January 2nd, 2013
Related post: Which Miles To Use To Fly To Israel?
I’ve been blogging about about Air France/KLM Flying Blue’s promo awards for many years now. They’re a bit of a mixed bag. You can go to or from select cities in North America (the cities rotate every 2 months) and Europe for half of the regular rate. The good part about the awards is that Flying Blue counts Israel and Russia as part of Europe. The bad part is that they’re only good on Air France and KLM and are therefore subject to heavy fuel surcharges.
You can book these by logging into a Flying Blue account on AirFrance.com
The rate in coach is 12,500 miles each way and in business class it’s 25,000 miles each way.
That means you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints or 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points into enough miles for a round-trip promo award ticket in coach or double those amounts for a round trip business class ticket.
Fuel surcharges for JFK-TLV round-trip add a whopping $540. Searching for a ticket from 01/14-01/21 for example shows the cheapest option is $969 on KLM. Thus using 20K Starpoints or 25K AMEX MR points miles is really only saving you $429 or a value of 2.15 cents per Starpoints or 1.72 cents per MR points. Plus on top of that you don’t collect miles when using miles on an award ticket.
The current cities valid for travel in January or February are Chicago, Houston, JFK, Montreal, and Washington DC.
Another probably better option with Flying Blue is to use their miles to fly nonstop on Delta in coach (25K each way) or business (50K each way) without paying fuel surcharges. To book these you’ll want to use the award calendar on Delta.com, locate “low” (green) level dates, and then plugin those dates on Air France to book them with Flying Blue miles with no fuel surcharges. Low level dates on Delta can be hard to find at times though.