I don’t write much about Flying Blue on Head for Points. On paper that is strange, because Dutch group KLM and Air France, whose loyalty programme it is, are two of our nearest geographic neighbours. Plenty of people who live outside the M25 are used to hopping across to Amsterdam to pick up a long-haul flight, as a more convenient option than flying on BA via Heathrow.
At the end of the day, though, the loyalty programme is generally seen as very poor. If you are not a Gold or Platinum card member, you are actually banned from redeeming some awards – even if you’ve got the miles! And the miles needed is usually out of kilter with a similar Avios or Miles & More redemption.
SkyTeam – the alliance that Flying Blue belongs to – is also the laughing stock of world aviation. Do you have any desire to fly ANY of these airlines? Aeroflot, Aerolineas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czeck Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines or Xiamen Air?
The only bit of good news is that Virgin Atlantic is likely to join SkyTeam in a year or so, given that Delta is now a 49% shareholder.
Anyway … despite all the above … if you have a Gold card issued by any other airline, you can now get yourself Gold status in Flying Blue. And that is better than a kick in the teeth if you fly ANY SkyTeam airline on a regular basis.
This campaign has a Danish website address, but there is no rule saying that you must be a Danish resident on the site. What is not clear is if there were any restrictions printed on the link which led to that site. However, a Flyertalk poster has successfully managed it with a UK address, so it doesn’t seem to be a problem.
If it turns out there is such a rule, you could do this (which I have actually done in the past):
1. Create a false Danish street address in your Flying Blue profile
2. Let them match you – the card will be mailed to your fake Danish address, but will take months to be ‘returned to sender’
3. Change your address to your UK address, and request a replacement card from them (not sure if this can be done online, but most airlines let you do it via their website)
One word of warning about Virgin Atlantic. It is unlikely that they will join SkyTeam during 2013. 2014 is more likely, and even then it would be in the second half I imagine. Do not bother with this match purely to get status benefits with Virgin, because by the time they join SkyTeam you will have been downgraded from Gold!