May 2018 Flying Blue Promo Rewards Are Live!

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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 May 2018 Flying Blue Promo awards have now been published, they cover travel between 1 July and  31 August 2018 and need to be booked by 31 May 2018.

I’ll warn you now not to get your hopes up for this set of Promo Awards – there are just 20 on offer this time around covering just 18 destinations.

Once again there are no Promo Awards available for travel to/from North America (that’s two sets of Promo Awards in a row).

So, if there aren’t any North America promo awards what exactly is on offer?……

Flying Blue May 2018 Promo Awards

Of the 20 promo awards available this month 10 are for Economy Class travel (which I’m not going look into) leaving 10 for Premium Economy & Business Class.

Asia-Pacific Promo Awards

There are two Promo Awards available to the Asia-Pacific region this month and both are for Premium Economy travel:

Both awards are for travel booked through Air France so if you’re not originating in Paris (or heading to Paris) you’ll certainly be connecting through the French capital.

Note: Don’t forget that you can originate in Mumbai or the Ho Chi Minh City with this promo award.

Air France has ceded it’s Paris – Mumbai route to Joon (its low-cost sister airline) so the aircraft offered is a Joon Airbus A340-300.

The Premium Economy Cabin seat map looks like this….

Screenshot from ExpertFlyer

…and, according to Air France, the Premium Economy Cabin looks like this:

Image Air France

The decor reminds be a bit of a Holiday Inn Express but, nevertheless, Air France says that travelers can expect a reclinable seat, duvet and pillow, HD screen and USB port.

Apparently you also get a “stylish comfort kit with your flight essentials” as well.

On the Ho Chi Minh City route (which is offered 3x/week) Air France flys its 777-200 Aircraft with a configuration very similar to what Joon offers on its A340:

Screenshot from ExpertFlyer

Based purely on the one image on the Air France website I’d say that this looks like a considerably better product than the one Joon offers:

Image Air France

I’m not sure I’d spend 120,000 miles to fly this product but if the alternative is Economy Class then this will certainly be a lot better.

Middle East Promo Awards

There are two Promo Awards available to/from the Middle East this month but both involve Dubai:

Flying Blue offered a 50% discount on awards between Europe and Dubai in March and a 25% discount last month and its the 25% discount that has returned again.

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.

Africa Promo Awards 

There are just two Promo Awards available to/from Africa and both are for the same destination (which I had to look up):

Cotonou is the largest city and economic centre of Benin (according to Wiki) and for those of you who don’t know where that it is, here’s a map:

Air France operates is Airbus A330-200 aircraft on this route and these offer a Premium Economy cabin with the same layout as you’ll find on the Joon A340 and an old-style Business Class cabin without all-aisle-access seating:

Screenshot from ExpertFlyer

Bottom Line

Disappointing would be the best way to describe this month’s Flying Blue awards.

With nothing available to/from North America and not much available on other routes I can’t see too many people getting excited with the offering.

The Dubai offer would look interesting at other times of the year but a 25% discount for travel during the destination’s hottest months seems mean and I’d pass and wait for a better offer later in the year (or at least the same offer when the weather isn’t quite so hot).

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 so make sure you factor that into your thinking.