Updated December 29th, 2019
The Air France/KLM Flying Blue program offers reliable, if otherwise low-value award opportunities. Despite great availability, 97.44%, value is limited by relatively high booking fees. As of December 2019, we’re placing an ACRV of 0.77¢ per Flying Blue mile.
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|Intra-Europe Non-Zero Average||0.76¢||0.73¢||+0.03¢||+4%|
|International Non-Zero Average||1.34¢||2.17¢||-0.83¢||-38%|
Also frustrating, is the face that Air France limits first class award bookings, La Premier, to their own top tier elites. A real shame, as their retrofitted 777’s are absolutely fantastic.
Oh those Fees!
Despite finding several very lucrative award opportunities, cash co-pays absolutely eviscerate Air France/KLM’s value.
Carrier imposed fees, taxes, fuel surcharges; call them whatever you want. Flying Blue has a metric ton of them. On the domestic(intra-Europe) side of our equations, they weren’t outlandish at $39.42. However, move over to the international side, and get this, we’re averaging a gut-wrenching $220.84 per ticket! Ouch. As I deduct fees from the lowest available cash price, it can really wreck a value. Just for comparison’s sake, US competitor Delta is currently averaging just $14.48.
Worth noting, is that British Airways‘s competing program, Avios, charges similarly ridiculous amounts in addition to mileage. So, it would seem the problem is a bit geographic.
Looking at this month’s best/worst chart, we have an abysmal 0.00¢/mile value on the bottom and a very good 4.4¢ one on the top. For anyone curious, 0.00¢ comes from an economy flight between London and New York. Flying Blue was offering an award ticket for $322.84 + 23,500 miles. The lowest-priced cash alternative was $323, resulting in a redemption value of zed.
Conversely, we found a business-class seat on a flight between Athens and Toronto for just $277.93 + 72,000 miles. The lowest-priced cash alternative was $3,495, resulting in a 4.47¢ redemption value.
Compared to Industry Peers
|Program||Points Reckoning ACRV||Non-Zero Average||Updated|
|Aer Lingus Avios||0.46||1.61||12/29/2019|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||0.77||1.04||12/26/2019|
|British Airways Avios||0.62||1.49||12/29/2019|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||0.27||1.97||02/07/2019|