Over the past couple of weeks I have been spending a little bit of time playing around with Flying Blue awards to Europe for this spring, considering the 25-50% off Promo Awards. I was specifically interested in the Economy Awards from DC (which were 50% off), so I could take a trip there with a friend in March.
This post is probably going to be of little interest to those of you who want to fly business or first, because of the surcharges associated with these awards, but if I have piqued your interest read on!
AMS and CDG are the two airports that it is possible to fly over the water to, so that can pretty significantly limit availability. We had been slow to pull the trigger on exactly where we wanted to go, since there were really no limitations, and then one day I searched, and the over-the-water segments had no availability on the inbound flight. We came up with a backup plan to fly back into New York, and just take the train, but that was more work than I really wanted to subject us to on the back end of the trip.
Usually, I search on Air France’s website, but I was having a little trouble with it the other night so I moved over to KLM’s site. I ran a search, and all of a sudden the award availability was there again! It was quoted in Miles + Euros though, which I noted was weird. I got ahold of my friend and told him we had to book it tonight if we were going to go, so we chose our cities: Copenhagen and Stockholm, and I navigated back to KLM’s site. I chose USA as my country and English as my language, and ran the search again.
Oh no! The availability was gone again! …and the price is quoted in Miles and USD. Hmmm. Well that was interesting.
I decided to switch my country to a European country; Denmark since that was one we were headed to. I ran the search again. And the availability was back!
I booked 2 tickets for 50,000 Flying Blue points (transferred from Amex MR) and about $520 total. I made sure to pay with a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, since the purchase went through in Euros. Now, some people may complain about the ~$260 in taxes and fees per ticket, but that is worth it to me to save the extra 25,000 miles. Based on my calculations, the miles end up being worth over 2 cpm each, and $260 is a pretty cheap spring break trip to Europe 🙂
It took a few hours to get my confirmation email, but I had it by the time I woke up the next morning! And I am very much looking forward to a winter trip to Europe.