Flying Blue loyalty scheme reinvented to ‘better meet customer expectations’

8 November, 2017

A two-year project behind the scenes to reinvent Air France-KLM’s loyalty programme will see Flying Blue relaunched next year with more personalisation and a system that rewards passengers miles on their expenditure and tier experience points (XP) according to a mixture of flight length and booking class. The European flag carriers say the new programme, which will be introduced from 01-Apr-2018, will offer more simplicity and flexibility to members.

The simplification for awards will see between four and eight Miles given for every EUR1 spent (excluding government-imposed taxes and fees) depending on membership level on all flights marketed as and flown on the codes of Air France (AF), KLM (KL), Hop! (A5) or Joon (JN). Members can also earn four Miles for every EUR1 spent with these airlines on extra options, such as more comfortable seating, extra baggage allowance and “A la Carte” Menus. Differing levels of awards will continue to be provided on flights of partner airlines and other SkyTeam alliance members, where Flying Blue cannot be sure of the actual real price paid for the ticket.

The tier point system will be relaunched as XP points with rewards of between two and 60 points subject to the class of travel and distance flown. This will be split between Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First class travel and domestic; medium (<2,000 miles); Long 1 (between 2,000 and 3,500 miles); Long 2 (between 3,500 and 5,000 miles); and Long 3 (beyond 5,000 miles) travel distances.

CHART - Flying Blue will award Experience Point (XP) based upon class of travel and distance flown from 2XP for a domestic flight up to 60XP for a long haul flight beyond 5,000 miles in First ClassSource: Flying Blue

Like developments with the Avios system used by rival IAG, there will also be a move to a dynamic pricing system from rewards with Flying Blue from Jun-2018 calculating the number of Miles needed to book tickets based “on the origin, destination and date” of proposed flight. There will also be the option to use both Miles and cash with a new ‘Miles & Cash option allowing members to pay for up to 25% of the ticket by cash.

The Flying Blue scheme now has 15 million members and 39 airline and more than 100 non-airline partners and Air France-KLM’s chairman and CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac says the programme has become an “essential travel companion” and the “common foundation” for all Air France-KLM’s airlines to provide a level of service quality for customers.

“Adapted to simplify our members’ experience and increase our attractiveness, the new Flying Blue programme will support our commercial offensive as well as our strategy to personalise customer service," he says.

The new system has been designed to be more transparent to members, but this does not mean they will be better off. The revised system will likely benefit those that purchase full fare tickets more than those that are purchasing heavily discounted examples. In terms of spending Miles, the introduction of a dynamic pricing system means it is unclear how much it will actually cost to redeem the loyalty rewards.