Flying Blue is a loyalty program shared among six international airlines, including Air France and KLM. None of the Flying Blue member airlines are based in the U.S. However, U.S. travelers may still find value in the program considering that Flying Blue miles can be redeemed for flights to 1,150 worldwide destinations served by the SkyTeam alliance.
Let’s dive into the inner workings of the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program so you can learn how to earn and redeem your miles.
The Flying Blue loyalty program
Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM, as well as Transavia, Aircalin, Kenya Airways, and TAROM. It’s quick, free, and easy to join the Flying Blue program.
The primary benefit of being a Flying Blue member is that you can earn miles. The more you participate in the program (e.g., fly with Air France-KLM or shop in the Flying Blue Store) the more rewards and benefits you could receive.
A few ways you can earn Flying Blue miles:
- Pay for flights with Air France-KLM or a partner airline
- Make a purchase with a lifestyle, retail, or financial partner
- Use a co-branded Air France or KLM credit card
- Shop in the Flying Blue Store
If you earn enough miles, you can redeem them toward:
- Award tickets
- Seat upgrades
- Hotel stays
- Extra baggage
- Transfers to another member
- Online shopping
- Charitable donations
Award flights are often the most common and rewarding redemption option available. Since flights are typically one of the largest expenses for travelers, getting an almost-free flight using miles is a great advantage.
Flying Blue Elite status
Eligible flights and other qualifying activities help you earn Experience Points (XP) in addition to miles with Flying Blue. Earning enough XP can help you achieve one of three elite status tiers within the program. Each level offers more benefits.
When you join Flying Blue, you automatically earn the Explorer base tier. You can then earn enough XP to get the Silver, Gold, or Platinum tier. Note that one euro equals about one U.S. dollar as of September 2022.
|XP required||Earning rate||Main perks|
|Explorer||None||4 miles per euro||
|Silver||At least 100||6 miles per euro||
|Gold||At least 180||7 miles per euro||
|Platinum||At least 300||8 miles per euro||
As you advance your tier with Flying Blue, you get all the benefits of the previous tier plus more perks. For example, you start receiving a free additional bag item at Flying Blue Silver. This benefit continues through the Gold and Platinum levels.
One potential point of confusion within the program is how much XP you need to move up or maintain levels. The XP required for each level is the minimum amount you would need to achieve or maintain that status.
The XP you need to get and maintain each tier:
- Starting from scratch: You need 100 XP for Silver, 280 XP for Gold, and 580 XP for Platinum. You have a 12-month period to earn the qualifying XPs for each tier.
- Maintaining your existing tier: You need 100 XP to maintain Silver, 180 XP to maintain gold, and 300 XP to maintain Platinum. To maintain a tier, you need to earn its qualifying points within 12 months.
Once you achieve a new tier or renew your existing tier, you get 12 months to enjoy it before needing to earn more XP.
How to earn Flying Blue miles
Here are some different ways you can earn Flying Blue miles:
- Flights: Input your Flying Blue membership number when you book an eligible paid flight with Air France-KLM or a partner airline.
- Credit cards: Use specific credit cards to earn Flying Blue miles, such as the Air France-KLM World Elite Mastercard. You can also use a card that earns transferable rewards. Many of the best travel credit cards earn points that you can transfer to Flying Blue.
- Hotel stays: Transfer your existing points from certain hotel loyalty programs to Flying Blue or provide your Flying Blue number with Flying Blue partner hotels to earn miles on your stays.
- Rental cars: Use the KLM Cars website or the applicable booking page on a partner’s website to book a rental car and earn miles.
- Shopping: Make eligible purchases with shopping partners to earn miles.
- Other: Take advantage of other Flying Blue partners to earn miles, including Bilt Rewards and Clicalbum.com.
How much Flying Blue miles are worth
Flying Blue miles may generally give you an average redemption value of around $0.012 — 1.2 U.S. cents — per mile. In other words, 10,000 Flying Blue miles may be worth about $120. However, the value of Flying Blue miles typically varies by redemption option.
You may see a higher or lower value, depending on your reward ticket. You often receive less value when redeeming miles for non-flight options, such as gift cards and online shopping.
To figure out the mile value of a specific redemption, divide the actual cash value by how many miles it would take to cover it. For example, this one-way economy ticket from New York (JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS) in March 2023 for one passenger costs $805, which is a relatively high price.
By switching to the mile view, you can see that the same flight costs 17,500 miles and $80.90 in taxes and fees. Subtract the taxes and fees from $805, then divide the remaining amount ($724.10) by 17,500 to get a redemption value of $0.041 — 4.1 cents — per mile. This value is well above the average Flying Blue mile value.
Using your miles to buy a $50 Amazon gift card would cost 21,769 miles from the Flying Blue Store. Using our calculation ($50 / 21,769 = $0.0023), you get a value of about 0.23 cents per point. This is well under the average value of 1.2 and likely not even close to being worth your points.
If you’re interested in hotel stays, Flying Blue miles may not be the way to go. For example, you can get a king room at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome through the Hyatt website on a random date in March for $1,103 in cash.
The same room in the same hotel on the same date using the Flying Blue hotels for Miles website costs an average nightly rate of 273,700 miles. Using our calculation ($1,103 / 273,700 = $0.004018), gives you a value of about 0.4 cents per point, well under the average value of 1.2 cents.
Overall, it’s often best to use Flying Blue miles for award flights. Your redemption value may vary depending on the specific flight, but it will likely be higher than non-flight options.
How to fly Air France-KLM with miles
Finding and booking award flights with Flying Blue miles is usually straightforward. You simply need to know your Flying Blue account information and follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Air France or KLM website and log into your Flying Blue account.
- On the home page, select Book with Miles and enter your flight search information.
- Find your preferred flight and complete the transaction using miles in your account.
Keep in mind that the number of miles you use for a flight varies by date, day of the week, and route. Flexibility with your travel plans may help you find the best deal possible.
Available SkyTeam partner flights will also show up when you search for award flights with Flying Blue (on either the Air France or KLM websites). Since Delta is one of the SkyTeam partners, you may be able to buy Delta flights using your Flying Blue miles.
Keep an eye on the Flying Blue Promo Rewards page for discounts on the award price for select flights.
Flying Blue partners
The Flying Blue program partners with different companies to provide additional opportunities for its members to earn and redeem miles. These partners come in several categories.
Earn and redeem miles through many Flying Blue partner airlines, including SkyTeam airlines. Flying Blue airline partners include:
Flying Blue hotel partners often provide opportunities for earning miles, though you might have the option to redeem or transfer miles with certain partners. Hotel partners include:
- Accor Live Limitless
- hotels for Miles
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Hilton Honors
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Golden Tulip Hotels
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- IHG Hotels & Resorts
- Radisson Hotel Group
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
Flying Blue car rental partners offer Flying Blue miles for booking rental cars. Car rental partners include:
You can earn Flying Blue miles through the program’s shopping partners, which include:
- The Bicester Village Shopping Collection
- Voyageurs du Monde
You can use your miles to book experiences with select partners. The experiences you can book come in three categories:
- Dutch experiences: Redeem miles for boat, bus, and more tours in Amsterdam.
- French experiences: Redeem miles for Paris bike tours, wine tasting experiences, and more.
- Ease and enhance your travels: Take advantage of services such as Bitebird, Travelling Connect, and more to enhance your travel experience.
Flying Blue has financial services partners that offer rewards programs or credit cards that can be used to earn more miles. These programs and credit cards include:
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Citi ThankYou Points
- Capital One Miles
- Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
These rewards programs are all associated with credit cards. Using a credit card is often one of the easiest ways to earn rewards with an airline loyalty program, including Air France-KLM Flying Blue.
Check out our list of the best airline credit cards for top credit card offers from major issuers such as American Express, Chase, and Citi.
Other Flying Blue partners may offer alternative methods of earning miles. These partners include:
- Bilt Rewards: Earn Bilt Rewards points on your monthly rent and convert them into Flying Blue miles.
- Clicalbum.com: Earn miles by turning your pictures into photo books with this service.
- e-Rewards: Earn miles by completing online surveys.
About Air France-KLM
Air France-KLM is a group partnership between the Air France and KLM airlines:
- KLM: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was established in the Netherlands in 1919. It is the largest airline in the Netherlands and is often considered the oldest operating airline worldwide.
- Air France: Air France was formed in France in 1933. It is the largest airline in France and was created when five French airlines combined in one.
The two airlines merged into the Air France-KLM group in 2004. The group primarily operates out of the Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) international airports, offering direct access to over 250 destinations in Europe, Asia, South America, and more.
Air France-KLM customers can also access the SkyTeam Alliance partner network, which offers flights to over 1,150 destinations in more than 175 countries.
Air France and KLM rank in the top 25 airlines in the world, according to SKYTRAX, an airline review service. The ranks are based on millions of customer surveys covering experiences with over 350 airlines.
FAQs about the Flying Blue loyalty program
What airlines are part of Flying Blue?
The airlines that are part of the Flying Blue loyalty program include:
- Air France: Based out of France
- KLM: Based out of the Netherlands
- Aircalin: Based out of New Caledonia
- Kenya Airways: Based out of Kenya
- Transavia: Based out of the Netherlands
- TAROM: Based out of Romania
Do Flying Blue miles expire?
Yes, Flying Blue miles expire after 24 months without any qualifying account activity. Qualifying activities could include:
- Taking an eligible flight
- Earning miles with a Flying Blue partner
- Making a purchase with an eligible co-branded credit card
Being a SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus member may also prevent your Flying Blue miles from expiring.
Can you redeem Flying Blue miles for cash?
No, you can’t redeem Flying Blue miles for cash. The Flying Blue online store may offer gift cards in exchange for miles, however, gift card redemption value is often below average mile value. Other redemption options include:
- Award flights
- Seat upgrades
- Extra baggage
- Hotel stays
- Transfers to another member
- Online shopping
- Charitable donations
Can you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue?
Yes, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue. Here’s how:
- Have a Chase credit card that can transfer points to travel partners, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- Log into the Ultimate Rewards portal with your card.
- Select Transfer to Travel Partners.
- Choose Transfer Points to Air France-KLM Flying Blue.
- Enter your Flying Blue ID and select Continue.
- Input the number of points and complete the transfer.
Even though the Air France-KLM Flying Blue program doesn’t have any U.S. airlines as members, it can still be an excellent option for U.S. travelers. Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam Alliance, which gives you access to over 1,150 destinations in 175 countries.
You can consider getting a credit card with rewards you can use on award flights to fuel your travels. Compare credit cards and find the right one for your wallet.