In this blog post, I will walk you through the steps on how to find the cheapest award seats on Flying Blue (Air France/KLM).

Flying Blue (Air France/KLM) is hands down one of my all-time favorite frequent flier programs.

Let me tell you why it is perfect for frugal tourists!

Their award seats—the flights you can book using miles and points—are incredibly affordable, making them a game-changer for anyone traveling on a budget.

In fact, did you know that you can fly between the United States and Europe in economy for just 20,000 Flying Blue miles each way?

It’s an excellent way to travel more frugally and make the most of your miles.

Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of these cheap award flights on Flying Blue.

What is Flying Blue?

Flying Blue is the frequent flier loyalty program of KLM and Air France.

Unbeknownst to many, it also has a handful of other member airlines:

  • Kenya Airways
  • Transavia

How Do You Earn Flying Blue Miles?

Flying Blue Miles can be earned by flying with any of its member airlines.

Since Air France and KLM are part of SkyTeam, you can earn Flying Blue Miles whenever you fly with a SkyTeam alliance partner.

Remember to provide your Flying Blue account number when flying with any carrier in the SkyTeam alliance.

This ensures that your points are correctly credited to your Flying Blue account.

SkyTeam Carriers as of February 2023

  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentina
  • Aeromexico
  • AirEuropa
  • Air France
  • ITA
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • MEA
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Xiamen Air

Transferring Bank Points to Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)

Another way to accumulate Flying Blue miles is by transferring points from travel credit cards.

This is arguably the easiest method to accumulate Flying Blue miles.

This method allows you to maximize your travel points and enjoy the benefits of the program.

The table below summarizes some of the best travel credit cards that transfer directly to Flying Blue.

Travel Credit Cards
Chase Ultimate Rewards
1 Chase Ultimate Rewards Point = 1 Flying Blue Mile
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
American Express Membership Rewards
1 American Express Membership Rewards Point = 1 Flying Blue Mile
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Capital One Venture Miles
1 Capital One Venture Mile = 1 Flying Blue Mile
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Business
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Bilt Rewards
1 Bilt Rewards Point = 1 Flying Blue Mile
Bilt Rewards Points

Before transferring your credit card points, it is advisable to check for available award space on Flying Blue. To ensure accurate award availability, you can contact Flying Blue at 1-800-375-8723 and request to put the award seats on hold. You can even transfer your bank points while on the phone with an agent. These award tickets can be booked with an agent free of charge.

How to Find the Cheapest Award Space on Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)

STEP 1: Create a Flying Blue Account

Signing up for a Flying Blue Account is free.

Enroll by clicking the link below.

STEP 2: Search on the Air France Desktop Site

To search for specific dates with the cheapest awards, you must run your award search using the Air France Desktop Site.

After logging in, select the “Book With Miles” tab and fill in all the necessary flight information, but leave the date box blank.

Then, click “Search Flights“.

STEP 3: Search the Air France Calendar for the Cheapest Seats

The Air France Award Calendar will show you the lowest award fare available each month.

Browse the calendar and search for the month offering the most affordable award flights.

In the example below, the cheapest business class award seat for the SFO-Paris CDG route, which costs 50,000 Flying Blue miles, is available on February 16th.

At times, the Flying Blue website may experience glitches. If you encounter difficulty generating the calendar view during your search, you will need to revert to searching award space day by day or use the Flying Blue app instead.

In the next example, I searched for the cheapest award flight between Los Angeles and Amsterdam in economy for travel in the fall.

The calendar view revealed that the lowest awards are 20,000 miles each way and that these cheap award seats are primarily available between September and December 2024.

Flying Blue Promo Rewards Offer Deeper Discounts

There’s actually a way to score award seats for less than 20,000 Flying Blue Miles each way.

Thanks to Flying Blue Promo Rewards!

For example, in February 2024, you can book flights to and from Europe from the West Coast hubs of SFO and LAX for as low as 15,000 Flying Blue miles each way.

Using the calendar view I outlined above, the search revealed multiple 15,000 one-way award flights between Los Angeles and Amsterdam in April.

Check out the 15,000 cheap economy Promo Rewards available between San Francisco to Paris in April 2024.

The calendar view also shows that there are cheap 15,000 Promo Rewards seats in February, March, and July as well.

If you’re gearing up for a trip to Paris this July to catch the Olympic Games, be sure to follow this guide. It might help you secure the most affordable award seats available.

Every month, on the 1st, Flying Blue presents Promo Rewards—an incredible chance for travelers to redeem their Flying Blue miles at discounted rates. These month-long promotions offer up to 50% savings on award flights to various destinations worldwide. This means even those 20,000 coach flights can become more affordable. Stay tuned for more on Promo Rewards later in this post.

STEP 4: Consider Taking a Positioning Flight

If the particular award seat is unavailable on your preferred dates, you can consider taking a positioning flight to another airport with more award inventory.

In the example below, I saw multiple dates with 50,000-mile business class award seats on flights departing from LAX to Paris CDG.

It might be worth purchasing a cheap flight to LAX from your home airport to take advantage of this cheap business-class award redemption.

Hence, a strategy I suggest when you are unable to find flights from your home airport is to explore using positioning flights to airports served by Air France and KLM.

Check out the table below for the complete list of options.

Consider Taking Positioning Flights To/From These Airports
ATL (Atlanta)
BOS (Boston)
ORD (Chicago)
DFW (Dallas Forth Worth)
DEN (Denver)
DTW (Detroit)
IAH (Houston)
LAX (Los Angeles)
MIA (Miami)
MSP (Minneapolis)
JFK (New York)
EWR (Newark)
PHX (Phoenix)
RDU (Raleigh-Durham)
SFO (San Francisco)
SEA (Seattle-Tacoma)

YUL (Montreal)
YYZ (Toronto)
YVR (Vancouver)

STEP 5: Transfer Your Points to Flying Blue

Before transferring your credit card points, it’s recommended that you follow the steps above to ensure that there is available award space on Flying Blue.

To ensure there is award space, call Flying Blue at 1-800-375-8723 and ask one of their agents to double-check availability for you.

Once the award space is confirmed, you can initiate a transfer from your credit cards to Flying Blue.

Transfers are usually instant. However, periodically transfers encounter some delay.

When that happens, you can ask the agent to hold the award space for you.

Check your Flying Blue account within the same day and promptly call back to make your award seat reservations as soon as your points appear.

STEP 6: Book Your Award Flight

Once you find cheap award flights that fit your travel schedule and you’ve earned enough points in your Flying Blue account, it’s time to book those award seats.

Please remember that you have 24 hours to change your mind and cancel the award flights for a full refund.

Beyond the 24 hours, Air France will charge a fee for any cancellations or changes to your award redemption.

Traveling with Family or Friends

When searching, make sure to specify the total number of passengers.

Flying Blue will display the lowest award fare for all passengers.

For instance, if the cheapest economy award seat costs 20,000 points, it will appear as 80,000 points when searching for four passengers.

25% Off Discount for Kids Under 12

Flying Blue also offers a 25% discount on award tickets for children aged 2 to 11 who are accompanied by a traveling adult.

These discounts are only currently applicable to Air France and KLM-marketed flights. a

These award tickets are automatically applied during the booking process.

If you’re traveling with an infant under two years old or have minors traveling alone, Flying Blue requires you to contact them to book these award seats.

Examples of Flying Blue Redemptions

As mentioned earlier, you can redeem your Flying Blue miles to fly on a variety of Sky Team carriers:

A. Flying on Air France / KLM between San Francisco (SFO) and Paris (CDG)

Economy: 20,000 Flying Blue miles and 60 Euros

B. Flying on Sky Team partner Aerolineas Argentina between Iguazu Falls (IGR) and Buenos Aires (EZE)

Economy: 10,000 Flying Blue miles and 13 Euros

C. Flying on Sky Team partner Vietnam Airlines between Hanoi (HAN) and Siem Reap, Cambodia (REP)

Economy: 8,500 Flying Blue miles and 59 Euros

Stack 1: Flying Blue Promo Rewards

Flying Blue Promo Rewards is a special promotion that allows travelers to redeem their Flying Blue miles for flights at a discounted rate.

These promotions are available for a limited time, allowing travelers to save up to 50% on flights to select destinations worldwide.

To maximize your Flying Blue Promo Awards, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan: Flying Blue Promo Rewards are announced a few months in advance, so it’s a good idea to plan your travel accordingly. Check the Flying Blue website or sign up for their newsletter to stay informed about upcoming promotions.
  • Be flexible: Promo Awards are available for a limited number of seats on select flights, so it’s essential to be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. If you’re open to traveling during off-peak times or to less popular destinations, you may have a better chance of finding available seats.
  • Check the fine print: Read the Promo Awards terms and conditions before booking your flight. Some restrictions, such as blackout dates or limited availability on specific routes, may apply.
  • Compare prices: While Promo Awards can offer significant savings, it’s always a good idea to compare prices with other airlines and booking sites to ensure you get the best bang for your mile.
  • Use your miles wisely: Flying Blue miles can also be used for upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel expenses. Consider your travel goals and how to use your miles to maximize your overall travel experience.
  • Lastly, be open to taking a positioning flight to where a Promo Award is currently offered. For example, if the promo award is offered in Dallas or Atlanta, you can fly from your home airport to those cities a day or two before to take advantage of these deeply discounted flights.

Stack 2: Transfer Bonuses

Flying Blue transfer partners like Chase, American Express, BILT, Citi, and Capital One frequently provide transfer bonuses.

These bonuses can quickly boost your Flying Blue miles, allowing you to accumulate a significant stash in no time.

We announce transfer bonuses in the Travel Miles & Points Facebook Group.

It’s free to join!

Join Other Points Enthusiasts In Our Free Travel Miles & Points Facebook Group
Join Our Free Travel Miles & Points Facebook Group

Do Flying Blue Miles Expire?

Miles earned from flying and transferred from credit cards will expire after two years.

However, you can extend their validity by taking another flight and crediting those miles to your Flying Blue account.

Remember, flights operated by Air France, KLM, or any of their partner airlines qualify for this extension.

Additionally, if you make purchases using an eligible co-branded credit card, the expiration of your miles will be extended by two years.

This way, you can make the most of your earned miles and enjoy the rewards for longer.

Does Flying Blue Allow Stopovers on Award Flights?

Flying Blue has recently introduced a fantastic new feature for award flights – free stopovers!

Now, you have the opportunity to explore multiple destinations in one trip, adding an exciting twist to your travel plans.

Of course, this is all subject to award space availability.

Stopovers can now be booked on all Flying Blue partner airlines up to 365 days before the last segment of the flight.

To take advantage of this perk, give Flying Blue a call at 1 (800)-375-8723, and their agents will be able to assist you in adding stopovers to your itinerary.

We also have multiple datapoints that Flying Blue can even hold your award ticket for up to 72 hours. Just give them a call to do this.

Example Itineraries with Stopovers
SFO-CDG (free stopover in Paris for a week or a month)
CDG-BCN (final destination)
JFK-AMS (free stopover in Amsterdam for 2 weeks or longer)
AMS-IST (final destination)
TPE-SFO (free stopover in San Francisco for 3 days)
SFO-JFK (final destination)

Instagram Reel

Final Thoughts

The Flying Blue frequent flier program by Air France/KLM is a game-changer for frugal and budget-conscious tourists.

Its affordable award seats make it possible for anyone with miles to travel more without breaking the bank.

In this blog post, I have guided you through the process of finding the most affordable award seats in the Flying Blue award calendar.

You can also maximize the value of your Flying Blue miles by leveraging Flying Blue Promo Rewards and Transfer Bonuses.

Take full advantage of these offerings to ensure you get the most out of every mile you have.

With this knowledge, you should be on your way to your next bucket list adventure using Flying Blue miles and points.

Remember, the world is yours to explore, and with Flying Blue, the skies are indeed friendlier and more affordable!

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. The content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.