FlyingBlue, the loyalty program of KLM/Air France, recently published their promo-award charts for the months of March and April 2013. FB’s promo awards essentially provide you with a 50% off on mileage requirement using FB miles for the period concerned.
Now, there were some sweet spots from my perspective for the first time. The usual redemption rate from India to Europe on Flying Blue in Business is 60K miles for a one-way redemption, but for the next two months, one could get a business class seat for the price of an economy redemption, i.e., 30K miles one-way and 60K miles roundtrip on Air France.
Take for instance, this sample booking from Mumbai to Oslo, which prices at 30K miles + 241 Euros one way, and 60K + about 500 Euros roundtrip.
This is a lot of flying in Business Class, even if you account for that one segment in Economy.
You will notice, the steep surcharges start to go down, if you do not have so many flights in the itinerary. For instance, if I wanted to go to Paris, which would be one long haul segment each way, this would become 60,000 miles plus about 400 Euros in Taxes (about Rs. 28,500), while the same ticket would cost you about Rs. 200,000 if you bought it today. The award ticket would be a fantastic value at that price, even accounting for the surcharges.
Similarly, you could be clubbing this with another promotion that Flying Blue announced for the same period (March-April 2013) and head to New York or Toronto in 55K miles (+surcharges) one way.
Trouble is, you will need to break the tickets into two. If you look for a ticket from BOM to JFK (via CDG), you will get a 30K promo award in biz from BOM-CDG, but not from CDG to JFK. Have a look at the availability when I broke this journey into two parts. This could also allow you to build in a European stopover incase you plan this journey.
Now, you may wonder if Air France has good business class seats or not. It is actually an angled lie-flat seat. I haven’t travelled in one of those, but I could see that Gary at View From the Wing recently had a flight on one of those. Now, this would be way better than flying coach anyday for the same price if you had the miles. And if you choose to go to the USA, you also have the opportunity to choose to travel on the Airbus 380 with them.
Do remember, these awards work in the other direction as well. So, if you wanted to travel North America-Europe, you could do so and same for Europe-Mumbai on the same prices.
And if you needed just a few more miles, you could top it off with the current sale on FB miles where you get upto a 50% bonus.
Hit me up if you have questions on this, and I’ll be happy to help!