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Vive la France! Flying Blue — the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM — last year joined Chase Ultimate Rewards, you have more SkyTeam options than ever for your Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers. Flying Blue is also a partner with Citi ThankYou Rewards, so you have options.
Flying Blue doesn’t have an award chart on its site, but you can use its miles calculator to figure out what it’ll cost to get you where you want to go. And while Korean Air might be your SkyTeam gateway to Asia, Air France gives you some very nice surprise deals to places around the world that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect.
So today let’s take a closer look at 5 Air France award sweet spots, so you can see if you want to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to Flying Blue.
Sweet Spot 1: The Caribbean
Flying Blue considers the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) to be part of North America and not a separate region, making Air France one of the cheapest ways to get to those Caribbean destinations. Check it out:
12,500 miles one-way, making it 25,000 return. That’s on par with American Airlines’ off-peak awards. Definitely a deal worth considering.
Travel to the rest of the Caribbean will cost you 15,000 miles one-way, which is still pretty competitive.
Sweet Spot 2: Hawaii
Flying Blue’s Caribbean pricing, however, really gets interesting when we talk about Hawaii. Why Hawaii? Because Flying Blue uses some unusual regional classifications, one of which involves putting Hawaii in the same category as the Caribbean islands. 15k gets you there:
So that’s 15,000 miles to Hawaii, 30,000 return. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that. You won’t find a deal like this on any of the 3 main US carriers.
Sweet Spot 3: Israel and North Africa
Flying Blue’s unusual regional classifications don’t just apply to Hawaii. As far as they’re concerned, Israel and some parts of North Africa also count as being in Europe!
So a trip to Poland starts at 25,000 miles one-way…
…while a trip to Tel Aviv in Israel costs exactly the same…
…as well as destinations like Casablanca in Morocco, where a kiss is still a kiss at 25,000 miles.
The Tel Aviv deal makes Air France probably the single most economical way to get to the Middle East. I’m definitely not complaining.
Sweet Spot 4: Tahiti
Air France is well-known as one of the best ways to get to Tahiti from the US, at 60,000 miles roundtrip.
You’re reading that right — LAX to Papeete at 30,000 miles one-way or 60,000 miles roundtrip! This is HALF of what it used to be and makes Air France far and away your best option for a getaway in paradise. Go. Go now. You can thank me later.
Sweet Spot 5: Monthly Promo Awards
You can’t get First Class or Flex Business Class award tickets on Flying Blue unless you’re an elite member. (Flex Business awards can be canceled without extra charges.) This is in my opinion where Air France falls down. Flying Blue has reportedly gone so far as to unilaterally downgrade First Class awards wheedled out of booking agents by non-elite members. That’s how strict they are.
However, Flying Blue tries to make up for it by offering Promo Awards each month that yield savings of between 25% and 50% on selected itineraries. This month’s awards are for Business Class flights between Europe and either Boston or NYC:
As you can see, tickets are 46,875 one-way and 93,750 for a round trip to Europe, with the caveat that you must fly out of Boston (on Air France metal) or JFK. There’s also a very limited window of travel.
That said, while this isn’t the best promo Flying Blue has ever offered it’s still more than 10,000 miles cheaper either way than American or United, both of which charge 57,500 miles for an equivalent one-way flight to Europe.
So if you’re at all considering a late-summer trip to Europe on Business Class this year, this one’s for you. After all summer is a peak travel season, and you aren’t likely to encounter many offers which are better.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer to Air France Flying Blue
Flying Blue gives us all another SkyTeam option (other than Korean Air) for utilizing those Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. While the lack of First Class tickets might be off-putting to some, Air France does still provide some good international opportunities that less savvy travelers might miss.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.