Air France and KLM have launched a very aggressive deal from Stockholm to Bangkok, for travel up to the end of June 2022.
It’s obviously a bit of a faff getting from the UK to Stockholm (not included in the fare), flying to Paris or Amsterdam and then on to Bangkok, but if you are time-rich then this deal could work.
Even better, if you can’t travel you can cancel for an Air France KLM voucher, valid for 12 months.
If you pick Air France you are likely to be offered the 777-300 which has ANGLED lie flat seats. These are fairly rare these days, and if you’ve never flown one then let me just say that they are nicknamed ‘wedgie seats’ for a reason.
KLM flights do not have this problem so may be a better option if you pick a date when both options are bookable.
To be fair to Air France, it says clearly during the search process that you are getting an angled lie flat seat. This is more than most airlines bother to do.
Here is an example from February:
According to the fare rules, a 10-day minimum stay is required to get the cheapest deals.
To put this price in perspective, British Airways wants £572, plus seat selection fees, for an Economy flight to Bangkok on the same dates.
You can credit Air France and KLM flights to Virgin Flying Club
Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance. If you don’t want to credit your trip to a SkyTeam frequent flyer programme, you can also credit it to Virgin Flying Club.
You will earn status miles and Virgin Points.
Laughably, more than 18 months from the launch of their partnership, Virgin Atlantic has still not published a chart showing how many tier points you earn when flying with Air France or KLM.
There is a chart online here but it is only for codeshares with a VS flight number. I suspect that the tier points earned are similar if not identical for AF / KL coded flights but Virgin has never been able to supply me with the official chart. I would expect that you would earn enough tier points for Flying Club Silver status.
How to pay
As long as you are quoted a price in £, your best bet is paying with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. Amex Gold offers double points for all transactions made with an airline, so you’d earn 2 Membership Rewards points per £1.
If you end up paying in SEK for some reason, you should use any card you have with 0% foreign exchange fees, irrespective of whether it earns points. If you don’t have one, Amex Gold is your best fall back with the two points offsetting much of the 2.99% fee.
If you find flying the UK to Sweden to Paris / Amsterdam to Bangkok to be a bit of fun, in return for a sub-£800 business class ticket and a pile of Virgin Points or SkyTeam miles, this deal is worth a look.
The ability to swap your ticket for an Air France / KLM voucher if you decided not to travel is an extra perk.
You can book on the KLM site here. Both Air France and KLM flights are shown when you search.
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.