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How to Book Award Tickets with Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles

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Whether you're looking to use your points and miles to get to Europe in business class, book a Delta flight somewhere near or far, or fly all the way to Tahiti, there are few better – or cheaper – ways to get there than with Flying Blue miles. 

Flying Blue is the shared frequent flyer program of French carrier Air France and Dutch airline KLM. And they're some of the easiest in the world to earn – Flying Blue is a transfer partner of all the major banks. If you're earning points with credit cards from American Express, Bilt Rewards, Capital OneChase, Citi, or Wells Fargo, you can turn easily them into Flying Blue miles to book flights like these. 

 

France 50K flight deal thrifty traveler premium

 

Flying Blue charges fewer miles than many (if not most) airlines for countless routes. You'll get hit with some slightly higher cash fees when redeeming miles and you might encounter some quirks when booking award tickets online. But that's worth it for those lower award rates and the ease of finding award availability to actually book with your miles – especially for business class flights abroad.  

Read on to learn how to find – and book – flights through Flying Blue. 

 

 

Step 1: Sign Up For a Flying Blue Account 

First things first, you'll need to create a free account on the Flying Blue website.

It doesn't matter whether you're booking flights on Air France, KLM, or a partner airline: If you're planning to transfer credit card points to book, this is a critical step to ensure your points don't get held up in limbo. Brand-new accounts (or repeatedly transferring points in quick succession) is where we regularly see hiccups with points going through. 

 

Air France KLM Flying Blue new account

 

You'll use your Flying Blue number to log in and search for award flights through either Air France or KLM. You'll also need to keep this number handy to transfer points regardless of which credit card program you've got points with.

 

Step 2: Start an Award Search 

You can search for award flights through Air France or KLM regardless of the airline you intend to fly. 

Click the tab “Book with Miles.” You'll be prompted to log into your Flying Blue account if you haven't already. 

 

Air France award search login

 

Enter your departure airport and desired destination, but leave the departure date blank … for now – at least if you're searching for an Air France or KLM-operated flight.

Oh, and don't bother searching for roundtrip fares at the start. It will be much easier to search for flights one way at a time. 

 

air france flying blue award search

 

If you're hoping to book premium cabins like business class, select “Business” from the drop-down menu of cabin options. 

 

Step 3: Pull Up the Flexible Calendar to Find the Lowest Fares 

Flying Blue's dynamic award pricing means award rates are still all over the map – especially in business class.

Flying up front, you're still more likely to see rates closer to 200,000 miles or more. But Flying Blue Promo Rewards – the airlines' monthly specials with discounted award rates of 25% to 50% on select routes – are also still around, so you might occasionally find an even better deal. It makes it harder to work out what's the best deal. 

To find the lowest rates for Air France or KLM award flights, you'll want to pull up the flexible calendar. This won't work if searching for flights on partner airlines like Delta or Virgin Atlantic – you'll have to enter a date for those partner award redemptions. 

Simply enter your departure and arrival destinations but leave the “departure date” field blank.  Then hit “Search flights.” 

 

air france flying blue award search flexible dates

 

It's easiest to search one way and for one passenger at a time. 

The airline's site will pull up a month's worth of availability – with the ability to quickly tab over to another month. If you're on the hunt for a business class fare, look for months that show business class flights available for 50,000 miles. Once you select a month, it'll list out dates in green to display the lowest rates.

 

air france flexible fare calendar

 

Click on a date to see the available flights. You can use the filters at the top to narrow the results to just the flights you want. You can sort by price, number of stops, or by airline. 

 

Air France Flying Blue award flight search

 

If you're looking to book roundtrip, simply reverse the departure and arrival airports to find award availability for your flight home. Once you've found your outbound and return flights separately, plug those exact dates into a roundtrip search.

If you're searching for two passengers, the prices shown in miles will be the total for all passengers – not per person. Here's an example below. 

 

Flying Blue award search for two passengers

 

Another thing to note: Air France's website can be wonky at times and you may get an error message during your search or in the final booking process.

If that happens, try searching for flights through KLM or in a new browser. If that fails to solve the issue, you may need to try booking via the mobile app … or even call Air France or KLM to complete the booking. 

 

How to Find Award Availability for Partner Flights

Searching for flights operated by partner airlines like Delta or Virgin Atlantic? Unfortunately, Flying Blue's monthly calendar function doesn't work for partner airline flights. Instead, you'll need to enter dates during your search and search day by day.

In many cases, it'll be much easier to start by using another airline website or a special award search tool to find availability first, then enter those exact dates on Air France or KLM's website. 

Say you want to book this Thrifty Traveler Premium deal using Flying Blue miles to fly Delta to Tokyo and back. 

 

Thrifty Traveler Premium Japan award deal

 

You can use a tool like Virgin Atlantic's Reward Seat Checker first to see what dates are available to book with points and miles. Whatever Virgin's site shows for Delta availability is almost always an exact match of what you can find via Flying Blue. 

 

Virgin Atlantic reward seat check SEA HN

 

Then head to Air France or KLM's website, and search those exact dates. 

 

Delta Tokyo flight flying blue miles

 

Step 4: Transfer Your Points & Book! 

Once you've found your desired flights, it's time to lock them down. 

 

Air France Flying Blue business class award booking

 

If you don't already have Flying Blue miles, you can transfer them from all the major banks – Amex, Capital One, Chase, and Bilt – straight to your Flying Blue account.

All these points transfer on a 1:1 basis, so 50,000 points with Chase, Amex, or Capital One gets you all the miles you need to book that one-way business class seat to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Occasional transfer bonuses of 25% from the banks to Flying Blue can make it even cheaper.

Read more: Save Points When Booking Flights: Transfer Them to an Airline Partner

These transfers are typically instantaneous, so there's no need to worry about the flights you want to book disappearing … but not always. Occasionally, there will be a hangup with transferring points, leading to a delay of minutes, hours, or even days.

Just keep your fingers crossed your points go through straight away – and prepare to call your bank, Flying Blue, or both if they don't.

 

Book a Free Stopover! 

Booking a flight with a connection? You can add a free stopover to any award ticket booked with Flying Blue miles … whether you're flying Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, or dozens of other partner airlines.

Think of a stopover like a layover on steroids: A stopover is any connection of roughly 24 hours … or much more. It's a great way to see two destinations for the price of one, heading into the city where you're connecting for a few days before hopping on another flight to your final spot.

You'll need to call Flying Blue at 1-800-375-8723 to book an award ticket with a stopover. As of publication, they're not bookable online. 

Critically, you'll also need to confirm award availability for both flights first. Let’s say you want to fly to Munich but take a stopover in Paris for four days on the way there. You’d want to search separately for award availability on each of those flights – for example, a flight from New York City (JFK) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on April 27, then a second flight from Paris onward to Munich (MUC) on May 1.

If both flights are bookable with miles, copy down the dates and flight numbers for both segments then call Flying Blue, inform an agent you’d like to book an award ticket with a stopover, and relay the information for both flights.

 

Bottom Line

Air France and KLM's Flying Blue frequent flyer program is among the best in the world. It combines low award rates with excellent award availability. And because it's a transfer partner with all the major banks, it's one of our go-to options to book almost any award ticket. 

Use this guide to book award flights on Air France, KLM, or any of their partner airlines using Flying Blue miles. 

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

2 Responses

  • Excellent.. this is … mostly how I book Bus. Cl. With miles…
    Also call the partners and book or on the partners website… making sure I have both airlines frequent flyer numbers on the record.

  • I bought a roundtrip ticket with Delta (it was a good discount rate), where most of the flights are on AIR FRANCE in business class. Can I still get a free layover in Paris with Air France?

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