KLM is running a new business class sale for departures from the UK.
It is especially good for readers outside of London since these sale prices are valid for departures from 16 UK airports, via Amsterdam or (on Air France) via Paris.
Availability seems to be excellent on most routes and extends as far as May 2020.
You won’t earn Avios or tier points on these flights, as KLM and Air France are part of the SkyTeam alliance. However, you MAY earn Virgin Atlantic miles and tier points when you fly – it depends how long it takes the two airlines to be integrated into Flying Club. The US Government is expected to approve the move by August.
These are return prices from Heathrow although you can also fly from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness, Leeds, London City, Newcastle and Norwich. You can book these sale deals on the KLM site here – the site shows both Air France and KLM pricing if both airlines serve the same city.
Here is a sample of fares from Heathrow:
- Cape Town – £1,800
- Johannesburg – £1,450 (very good!)
- Nairobi – £1,349
- Seychelles – £1,450 (very good!)
Asia and Middle East
- Abu Dhabi – £1,250 (very good!)
- Dubai – £1,349
- Hong Kong – £1,779
- Shanghai – £1,968
- Aruba – £1,662
- Saint Martin – £1,549
- Bogota – £1,449
- Havana – £1,749
- Quito – £1,749
- Santiago de Chile – £1,829
The fares seem widely available. For example, if you look at Abu Dhabi it shows £1,250 available every month until the end of schedule in May (although not on every day in every month):
It’s unclear when the business class sale ends. There is also an economy sale running.
We have never reviewed the KLM business class product, although I did get a tour of a KLM Boeing 787 when I went behind the scenes at Schiphol last year. This has an attractive 1-2-1 seat layout. The Boeing 777 and A330 fleet are 2-2-2.
I reviewed the impressive Air France Boeing 777-300ER business class product recently – see here. Some Air France aircraft still have sloping seats in Business Class, including their A380 fleet, so research the aircraft type you are getting.
Note that KLM adds credit card surcharges to American Express payments, but not Mastercard or Visa. This is because it claims its website is not in the UK, and the ban on Amex surcharges is a UK-specific thing due to Amex’s higher market share here. Don’t let that put you off getting what are actually very impressive deals.
Your best option to maximise your miles when paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. This offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.
You can get more information, and book, here.
How to earn Flying Blue miles from UK credit cards (April 2021)
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 are:
- 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 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 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.