Sarah Hostetler at TPG is reporting relatively open availability for economy class award tickets between the US and Europe for 30,000 miles round trip. While you’ll pay a bit in surcharges and economy class awards may not be the most exciting redemption, this can nonetheless be a very good deal for some, particularly for family travelers given the availability and discount for child tickets.
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue is currently offering economy class awards between the US and Europe from 15K miles each way (with about $200 in taxes and fees if you book round trip).
- Availability runs through the end of the schedule and varies by city pair. You’ll need to log in at airfrance.us to search dates and cities.
While many miles and points enthusiasts primarily collect rewards in order to use them for premium cabin space, there are many others who are more interested in getting to the destination for as few miles as possible.
If that’s your aim, this sale can be a great deal.
That’s because many east coast cities to Europe are ringing in as cheaply as 15,000 miles each way. Take for example this week in late June 2023 where four out of seven days have economy class itineraries for 15,000 miles per passenger.
Some cities will price differently and it seems that, generally speaking, the farther west in the US you are located, it will cost a bit more. For instance, those same late June dates had flights from Rome to Chicago ringing in at 17,500 miles one way in economy class.
Depending on the route, you’re looking at around $200 round trip in taxes and fees. That’s certainly not an example of low surcharges, but neither is it out of hand given the low mileage price. Here’s round trip from New York to Budapest during peak summer travel dates for 30K and about $200.
I mentioned that this availability may particularly appeal to family travelers. In part, that’s because of the availability of many seats. Many of these flights have 8 available seats (or maybe even more).
It is often difficult to find even 3 or 4 seats in business class, so those traveling with a larger group may be happy to see this availability.
Keep in mind that Flying Blue offers a 25% mileage discount for child tickets (age 2-11). Your kid(s) will still be on the hook for taxes and fees, but the total for 1 adult and 1 child comes out to just 52,500 miles on the flights above.
At an average price of 13,250 miles and $100 each way per passenger, it’s hard to argue with that redemption.
While this deal won’t appeal to those who prefer flying up front, there is certainly value to be had for those looking to stretch their miles as far as possible.
Thank you for this post!
Currently there is a 20 percent transfer bonus Capital One to AF
Also seeing good availability for premium economy (30k each way) and business (55k each way) from NYC and IAD to MUC next July. Thanks for sharing!
With those fees; it’s not a great redemption: economy JFK to BUD is around $600 RT around that time. $600-$200 fees = $400. Divide $400 by 30,000 miles = 1.33 cpp. Meh.
Absolutely true, but also highly situational. For instance, the same dates from Washington DC start at $681 on British Airways. Air France starts at $819 RT on those dates. Flights are 17K each way from Washington. It can really vary. I don’t think Air France / KLM serve Philadelphia, but cash prices from PHL were closer to $1500 RT on other airlines. New York is certainly a less expensive market than many others, so the value there will depend on your dates and needs.
I agree that it’s situational. To your point, if you’re flying a family to Europe & just want to get there as painless as possible, the $800 for family of four presents a very good out of pocket value. We have to consider the availability of 4+ main cabin on an international worth a certain amount in this case as well. Even more if it meets your work schedule.
Not my situation now but it was when I had a full house with jobs, school & everyone wanted to travel.
I think this promo could work for those families that are cash poor but miles rich.
But being in that boat myself… I’d probably rather look for the discounted cash fares with flights around $300 to Europe r/t.
I was thinking that as well but you will have to connect… Unless your destination is Lisbon, Reykjavik, etc. But yeah… My point was the value of the non-stop, seat selection & availability. Some folks do like to connect to grab a good meal at the connection, stretch legs & let the kids kill the energy in the concourse, not the aisle of the airplane. Probably a good side effect of those cheap Tap SFO-LIS fares.
Personally, with 3 boisterous youngsters, I actually value the connections because it gives us a chance to stretch their legs, eat some decent food, use the bathroom properly, and rest a little at a lounge, etc. On super long haul flights the kids get too cranky and so the trips with connections actually work better for my family. If we have a layover in Lisbon or something on the way to Budapest that’s totally OK.
I like it. Also very fair to point the arrow away from the “monolithic” pp$ “value”. There’s room for nuance. This blog does a much better job of this on average but the gentleman that has a family of 4 “just pays cash” for the extra room because it’s not a good “value” for points, so let’s earn points. That may not represent why some folks with families accrue points. I totally was there. Points & miles enabled me to take my kids to many places & learn a ton about this planet & people – when there wasn’t the points vs cash option . None of it was in the front of the plane.
I get why my comment flys in the face of a main cabin redemption post. However, I do think there are many ways to “value” points.
Yes Value is the correct term to use.As $$ or Time,Airport, Good seats on that flt ect ect. That’s why Value travel takes so much time and Points do make it affordable.