Historically, Air France KLM Flying Blue has had different award pricing for flights between Europe and North America based on which part of North America you depart from or fly to.
Passengers flying to or from Western North America would have to pay more for flights to Europe than those departing from or arriving in Eastern North America.
However, it appears that Air France KLM Flying Blue has harmonized the minimum prices for awards across North America in all classes of service, which has resulted in both increased and decreased award prices.
Air France KLM Flying Blue Harmonizes Europe–North America Award Pricing
Air France KLM Flying Blue appears to have levelled the playing field when it comes to minimum award prices for flights between North America and Europe.
Previously, you’d pay a higher minimum price for an award booking from Vancouver to Paris, than you would for a flight from Montreal to Paris.
However, Flying Blue has now adjusted the minimum award levels, such that you’ll now see the same minimum prices for a flight from Vancouver to Paris, as you will from Montreal to Paris.
Depending on the class of service, it will now either cost more Flying Blue miles than it did before, or much less.
For example, a flight from Montreal to Europe used to cost as few as 15,000 Flying Blue miles.
Now, the same flight will be priced out as low as 20,000 miles, which is a 33% increase.
However, it’s worth noting that you can still find Promo Reward pricing for as few as 11,250 Flying Blue miles.
For flights in premium economy, it used to cost 30,000–40,000 miles to fly from North America to Europe, depending on your origin. Now, you can expect to pay a flat rate of as low as 35,000 miles, no matter your origin or destination. For some, this is an increase, but for others, it’s a decrease.
For example, you’ll pay the same price in miles to fly from Toronto to Lisbon in premium economy…
As you would to fly from Vancouver to Lisbon in premium economy…
However, the most intriguing changes to the minimum award price harmonization are to business class redemptions, which have seen the most significant changes.
Previously, a one-way flight from Vancouver to Europe in Air France business class priced out at 80,000 Flying Blue miles.
At the same time, a one-way flight from Edmonton to Europe priced out as low as 65,000 Flying Blue miles.
And a flight from Toronto to Europe in business class would price out as low as 55,000 Flying Blue miles.
Now, business class awards from any destination in North America to any destination in Europe are priced at 50,000 Flying Blue miles, which is a notable improvement. In fact, it represents a decrease in price by up to ~38%!
Depending on the class of service you fly, the harmonization is either bad news (in some cases for economy or premium economy flights), or great news if you tend to fly in business class.
In any event, it’s important to note that these are the minimum prices you’ll see. Since Flying Blue employs dynamic pricing for flights with Air France and KLM, you may also see prices at much higher than these levels.
However, you should use the lowest possible prices as targets, as they represent the best value. To easily find the lowest prices on any given route, leave the date fields empty when you make a search, and the results will display a calendar view.
This way, you can easily spot the dates with the lowest pricing, and avoid the ones with higher dynamic pricing.
New Flying Blue Sweet Spots
The apparent harmonization of award pricing between Europe and North America is a boon for travellers based on the western part of the continent, and for anyone who tends to redeem Flying Blue miles for flights in business class.
This now means that you’ll find the same lowest amount in miles to fly from any city in North America to any city in Europe, and vice versa.
To make matters even better, Air France and KLM have excellent coverage for cities across North America. In Canada, the airlines offer direct flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City, and in the United States, the airlines have an excellent network.
For 50,000 Flying Blue miles, you can fly in business class from Vancouver to Paris…
From Calgary to Paris…
From Edmonton to Prague…
From Toronto to Zurich…
From Ottawa to Budapest…
From Montreal to Istanbul…
Or from Quebec City to Rome…
If you have North Africa on your list of destinations, you’ll be happy to know that 50,000 miles will get you there in business class, too.
Depending on the route and the date, you can also find multiple seats available at the lowest price, which is great for couples, families, and groups of friends planning a trip.
How to Earn Air France KLM Flying Blue Miles
In Canada, Air France KLM Flying Blue is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards at a ratio of 1:0.75. This means that you’ll need to transfer 66,667 MR points to Flying Blue to earn 50,000 Flying Blue miles.
|70,000 MR points
|120,000 MR points
|75,000 MR points
|Up to 77,000 MR points
|100,000 MR points
|15,000 MR points
|12,500 MR points
|First-year annual fee rebate
You can also apply for the Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard, and earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 miles.
Lastly, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Flying Blue, you’ll get a bonus of 5,000 miles on top of the usual 3:1 ratio, for a total of 25,000 Flying Blue miles.
Air France KLM Flying Blue has harmonized the minimum award prices for flights between Europe and North America. In economy, you’ll find flights for as low as 20,000 miles, and in premium economy, flights start at 35,000 miles.
In business class, the lowest cost is now set at 50,000 miles, which is up to a 38% reduction from before, depending on which city you depart from.
Depending on the class of service you fly in and where you live, this news could be a bit of a mixed bag. However, for travel in business class, it’s good news across the board.