Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue is reducing fuel surcharges it charges for economy awards and charges only the long haul fuel surcharge for premium economy, business and first class awards that include connections. You can read more about this on Flying Blue’s website here.
Edit Apr 25: The current and the new award charts are available on my post here.
There is no change in number of miles required for base level economy awards. There is, however, rise of 25% to 33% in number of miles required for premium economy, business and first class awards.
The new award chart goes into effect on June 1, 2013, but you can book under the old award chart schedule until December 31, 2013, by calling Air France-KLM’s contact centers.
The new chart applies to promo awards that can only be booked online starting from June 1 onwards.
Elite awards on Air France cease to exist on June 1, 2013.
The number of miles required for the base level economy award won’t change. There will be additional availability at number of different levels. There are no examples of these variable amounts, however, that are likely very high.
Seems that the “carrier imposed fee” is charged at 50 euros per way. This same 50 euros includes the connecting flights as well.
It is unclear if this 50 euro fee includes all Air France-KLM’s destinations or if there is a higher fee for other destinations.
Premium Economy Changes
Premium economy only applies to Air France, as KLM doesn’t have this product.
The “carrier imposed fee”seems to be set to 110 euros per way and includes the connecting flights as well. The number of miles required for an award is 33% higher on the example above.
Business & First Class Changes
The “carrier imposed fee” stays the same and is not reduced on this award type. Flying Blue will introduce business and first class awards at variable number of miles required. There are no examples about how may miles will be required for this type of award in the future.
The only benefit is that there is no fuel surcharge collected for the feeder flights. None of the two examples are for direct flights and thus seems that you would always save money that is not going to be the case.
The number of miles required for these awards is 25% higher in the future than currently. It is unclear, if there are going to be awards that are more than 25% more expensive. Flying Blue hasn’t released a new award chart.
It has made no sense to redeem for economy awards using Flying Blue miles due to very high fuel surcharges that Air France & KLM both charges. After this change, it may make sense at some markets and when they have economy promo awards
The number of miles required for premium economy, business, and first class awards will go up. On the examples that Flying Blue has listed on their website, the rise is between 33% to 25%. It is unclear, if some awards go up more, as they haven’t released a new award chart.