This week, it was revealed that free stopovers will soon be available on certain Air France/KLM Flying Blue reward flights.
Few loyalty programs offer such a benefit, and in the recent past, more programs have taken this feature away rather than add it.
The ability to add a stopover at no cost can be quite beneficial. Indeed, Flying Blue is becoming a more attractive program with each new innovation, of which there have been many lately.
Free Stopovers Coming to Air France/KLM Flying Blue Redemptions
During a recent webinar, Air France/KLM Flying Blue announced that members will soon be able to add a stopover of up to one year at no cost on award bookings.
With this development, Flying Blue will join the ranks of other major loyalty programs that offer stopovers on reward bookings, including Air Canada Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Currently, passengers are only able to have layovers of up to 24 hours on a single award ticket. Any time longer than that would require a completely new ticket.
The stopover perk will only be available on flights with Air France or KLM (or a combination of the two), but the stopover policy may eventually be extended to other partner airlines. This means that you can add a free stopover between Air France flights, KLM flights, an Air France and a KLM flight, or a KLM and an Air France flight.
This means that the natural stopover points will be Paris and Amsterdam, the two hub cities for the airlines. However, stopovers will also be possible on the airlines’s “fifth freedom” routes.
For example, if you’re planning a trip to Europe, you’ll soon be able to fly from Washington to Amsterdam, stay for up to a year, and then continue onward to another destination in Europe, such as Prague, at no additional cost. In economy class, this could cost as few as 12,750 Flying Blue miles, which is an incredible deal.
With Air France, you could fly from New York to Paris, stopover for a while, and then continue onward to Budapest for as few as 15,000 Flying Blue miles in economy.
Similarly, you can break up two long-haul flights with a stopover in Europe. For example, you could fly from Edmonton to Amsterdam, stopover for a few days or a few months, and then head onwards to Nairobi at no additional cost.
The stopover option will also extend to business class redemptions. If you’re able to find pricing at the lower end of the dynamic range, you can travel in comfort on both long- and short-haul flights without paying anything extra.
It gets even more interesting when you consider some of the other possibilities by leveraging Air France and KLM’s fifth freedom routes.
You could fly from Paris to Singapore with Air France, enjoy a stopover, and then continue onwards to Bali on KLM’s fifth freedom route.
Similarly, you could fly from Amsterdam to Miami with KLM, plan a stopover for up to a year, and then continue onwards to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe with Air France.
The possibilities are many, and it’s great to see a program adding more value instead of taking it away.
The Latest of Many Flying Blue Changes
Air France/KLM Flying Blue is becoming quite a contender amongst popular loyalty programs. In the recent past, we’ve seen many developments that have taken the program from an afterthought to one worthy of attention.
Flying Blue burst onto the scene when it became the latest transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards in August 2021. This paved the way for easy access to earning Flying Blue miles, albeit with a less-than-ideal Canadian transfer ratio of 1:0.75.
We’ve also seen a 25% transfer bonus from Amex US Membership Rewards, which was in addition to the much better 1:1 transfer ratio enjoyed south of the border.
The monthly Promo Rewards can offer exceptional value for long-haul flights between North America and Europe. There are even some months where there are discounts on business class award pricing.
This past October, Brim Financial released the Air France KLM Flying Blue World Elite Mastercard, the first Canadian credit card where you can earn Flying Blue miles on your daily spending.
While the lack of a welcome bonus made the debut land with a bit of a thud, it’s entirely possible that we could see a better offer in the near future.
Free stopovers on Air France and KLM flights will soon become a feature of Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
This development further adds value to the frequent flyer program, and will be a great way to see multiple cities on the same trip.
The feature will be rolled out in the near future, and we’ll be sure to give it a test run as soon as it is live.