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(DISCLOSURE: This post was sponsored by Air France and I did receive compensation.  All opinions are my own)

Many times people that are just starting out in the miles and points world focus solely on the frequent flier programs of the domestic US airlines.  So people think of the traditional “Big 3” of United, American, Delta and maybe other US-based airlines of Southwest, Alaska, Frontier or others.  This makes sense since travelers flying domestically in the US typically only see those airlines flying

But thanks to airline alliances, it can be very lucrative to pay attention to the frequent flier programs of foreign airlines, EVEN IF you never actually set foot on one of their planes!  Using 4500 British Airways Avios to fly short-haul flights in the US used to be one of the best miles deals out there (it’s dead now)

a large white airplane on a runway

Air France Flying Blue program

Flying Blue is the frequent flier program of both Air France and KLM.  Air France and KLM are both part of the Skyteam airline alliance (along with Delta and many other airlines worldwide)

(QUIZ: Can you name the 20 Skyteam airlines?)

What that means is that you can use your Flying Blue miles to fly on Delta or any other Skyteam partner, and Flying Blue has an award chart that has many sweet spots.

[5 obscure Flying Blue awards you might have overlooked]

One of the best is 15,000 Flying Blue miles one way to Hawaii.  You can transfer to Flying Blue 1:1 from each of the 4 main transferrable currencies (Chase, American Express, Citibank and SPG).  So instead of using 22,500 Delta miles to fly from the US to Hawaii (if you can even FIND Delta awards that cheap), you can use 15,000 Flying Blue miles

Winter escape to Hawaii

Image courtesy of Jason Francisco

Air France destination of the month – the British Isles!

Another great use of Flying Blue miles is their monthly promo awards.  Each month, Flying Blue releases a set of promo awards that you can book for 25% or 50% off of the regular mile price.  For example, here are the current Flying Blue promo awards for November 2017

Unlike some of the low cost carriers that are prevalent, Air France flights to Europe offer hot meal and drinks included

a woman serving a man in an airplane a plate of food on a purple background a plate of food on a blue and white background

Air France also offers a champagne service and complimentary in-flight entertainment

a man in a garment

Air France’s November destination of the month is the British Isles, and you can typically use their promo award flights to fly ANYWHERE in Europe, including the British Isles.  My parents just got back from 10 days in Scotland (and Ireland) and had a blast.  If you’re heading to Scotland, you’ll want to make sure to check out their posts on the Falkirk Wheel (pictured below), Jacobite Steam Train and 9 traditional Scottish foods to try besides haggis

Falkirk Wheel with multiple arches

Visiting London

In addition to my parents’ recent trip, Carolyn and I spent a few days in London back in 2015.  We stayed 2 nights at the Staybridge Suites in Vauxhall (using our 2 free nights) and 1 night at the London Park Lane Hilton. Of course we had an awesome time.  We visited UNESCO World Heritage sites Stonehenge and Bath

a woman standing in front of a stone monument with Stonehenge in the background

And of course the British Museum and Victoria and Albert (free admission!)  And we went to church as well (Do you go to church while on vacation? I do!)

Have you flown Air France before?  Leave your experiences in the comments!

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