I guess you can’t cry over spilled milk if you didn’t want to drink it in the first place. Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue program has traditionally offered unique opportunities for fliers to get great value out of their miles. In the not great value category, flights that require an extra amount of miles for your ideal dates. The Flying Blue program just doubled down on lazy and or inflexible travelers who seek these mileage tickets by raising mileage rates…. with no notice.
Short notice is bad, no notice is down right rude and arrogant. I never advocate for anyone to use miles for flexible “free flight” awards in the first place because miles are hard to come by and using 50,000 extra miles to leave on Monday instead of Tuesday pains me to the thrifty core. Flying Blue essentially made one change to their program sparing (for now) their lowest level (best for consumer) awards and raising the cost in miles for flexible mileage awards, the ones which offer better availability across more dates, thus requiring more miles. Rather than continue the strategy lecture I’ll focus on what matters. Air France/KLM made a major frequent flier change without a word of advanced notice. This is utter (French) arrogance sends a horrid signal for times to come, especially for awards we actually care about. So… what’s next? Are they going to raise the rate for saver (the ones we want) awards out of the “blue”? Are they going to discontinue “promo” awards? This is exactly why I earn transferrable points from earning schemes like American Express Membership Rewards rather than directly earning airline miles. If I see a use for KLM/Air France Flying Blue miles I can transfer points over from American Express virtually instantaneously. Until that day they will be safe from a program which has set a terrible precedent and could devalue all the miles I’ve accumulated.
Should we be happy that they didn’t devalue the best awards or really mad that they made a meaningful change without notice? I’ve talked extensively about rampant devaluations over the past year from Delta, British Airways, Etihad, United and others. Just this week a reader asked me if miles ever become more valuable, they don’t. Plan strategically and follow these truly great (if I don’t say so myself) tips to keep your miles from losing value.
As Always, GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com