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At the beginning of every month Flying Blue (the loyalty program for Air France/KLM) releases discounted mileage awards for Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class travel on Air France and KLM. These “Promo Awards” are advertised as offering “up to 50% off” award travel but, while some awards may be discounted by 50%, nowadays we’re more used to seeing discounts of around 25% on the awards most would like to book.
The April 2018 Flying Blue Promo awards have now been published, they cover travel between 31 May and 30 July 2018 and need to be booked by 29 April 2018.
The first thing that’s noticeable when you load the Flying Blue promo awards page is that there are no North America awards at all. This doesn’t appear to be a glitch as the awards have now been available for over 72 hours and no new awards have been made available.
So, if there aren’t any North America promo awards what exactly is on offer?……
Flying Blue April 2018 Promo Awards
There are just 35 promo awards available this month and a good number of them are for Economy Class travel (which I’m not going look into) but there are a few Premium Economy & Business Class award that may be worth considering .
Business Class Promo Awards
There are 4 Business Class promo awards this time around and the pick of them is for travel between Europe and Havana.
75,000 miles for roundtrip Business Class travel between Europe and the Caribbean is very good value indeed…especially when you consider that the flights to/from Havana are scheduled at over 9 hours.
Note: Don’t forget that you can originate in Europe or the Caribbean with this promo award.
KLM doesn’t offer non-stop service to Havana so flights are routed through Paris CDG and are on Air France.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing Air France doesn’t appear to be serving Havana with its refurbished 777s so the Business Class cabin doesn’t offer the airline’s excellent 1-2-1 layout.
The 777s on the Havana route offer the older 2-3-2 seating chart….
….so make sure you’ve set your expectations before you book.
The remaining two Business Class promo awards are for travel between Europe and the Middle East:
Flying Blue offers a 50% discount on awards between Europe and Dubai last month so this month’s offering isn’t nearly as tempting….but it’s still better then paying full price!
Air France uses its refurbished 777 aircraft on the Paris and Dubai route and these come with the airline’s reverse herringbone, all-aisle-access Business Class seats (reviewed here).
Air France 777-300ER Business Class
Another option to Dubai would be to fly KLM out of Amsterdam and, as KLM flys its new 787-9 Dreamliners between Amsterdam and Dubai, that’s another way to ensure you get an all-aisle-access Business Class cabin.
The Flying Blue promo award to Abu Dhabi is an interesting one because it’s an award I wouldn’t book.
Air France doesn’t offer non-stop flights between CDG and Abu Dhabi so this award either originates in or routes through Amsterdam and required travel on KLM.
KLM uses its A330-200 and -300 aircraft between Amsterdam and Abu Dhabi and neither aircraft offers a modern Business Class cabin:
KLM A330-200 Business Class seat map – ExpertFlyer
KLM A330-300 Business Class seat map – ExpertFlyer
For this reason I would book flights to/from Dubai and use the UAE’s inexpensive taxis to transfer me to/from Abu Dhabi.
I would prefer to add a 1 hour car journey to the beginning/end of my trip and enjoy modern Business Class cabins on my flights than to fly direct to Abu Dhabi in older and less comfortable cabins.
The last Business Class promo award is for travel between Europe and the Seychelles at a cost of 112,500 roundtrip.
These flights are operated by Joon (the ridiculously conceived airline “for Millennials”) and the aircraft employed are A340-300s.
Once again the Business Class cabin doesn’t offer all-aisle-access seating….
Air France A340-300 Business Class seat map – ExpertFlyer
….but the seats themselves look ok….
….and it’s always going to be better than Economy or Premium Economy.
Premium Economy Promo Awards
There are 12 premium Economy promo awards available this month and the value proposition varies quite a bit:
- Antananarivo (Madagascar) – 90,000 miles roundtrip
- Bangkok – 120,000 miles roundtrip
- Beirut – 40,000 miles roundtrip
- Cairo – 60,000 miles roundtrip
- Dubai – 60,000 miles roundtrip
- Havana – 60,000 miles roundtrip
- Ho Chi Minh City – 120,000 miles roundtrip
- Mumbai – 90,000 miles roundtrip
- Riyadh – 40,000 miles roundtrip
- Seychelles – 90,000 miles roundtrip
- Singapore – 80,000 miles roundtrip
I doubt I’d splash out 120,000 miles for roundtrip Premium Economy Class travel to Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City but 80,000 miles roundtrip to/from Singapore looks like a reasonable deal to me.
With Havana and Dubai both offering Business Class promo awards this time around I don’t see the value in booking Premium Economy (unless you don’t have enough miles for Business Class) and the idea of paying 60,000 miles just to get to Cairo and back really doesn’t appeal.
The highlight of this month’s Promo Awards is probably the 75,000 mile roundtrip Business Class award between Europe and Havana (see it before its complete ruined) and the discounted award to Dubai isn’t bad either.
The Premium Economy deal to/from Singapore stands out in the next level down and 90,000 miles to/from the Seychelles could be useful if you don’t have enough miles to book the Business Class award.
It’s worth noting that Flying Blue will add between €400 and €600 of taxes and fees to its awards because it knows it can get away with it…but the 75k award to Havana is still good value at these levels.