free Stopovers on Flying Blue Awards
Flying Blue members now have the chance to visit some new destinations as part of this free stopover program.
Unfortunately, these tickets still cannot be booked online, so in order to include a free stopover in your itinerary, you’ll need to book over the phone by calling Flying Blue directly (800-375-8723). In booking your award, you can choose to have a stopover either on a one-way ticket or round-trip ticket, with most people using a stopover in only 1 direction. You need to remember that a stopover isn’t a layover, so the stop actually exceeds a day, and when you’re booking this, the stopover can go up to 365 days.
You’re probably wondering why you’d stop somewhere for a full year, and some people will get creative in how long they wish to stop in a particular city, trying to get a “free” trip at a later date, where they’re able to mix and match tickets over various dates. When you book your stopover, it can be on any Flying Blue partner airline, not just an airline that uses Flying Blue’s loyalty program. So long as each individual segment has award space, you should be able to piece together the stopover on the award, and the phone agents can help with pricing.Hot Tip:
It may be helpful to assemble your award on the Flying Blue website prior to calling in — that way you have a better idea of availability between each of your destinations.
If you’re looking to explore some other cities on your Flying Blue award, you’ll now be able to do so thanks to free stopovers (now featuring partner awards!). Unfortunately, this capability is still only available over the phone, so you’ll need to call in to plan out your itinerary.
Featured Image Credit: Princess Juliana International Airport
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