Air France Clarifies My Flying Blue Status Question

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Last week I wrote about something which appeared to be an anomaly with the way some Flying Blue members will see their Level Miles converted to Experience Points (XP) when the revamped Flying Blue program takes effect from 1 April 2018.

A reader, Alex, had got in touch with me to point out that, if you access details of the new Flying Blue program while in France, the conversion rate for Level Miles to XPs shows as being lower than it does for other countries.

Here’s what Flying Blue members in France see….

a screenshot of a computer

…while this is what Flying Blue members in the rest of the world see:

a blue background with white text and white text

I knew that this wasn’t a typo as all the calculations on the French page were based on the lower XP number but, as I don’t know very much about the Flying Blue program, I also didn’t have a sensible answer as to what’s going on.

At the time I wrote the following:

I have to believe that this is either a mistake (and not something that Flying Blue is doing deliberately to its members in France) or there’s a rule somewhere (specific to Flying Blue members based in France) that I don’t know about.

I’ve had a quick look on FlyerTalk and I can’t find any mention of this anomaly (which in itself is strange and actually makes me feel a little better – FlyerTalkers would be up in arms by now if there was an obvious rip-off in the works) but then the search function on FT isn’t the best so I may be missing something obvious.

Well, it turns out that there is a rule specific to Flying Blue members in France that I didn’t know about and Air France have been kind enough to get in touch and explain just exactly what this is.

Hello Ziggy.

With the current scheme, non-French residents are awarded one Qualifying Flight when flying a French domestic route (such as a Paris – Toulouse flight for example). However, for the same Paris – Toulouse flight, French and Monaco residents are awarded Level-Miles and no Qualifying Flight (unless they have an Air France Discount Pass linked to their Flying Blue account as well).

This extra benefit for non-French residents will remain in place with the new rules in April 2018. This takes the form of one extra XP per 1,000 Level-Miles.

In a further message Air France also wrote:

Hello Ziggy, in the new organization, there will no longer be any difference between the Metropolitan France member and those of other countries. However, there’s something new in the FB reinvented. If you take a subscription to the Air France card, you will earn 2 XP on flights within France and 20 XP with the purchase of the subscription card and its renewal.

I’m not sure that the last message has much to do with the difference in the XP conversion rate but the first response certainly appears to answer the question.

Bottom Line

To answer the question posed in the headline of my original post: No, Flying Blue members in France are not about to get a raw deal.

The way Flying Blue membership has historically worked for French members is slightly different to how membership has worked for Flying Blue members in the rest of the world and, it would appear, the difference in XP conversion rates is there to balance things out.

Hope this clarifies the situation for anyone like me who had absolutely no idea what was going on 🙂


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