Flying Blue–the loyalty program of Air France/KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, and TAROM Romanian–has released its newest Promo Awards that let you fly from select US cities to anywhere in Europe or to Israel for as little as 12,500 miles each way with only modest fuel surcharges.
Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of ThankYou Points, Membership Rewards and Starpoints. You can get over 50,000 ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card: 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember.
These Flying Blue Promo Awards must be booked in February 2015 for travel in April and May 2015. There are four American cities on the discounted list with discounts for economy travel. There are also three Brazilian cities on the list, which is a huge deal.
- What cities are these Promo Awards good for? What if you don’t live in one?
- Why do you care that Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia are on the Promo Awards list?
- How do you book a Promo Award?
- How do these awards compare to awards with lower fuel surcharges?
- How can you eliminate the out-of-pocket cost of the award?
Flying Blue Promo Awards Explained
Every month, Flying Blue releases a new list of Promo Awards, which allow travel from specified American cities to anywhere in Europe for 25% or 50% off the normal miles price. Flying Blue’s definition of Europe includes Israel.
The current list of promo awards is available for booking through February 28, 2015 for flights from April 1 to May 31, 2015.
There are four American cities on this list: Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, and Dallas.
- Flights from Boston in economy are 25% off and only 18,750 miles one way. These awards must fly Air France.
- Flights from Washington DC in economy are 25% off and only 18,750 miles one way. These awards must fly KLM.
- Flights from Chicago in economy are 25% off and only 18,750 miles one way. These awards must fly KLM.
- Flights from Dallas in economy are 50% off and only 12,500 miles one way. These awards must fly KLM. These awards are only for travel from May 8 until May 31, unlike all the other American cities, which allow travel in all of April and May.
Chicago and Dallas are American Airlines hubs, which greatly expands the number of cities from which you can get in on the deal with Avios. For only 4,500 Avios each direction, you can get from much of the country to Chicago or Dallas and from there to Europe.
Promo awards have the same out-of-pocket taxes and fuel surcharges as normal Flying Blue awards. The taxes are the same as you would pay on any award ticket. The fuel surcharges are listed on this table (click to enlarge):
From the US to Europe, the fuel surcharge each way is 50 euros in economy, 110 euros in premium economy, and 180 euros in business or first.
That works out to:
- a modest $113 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in economy
- an annoying $249 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in Premium Economy
- a punitive $407 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip Business Class awards to Europe.
To book a Flying Blue Promo Award, go to the Flying Blue Award Search and sign in or create an account. You can search with zero miles in your account, but you need to be signed into an account.
Promo awards are valid for one ways or roundtrips.
Under “Which class?”, select your cabin and leave “Show Flex options only” unchecked.
In your search results, the discounted Promo Award prices are already coded into the price displayed on the calendars, which will display the one way price.
These examples are from a previous round of Promo Awards. Everything is basically the same this time except that the euro keeps weakening making the out of pocket expense in dollars lower.
Here was a roundtrip economy class search from Detroit to Paris. The green dates are days with Promo Award space available for 12,500 miles each way. That’s basically every day in November.
Flying Blue classifies Israel as part of Europe, so the Promo Awards can fly to Tel Aviv.
Many days had multiple possible routings available at the discounted price.
I priced out an award from Detroit to Barcelona roundtrip in November. It came to 25,000 miles + $283 all in, including $132 in fuel surcharges.
I priced out the Washington DC to Paris roundtrip in Air France Premium Economy in November. It came to 50,000 miles + $433, about $300 of which is fuel surcharges.
By the way, the Air France Premium Economy product is roughly equivalent to domestic First Class on American airlines.
Triangle Trip to Brazil and Europe
In “Incredible Trick: Flying Blue Promo Awards with No Fuel Surcharges,” I explained that Brazilian law prohibits fuel surcharges on all tickets including Promo Awards.
Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia to Europe are on the current list with discounts for economy travel.
If a triangle trip to South America and Europe in a few months sounds amazing, this is an unbeatable deal for the hypotenuse of that triangle.
Getting the Miles
You can get over 50,000 ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which has a huge sign up bonus and big category bonuses.
- Earn up to 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points. Bonus points are redeemable for up to $500 in gift cards, up to $625 for airfare or other great rewards
- Earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember
- Annual Fee: $125 (fee waived for the first 12 months). On 4/19/2015, this fee will be reduced to $95 on all accounts
- Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
- Travel with ease and enjoy chip based technology
Application Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
The drawback for the Promo Awards is the out-of-pocket cash needed to book them. You can eliminate the out-of-pocket cash needed by paying for the Promo Award with your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.
The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® comes with 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3k in three months, and the Arrival miles are worth 1.14 cents toward any flight, hotel, car rental, cruise, or other travel expense.
The $250+ out of pocket for these roundtrip awards can turn into zero out of pocket by redeeming about 25,000+ Arrival miles.
Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®
Book by February 28, and fly in April or May, and you can enjoy up to 50% off awards from four American cities to Europe or Israel.
Roundtrip economy awards are only 37,500 miles + $113 + taxes.
Get Flying Blue miles by transferring points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, and avoid the out of pocket expenses with Arrival miles from the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.