Flying Blue changes

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  • Swissdiver

    We received tonight a message about program changes. It seems FB is introducing the points concept (XP), following BA’s model, with apparent threshold’s changes. The future program have these:
    – Silver: 100XP
    – Gold: 180XP
    – Platinum: 300XP
    The current respective levels are 25k, 40k and 70K for non French residents and 30k, 60k and 90k for French’s. It looks therefore like a simplification of the program. But I guess it is hiding something. But what?


    I see the article on BT news today. This is the link FB / KLM have placed on there:

    I am not sure how this is compared to the other FFP’s as i do not use them. Perhaps others would comment on the comparison from their other memberships?

    What is not clear, is the handover from the old FB scheme to the new, as the year currently ends 31st dec 2017, membership levels change April 1 2018.
    Are they saying we will now have 1 yrs + 1/4 to transfer over what we have, or will the balances be switched to Zero in December, leaving only a quarter of the year to carry over?

    I cannot see the redemption tables, but i have no doubt, these will NOT be in our favour only the Airline’s!
    it is 125,000 miles now to book a flight ex Europe through to Australia Business, one way. I wonder what we will need, and how this will compare…
    Also the earning of XP’s, KLM have no domestic routes, their’s is really Europe, so these will be on < 2,000 miles economy for most.

    Also if fares spent calculated in Euros, and spent from the UK in £’s, the rate would vary with currency exchanges? Who decides on the rate of conversion?!


    As with any scheme of this kind, the devil is in the detail and the detail is not available yet. I am Platinum for Life and at a number of points in the promo I am reassured that my status will not change in any way so that is good. Earning XPs does not appear to be revenue- linked and so, irrespective of fare paid, it will take 20 single flights in Economy between UK and Amsterdam to attain/ retain Silver. Not sure how that compares with the current programme.



    For the first quarter, a conversion factor is given: 1,000 Level Miles = 5 XP and 1 qualifying flight = 7 XP.

    The main difference with BA lies into the sub-segmentation. For long haul, BA has 2 (in business class, 140 points for most, 160 for the longest such as LHR-SIN), while AF or KLM has three: Long 1 (≥2,000 – <3,500 miles), Long 2 (≥3,500 – <5,000 miles) and Long 3 (≥5,000 miles).

    Reaching the top status (regular BA Gold or AF/KL Platinum) with say NYC flights requires 11 legs on BA and 10 legs with AF/KL (currently 9 for non-French residents and 13 for French’s). This is of course just one exemple, but it gives some hindsights.


    15 is the current number. But FB Silver is useless…


    SwissDiver, thanks for that.
    But the current year for qualification ends Dec 31st 2017.
    So as Platinum i have around 80,000 Level miles, 70k needed to retain that.
    My 2017 balance of miles and flights, carry over to be calculated 31st March, for the new program?
    Or, will they be reset to Zero, and the first 1/4 of 2018, be what is converted?
    For me i am flying with other Airlines so very little be generated to hand over then…

    Perhaps BT could contact KLM and seek clarification?

    I am sure not all of us have regular travels balanced through the year, some 1/4’s we travel more than others.
    This has not been made clear in what they have sent out.
    It does not seem that long ago for the new Flying Blue coming in, and that has got tighter.
    If we are to really use our earnt miles to great use, perhaps returns to The Pacific for 125,000 miles and carry a value of £3,500+ would be the best use!
    Oh, and a Mortgage for the additional fees, charges, taxes, offsets, fuel, and no doubt extra “O2” will be being marketed too, as a carry on!

    Tom Otley

    I’ve contacted them to ask.

    Meanwhile, you’ve probably seen this – it’s a good summary, but also shows how unbelievably complicated some of these programs are


    I am also a member of Flying Blue and received the notification. I glanced at it and deleted it without a further thought as I do with most such things.

    …….. shows how unbelievably complicated some of these programs are

    Therein I believe lies the problem. Not only are they complicated within themselves, but when it comes to comparing different programmes, it becomes an almost impossible task and quite honestly life is too short for such trivia.

    When I did a lot of global business travel, I intuitively realised that it probably made sense to stick to one carrier/alliance whenever possible and obtain the highest tier in that programme, rather than ‘diluting’ benefits across multiple programmes. It also made my travel decisions easier. I chose LH/Star Alliance and fairly quickly reached Senator Level, which served me well for a number of years, although I had difficulty in redeeming the miles attained.

    I have friends who belong(ed) to multiple programmes and spend hours and days agonising over the decision, comparing cost vs. benefits on spreadsheets, and so on. I base my decisions on the following criteria, more or less in the order of preferred carrier, route and time convenience, cost, and FF programme. I manage travel for a couple of small companies which have big travel budgets, and for a friend who is a (very!) high net worth individual, and I do this on the same basis as my own, rather more modest, travel plans. So far, I have had no complaints.

    If you an get benefits from an FF programme, fine, but I have never thought it worth spending a lot of time on deciding, and most of these discussions are, literally, a waste of bandwidth.

    Tom Otley

    The reply I got was

    “To clarify, If a member has any Level Miles and/or qualifying flights on 31 March 2018, they will be converted to XP.
    1,000 Level Miles = 5XP
    1 qualifying flight = 7 XP

    The higher outcome determines the number of XP that will be added to their XP counter.”

    I hope that helps.


    Hi all, (Tom, Thanks as always) for the helpful replies.

    The reply you sought did not really clarify my issue.
    However, on the link i found this:

    “For flights between 1 January – 31 March 2018 all earned level miles and segments will be converted into XP (1 segment = 7 XP; 1,000 level miles = 5 XP for members outside France). Please note that the highest conversion applies (it is not cumulative).

    The number of XP required per tiers is:
    – 100 for Silver;
    – 180 for Gold;
    – 300 for Platinum;
    – 1,800 for Platinum Ultimate (in 2 years).”

    This is all clear.
    If this is the case, this seems very unfair, that ONLY, this 1/4 period will count towards the first year of the new rules.
    Currently, all level miles are wiped as of 31st December of each year. However, the new status begins 1st April. My point is that, are they going to wipe all level miles on the 31st december this year, OR, are they allowing these to carry to 31st March 2018?
    In which case we will either lose our level miles for the year earnt in 2017, or be ready with excess level miles for conversion 01/01/18 to 31st March 2018.

    So, will my Level miles present earned in 2017, on 31st December 2017, be kept until April 2018 and converted into XP’s?

    I see that Platinum for life, is not mentioned, but this is a high rate for 1,800 Platinum Ultimate, but, what is this new level?

    I think KLM / AF should make this very clear, now.
    I also feel it is time to use and spend some of the accrued miles we all have, they will not be as beneficial for use eg One Way EU – Sydney Business Class on a Skyteam Airline, 125,000 miles currently. This will not be the same cost going forwards Post 1/4/18.


    I doubt if there is anything new in this article to most of you, but thought I’d draw it to your attention just in case :


    I feel they misunderstood your question and replied about the 2018 accumulation, regarding the 2019 status. The 2018 will probably reflect the December 31st, 2017 situation.
    And Platinum Ultimate might well be the equivalent of the Hon Circle… Will it replace AF Club 2000 is another question…


    The “Exciting news” [NOT!!] headline claim from KLM that the current scheme is hard to understand and the new one brings simplicity must be one of the biggest untruths of the year!!

    What is simpler to understand than if you complete X number of flights or earn X number of points you achieve the relevant status? Even a 5 years old could work out that basic math.

    From what we have seen of the new scheme you need to be a maths wizard to understand the permutations.

    And of course the only beneficiary is the airline, as far as I can work out based on my 99% European flights per year is that right now I need to do 30 to retain Gold but under this new scheme I will have to earn XP points I will need 36 flights a year, an increase of 20%. Someone please explain how that benefits me?
    Perhaps the XP in the scheme stands for “taking xtra p**s out of their customers” ?!!!
    And of course all of this came about “after talking with our customers and understanding their needs” – yeh right!!


    I agree Lesmclaren.

    There is also no specific information, about the redemption tables for the new scheme.
    So Members are left unclear, undecided as to which scheme to use the current miles amount they hold, in.
    As you have pointed out, these new schemes never have proven to be in favour of the Members, so I would see that these are better used and booked before the new XP’s start.

    As indicated, the best distance redemption, 125.000 miles for a 1 way Business, Europe to Pacific.
    However, if you do try to book this, you will find only Chinese Airlines that come through! Garuda comes up very rarely, matching up with a KLM flight to Asia.
    Partners Airlines in this zone of travel, are very poor in quality and choice, often having to double back on yourself to get a connection with up to 14 hours wait between flights! You are never offered a route via the USA, despite Delta running flights to Australia. ALL partners should come up for display, and Etihad, Malaysian, Delta and other Airlines that come up when you wish to pay for a ticket on KLM, should be offered at the same time.
    It simply does not work.

    Current “Promos ” awards, have offered perhaps only the most limited, and war zone destinations with discounts, for which many simply would not travel.
    Rarely do you get a -50% offer in Business class now, normally an Economy, but then the taxes and charges form 2/3rds of the amount you would pay if you bought the ticket!

    Seems to me, this can only get worse, as indicated by your comments above.

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