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:
- Leeds Bradford
- Newquay (via a Flybe codeshare)
UK regional airports served by KLM to its Amsterdam hub:
- Doncaster Sheffield (via a Flybe codeshare)
- Durham Tees Valley
- East Midlands (via a Flybe codeshare)
- Exeter (via a Flybe codeshare)
- Leeds Bradford
- 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.
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
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.
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.