Air France is one of the largest airlines in the world. With a strong brand and recognition globally, it should be one of the first names you think of when planning a trip to Europe.
Known for its lavish La Première first class product that’s extremely difficult to book with points, Air France also has a fantastic business class product.
You can expect excellent airport lounges, a refined onboard experience, comfortable reverse herringbone seats that recline completely flat, and so much more.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to book nonstop business class flights on Air France using points, so you can enjoy high-quality red wine, visit the Eiffel Tower, and get that selfie with Mona Lisa.
A Look Inside Air France Business Class
Air France’s award-winning business class starts with a chic ground experience. First, you’ll enjoy priority check-in lines and an extra baggage allowance.
And if you’re flying from its hub in Paris, you’ll enjoy spacious business class lounges complete with saunas, plentiful catering options, nap rooms, showers, and even detox bars in select lounges.
Once onboard, you’ll see why Air France’s business class product is so well-regarded. However, a word of caution: Air France has wild variations in its business class seats — on one hand, its flagship product is a sleek reverse herringbone seat arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access and lie-flat capabilities.
On the other hand, if you’re not vigilant, you might find yourself in an old, angled-flat business class seat that doesn’t have direct aisle access and is arranged in a more crowded configuration.
You’ll want to be sure to avoid any planes that don’t have a 1-2-1 arrangement unless absolutely necessary, as it could drastically impact your experience.
In addition to great seats on most of its long-haul planes, Air France has one of the best wine lists in the sky, plus an amazing menu, good amenities, and warm service.
Solo travelers should do their best to reserve a window seat while traveling companions can enjoy each other’s company in the middle seats.
How To Fly Air France Business Class Using Points
Fortunately, Air France generously releases a swath of business class award availability at various points in time.
If you happen to be planning a trip far in advance, you’ll often find entire weeks with award space, with 9 seats available on some flights!
If you’re planning a trip within a month of departure, you should still find solid opportunities to redeem points for business class.
Air France levies fuel surcharges of around $200 to $400 for flights between the U.S. and Europe. Generally, fuel surcharges will be higher on flights originating in Europe.
Here’s a list of Air France’s nonstop flights between the U.S. and France:
- Atlanta (ATL) – Paris (CDG)
- Boston (BOS) – Paris (CDG)
- Chicago (ORD) – Paris (CDG)
- Dallas (DFW) – Paris (CDG)
- Denver (DEN) – Paris (CDG)
- Detroit (DTW) – Paris (CDG)
- Houston (IAH) – Paris (CDG)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG)
- Miami (MIA) – Paris (CDG)
- Minneapolis (MSP) – Paris (CDG)
- New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG)
- San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG)
- Seattle (SEA) – Paris (CDG)
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Paris (CDG)
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Air France is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group, which has a single frequent flyer program under its umbrella: Flying Blue.
Flying Blue, as a whole, offers the best redemption prices for Air France flights in the world.
But one of the most confusing aspects of Flying Blue is that it maintains a hybrid pricing structure — a mix of dynamic award pricing and region-based award pricing.
Specifically, Air France has several buckets of award space, each of which is priced at different mileage amounts.
So even though a nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Paris in Air France business class could require just 67,500 miles each way, it could also cost as much as 285,000 miles!
Whenever you look for award availability on Air France, you’ll want to make sure you’re redeeming points on the lower end of that spectrum in order to get maximum value.
Flying Blue allows one-way and round-trip award bookings — here’s an approximate award chart for one-way flights between the U.S. and Paris:
||Flying Blue Miles Cost (One-way, Cheapest Awards)
||Taxes and Fees
||From 21,500 to 29,000
||~$70 to $158
||From 53,000 to 72,000
||~$221 to $380
In addition to being the best frequent flyer program to book Air France business class tickets overall, Flying Blue’s website is also the best website to search for award space!
Hot Tip: If you’re planning on redeeming other frequent flyer miles or points for Air France business class, we wouldn’t recommend searching on Flying Blue’s website due to the confusing award buckets that partners can’t access.
Follow these steps to book your ticket with Flying Blue miles:
- Go to the U.S. Air France website.
- Click Log in in the top-right corner. Enter your Flying Blue account details.
- On the homepage, click Book with Miles.
- Fill in the flight details and click Search flights.
- Find the best flight options for your needs.
- Redeem your Flying Blue miles and use a credit card for taxes and fees.
A successful award search on Flying Blue will show a green box with the lowest-level award space available, the mileage price, and the required taxes and fees.
Earning Air France-KLM Flying Blue Miles
Flying Blue miles are very easy to earn, thanks to a long list of transfer partners. This includes American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Brex Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
All transfers from Amex, Bilt, Brex, Capital One, Chase, and Citi should transfer almost instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio.
And if you transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy, it’ll be at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Flying Blue.
There’s also a co-branded credit card issued by Bank of America that earns Flying Blue miles directly.
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Business Owner? Read our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank has suffered from several devaluations over the years, which ultimately relegated the program to a thing of the past for most travelers.
And being among the hardest miles to earn in the world doesn’t boost the value proposition of Mileage Bank, either.
Still, Japan Airlines partners with Air France, which means you can redeem Japan Airlines miles for Air France business class tickets, assuming you can get your hands on Japan Airlines miles in the first place.
Its award structure consists of a straightforward, distance-based award chart, which means you’ll pay more miles the further you fly.
In general, Japan Airlines doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges on flights originating in the U.S., though it does levy relatively mild fuel surcharges on flights originating in Europe — around $150 per ticket. This is a welcome policy that’ll save you hundreds of dollars per person.
Follow these steps to book your ticket online:
- Visit Japan Airlines’ website and click Redeem award flights in the middle of the page. Then, click Book International Award Tickets.
- Log into your Japan Airlines Mileage Bank account when prompted.
- At the top of the screen, toggle to JMB Partner Airlines Award Tickets.
- Choose Round-trip or One-way.
- Select Air France under the Partner Airlines dropdown box.
- Fill out the rest of the search information and click Search.
- Choose the flight result that matches your needs, redeem your JAL miles, and use a credit card for taxes and fees.
Hot Tip: Japan Airlines, as well as all other Air France partners, can only access the lowest level partner award availability, so keep that in mind if you’re not seeing availability match up with Flying Blue’s website.
Earning Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Miles
As we mentioned above, Japan Airlines’ miles are difficult to earn. Even though there are many ways to earn them, most of these probably don’t intersect with your daily life.
That’s why the best way you can earn JAL miles is through its only U.S. transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy.
You’ll transfer points to JAL at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That means for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you’ll earn 25,000 Japan Airlines miles. Transfers take around 2 business days to process.
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Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Another solid frequent flyer program to use is Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which maintains a strategic partnership with Air France.
Again, you can only access the lowest-level partner award availability when redeeming Virgin Points.
Unfortunately, fuel surcharges are passed on when redeeming Virgin Points and its search engine can be difficult to navigate.
That said, there are plenty of ways to earn lots of Virgin Points, which is why we’re fans of this program.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club uses a region-based award chart for long-haul business class flights on Air France. Here’s what it looks like:
||Virgin Points Cost (One-way)
[From East Coast North America & Caribbean to Western and Central Europe]
|Virgin Points Cost (One-way)
[From West & Central North America and Central America to Western and Central Europe]
|Taxes and Fees
||~$164 to $243
||~$164 to $243
||~$302 to $409
||~$302 to $409
You’ll also notice that Virgin Atlantic Flying Club uses standard and peak pricing, as well. Here’s the breakdown of seasonality dates:
For example, a one-way business class flight departing on June 10, 2022, would fall under standard season pricing, while the same flight departing on June 20, 2022, would fall under peak pricing.
Ready to redeem your Virgin Points? Follow these steps:
- Visit Virgin Atlantic’s homepage.
- On the top of the page, you’ll find a search box.
- Fill out the search box, click Advanced search under the number of passengers, and select Points under Show Price in. Click Upper Class under Show Fares For, and click the search button.
- Sift through the search results, pick the option that’s best for you, and redeem your Virgin Points. Use a credit card to pay for any leftover taxes and fees.
Earning Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Points
As we mentioned earlier, Virgin Points are easy to earn. Virgin Atlantic has transfer partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, and Citi transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly. Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Transfers generally take around 6 to 10 business days to complete, so keep that in mind.
You can also earn Virgin Points from the co-branded Bank of America credit cards.
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Korean Air SKYPASS
Korean Air is one of Air France’s SkyTeam alliance partners. And with an attractive award chart, using Korean Air miles to book Air France business class should at least be on your radar.
Korean Air SKYPASS only allows round-trip award bookings on partner airlines (it allows one-way flights on Korean Air flights only), and all fuel surcharges are passed on. The fuel surcharges make booking Air France economy flights with Korean Air miles totally not worth it.
However, business class may still be worth it because of the amazing redemption rates between the U.S. and Europe (France included):
||Korean Air SKYPASS Miles Cost (Round-trip)
||Taxes and Fees
Here are the steps to book Air France business class using Korean Air miles:
- Find award availability using a partner search engine, such as Virgin Atlantic or Japan Airlines.
- After finding your desired flight, call Korean Air SKYPASS at 800-438-5000 to book the ticket. Use a credit card for taxes and fees.
- Point transfers from Marriott Bonvoy take quite a while, so you can ask for an award hold, though this isn’t guaranteed.
Earning Korean Air SKYPASS Miles
Korean Air miles are very difficult to earn. Its only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
Transfers to Korean Air may take as few as 2 days but can be excruciatingly long — up to 3 weeks in some cases.
You can also earn Korean Air miles directly from the co-branded credit card products issued by U.S. Bank.
The last major frequent flyer program we’ll be discussing is Delta SkyMiles, simply because it’s a familiar program for U.S.-based travelers.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the positives end, because this program has been mercilessly devalued over the years.
Here’s the award chart for Air France-operated flights booked with Delta SkyMiles:
||Delta SkyMiles Cost (One-way)
||Taxes and Fees
||35,000 (55,000 when booking less than 21 days in advance)
||~$5.60 to $237
||120,000 (195,000 when booking less than 21 days in advance)
||~$5.60 to $362
Delta SkyMiles doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges for Air France award flights originating in the U.S. Unfortunately, Delta SkyMiles does pass on fuel surcharges for Air France flights originating in Europe.
However, the good news is that the booking process is simple:
- Go to Delta.com.
- On the top ribbon, fill out the search box. Remember to toggle Shop with Miles and Delta One under Best Fares For.
- Search for your flight, redeem your SkyMiles, and use a credit card for taxes and fees.
Earning Delta SkyMiles
While it’s going to take more SkyMiles to book a given flight, it’s also a bit easier to earn Delta SkyMiles.
That’s because, in addition to earning SkyMiles on paid Delta flights, you can earn SkyMiles through transfers from Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex transfers to Delta SkyMiles instantly at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred. Marriott Bonvoy transfers take approximately 1 business day.
You can also earn Delta SkyMiles directly through an assortment of Delta SkyMiles credit cards issued by American Express.
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Other Options for Booking Air France
In addition to the frequent flyer programs mentioned above, you can also redeem miles from other programs, such as Aeromexico Club Premier, China Southern Sky Pearl Club, and Aeroflot Bonus for Air France business class flights.
However, these typically have subpar redemption prices, difficult booking processes, or miles that are hard to earn, so we’d recommend sticking to the programs listed in the previous sections.
Great Air France Business Class Redemptions
Now that we’ve dissected our 5 favorite loyalty programs to book Air France business class, let’s put all of our findings together. For some programs, the exact price you’ll pay will depend on the route you’re flying, which is why some of these programs have price ranges.
Here’s what a round-trip business class flight on Air France between the U.S. and Paris would look like:
||Flying Blue Miles Cost
||Japan Airlines Miles Cost
||Virgin Points Cost
||Delta SkyMiles Cost
||Korean Air Miles Cost
|U.S. to France
||106,000 to 144,000 + $601
||80,000 to 100,000 + $160
||97,000 to 142,000 + $711
||240,000 + $400
||80,000 + $711
If you were capable of racking up any type of currency, Korean Air SKYPASS and Japan Airlines Mileage Bank would likely have the lowest redemption prices; Japan Airlines also offers the lowest fuel surcharges.
More realistically, however, we’d recommend Air France-KLM Flying Blue, especially if you need to access a larger bucket of award availability.
But if you’re departing from the U.S. East Coast during the standard season (as defined by Virgin Atlantic), you might also consider redeeming Virgin Points.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Air France-KLM Flying Blue are transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy. Flying Blue is also partners with Brex Rewards.
If you have a bunch of Delta SkyMiles sitting around, you can redeem those for an Air France business class flight, but we would generally never recommend transferring points from Amex to Delta SkyMiles for this redemption.
Let’s talk about stopovers. For the most part, you’ll find that these rules apply:
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Delta SkyMiles do not permit complimentary stopovers
- Japan Airlines Mileage Bank allows up to 3 stopovers or 2 stopovers and 1 open-jaw
- Korean Air SKYPASS allows 1 stopover per SkyTeam ticket
Now that we’ve gone over all of the details, let’s put this together and outline some of the best redemptions you can make on Air France business class:
- Atlanta (ATL) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 120,000 Delta SkyMiles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
- Denver (DEN) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in Air France business class for 85,000 Japan Airlines miles + ~$160 in taxes and fees
- Detroit (DTW) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in Air France business class for 80,000 Japan Airlines miles + ~$160 in taxes and fees
- Houston (IAH) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in Air France business class for 80,000 Korean Air miles + ~$711 in taxes and fees
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG) round-trip in Air France business class for 80,000 Korean Air miles + ~$711 in taxes and fees
- Miami (MIA) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 53,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$601 in taxes and fees
- Minneapolis (MSP) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class during the standard season for 61,000 Virgin Points + ~$302 in taxes and fees
- New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 55,000 Flying Blue miles + ~$601 in taxes and fees
- San Francisco (SFO) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 120,000 Delta SkyMiles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
- Seattle (SEA) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class during the standard season for 61,000 Virgin Points + ~$302 in taxes and fees
- Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Paris (CDG) one-way in Air France business class for 57,500 Flying Blue miles + ~$601 in taxes and fees
How To Earn Enough Miles for Air France Business Class
Remember, as long as you have transferable rewards points, you can book Air France business class easily.
We took a deep dive into each of the recommended frequent flyer programs, and in this section, we’ll show you how to approach transfer partnerships to book Air France business class.
As we noted earlier, the lowest mileage cost will likely come from Korean Air SKYPASS or Japan Airlines Mileage Bank. To earn these miles, your best shot is to transfer from Marriott Bonvoy.
If you need to access enhanced award space, stick with Flying Blue.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is also a great option, particularly for flights that fall under its standard season dates, though keep in mind you’ll have to pony up hefty fuel surcharges.
If you already have a bunch of Delta SkyMiles sitting in your account, you can redeem them for Air France business class flights.
Here’s a summary of the transferable points you can earn to book Air France business class:
- Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Bilt Rewards transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Brex Rewards transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Capital One miles transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards Points transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
- Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Air France-KLM Flying Blue (3 days), Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1 day), Japan Airlines Mileage Bank (2 days), Delta SkyMiles (1 day), and Korean Air SKYPASS (2 days)at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at a time.
Also, transfer bonuses of 15% to 30% have been offered to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Air France-KLM Flying Blue, primarily from Amex and Citi.
You can expect to never get any transfer bonuses from Delta SkyMiles.
When Should You Search for Award Space
Air France is one of the few airlines that releases 8 or more business class seats on select flights between the U.S. and France.
In general, you’ll have better luck finding flights to/from the U.S. East Coast, as opposed to the U.S. West Coast.
That being said, if you plan ahead (ideally 4 months or more before departure), you can usually find flights with 6 or more business class seats available.
Generally, the closer you get to your departure date, the harder it is to find low-level award availability.
We recommend searching for award availability on Air France’s website if you intend on redeeming Flying Blue miles. Otherwise, Virgin Atlantic has a decent search engine, as well as Delta SkyMiles.
Why Air France Business Class Is a Great Redemption
Air France business class is one of the most sought-after products when crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
And as long as you’re not flying on an older aircraft with a dated business-class seat, you should have a great flight.
Today, though, most of its planes are equipped with reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. These seats recline 180 degrees, have direct aisle access, and are easily bookable using points.
Great Award Availability
As we mentioned, Air France business class is readily bookable using a variety of different frequent flyer programs. And if you look far in advance, you will often see flights with 8 or more business class seats available on points.
That’s an incredible value proposition because this represents one of the rare airlines that releases enough award availability for large families.
Thanks to Air France’s airline partners in the SkyTeam alliance, as well as non-alliance partners, it’s easy to make this product the next one you fly.
Reverse Herringbone Seats
Air France’s hard product is, for the most part, awesome.
Certain flights offer a downgraded Airbus A330-300 or 3-cabin Boeing 777-300ER business class product that falls behind its flagship product.
To avoid booking one of these flights, we recommend using SeatGuru to check your seat map before booking your ticket, just in case.
In addition to a superb hard product, you’ll get comfortable bedding, including a pillow, a duvet, luxury amenities, and more.
Terrific Food and Beverage Options
The last element that makes Air France stand out is the food and beverage. Classic French delicacies are served, ensuring a delightful dining experience.
The beverage list — the wine selection in particular — is expansive. Laurent-Perrier is the main Champagne pour here.
Generally, long-haul flights have at least 2 full meals, though you can also enjoy snacks and small bites throughout the flight.
Air France offers a generally consistent business class product that many airlines aspire to emulate.
Although its product isn’t as glamorous and showy as, say, Emirates business class or Qatar Airways Qsuites, the theme is elegance and understated luxury.
Luckily, Air France business class can be booked in an assortment of ways, including with any transferable rewards currency — our top picks are Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank, Delta SkyMiles, and Korean Air SKYPASS.
With all of this knowledge in mind, have fun booking your next trip, and cheers to your next Air France business class flight!
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.