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Flying Blue: WestJet deal, a look at the KLM UK network and latest promo awards

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This is, potentially, not the best time to be highlighting the joys of KLM, given our story last week about their Flying Blue loyalty programme potentially going ‘revenue based’ for miles earning.

I thought the following analysis was interesting though.  If you want to know why KLM is so popular with business travellers outside the M25, take a look at this table of UK regional airports:

UK regional airports served by BA to a London hub:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Inverness
  • Jersey
  • Leeds Bradford
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Newquay (via a Flybe codeshare)

UK regional airports served by KLM to its Amsterdam hub:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Doncaster Sheffield (via a Flybe codeshare)
  • Durham Tees Valley
  • East Midlands (via a Flybe codeshare)
  • Edinburgh
  • Exeter (via a Flybe codeshare)
  • Glasgow
  • Humberside
  • Inverness
  • Leeds Bradford
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Norwich
  • Southampton (via a Flybe codeshare)

BA has 10 hub-connecting destinations compared to 18 with KLM.  Even if you strip out codeshares, KLM has 14 routes it serves directly compared with just from BA.  There is no surprise, even before factoring in the transfer headaches at Heathrow, that many people prefer to change in Amsterdam instead.

Flying Blue partners with WestJet

This passed me by when it launched in August, but you can now earn Flying Blue miles when you fly with low-cost Canadian carrier WestJet.

WestJet is not a member of SkyTeam, so you won’t receive any status benefits on WestJet.  Miles earned on WestJet will not count for Flying Blue status, and they will not count as qualifying flights for the purposes of keeping your Flying Blue miles alive.  You will earn miles towards Flying Blue flight redemptions.

Full details are on the Flying Blue website here.

Flying Blue promo awards

Talking of KLM, Flying Blue has launched a new batch of discounted redemption routes.

The Flying Blue promo awards website is here.  The new batch of deals must be booked by the end of October for travel in December or January.

Some of the interesting long-haul premium economy and business class deals include:

Business Class – 25% off Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver (plus Wuhan in China)

Premium Economy – 25% off Amman, Beijing, Cairo, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tehran, Wuhan

Remember that Flying Blue is an American Express Membership Rewards partner if you need to top-up your account.

The KLM and Air France networks should be bookable with Virgin Flying Club miles at some point in 2018 once the new joint venture gets regulatory approval, which will be an excellent result for all Virgin frequent flyers.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Flying Blue miles from UK credit cards (November 2020)

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 cardsThese are:

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.

Comments (38)

  • London City – Amsterdam too 🙂

    Before the Flying Blue devaluation (2008?) and when Heathrow was a bigger mess than it is now (pre-T5) and LCY was a quiet airport I often travelled LCY-AMS-X rather than direct from LHR as it was just a lot less stressful (plus a return trip was 4 status segments on FB)

    When FB devalued bmi was welcoming me with a status match and as BA had vacated T1 at this point flying through LHR was fine. Then again, as bmi didn’t have a massive network I’d often use my *G on LX to fly LCY-ZRH-X

    BTW if you’ve experienced the new Virgin Trains East Coast booking site and are on Twitter, can you vote in my Twitter poll? Currently 95% think the new site is worse than the one it replaced: https://twitter.com/SaveECRewards/status/918443252939919363

  • JamesB says:

    There are also the AF/HOP options via CDG but I doubt they are flying anyplace in the UK that is not already covered by KLM.

  • Kinkell says:

    The above comments re: Schiphol don’t fill me with great confidence! My son and his school mates all ended up with delayed bags, deliverd 5 days later, after they had climbd Kilimanjaro! Lesson learnt….pack a change of clothes into hand luggage. We are flying from EDI at the weekend and a change in AMS. Lets hope we manage to find the Lounge and have clean pants and socks for the rest of our trip!