Every month Flying Blue, the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, releases a new set of Promo Awards that offer discounted award tickets for 25% or 50% off the normal price. These redemptions are only valid for travel on KLM and Air France, not their other airline partners such as Delta and Alaska Airlines. But if you don’t live in one of the targeted cities you may find the savings are worth it to buy a separate “positioning” flight to begin or end your trip.
This month’s August promo awards from North America are largely limited to 25% discounts, and many are for travel in economy class. There is one significant exception: 50% off business class awards from Vancouver to Europe. Travelers can book Air France’s nonstop service to Paris and continue to anywhere that Air France flies within Europe. A 50% discount lowers the price to just 62,500 miles round-trip — 31,250 each way! (KLM also operates non-stop service from Vancouver, but a helper reader noted that the Promo Award only shows Air France as an eligible carrier.)
It’s a great redemption for travelers in the Pacific Northwest. Remember, you may find it worthwhile to book a separate ticket from Seattle, Portland, or elsewhere to begin your award trip in Vancouver. I personally love to visit Europe in the fall when the summer crowds are gone. Promo awards are only valid for reservations during the next three months, so this will stretch just far enough to see the beginning of the Christmas markets. The timing is only made better by the strengthening U.S. dollar.
If you don’t have Flying Blue miles already, you can transfer them from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. I’ll be writing a post in the next couple days on how to use the Flying Blue website to search for and book award tickets as part of a continuing series related to my Award Maximizer search tool.