Fixing Flying Blue’s forever hourglass

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Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles are easy to get (transfer from nearly any transferrable points program) and they often offer very good value for both economy and business class awards.  One huge frustration, though, is that if you try to do more than one award search, you’re very likely to run into the “forever hourglass”.  On the search parameter screen, a spinning circle never stops spinning and never lets you move forward.  Here’s an easy solution…

Quick solution: Simply bookmark this URL and use it every time you want to change your Air France-KLM Flying Blue award search.

In order to run award searches on Air France’s website, you must first enroll as a Flying Blue member.  Once that is done, you can simply log into the AirFrance.US website, click “Book with Miles”, and run a search.  Easy.  The problem is that if you then click “change” on the search results screen, or if you back up the browser to the original search criteria screen, you’ll be stuck with the forever circling circle:

You can avoid this by opening a different browser or a new incognito browser each time, but that would require signing in again each time.  Here’s a better solution…

Solution 1: Browse to airfrance.com

By changing the browser’s URL to airfrance.com, the system seems to reset itself without logging you out.  From there, scroll down to find the link to the U.S. website.  If your browser doesn’t automatically change the text to English, then you’ll want to look for the link to “États-Unis” under the “AMÉRIQUE – CARAÏBES” section.  When you click that link, you’ll be directed back to the flight search screen, but without the hourglass and you’ll still be logged in.  Click the “Book with Miles” tab to enter new search criteria.

Quick Solution: Bookmark Link

The solution above, is basically a way to get to this URL: https://wwws.airfrance.us/?_ga=2.231232351.1915272734.1656857389-8561a97f-a2a5-4aae-92e7-c2f8aae9d2bc.

Simply bookmark the above URL in your browser and click that bookmark every time you want to change your Air France-KLM Flying Blue award search.  Don’t forget to switch to the “Book with Miles” tab before entering your new search criteria.

If the above URL ever stops working, simply go through the steps in Solution 1 and then bookmark the URL after clicking through from airfrance.com to airfrance.us.

Bonus Tip: Monthly Calendar View

Air France’s award search tool has a useful monthly calendar view (but note that it only works for Air France and KLM flights and even then it’s only partially accurate), but it’s not obvious how to see it.  As noted in the post “A trick for viewing the Flying Blue award calendar” there are two ways to view the monthly calendar:

From the search screen…

When entering your search criteria, simply leave “Travel dates” blank and the system will take you directly to the monthly calendar.

From the results screen…

Once you’ve clicked to view results for a specific day, you can get back to the monthly calendar.  Go to to your browser’s address bar and simply change the word “offers” to “open-dates” and press enter.

Calendar Issues

The calendar view can be very helpful for finding saver level awards on Air France and KLM, but it’s not perfect.  Here are some issues I’ve come across:

  1. Air France / KLM Only: It doesn’t show award pricing for other airlines.  For example, there may be award availability on Delta and/or Virgin Atlantic which can be booked with Flying Blue miles, but the calendar won’t show it.
  2. Results don’t always match class of service: In one search for business class awards, I saw a day that appeared to have business class award availability for about 55,000 points (which is reasonable), but when I clicked on the date, that option didn’t show.  I finally checked economy pricing and found an option for 55,000 points there.
  3. Sometimes the calendar refuses to show any results at all.  I don’t know if that means that there is no Saver level availability or if something else is going on.
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Eric

Hey Greg! I was stuck with the infinite spinning circle. I tried the two links in the article but did not help 🙁 Any idea what I can do?

A380fanboy

I usually just use the AF app instead. The IT is a whole lot better than the .us site

Steven

This was amazing advice, thank you!

JustSaying

This is an excellent down in the weeds article and is a testament to the elevated mental tools you bring to the table. One thing I have consistently found that if I am coming from the West Coast it is Always fewer miles to travel on from Paris to a different European country. And I have also discovered that I can do layovers coming from another country and then stop in Paris for a few days on my way home. I’ve never had any complaints with AF Biz!

Jonathan

hi! could you teach me how you booked extended layover for more than a few hours on AF Biz? i am eyeing a J award redemption from SFO-LIS via CDG on AF, but wasn’t able to see the option. and AF seemed to not offer stopovers when i last checked. thank ylu!

JustSaying

It’s not an option…….so what I did purely by accident was call to make a change and I had noticed that the complete itinerary had been available t the lowest level for 5 days in a row so I asked if instead of a 12 hour layover I could do a 96 hour layover……..sure that is available! Just pure dumb luck……..

Jonathan

what an amazing coincidence 😉 thanks for your reply!

Sara Bonacci

I also figured out that if I “refuse cookies” when logging in that that solves the problem too. Google still remembers my sign in but because I refused the air france/flying blue cookies it seems to stop the problem for me.

Eric Pease

I’ve been tracking SFO to ATH on Air France for a couple of months for a summer 2023 trip. Minimum business class tickets were 55k each way prior to July 1. Now the minimum is 65k. 21% devaluation.

Frank

I’m impressed you could find awards for even 65K. To CDG I am finding nothing less than 139K from LAX for next summer, and most days are 280K or more.

Eric Pease

looks like 80k on June 27 with 7 seats available… I was tracking flights every single day as they were released.

Frank Wilson

Yeah. Unfortunately, we have to travel a week earlier than that. I’ve also been tracking every day, and the prices seem to fluctuate without much rhyme or reason. I’m hoping some of those 280K-400K prices with 8 seats available are just AF’s starting offer, and that they will eventually come down when no revenue tickets or awards are sold at those prices. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why some random date and flight goes for 80k when every other flight that day or surrounding days is for 300K or more.
And what’s with the miles shown for individual flights always being a couple of thousand more than the price shown on the “lowest price” calendar-view headings for those same dates?

Eric Pease

sometimes I have found a lower individual day fare that shows up at the top of the day column but is not found in the list of flights below… sometimes that fare can be found on the KLM website. so do check both AirFrance.com and KLM.com when there is a discrepancy like that.

Frank

Thanks for the helpful tips. Now, if you could only figure out a way to find reasonable awards to Paris from the West Coast. I used to be able to find dates with one-way Biz class for 56,000 FB miles or slightly more when the calendar first opened, but now everything prices out at 300,000 miles or more, with an occasional “bargain” at 176,000. Air France seems to have changed its whole approach to pricing award travel recently.

Eric Pease

At least two west coast routes, SFO-ATH and SFO-Milan increased by 21% for the minimum business class award ticket as of 1 July.

anonymous

I, too, am interested in U.S. West Coast to Europe average business class miles prices. I’m trying to decide if joining Flying Blue is gonna be worth the effort for me. (My MR points are burning a hole in my virtual pocket.)

Oh, and… **** Delta!

Last edited 1 month ago by anonymous
Gubmintmole

This is very useful information. I have lost track of the times I got stuck as described when trying to search

MalMel

This is why you are THE BEST. Thank you for the testing and detailed info! We got a great biz class awards deal on KLM January 2020 FLR-AMS-ORD. Can’t wait to repeat it.

Matt

Now this (and the similar post about VS calendar search) is some high quality FM content! Thanks, the AF website drives me crazy.

FMF

Thanks for that! Has been very annoying recently! It seems that “https://wwws.airfrance.us/?_ga=” is sufficient. Looks like the parameter “_ga” just needs to be set to any value (even an empty one).

Peter

Thanks Greg. I thought this AF hang issue was due to my my browser or vpn. Funny how these airline searches are bug-free on the revenue search side.

Do you happen to know if Seat Spy searches for Flying Blue metal is more accurate than Flying Blue’s own website calendar?

Am I imagining something or did AA recently clean-up their similar calendar search issue (erroring-out after multiple searches)?

Peter

Thanks. SeatSpy has Lufthansa,Swiss, Austrian, Brussels, Croatia and LOT in beta. Is the availability these airlines show the same as what they release to partners? Thinking that’s not so for LH.