If you have top-tier status with British Airways or indeed any other oneworld, Star Alliance or non-alliance airline, you have three weeks left to take advantage of the current SkyTeam status match. This would give you status with all 19 SkyTeam airlines.
If you live in or near Kent, you will know that the former RAF base at Manston has been operating as a (very unpopular) civilian airport since 2004. With Flybe having dropped its services last year, KLM has picked up the baton. It is offering two flights per day to Amsterdam.
Until July 31st, anyone who credits a KLM flight from Manston to their Flying Blue account will qualify to have their Flying Blue account made up to Gold status – as long as you already have a Gold card from another airline.
The promotion is only valid to Flying Blue members with a UK home and business address.
If you are wondering how to get to Manston, you take (from London) a Javellin high-speed train from St Pancras or Stratford International and get off at Ramsgate. It is then an 8-10 minute taxi ride to the airport. A trip report on Flyertalk can be found here.
Fares are very cheap out of Manston at the moment. At the time of writing, a one-way from Manston to Amsterdam can be as low as £42 (although you need to book a return to get that price, no cheap one ways bizarrely) and that is all you need to trigger the status match.
How to earn Flying Blue miles from UK credit cards (October 2022)
Air France and KLM do not have a UK Flying Blue credit card. However, you can earn Flying Blue miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
These cards earn Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Flying Blue miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Flying Blue miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Flying Blue miles. This card is FREE for life.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Flying Blue miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Flying Blue mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.