Category Archives: Flying Blue

Master Thread: Off Peak Awards

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Off peak awards allow us to stretch our miles further by booking discounted awards to select regions during certain pre-determined dates. Off peak awards are offered by several airlines, and this post will put all the off peak awards I know of in one place.

While off peak awards are often less desirable dates, there are some off peak dates that are actually my favorite times to visit a country. For instance, March is a fantastic month in Argentina, and you can book an award to Buenos Aires or Bariloche every March for 10,000 fewer American Airlines miles than if you travel in July, a worse time to visit in my opinion.

Bariloche, Lake District of Patagonia, in March

American and US Airways have set off peak awards every year to select regions. Air France Flying Blue and Lufthansa Miles & More have discounted awards that are kind of like off peak awards. United and Delta occasionally have award sales that are like off peak awards, but are not as regular as American and US Airways’ off peak awards.

  • What are the off peak awards offered by American, US Airways, Delta, United, Lufthansa, and Air France?
  • What dates are they offered?
  • Do you have to fly the airline offering the deal or can you fly a partner?

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Fly to Europe or Israel for 12,500 Miles

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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 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 Rewards 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

My Review of the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card

These Flying Blue Promo Awards must be booked in November 2014 for travel in January or February 2015. There are six American cities on the discounted list with discounts for economy and Business Class travel.

  • What cities are these Promo Awards good for? What if you don’t live in one?
  • How do you book a Promo Award?
  • How do these awards compare to awards with lower fuel surcharges?
  • How are the Air France Premium Economy and Business Class products?
  • How can you eliminate the out-of-pocket cost of the award?

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The Coolest Thing You Can Do with 60k Miles

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Last week I urged people to be realistic with their miles and listed The Easiest Places to Get with Miles. Today I’m telling you to dream big and to look to do things with miles that you couldn’t easily or cheaply do without miles.

For instance, for 60,000 miles, you can book yourself a “triangle trip” that lets you practice your Spanish in Chile and Spain. The trip would let you see the wildlife of Patagonia and the nightlife of Barcelona.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.59.52 AM

How many thousands of dollars would a similar trip cost? Could you even have dared to dream about such a routing before you knew the power of your miles?

The routing I’ll talk about relies on three discounted awards, and award space is plentiful on all routes. Best of all, you can live anywhere in the continental United States to take advantage, and you can customize the destinations to your taste.

  • What three discounted awards combine to form the legs of this triangle trip?
  • What 60,000 miles do you need? How can you get them?

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How Long Does It Take to Transfer ThankYou Points to Flying Blue Miles

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Last week, Citi announced that ThankYou Points are now transferable to Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. You can now transfer Citi ThankYou Points from the Citi ThankYou® Premier, Citi Prestige®, or Citi Chairman card a 1:1 ratio to:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Etihad Guest
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (transfer in 22-36 hours)
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchard Plus
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich

You can also transfer 1,000 ThankYou Points to 1,500 Hilton HHonors points.

I singled out Flying Blue as the second best transfer partner of ThankYou Points because of 12,500 mile awards to Europe and Israel and 15,000 mile awards to Hawaii and the Caribbean.

I wanted to test the transfer time from ThankYou Points to Flying Blue miles, so folks can plan ahead for future Flying Blue redemptions.

It took me two attempts to have one successful transfer.

  • What was the process to transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Flying Blue miles?
  • What time did I transfer the points and when did they arrive as Flying Blue miles?

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Gold Mine Award Space to All of Argentina

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Edit 9/3/14: Readers are reporting that Air France and Delta cannot ticket all the space shown on airfrance.us. There may be some sort of glitch. I’ll try to get to the bottom of this.

Award space is wide open in economy and business class between the United States and Argentina for the next 11 months, including award space over the peak December to March summer period.

You can book this award space on wide-open Aerolineas Argentinas flights with your Delta or Flying Blue miles. You can fly the awards into cities other than Buenos Aires to explore more of one of my favorite countries.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 1.42.48 AMWhether you’re interested in tango, steak, wine, Patagonia, or Iguazu Falls, you can get there for as little as 50,000 miles + $120 roundtrip.

This award space even extends over Christmas and New Year’s and for 2+ people.

Plus right now Delta miles and Flying Blue miles are even easier than usual to accumulate.

  • What is the award space picture?
  • How is Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class space?
  • What costly mistake do you need to avoid while booking?
  • How can you book the awards?

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Do This to Avoid an Error When Transferring ThankYou Points

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I got an error when I tried to transfer ThankYou Points to Air France Flying Blue miles. A Citi representative called me to let me know that my transfer would be cancelled, and I could re-initiate at my leisure.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.03.30 PM

The problem was that I had put my 10 digit Flying Blue number in when asked my Flying Blue number. My number is written with 10 digits at airfrance.us and on Award Wallet.

The Citi rep who called and left me a message told me that I should have entered a 12 digit Flying Blue number, in my case starting with 00.

How could I have known, I wondered? Good thing this points transfer was just 1,000 points to test out the process and report back to you all like I did with my transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer miles.

The rep further explained that my points transfer would be cancelled, and I’d get my points back. She said I’d need to re-initiate if I wanted to transfer 1,000 points to Flying Blue.

  • How do you transfer from ThankYou Points to Flying Blue Miles?
  • What number should you enter for your Flying Blue account number?
  • Why would you want to do transfer to Flying Blue?

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Only Flying Blue Award Chart Online

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Yesterday I wrote that Citi ThankYou Points had added Air France Flying Blue as a 1:1 transfer partner.

That’s big news because there are some amazing high value uses for Flying Blue miles, and ThankYou Points are so easy to earn from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card with its 50,000 point sign up bonus and 3x category bonuses.

  • 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
  • Earn 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment

When I was researching that post though, I couldn’t find Flying Blue’s complete award chart. All I could find was an award chart for awards originating in Europe:

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.56.17 PM

I took it upon myself to compile an award chart for awards departing the United States, which I believe to be the only Air France/KLM Flying Blue award chart online for awards departing the United States. I priced out awards from the continental United States to every region on the Flying Blue award chart.

  • What is the award chart?
  • Where is it cheaper than Delta’s award chart?

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Citi ThankYou Points Now Transfer to Flying Blue Miles

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Citi ThankYou Points now transfer 1:1 to AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue miles.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.07.11 PM

This is huge news because:

  • Flying Blue Promo Awards to Europe cost only 12,500 miles each way
  • Flying Blue miles can book one way awards on Delta flights, with no fuel surcharges
  • Flying Blue miles can book award flights on any of the 20 SkyTeam member airlines, a few with no fuel surcharges
  • Flying Blue charges only 15,000 miles each way between the continental United States and Hawaii

You can transfer Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio to nine airlines across all three alliances plus Hilton points. Singapore KrisFlyer miles are still my favorite transfer partner, and Flying Blue miles are now my second favorite transfer partner.

Right now the Citi ThankYou® Premier Rewards Card is offering 50,000 bonus points: 20,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months and 30,000 more after spending $3,000 in the first three months of year two.

  • What airlines can you book with Flying Blue miles?
  • What are the best value awards with Flying Blue miles?
  • How can you book Flying Blue awards?

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Free First Class 2014: Basics of Redeeming Singapore, Aeroplan, Lufthansa, Avianca, ANA, Flying Blue, and Korean Miles

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This is the twentieth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

I’ve covered how to earn miles and the redemption options for miles. Now I’m giving the basics of several international airline programs which are transfer partners of one or more of the following types of points:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints
  • Citi ThankYou Points

I think of these international airlines programs as niche programs. Most of their redemption options are terrible because of fuel surcharges, but a few redemptions with each program are great because of no fuel surcharges or a super cheap miles price.

Know the great options in each program to save yourself miles and cash by maximizing these programs:

  • Singapore KrisFlyer (UR, MR, SPG, and TY)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (MR, SPG)
  • Lufthansa Miles & More (SPG, also the only one of these programs that offers a big 50k sign up bonus on an American credit card every few months)
  • ANA Mileage Club (MR, SPG)
  • Air France Flying Blue (MR, SPG)
  • Korean SkyPass (UR, SPG)

Why Collect These Miles?

Most of these programs have a sweet spot that lets you book the same flights for fewer miles than if you used United or Delta miles. For instance, pay 30,000 Singapore miles each way in First Class between the continental United States and Hawaii instead of 40,000 United miles.

Korean, Singapore, and Lufthansa miles allow the booking of mind-blowing First Class products you can’t book with Delta and United miles.

  • What airlines can you fly with these miles?
  • What are the routing rules for these awards (stopovers, open jaws, free one ways)?
  • What are the special deals in each program?
  • What about fuel surcharges?

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Book Now: Only 12,500 Miles to Europe Each Way

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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 US cities to anywhere in Europe for as little as 12,500 miles each way with only modest fuel surcharges.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards and Starpoints.

These Promo Awards must be booked in July 2014 for September and October 2014 travel. You can fly from Dallas to anywhere in Europe roundtrip for only 25k Membership Rewards or 20k Starpoints + $264 out of pocket.

  • What cities are these Promo Awards good for? What if you don’t live in one?
  • How do you book a Promo Award?
  • How do these awards compare to awards with lower fuel surcharges?
  • What Promo Award routes can you fly without fuel surcharges?
  • How can you eliminate the out of pocket cost of the award?

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Fly United States to Europe this Summer for 12,500 Miles with Air France Promo Awards

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Flying Blue–the loyalty program of Air France/KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, and TAROM–has released its newest Promo Awards that let you fly from select US cities to anywhere in Europe for as little as 12,500 miles each way with only modest fuel surcharges.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards and Starpoints.

These Promo Awards must be booked in June 2014 for August and September 2014 travel. You can fly from Houston to anywhere in Europe for only 25k Membership Rewards or 20k Starpoints + $264 out of pocket.

  • What cities are these Promo Awards good for?
  • How do you book a Promo Award?
  • How do these awards compare to awards with lower fuel surcharges?
  • What Promo Award route can you fly without fuel surcharges?
  • How can you eliminate the out of pocket cost of the award?

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Fly from the United States to Europe this Summer for 25k Miles Roundtrip

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Flying Blue–the loyalty program of Air France/KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, and TAROM–has released its newest Promo Awards that let you fly from select US cities to anywhere in Europe for as little as 12,500 miles each way with only modest fuel surcharges.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards and Starpoints.

If you book in April 2014, you can travel in June and July, 2014, you can fly from Boston to Europe for only 25k Membership Rewards or 20k Starpoints + $266 out of pocket.

What cities are these Promo Awards good for? 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?

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Incredible Trick: Flying Blue Promo Awards with No Fuel Surcharges

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A few weeks ago, I discussed Flying Blue Promo Awards at length.

  • Flying Blue is the loyalty program of Air France and KLM, the Dutch flag carrier.
  • Every few months, a rotating list of discounted awards are released that can allow you to get from cities in the US to anywhere in Europe for only 25k miles + taxes + small surcharges roundtrip.
  • Business class awards to Europe are as low as 62,500 miles roundtrip, though fuel surcharges are substantially more.
  • See the full story on Flying Blue Promo Awards in How to Get to Europe for 25k Points Roundtrip Through March 31, 2014

Today I want to share a way to fly to Europe on Flying Blue Promo Awards with no fuel surcharges. That means you get the incredibly low price in miles and only pay taxes on the award. A Flying Blue Promo Award with no fuel surcharges is on the short list of best awards in the world.

Of course, there’s a catch, but I see the catch as a further opportunity. ;)

How can you fly Flying Blue Promo Awards to Europe with no fuel surcharges? How can you get Flying Blue miles?

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United Announces Off Peak Awards to Europe for 48,000 Miles Roundtrip (20% Off)

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United has announced a 20% discount on economy class awards from the US to Europe:

  • Roundtrip awards booked between now an November 19, 2013
  • for flights flown between January 13 and March 11, 2014
  • on itineraries wholly operated by United and United Express flights
  • will cost only 48k miles roundtrip, a 20% discount on the normal 60k price.

United ran a nearly identical promotion last year, so maybe this is becoming a yearly occurrence.

I know many of us are trying to burn United miles because of its recent devaluation, so this promotion might be a good way to see Europe during the low season on a cheap award and burn some United miles in the process.

How Do You Book the United Off Peak Award to Europe? How does it compare to off peak awards from Flying Blue, American, and US Airways to Europe this winter?

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How to Get to Europe for 25k Points Roundtrip Through March 31, 2014

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Flying Blue–the loyalty program of Air France/KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, and TAROM–has released its newest Promo Awards that let you fly from several US cities to anywhere in Europe for as little as 12,500 miles each way with only modest fuel surcharges.

Flying Blue is a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards and Starpoints.

Through March 31, 2014, you can fly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several other US cities to Europe for only 25k Membership Rewards or 20k Starpoints + $281 out of pocket.

What cities are these Promo Awards good for? 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?

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