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The Flying Blue Promo Awards for February are now live and, although they’re even more disappointing than the Promo Awards we saw announced at the beginning of January, there are still a couple of good deals to be had for travel between North America and Europe and one good deal for travel between Europe and the Middle East.
From a Business Class perspective, there are only three Flying Blue Promo awards worth discussing this month and two involve travel to/from North America and one involves travel to/from the Middle East.
Officially this is how Flying Blue is promoting these three deals…
- Business Class to/from Calgary from 45,375 miles + surcharges one-way
- Business Class to/from Toronto from 45,000 miles + surcharges one-way
- Business Class to/from Bahrain from 22,500 miles + surcharges one-way
…but anyone looking for the best deals shouldn’t think that those are the best deals around.
Because of the incredibly strange way Flying Blue prices its awards, it’s often cheaper to fly through its hubs in Paris and Amsterdam rather than to originate from/terminate in those hubs.
Flying Toronto -> Paris -> Another European City can, for example, be cheaper than flying Toronto -> Paris. It’s odd but that’s just the way Flying Blue works and it’s this oddity that flyers can exploit in this set of Flying Blue Promo Awards.
Flying Blue may be promoting Business Class travel to/from Toronto at 45,000 miles one-way but here are three examples of European cities you can fly to from Toronto for under 40,000 miles + surcharges:
Business Class availability out of Calgary at a cost of under 40,000 miles isn’t as good as the availability out of Toronto…but it’s still there. Here’s what April prices to Berlin look like:
Yes, the surcharges can be annoyingly high…but that doesn’t mean that these aren’t good deals.
Here’s a roundtrip Business Class fare for travel between Toronto and Berlin priced up at 79,500 miles + $558 in surcharges:
Would life be a lot nicer if those surcharges weren’t being added on? Yes, of course it would….but life would be a lot nicer if quite a few things were different in this world. That’s not the point here.
The point is that this is a good deal.
If you had bought 79,500 miles in the last Flying Blue mileage sale (in which miles were on offer at ~1.75 cents each) this roundtrip booking would cost you $1,950 in total – that’s clearly not an amazing deal, but it’s certainly a lot cheaper than most Business Class fares you’ll find for travel from North America to Europe.
Before I start to wrap up this post I need to point out that the Promo Award for travel to/from Bahrain is also well worth considering…especially as it’s for travel in a month where it won’t be ridiculously hot.
I haven’t been able to find a routing where the number of miles required for Business Class is lower than the 22,500 miles each way that the Promo Awards are promoting…but Dusseldorf – Bahrain in roundtrip Business Class for 45,000 miles + $442…
…or Zurich – Bahrain in roundtrip Business Class for 45,000 miles + $417…
…is pretty good going!
Things To Bear In Mind
1. The February Flying Blue Promo Awards must be booked by 29 February 2020 and they cover travel between 1 March and 31 May 2020.
2. Don’t view these Promo Awards as just a means to get to one specific city look at them as a way of getting from one region to another. It may well be cheaper to book a low mileage Promo Award to a random city in Europe (for example) and then take a low-cost flight to wherever it is you really want to go than it is to book a Promo Award to the city you intend to visit.
3. Don’t forget to consider what aircraft are being offered on the routes you’re considering. Some Air France/KLM aircraft offer considerably better Business Class cabins than others so choosing the right flights (where there’s more than one option) could be key to you having the best experience – check the seat maps of the flights you’re considering and try to book yourself on to aircraft with 1-2-1 Business Class seating configurations….like this one:
4. As you’re going to have to pay surcharges when you book these awards make sure you maximize your earnings by using a credit card that will either earn you a lot of points in a valuable currency (e.g. the Platinum Card® from American Express, the Business Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card) or use a card that earns you a good rate of cashback.
5. If you’re based in the US and you’re short of miles don’t forget that you can transfer points to Flying Blue from all three major credit card currencies.
As I always say, if you see something that interests you, I suggest booking sooner rather than later as I expect availability to dwindle quickly, especially on routes to the more popular destinations.