I don’t write much about KLM or its Flying Blue loyalty programme on Head for Points, even though a lot of readers outside London use it as they find a transfer in Amsterdam to be more convenient than a transfer at Heathrow.
Two of the key reasons it had a poor reputation in the ‘miles and points’ world was the poor KLM business class seat and the uncompetitive Flying Blue frequent flyer programme (with surcharges that made BA look like a paragon of virtue). Without too much fanfare, changes have been made to both over the last year.
I wrote here about some of the changes to Flying Blue announced this year. To be fair, the improvements are mainly in Economy and Premium Economy, with Business Class redemptions generally increasing in mileage.
The roll out started in July on the 747 fleet, with all 22 aircraft due to have been refitted by April 2014. The airline will then start work on its 15 777 aircraft. It will not be placed on the last couple of MD-11’s, which are still serving Montreal and San Francisco in advance of being fully phased out next year.
Here are some shots of the cabin on the refurbished 747’s. You are most likely to find this seat flying to Hong Kong and Tokyo at the moment.
The number of seats in the business class cabin has been reduced from 42 to 35 to allow a fully-flat layout.
How to earn Flying Blue miles from UK credit cards (February 2024)
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 four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 40,000 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.
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.