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Flying Blue has announced its monthly Promo Awards for June 2018; however, unlike previous versions of the promo this time around it is subject to the changes in the Flying Blue Program that came into effect as of June 1, 2018.
Promo Awards Overview
- Flights need to be booked by June 30, 2018
- Travel period on most routes is August 1, through September 30, 2018
- Bookings only valid if made via KLM.com or AirFrance.com; phone bookings are not possible
- Tickets cannot be canceled, changed, or refunded
- Tickets are sold as one-way or roundtrip
Key Changes To Flying Blue
The following changes came into force on June 1, 2018:
- Flying Blue has eliminated award charts
- The cost of awards will depend on “various factors” although Flying Blue has not said what the factors are
- They have created a calculator page to work out award pricing for routes
- Prices on the calculator page are starting rates, and there is no indication on how availability affects them
North America Route Options
This month there are two US destinations participating in the promo awards. Awards from Chicago O’Hare International and San Francisco International Airport to Europe are discounted by 50% and 25% respectively. The discount only applies to Economy award flights.
How The Changes Affect The Promo Awards
According to the Flying Blue calculator, a flight from Chicago O’Hare International to Amsterdam, Schiphol will normally set you back 27,500 miles one way in Economy.
With the promo awards, this should price at 13,750 miles which is a great value.
Things start to get strange when you try and book a promo award to a European destination other than Paris or Amsterdam. Trying to book Chicago to Rome via Amsterdam yields a price of 53,000 miles plus taxes and fees. This is huge and effectively means that you are being charged 39,250 miles to fly from Amsterdam to Rome one way.
Things get even stranger if you decide to break up the route and book two separate awards, the first from Chicago to Amsterdam for 13,750 miles and then a separate award from Amsterdam to Rome. The second segment will set you back 25,500 miles one way which is significantly lower than the 39,250 miles it would cost to book a single award.
The situation is the same if you select a European destination participating in the promo awards like Gothenburg GOT, Sweden, which comes in at 9,600 miles one way in Economy.
Booking Chicago to Gothenburg direct you end up with a price of 27,000 miles, which is greater than the cost of booking both segments separately at 23,350 miles (13,750 + 9,600).
Astonishingly if you book a promo award from Chicago to Amsterdam (13,750 miles), and then book a standard award with no discount from Amsterdam to Gothenburg which costs 12,000 miles, you will still be paying less (25,750 miles) than trying to book the whole journey on one award ticket.
These changes eliminate much of the value of promo awards, unless you are interested in flying to/from Paris or Amsterdam. You can no longer:
- Make connections
- Combine two promo awards and benefit from cumulative pricing
This change to the Promo Awards is disappointing, and while the program has been uninteresting in recent months, with few options for North America, the new program is just as bad with too many restrictions, that ultimately make it very poor value.
Source: Flying Blue
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