Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

News: Air France KLM adds seat fees, new Avios route to Tangier, new co-brand card in Iraq

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Air France and KLM add seat selection fees in Business Class

Whilst it hasn’t been communicated to members yet, Air France KLM has confirmed via its trade site here that it will impose seat selection fees in long haul Business Class from 4th April.

The cost will be €70 to €90 per person each way. You can avoid the fee by waiting until check in and selecting from seats that remain.

Whilst Silver, Gold and Platinum members of Flying Blue will be exempt, you will need to pay if you are an elite member of another SkyTeam airline. This is particularly frustrating for HfP readers who have status in Virgin Flying Club and seems rather petty, albeit it will probably lead to some flyers moving across to Flying Blue as a result.

Transatlantic routes to the US, Canada and Mexico are exempt for now due to the terms of the Delta / Virgin / Air France / KLM joint venture agreement.


New Avios redemption flight option to Tangier

Royal Air Maroc, which is a member of the oneworld airline alliance alongside British Airways, has launched a seasonal route from London Gatwick to Tangier.

There will be two flights per week, on Mondays and Saturdays. The season starts on 24th June and ends on 2nd September.

The flights are showing for Avios redemption via but you get an error message if you try to complete a booking. The call centre should hopefully be able to do it. Taxes and charges can be high on Royal Air Maroc redemptions so check the total before confirming any booking.

Business Class is usually 2×2 on Royal Air Maroc short haul. I don’t mean that the middle seat is blocked (a la British Airways, Lufthansa etc) – I mean that you get super-sized seats in a 2×2 layout.

Royal Jordanian cobrand credit card

Co-brand frequent flyer credit cards reach Iraq

There is, it seems, no end to where co-brand credit cards are popping up.

Royal Jordanian, a British Airways partner via the oneworld alliance, has just launched the first co-brand credit card in Iraq. Details are here.

It’s not hugely generous, assuming that interchange fees are not capped in Iraq. You receive 1 RJ Royal Club mile for each US$1.50 equivalent you spend. As a sign-up bonus, cardholders are upgraded to Silver status in the Royal Jordanian programme after their first flight post enrollment.

Comments (22)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JandeW says:

    Will the Royal Air Maroc routing earn you 80 BAEC Tier points each way?

  • Riaz says:

    How many Avios do you need for LGW-TAN?

    • apbj says:

      I don’t know about Avios but the cash fares are eye-watering. I have no idea why RAM fares are so expensive, even on routes with competition. It makes redemptions better value I suppose.

  • phantomchickenz says:

    Any indication if families will have to pay for seats just to sit together? I.e. is there a chance they might be split up if they don’t book in advance?

    • Rob says:

      You will get what’s left, subject to local laws on splitting families.

      • Froggee says:

        Just when I was thinking I might give KLM a shot again.

      • Bagoly says:

        So now whoever in management is judged on this revenue is incentivised to oppose upgrades from 2-3-2 to 2-2-2 to 1-2-1 layouts.
        In fact if they were being narrowly completely rational, they would favour putting 1-2-1 on leisure routes where couples/families will still pay, to sit together; and 2-3-2 on business routes, since it for most individuals there is no point in paying on 1-2-1 layouts!

  • Qrfan says:

    I would still try them if the fare was competitive enough after accounting for the seat fee. I can’t see myself crediting anything SKYTEAM to virgin now though.

  • James Wyatt says:

    Anyone know if you can move Virgin miles into the Air France programme?

    • Oliver says:

      Don’t think there is a way. But virgin miles never expire, AF/KLM will I remember if no activities for two years.

      • Dev says:

        Only if you don’t reach silver! Above that and there is no expiry.

        (Flyingblue also have family pooling! Unlike household accounts in BA, you actually send the miles over from say your kids and spouse to your account so it’s worthwhile taking family on SkyTeam flights.)

  • Richie says:

    This seat fee inconsistency from SKYTEAM for status passengers is poor and petty.

  • Ruralite says:

    Since covid, IME KLM long haul fares in Bus. from my local airport (HUY) in most cases have been really high with some destinations sometimes now having 2 or maybe 3 connections inc. Schipol. I’m finding KLM now generally uncompetitive even taking into account the local convenience and the cost of not having to get to MAN/LHR. Adding a seat cost to business class fares will just make them even less likely to be a viable alternative.

    • Richie says:

      If you overnight at AMS after HUY-AMS and do a separately ticketed AMS-XXX flight, does that bring the total cost doen?

    • Thegasman says:

      HUY is a funny one though, their pricing to AMS is always punchy (£200+ economy & £5-600 in J). I assume there must be a big pool of oil & gas types paying that as loads generally good & 2-3 rotations/day.

      It’s a great airport vs MAN for me based in Sheffield so I frequently redeem Virgin miles which works out ~£200 return for J at 1p/mile.

      • Ruralite says:

        Yes oil/gas and windfarm staff account for quite a lot of their load but prices were never as ridiculous as they can be now!
        @Richie – no not looked at overnight in AMS with separate ticket onwards, will see if it makes a significant difference but unless it’s big (and I suspect not) not worth it, to me at least, for the time and effort involved.

  • Scallder says:

    anyone having an issue logging into BAEC?

    • Lumma says:

      No but I can’t access Combine My Avios in any of the programmes at the minute. Which is annoying as I have 13,000 in Iberia that I need in BA

      • JC says:

        @Lumma transfer into then back out the other side, always seems more reliable

        • lumma says:

          Tried as well and it just says “combine my avios is temporarily unavailable, please try later”. Same message as on and

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.