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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 and Business Class travel on Air France and KLM flights. These “Promo Awards” are advertised as offering “up to 50% off” award travel but, in reality, the rewards most will probably want to book are usually discounted by no more than 25%.
The March 2018 Flying Blue Promo awards have now been published and “disappointing” is probably the best way to sum up what we’re being offered this time around….although if you’re looking to fly to Dubai you may be quite pleased.
Flying Blue North America Business Class Promo Award
Last month a number of Promo Awards for North America were to be found under the “North Africa” heading on the Promo Awards page and, when I opened up the page for the latest promotion, I really hoped that this was the case once again – there’s only one Promo Award for North American in view:
Sadly there isn’t an error on the Promo Awards page this time around so there really is just one discounted award available between North America and Europe right now.
That’s unimpressive (to say the least!).
Flying Blue Caribbean Business Class Promo Awards
There are four Promo Awards for travel between Europe and the Caribbean this time…but only two are for premium cabin travel (which is where most of the value is to be found):
Both of these routes appeared in February’s Promo Awards and both were discounted by 50% then while the discount is just 25% now.
That’s still better than nothing but, considering how often these destinations are targeted for this promotion, I’d hold off booking unless you absolutely have to fly during these travel dates – there’s a good chance the 50% discount will be back again soon.
Flying Blue Middle East & Central Asia Business Class Promo Awards
Only two Promo Awards available for these regions but at least both offer discounts on Business Class travel:
The Amman promotion doesn’t look very tempting to me but the promotion to Dubai looks fantastic.
Air France operates its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft between Paris and Dubai and these come with the airline’s excellent reverse herringbone, all-aisle-access Business Class seats (reviewed here).
Air France 777-300ER Business Class
If you can book this aircraft, 50,000 Flying Blue miles for a roundtrip Business Class fare is a great deal and one I’d be happy to jump on if I had any interest in flying to Dubai in May.
Another option would be KLM out of Amsterdam and, once again, this should be very good value.
KLM flys its 787-9 Dreamliner between Amsterdam and Dubai and, just like its sister airline, it too offers a new all-aisle-access Business Class cabin.
Other Promo Awards
Flying Blue offers Promo Awards to a number of the world’s regions but we’re very short on value in this promotion.
All the intra-Europe awards are only reduced by 20% (as usual), there are 4 awards (2 Economy and 2 Premium Economy) available to Africa and the destinations aren’t going to ring too many bells for most people, and there’s just one Economy Class Promo Award available to “Central and South America” and that’s an Economy Class award to Caracas.
“Slim pickings” is probably a good way to describe what we’re facing.
The highlight of this month’s Promo Awards is definitely the 50,000 point roundtrip Business Class award between Europe and Dubai. The Business Class cabins offered on this route are very good and I wouldn’t hesitate to book them if I had a need to visit the UAE (which I don’t).
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 50k award to Dubai is still decent value at these levels.