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One of the most common award aspirations for many people is to go from North America to Europe.  For people that live in North America that haven’t done a lot of travel, going “across the pond” is a common first big travel.  That’s probably the most frequent destination people talk to me about.  Earlier this year I helped a family of 5 take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Berlin!

(READ: Reader Request: Family of 5 to Berlin)

(READ: Did we get a family of 5 to Berlin for free?)

Air France / KLM promo awards

Every month Flying Blue announces a new set of Air France / KLM promo awards.  These awards are bookable for a month at a time, for travel dates 2-3 months out.  So on October 1st, the Air France / KLM promo awards are announced that are bookable for the month of October, for travel in December and January.  November 1st there will be a new set of awards bookable in November, for travel in January and February.

These deals are usually for 25 or 50% the regular price for redemptions.  This makes a roundtrip ticket to Europe only 12,500 miles!!! That’s the cheapest price I know of to get from North America to Europe

october-air-france-klm-promo-awards

The October KLM promo awards aren’t super exciting, at least for North American travelers, since they’re all just for 25% off.  There are a few decent deals connecting other destinations however

october-air-france-klm-promo-awards-2Fuel surcharges – the only downside

So one big downside to the Flying Blue / Air France / KLM promo awards is that they do impose fuel surcharges on award flights.  They are not as egregious as some other places (cough, cough, British Airways to London), but you are still looking at ~$125 on an economy ticket and ~$225 on a business class ticket.

Connect onward – just about anywhere in Europe

While many times if you are going to Europe your trans-atlantic flight will be going to Paris or Amsterdam (these are called the AIR FRANCE / KLM promo awards, after all!), you can actually connect onwards to just about anywhere in Europe.

Stopovers

The Air France website doesn’t seem to allow overnight layovers, even when they’re less than 24 hours (and thus technically layovers which “should” be allowed).  For instance, check out this sample itinerary from Detroit to Toulouse, France (connecting in Paris), which was one of the September 50% off awards.

detroit-toulouse-air-france-klm-promo-awardsThere are several other flights from Paris to Toulouse in the morning, including one leaving Paris at 7:20 a.m.  If you arrive in Paris at 11:25 and leave at 7:20 a.m. the next day, that technically is NOT a stopover (because it’s less than 24 hours) and so I’d think that it should be allowed.  I am not clear if this is an Air France policy issue, or just a limitation of the website.

According to the terms of Air France award redemptions, you can get a stopover as well, but it’s not bookable online, and the Air France call center is awful (at least in my experience – I just sit and sit on hold and have literally never been able to get through)

Still, 12,500 miles for flights to Europe has got to be one of the best deals out there.  You only have a few days left to book these deals – new ones will be out on Saturday!

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