A Flying Blue status match has launched!

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.

Flying Blue

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.

The website to apply is here.

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):

Create a false Danish street address in your Flying Blue profile

Let them match you – the card will be mailed to your fake Danish address, but will take months to be ‘returned to sender’

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!

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  1. They matched my amex complimentary CX gold card last night. Useful to have for the year as likely to lose BA status( simply not flying with them on paid basis anymore). Also used them last year DPS to SIN in J and was very very impressed. Seat not brilliant but more than made up for by superb crew and generally very good premium experience.

    • I read on travelbloggerbuzz just now that the match is only meant to run until 31 May. Does it say that anywhere when you log in?

      If anyone has trouble using the form in Internet Explorer, by the way, try Chrome.

      • Flying Blue offer is valid until 30 May, 2013. Flying Blue programme rules apply. To review the rules, please visit airfrance.dk or klm.dk. Preferred seating subject to limited availability and will not be available on all flights. Partner airline benefits subject to change and subject to the terms and conditions of each partner. Offers void where prohibited by law. Offers and rules are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

  2. Would they match a BAEC Silver with gold?

  3. leedsjimbo says:

    I want to jump to the defence of SkyTeam (just a little…). Whilst you’re right, none of these airlines compare to the likes of BA, LH or the Miidle East / Asian carriers, they’re not complete disasters. Flying domestically in the US, is rather be on Delta than any of the other legacy carriers. And for the transatlantic flights, AF offer great food even in economy (but surly service) whilst KLM offer great service (but basic, though acceptabe food).

    I’ve found Delta’s Business Elite to be a pretty good product, which will be improved when they introduce 180 flat beds across all their fleet.

    So, my advice : don’t completely write off SkyTeam. As an Elite Plus member (which you will be with gold status) you’ll get more perks that the equivalent level in BAEC (Silver): extra bags and lounge access when flying internationally.

    • BA Silver does give you international lounge access. It is Star Alliance who only give Silvers lounge access with the carrier who issues their card.

      Perhaps the new Air France business class seats, just announced, will improve perceptions.

      Korean is also meant to be very good, and easy to get for reward redemptions. It is just a bit odd when that is regarded as the best airline in your alliance! At the end of the day, though, if you need to fly SkyTeam anyway then this offer is worth doing.

      • Ah yes – so they do. My mistake.

        As I live in Leeds there was (until recently) no connection to BA’s network. We have just got back our LBA-LHR route but not arriving into T5 until next year; flying into T1, I think until then.

        I’ve always liked connecting through AMS, which I think is a very pleasant airport, and SkyTeam flights are competitively priced compared to BA / OneWorld.

        I’ve also heard some horror stories about AA: rude staff, poor food, pay bar in all classes below biz. Are these things true?

        • The Leeds Bradford Terminal 5 move is March 31st, I think – not next year.

          AA – heard the stories, but I haven’t flown them for so long its unfair to comment. At least they are now rolling out the fully flat beds on transatlantic routes. If using AA miles, I would happily redeem on AA over BA to avoid the fuel surcharges on BA. However, as BA charges fuel surcharges on both AA and BA transatlantic flights when using Avios, I’ll stick with BA.

          Even the new AA New York to Dublin service has a full fuel surcharge attached to it if you book with Avios – so you’re far better off on Aer Lingus with their minimal taxes. Only snag with them is the need to call up to suss out availability.

      • KQ is not a bad option to go from HKG to BKK, if OW/S* flights are expensive and you don’t need any status perks.

  4. Is Turkish still matching? They might take it. That would get you 2 years of Star Alliance Gold. Search or look in ‘Top Posts’ for my articles on my own Turkish match, it has the email address you need.

  5. Doesn’t FlyingBlue still have a requirement for an actual flight within a 12 month period in order to keep your miles? I know that I’ve previously lost about 20,000 miles from Aeroflot internal flights and LCY hops on Air France because I couldn’t arrange a flight within 12 months of my last sector.

    By all means take advantage of Gold membership, but you might want to deposit your miles in another account (a bit like the CX Gold card and BAEC)

    • Yes, Flying Poo needs a qualifying flight (i.e. miles-earning) at least once every 20 months on the original SkyTeam suspects and a few more, NOT every member. * Earning rates are generally poor unless paying full price.

      Hotel stays, car rentals, AmEx MR transfers, online shopping and so on do not count.

      * Qualifying airlines seem to be ‘Air France, KLM and their allied airlines: Aeroméxico, Aeroflot, Air Europa, Alitalia, Delta, Korean Air, CSA Czech Airlines, China Southern, Kenya Airways, Tarom and Vietnam Airlines’ (from the T+Cs).

  6. As a long time…..very…….with KL/AF and SkyTeam, I wish all of you the very best of luck ifyou are hoping to redeem miles at some time for a flight to the sunshine. I just wish I could swap my million+ miles into BA. Skyteam is the pits.

    • Hopefully things will improve if Virgin does join.

      How sunny is Korea?! Korean Airlines is meant to be OK! You could probably get a connection to Thailand etc fairly easily.

  7. Just had my CX Gold matched, thanks Raffles! The fact that the site is Danish does not seem to be a problem (I entered a UK address), but for the record the offer seems to be available in all Nordic countries and maybe others. Just change the ‘dk’ in the end of the link to no/se/fi.

    • Jason Thorpe says:

      Correction: the offer website said I am now gold, but account still says ivory.

  8. A does mine……..not sure this is working afterall

    • From what I’ve read elsewhere they manually check the scanned cards before activating the upgrade, despite what the automatic message says…

  9. Craig Sutherland says:

    Opened an account an applied to match my CX Gold, account still shows as Ivory in Awardwallet but will keep tracking. Anyone had confirmation of Gold yet?

    • Nope, sent a mail to customer relations via the flying blue channel, might have to check internally afterwards if no answer from them

  10. brilliant catch! Often fly KLM Rome-AMS-Edi to avoid O’leary’s finest. If it goes through then Amex plat just might be worth keeping.

  11. Apparently the status match is now only valid for residents of Scandinavian countries. I’ve changed my profile’s address to see whether it will stick. Will let you know!

  12. Akhil Gupta says:

    my one still says ivory online – anyone else had their status matched to gold?