In 2004, Air France and KLM formed the Air France-KLM Group. Around the same time, the company launched Flying Blue, a combined loyalty program for the two airlines.

The program quickly became one of the most well-known airline loyalty programs because of its list of credit card transfer partners, lucrative Promo Rewards and selection of airline partners.

As a result, Flying Blue is a popular program for travelers who focus on earning transferable points. But if you’re new to the program, it can be a bit daunting — especially given its unpredictable dynamic award pricing.

Here is everything you need to know about the Flying Blue program.

Related: Is Air France premium economy worth it to Europe?

An overview of the Flying Blue program


Flying Blue is the joint loyalty program of Air France, KLM and Transavia. If you’re a Flying Blue member traveling on one of these airlines, you can add your Flying Blue member number to earn miles and Experience Points for elite status qualification. Once you reach elite status, you can use your benefits on these airlines and reciprocal benefits on other partner airlines.

But just because these airlines use Flying Blue as their default program doesn’t mean you’re limited to earning on those flights. Most partner airlines that allow you to earn Flying Blue miles are in the SkyTeam alliance, but there are an assortment of nonalliance partners, too. These include:

  • Air Corsica
  • Air Mauritius
  • Aircalin
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Chalair Aviation
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Gol Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Qantas
  • Twin Jet
  • WestJet
  • Winair
  • airBaltic

Note that there may be restrictions regarding the flights on which you can earn or redeem miles within these partnerships. Review the airline’s partner page on the Flying Blue website before you plan your travels so you know what to expect.

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Flying Blue elite status tiers


Flying Blue offers four elite status tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum and Ultimate. You can qualify by earning Experience Points, or XPs, which we’ll detail below.

Flying Blue Silver

Silver is the lowest tier of Flying Blue elite status and requires 100 XPs. It includes some basic benefits, including:

  • 6 Flying Blue miles per euro spent
  • Free standard seat selection
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • SkyTeam Elite benefits (the most notable SkyTeam Elite benefit is a free checked bag on all Flying Blue and SkyTeam partner flights)

Flying Blue Gold

Gold requires 180 XPs. You have access to the Flying Blue Silver benefits and:

  • 7 Flying Blue miles per euro spent
  • Access to SkyTeam lounges on international flights operated by a Flying Blue or SkyTeam airline (valid for you and a guest)
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus (benefits like SkyPriority boarding, fast-track immigration and more)
  • Priority baggage handling

Flying Blue Platinum

Flying Blue’s Platinum status requires 300 XPs and includes all of the Gold benefits. However, it sweetens the deal by upgrading some benefits and adding others.

  • 8 Flying Blue miles per euro spent
  • Waived fees when changing or requesting a refund on reward bookings

Additionally, only Flying Blue Platinum members can book award tickets in Air France La Premiere — the carrier’s renowned first-class cabin. That said, they come at a pretty hefty cost. La Premiere tickets often cost more than $10,000 when flying from Europe to North America, Asia or Africa, so being able to book with miles makes an otherwise unattainable ticket possible for many flyers.

Related: 10 things that wowed me about Air France’s incredible La Premiere first class

Once you hold Flying Blue Platinum for 10 consecutive years, you have the status for life.

Flying Blue Ultimate

Flying Blue also has a new top-tier status level for 2024 called Ultimate. It requires a whopping 900 XPs in a year and offers all of the Platinum benefits, as well as:

  • 9 Flying Blue miles per euro spent
  • Access Air France and KLM lounges with up to eight travel companions
  • 24/7 support from “Ultimate Assistant”
  • Four cabin upgrade vouchers per membership year
  • Gift Flying Blue Platinum to one travel companion
  • Hertz Platinum status

Check out the full list of Flying Blue benefits on the loyalty program’s website.

How to qualify for Flying Blue elite status

You can qualify for Flying Blue elite status by earning XPs. Each tier requires a specific number of these points, and you can earn them by flying and through credit card spending. All Flying Blue partners (except Transavia) and SkyTeam partners are eligible for earning XPs, as well as some nonalliance partners like Qantas.

Silver Gold Platinum Ultimate
100 XPs 180 XPs 300 XPs 900 XPs

You must reach this number of XPs within a year of earning your first XP. So, if you take a paid flight in May, you have until May of the following year before your XP counter resets. Current Flying Blue elite members must requalify by earning enough XPs to maintain or upgrade their status tier within one year.

Earn XPs by flying

Domestic Medium
(0-2,000 miles, international)
Long 1
(2,000-3,500 miles, international)
Long 2
(3,500-5,000 miles, international)
Long 3
(5,000-plus miles, international)
Economy 2 XPs 5 XPs 8 XPs 10 XPs 12 XPs
Premium economy 4 XPs 10 XPs 16 XPs 20 XPs 24 XPs
Business class 6 XPs 15 XPs 24 XPs 30 XPs 36 XPs
First class 10 XPs 25 XPs 40 XPs 50 XPs 60 XPs

Earn XPs through Flying Blue’s US credit card

Flying Blue has a cobranded U.S. credit card with Bank of America. I’ll go more in-depth on the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard® in the next section, but one of its standout benefits is earning XPs via credit card spending.

You receive 60 XPs when you open your account for the first year. In subsequent years, you earn 20 XPs on your account anniversary. If you spend $15,000 or more on purchases within the anniversary year, you’ll receive an additional 40 XPs (totaling 60 XPs). That’s more than half the 100 XPs required for Silver without stepping on a plane.

The information for the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Earn status through Flying Blue’s paid status match

In June, Flying Blue announced a paid status match for elite members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, JetBlue TrueBlue and United Airlines MileagePlus programs.

Depending on which status you hold with the airline programs, you may be eligible for Flying Blue Silver (SkyTeam Elite) or Flying Blue Gold (SkyTeam Elite Plus) status. However, unlike with other status matches that airlines offer, U.S. and Mexican residents must pay to obtain Flying Blue elite status — Flying Blue Silver costs $99, and Flying Blue Gold costs $299.

Earning miles with Flying Blue


Earn miles by flying with Flying Blue airlines and SkyTeam partners

You can earn Flying Blue miles by flying. How you earn these miles varies by airline, though. When you book a flight on Air France or KLM, you’ll earn miles based on how much you spend on the ticket (before taxes and fees). This is also true for Flying Blue-marketed tickets (e.g., booked on a Flying Blue airline website but operated by another carrier).

The number of miles you’ll earn per dollar also depends on your Flying Blue status tier. Flying Blue Explorer members (those without status) earn 4 miles per euro spent, while Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn 6, 7 and 8 miles per euro spent, respectively. This earning doesn’t include taxes and certain fees charged on the ticket.

Related: Is KLM premium economy worth it on the 787 Dreamliner?

Earn miles with partner airlines

Earning with SkyTeam and nonalliance Flying Blue partners on tickets not purchased through Flying Blue is a different story. For tickets that are marketed by another airline and credited to Flying Blue, you’ll earn miles on the following criteria:

  • Distance flown
  • Fare class
  • Operating airline
  • Your elite status tier

Each airline partner awards a different number of miles for each fare class — you can find out how many miles your partner flight will earn on the Flying Blue partners page.

For example, here is a look at the Flying Blue earning chart for Delta Air Lines tickets.


Spend on the Flying Blue cobranded credit card

Another way to earn Flying Blue miles is with the previously discussed Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard. This card earns 3 Flying Blue miles per dollar spent on SkyTeam airfare purchases bought directly with a SkyTeam airline and 1.5 Flying Blue miles per dollar spent on everything else.

The card also has a solid welcome bonus of 50,000 Flying Blue miles after you spend $2,000 on the card in the first 90 days of account opening. Additionally, you’ll earn 5,000 Flying Blue miles on your card anniversary date so long as you spend at least $50 on your Flying Blue credit card each year.

Transfer points to Flying Blue

The program is a transfer partner of:

So, if you have a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (among others), you can transfer your points or miles to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio.

Stay at Accor hotels and earn bonus points and miles

Flying Blue and Accor Hotels — a French hotel group that includes brands like Fairmont, Novotel and Ibis — have a partnership. Flying Blue members earn 1 Accor Live Limitless point for every 2 euros spent on eligible Air France-KLM flights. This is in addition to your Flying Blue miles. When you book an Accor hotel, you will earn 1 Flying Blue mile for every 1 euro spent on eligible stays.

Book other hotels through Flying Blue

If you’re not staying at an Accor property, you can still earn Flying Blue miles when you book hotels. Flying Blue has a hotel booking platform called Hotels for Miles. You can earn up to 10,000 Flying Blue miles per night booked through the portal, with promoted and more expensive stays generally earning more miles.

For example, a one-night $246 hotel room at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC earns 6,100 Flying Blue miles per night.


Additionally, you can earn 2 Flying Blue miles per 1 euro spent on if you go through Flying Blue’s portal. While you still can not use elite benefits and earn hotel points, sometimes has excellent deals on boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts that wouldn’t otherwise earn hotel points.

Redeeming miles with Flying Blue


While there are various ways to redeem Flying Blue miles, I recommend sticking to award flights. This will almost always give you the most value for your miles.

Since 2018, Flying Blue has used dynamic pricing. This means there’s no set award chart, and some tickets can be extremely expensive — think 200,000 miles for an economy-class flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Europe. That said, Flying Blue has published an interactive award map with entry-level award rates.

Even with dynamic pricing, Flying Blue often has the best pricing for many SkyTeam awards, beating out Delta, Korean Air and other major airlines. The key to finding these awards is to be flexible and watch for great deals, such as the monthly Promo Rewards.

The second thing you should know is that Air France and KLM charge moderate fuel surcharges on some tickets. You can expect to pay $200 to $350 on a one-way business-class award ticket across the Atlantic. While these fuel surcharges are significantly less than those charged by airlines like Emirates and Virgin Atlantic, it’s still something to remember as you compare pricing across loyalty programs.

Book Air France or KLM to Amsterdam, Paris and beyond

While Flying Blue prices its awards dynamically, the program has now standardized saver-level pricing for all one-way flights between the United States and Europe as follows, regardless of origin or destination, meaning you can connect at no extra cost:

  • 20,000 miles in economy
  • 35,000 miles in premium economy
  • 50,000 miles in business class

Remember that these rates are only for the lowest saver-level seats, which are limited. We have found plenty of availability on flights from the West Coast (including those with European connections) at the new lower rates in the economy and premium economy cabins.

However, business-class seats at saver levels remain very hard to find, with only a few flights available on some routes over the entire next 12 months. Booking business class from anywhere in the U.S. to anywhere in Europe for 50,000 Flying Blue miles is a fantastic deal, so jump on this if you find dates that work for you.

In addition, you could spend a few days in Paris or Amsterdam using the free Flying Blue stopover. This is a great way to visit another city without forking over additional miles or cash. To book Flying Blue stopovers, you’ll need to call Flying Blue at 800-375-8723.

Transatlantic Flying Blue award rates can be reasonable, so it’s worth checking Flying Blue when planning trips to Europe.

Related: Private suites and high-tech touches: What it’s like flying Air France’s new business class


Book first class on select SkyTeam partners

Flying Blue announced first-class redemptions were available to book with miles on the following SkyTeam partner airlines:

  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Xiamen Air

While you should be able to book these online, we have found it virtually impossible to find any availability, and with the exception of Garuda, these airlines are not known to have the world’s best first-class products anyway, so you may wish to save your miles and look for saver award space in business class on Air France and KLM instead.

Keep an eye out for Promo Rewards

Every month, Flying Blue releases a batch of Promo Rewards. You can only book these deeply discounted award tickets within the same month they’re released. They’re more restrictive than standard Flying Blue award tickets — they can’t be changed, so make sure your plans are finalized. But if you’re willing to risk it, these promotions can provide an excellent deal on tickets to Europe and beyond.

You can view an up-to-date list of Promo Rewards on the Flying Blue website, and TPG updates our Flying Blue Promo Rewards page at the beginning of each month with the latest deals.


Fly Copa Airlines to Panama City and beyond

Copa Airlines is a Star Alliance member, but the airline has a nonalliance partnership with Flying Blue. This means you can earn and redeem miles with Copa, further expanding the reach of Flying Blue’s loyalty program. Pricing usually starts around 28,500 miles for an economy ticket from North America to Copa’s hub in Panama City, and you add connecting flights, too.

Copa Airlines flies to major Central and South American destinations like Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.

Bottom line

Flying Blue is an underrated frequent flyer program. You can earn miles with all Flying Blue airlines and their SkyTeam and nonalliance partners, meaning you can book thousands of different routes with your miles. While its elite status program isn’t the most rewarding, earning status is easy enough with the loyalty program’s U.S. credit card and the current status match offer.

I think the best way for most people to earn Flying Blue miles is with credit cards that earn transferable points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Not only will you earn more points on most purchases, but you’ll also have the flexibility to redeem your points with other partners.

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