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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 North American cities to anywhere in Europe or to Israel for as little as 18,750 miles each way in economy plus fuel surcharges.
These Flying Blue Promo Awards must be booked in September 2015 for travel in November 2015. This list is very disappointing. There is only one American city on the discounted list. There are also three Brazilian cities on the list, which is a huge deal, since Promo Awards leaving Brazil are the only Promo Awards with no fuel surcharges.
- What cities are these Promo Awards good for? What if you don’t live in one?
- Why do you care that three Brazilian cities 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 September 30, 2015 for flights from November 1 to November 30, 2015.
The only American city on the list is Houston, though there are four Canadian cities.
- Flights from Houston in KLM economy are 25% off and 18,750 miles one way.
Houston does not have a lot of American Airlines flights, which greatly expands the number of cities from which you can get in on the deal with Avios.
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 $110 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in economy
- an annoying $242 + taxes out of pocket on roundtrip awards to Europe in Premium Economy
- a punitive $395 + 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. (This would now be only $110 in 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.
Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo to Europe is on the current list with discounts for Business Class, Premium Economy, and 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 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which has a huge sign up bonus and big category bonuses.
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 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.
The card also comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to Flying Blue miles.
Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card
Book by September 30, and fly in November, and you can enjoy 25% off awards from Houston or Brazil to Europe or Israel.
Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.