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 American cities to anywhere in Europe or to Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, or Algeria for as 18,750 miles each way in economy plus tiny fuel surcharges.
These Flying Blue Promo Awards must be booked by August 31, 2016 for travel in October or November 2016. This is not the strongest list we have seen (occasionally Promo awards are 50% off), but there are some good deals. There are is also one Brazilian city on the list, which is a big deal, since Promo Awards leaving Brazil are the only Promo Awards with no fuel surcharges.
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 also (oddly) includes Israel, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, so you can take advantage of these deals to get to those destinations cheaply.
The current list of the best Promo Awards is available for booking through August 31, 2016 for flights traveling between October 1 to November 30, 2016 (depending on origin and destination).
- Flights from Houston in KLM economy are 25% off (18,750 miles one way) and apply for travel between October 1 to November 30, 2016
- Flights from Houston in Air France economy are 25% off and (18,750 miles one way) and apply for travel between October 1 and October 31, 2016
- Flights from San Francisco in Air France economy are 25% off and (18,750 miles one way) and apply for travel between November 1 and November 30, 2016
- Flights from Boston in Air France economy are 25% off and (18,750 miles one way) and apply for travel between October 1 and November 30, 2016
- Flights from Detroit in Air France economy are 25% off and (18,750 miles one way) and apply for travel between October 1 and November 30, 2016
There are also three Canadian cities on the list.
- Flights from Montreal in KLM economy/ KLM World Business Class are 25% off (18,750/46,875 miles one way) and apply for travel between November 1 to November 30, 2016
- Flights from Edmonton in KLM Business World Class are 25% off (46,875 miles one way) and apply for travel between November 1 and November, 30 2016
- Flights from Vancouver in Air France Business Class are 25% off (31,250 miles one way) and apply for travel between November 1 and November 30, 2016
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.
At current exchange rates, that works out to:
- a modest $55 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in economy
- a slightly annoying $122 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in Premium Economy (none of the current promo awards to North America are offering discounts on Premium Economy)
- an annoying $201 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip Business Class awards to Europe.
How to Pay for the Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You can eliminate the out-of-pocket cash needed by paying for the Promo Award with your Citi Prestige® Card.
The Citi Prestige® Card offer a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes and fuel surcharges on an award ticket definitely count. If your taxes and fuel surcharges are less than $250, the entire amount will be credited back on your statement. If they are more than $250, $250 will be credited back. You can get $500 in Air Travel Credit within the first year of card membership.
The card also comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to Flying Blue miles.
For more details on searching for award space and booking a Promo Award, check out this prior post 25% Off Awards to Europe, Israel, Morocco.
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 to Europe in Air France and KLM economy for 30,000 Flying Blue miles is on the current Promo Awards list.
If a triangle trip to South America and Europe in a few months sounds amazing, Sao Paulo to Europe for 30,000 miles + $58 is a great deal for the hypotenuse of that triangle.
You can get 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi Prestige® Card, which has a large sign up bonus and big category bonuses.
Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card
You can get the Starpoints from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express with 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5k in six months.
You can get Membership Rewards from several cards. My two favorite personal cards are the Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz with 50k bonus Membership Rewards after spending $3k in three months. The card has a $475 annual fee that is totally worth paying.
Book by August 31, and fly in October or November of 2016, and you can enjoy 25% off Flying Blue awards to Europe, Israel, or North Africa.
An important point to keep in mind with Promo Awards is that they cannot be changed, cancelled or refunded, so speculative bookings are not an option.------------------------------------------------------------
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Earn 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®. Plus get American Airlines lounge access for you and guests. My full review of the card.