Traditionally, Air France/KLM Flying Blue only allowed award bookings 10 months in advance. Now you can book up to 12 months in advance!
I was working on an award to Tel Aviv this morning for an Award Expert client and noticed that Flying Blue now allows bookings beyond the 10-month window. I was able to enter a date up to one year in the future — February 03, 2018 — though in sifting through search results it appears that books are available 360 days in advance, much like with British Airways.
To ensure this was not a glitch, I attempted and was successful in making a booking for January 27, 2018.
Why This Matters
Releasing space 10 months in advance was particularly problematic to Flying Blue members. Most airlines first release award space 11-12 months in advance. Ironically, so did Air France and KLM. To partners…
So if you were traveling 11 months from now, you could often find and book Air France flights using your Delta miles weeks before you could use your Flying Blue miles for the same flight. In correcting this oversight, Flying Blue is giving its own members a jump on partners. This is only fair.
Bad News for SkyTeam Partners like Delta
What Flying Blue Giveth, Flying Blue Taketh Away
I mentioned above how great it was to have Delta miles and to be able to book fuel-surcharge free travel on Air France and KLM to/from the USA as long as it was done 10-11 months in advance. That “loophole” appears to have been closed.
While I did not spend hours on it, I checked out business award space from LAX/SFO/ATL/ORD using Delta miles (in other words, I searched for “O” class space on ExpertFlyer) for December 2017. Nothing. I found space out of New York and Toronto on a few days.
Thus, it appears that Air France and KLM are giving even less business class space to partners than before.
Good news for Flying Blue members, potentially bad news for other SkyTeam point holders. Keep in mind that Flying Blue award reservations can be held over the phone for 48 hours while you transfer in points and that Flying Blue is a transfer parter of Chase, CITI, AMEX, and Starwood. For better or worse, you can now book with Flying Blue a year in advance.