KLM & Qantas – Australia = Myth! + Reductions in KLM/AF FB Mile Values

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  • MarcusGB

    KLM partner with Qantas for flights to Australia, through Singapore.

    All sounds very good, adding to the very poor choices in Skyteam down to Australia. Garuda are now withdrawing flights from London, and lessening flights CGK-SYD also, that connect poorly with flights to Amsterdam anyway. So Garuda is out as a Skyteam option AMS-Australia, with connections in CGK needing 6-18 hr waits outwards.

    FACTS:I just checked KLM.com, a mock booking for late January 2019. AMS-SYD Biz Rtn.
    It costs Euros 2,858 AMS-SIN (KLM), – SYD (SQ,) return Business Class.
    Same route with KLM, but Qantas from SIN, is E 4,925, arriving 20 mins later than the Singapore Airlines A380!!! No Premium Economy options clearly on KLM either, so only Economy or Business Class.
    SO Which would you choose?!!! Pretty obvious for me…
    Oh, and NO availability even as a Platinum FB Member, to even book on a QF or an SQ option with miles, only flights on Chinese or Korean Airlines, many with 7 hrs + connections, or 2 stops!
    KLM sell flights connecting on Etihad, Malaysian, Cathay etc, but you will NOT find any of them redeemable on miles. Double standards to paying or miles?
    Bad show KLM, it is not going to work on price or quality, and useless for the poorer value miles you depreciated in April.

    And just to show how the “Changes” in the Flying Blue program have reduced value of your hard earned miles, and ability to aer / spend them:
    Book Rtn Garuda Airines Biz, To CGK (ex LHR or AMS) and you earn as Platinum FB, 125%-150 Miles, These are from my flight earning records) 9,000-12,000 miles on GA, Earn 24,000 First Class, One way, (soon to be abolished).
    Book that on KLM, and you are lucky to earn 3-4,000 miles now, even as a Platinum / Gold member!!! That is a shocking reduction of earnings on yr own loyalty base of KLM itself.
    Miles spends on lights Europe – Australia, were 125,00 miles Biz one way. Now they are 144,00 on Chinese Airlines, and up to 400,000 one way (!!!), if you use a KLM flight.

    AF (who steer Flying Blue), that is a shocking reduction in earnings, and spending values, and you should be completely ashamed to have hidden this from members, is such a devious manner.
    It is not un-noticed either, that once logged into your FB account now, you have to re-log into another sub account, to book or use your FB miles?!
    So you clearly have sub-divided that out to a separate Company or sub group, as other Airlines!
    Do you really think we are all so stupid not to notice these very sly moves?
    You are and will, lose loyalty and custom, as a result of this…

    You certainly won’t gain from the Dutch or British customers booking these overpriced fares, and unable to use our miles on them. Your products are lagging behind with no KLM Premium Economy cabins, which all your Partners to Australia offer, so no fare on those.
    And even the “New” KLM seating for Business Class, is nowhere near the seating/cabins and facilities of any the above partners, mostly with brand new suites in Biz 1-2-1 across. Already you fall behind the rest.
    Better to Book SQ, CX, QF all the way, and save Euros 2,000!
    The Dutch can save ex Europe- Oceania, Euros 1-1,500 travelling through London, or less with Other Airlines ex AMS!
    Someone really needs to “Wake UP”, in Amsterdam and at KLM!!!

    I have been loyal and really enjoyed KLM for many years, but these complete lists now of changes, lack of ability to book with good Airlines with our miles, is simply not acceptable. All you do is push the savvy traveller NOT to book KLM/AF and only Partner Airlines, to earn what we did prior to FB changes in April. You are taking yourselves in the Wrong direction…


    Pleased to read this Marcus. I wondered if it was me not understanding FB new system. On another post I commented on the value of BA Avios and Martin Synclair had valued them totally differently to me. This made me look at the planned booking for later this month and AF is about €2,100 to central China compared with BA €2,650. I pay my own airfares so I can choose.

    On the face of it BA is quite expensive until you factor in Avios. I would earn ~ 70,000 Avios but I was amazed to discover that now, on AF, I will earn only 3,900 FB miles, for a business class ticket, compared with the 15,800 that I earned on a similar routing 3 years ago. The redemption cost seems unchanged so the FB miles are virtually worthless.


    Hi Faro Flyer / BT Forum

    For sure, the earnings on AF/KLM are drastically reduced post the start of the new system April 18.
    I made several mock bookings both within Europe and to Asia, US, Australia to look at the miles earned.
    It is quite shocking and rather foolish, to think someone has had the idea reduced the earnings by so much, that you would say “Why should i fly KLM / AF?”

    You will remember that a flight in Business Class within Europe would always earn a base minimum of of 750 miles + 100% Business class bonus, + your Bonus miles according to level in the FB Program.
    LHR-AMS-LIS though almost £800, now you would earn 200-300 miles, rather than 7,500+ return.
    My Business flight, part of AMS-LHR in Business on flights to Asia, earned only 230 miles, rather than 2,250!
    As you rightly say, the Asia trips are reduced from around 15,000 miles, to only 2-3,000.

    For Worldwide flights as i make to Australia, i wont be using KLM or AF or booking a ticket on their system for 10% of the miles compared to Skyteam Partners. So i shall use other Airlines, and another Alliance.
    there was no calculation possible in their examples of the changes, for connecting flights, ad none at all to Asia and onto Australia for redemptions. Always was 125,000 miles one way Business Class Europe to Australia, yet for one trip only on KLM to Asia over 400,000 miles were needed.
    So not only do we earn 20% of the miles previously, it can be 3-4 times the redemption costs!

    If this happened to cash in out banks or our earnings, there would be riots on the streets?!

    The “weird period” from wiping to zero miles earned for level, after 31st December 2017- to 31st March, allowed 1/4 of the year to accrue miles for conversion.(assuming we balance our flights equally through the year!)
    Having flown First / Business on Garuda to Australia, i earned about 2/3rds of what would be needed in the new XP’s for my level. These can be carried over to the next year that i thought was supposed to run to a year after 31st March, but again states 31st December.

    So we had 2017 as a year, then 3 months, now 9 months, to earn levels?!
    My banked miles, are worthless, and only redeemable with poor standard and rated Airlines, not the partners AF/KLM partner up with for purchasing a ticket. Flights taken 29th March just before the new system, were calculated in the new manner, not enabling the proper First class levels to be converted.
    I had to get them to adjust this, and AF just did not understand it despite very basic breakdowns, but eventually it was after 8 emails, 3 calls, 2 months completed.

    I am not tolerating earning 1/5th of the miles or less, so my business for long haul simply will not be on KLM/AF, or via their booking system. Only on their partners in Skyteam, and to a different Alliance now.
    I would urge others to realise their own value in the Flying Blue program, and closely follow and consider their views on how much value they have lost. Make your decisions to travel with an Airline that values your loyalty, distance travelled, and class of travel, not just on spend alone.
    Very stupid AF / KLM decision, where someone must really think they can get away with this, and people would not notice.
    Their Flying Blue program should be voted one of the worst in The World now., and their rating reduced.


    Have you considered China Airlines? Sky team member,excellent A350 non stop ams- tpe then syd. They have streamlined European and New york flights to tap into the Aust market. Excellent lounge in tpe.All recent reviews have been glowing. Doesn’t help with the poor mileage accrual.
    Alternatively a Qatar sale ticket will give you a cheap one stop flight and superb service. The new Q suites are on the 777-300ER doh-syd-cnb flight which pairs with the daily A380.
    Explains why all European Airlines bar BA have given up on Aus flights.


    Hi Paulkaz.
    Thank you for the recommendation.
    I have taken China Airlines ex SYD-AKL Business Class a few years ago, then only an Airbus, but not their A350 yet.
    It does look a great design, often brought up as one of the choices to use a redemption flight on the AF/KLM Flying Blue.
    There are no redemptions in this region at all using Flying Blue domestic, or Regionally, but a few Chinese Airlines, possible on Korean Airlines.

    However, i travel There often, and do enjoy a few days stopover, which TPE would not be one i would wish to make.
    I am tending to book 2 x one way with different Airlines, or redeem miles and buy a one way.
    I do have a return on SIngapore Airlines, and starting this from Auckland, as it was over £1,000 savings, compared to starting from Sydney! The Australians always seemed to pay 2-4 times the price we pay out of London, on the same Airline. Tends to be double, and business can be 2.5 times.

    Fares out of Auckland are enabling a huge saving, and take some of the Best in The World such as SQ or NZ, TG, a better option for me.

    It is a real pity that Skyteam are so weak down in Oceania, not even having a good link with Virgin Australia, or Qantas for even regional or domestic flights. I find Air New Zealand superb, growing a little more now, after the withdrawing of Emirates from The Australian cities on to Auckland, poaching their business.

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