Air France Adds More Restrictions to La Premiere First Class Awards Air France Adds More Restrictions to La Premiere First Class Awards

Air France Adds More Restrictions to La Premiere First Class Awards

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Air France recently sent out an email to its Flying Blue members about adding even more restrictions to its first-class La Premiere awards. The new restrictions will come into force from January 1, 2023, and turns what was an already elusive award into gold dust!

Air France La Premiere first class award email

New Air France La Premiere Award Restrictions Overview

Effective January 1, 2023, Air France is adding the following two restrictions:

  • First Class La Premiere awards will only be available to Flying Blue Platinum and Ultimate members.
  • Up to a maximum of one award seat per flight will be available to members.

Ari France tells its members in the email that existing bookings — even those for travel after January 1, 2023 — will be unaffected. However, any changes made to existing reservations will be subject to the new rules after that time.

Keep in mind this is a substantial devaluation for Flying Blue Gold status. Before this announcement, La Premiere space was open to Gold and higher elite members. However, now Gold members will have to be satisfied with Air France's business class. Even though Air France is in the middle of refreshing its business class seats, it is nowhere near the luxury of Qatar QSuite.

How To Book Air France La Premiere Awards

The latest news is disappointing and takes an exclusive product and turns it into a mythical, unattainable one. Not only does Air France restrict which Flying Blue members can book La Premiere first class awards, but Air France also does not release any La Premiere award space to partners. Going forward, the only way to book a La Premiere award is to be a Platinum or Ultimate Air France Flying Blue elite member.

Keep in mind that you will pay a hefty premium for booking a La Premiere award. Currently, a one-way award will set you back an eye-watering minimum of 220,000 Flying Blue miles. Although you can transfer virtually every points currency to Flying Blue, 220,000 points for an award is still excessive. If you are looking to head over the Atlantic, there are much better value-for-money options to head to Europe using points and miles.

Our Take

Undoubtedly this is bad news. With that said, it only affects a limited number of travelers. This hits those with Flying Blue Gold status and any Flying Blue elites that want to book an award as a couple. That being said, any award restriction should not be welcomed, no matter how minimal its footprint is.

Does this change negatively impact you? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Can award wallet do a comparison of airline program within an alliance? My husband flys delta comfort to Amsterdam (sometimes on klm metal) often enough to hit a Diamond most years. We got the delta platinum to add a few benefits. He likes the lounge access, the dedicated help line and free upgrades. I like being able to fly premium to Europe on award flights.
    With the new changes in to award flights, lounge access etc, I was thinking maybe he should switch the miles to fly blue so he could keep the Lounge access. We may switch credit card because of the lost benefits also. I’m sure star alliance members would also like to see a post comparing benefits, award travel availability and membership level benefits between the various airlines of the alliance. Also airport access. He either flys from Portland or Seattle, so we don’t have a every airline available to use

  • Occasionally, Air France offers (relatively) bargain cash rates for La Premiere, like in the $3,500 round trip range. As a non-elite nobody, I am saving up and holding out for that cash deal.

  • There is nothing like making an aspirational product a little less aspirational by making harder and harder to get on miles.

    Paid from a cheaper departure destination must be the way to get access . . .