NEW Programs AF-KLM "FLYING BLUE"

Old Mar 24, 05, 12:47 pm
  #46  
 
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Another interesting question (already briefly discussed on the KLM board) is what will happen to this forum. Since they're grouped by "airline program" and not by airline, it seems like Flying Blue will get it's own (new?) forum and the AF and KLM forums will either be combined or relegated to the "discontinued programs" bin. Seems sad.
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Old Mar 24, 05, 12:56 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by eefor jfp
Another interesting question (already briefly discussed on the KLM board) is what will happen to this forum. Since they're grouped by "airline program" and not by airline, it seems like Flying Blue will get it's own (new?) forum and the AF and KLM forums will either be combined or relegated to the "discontinued programs" bin. Seems sad.

I have been discussing this with our highly-esteemed KLM moderator, ralfkippner, and we've offered our mutually-agreed upon suggestions to Randy and the House of Miles.

I promise to keep the AF forum abreast once anything is decided.

Derek
AF Moderator
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Old Mar 24, 05, 2:48 pm
  #48  
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Given the flavour of current discussions on the AF and KL boards, I believe it would be somewhat premature to merge the two boards. The members of each original FFP are focusing on the moves AWAY from what they currently enjoy, and rightly so, as no reliable information is available on the forthcoming merged program (what a horrible name, BTW). And the discussion of the past and present merits of FD, with different approaches from the UK and the Netherlands is rather arcane for current F+ members .
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Old Mar 24, 05, 3:00 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
IMHO, it would not be a very good move to move now some Rouges to Platinum and others to Gold. Of course, it depends on the level of benefits which Gold will enjoy, but we have no information about that. It would be much wiser to transfer ALL Rouges to Platinum and give them the incentive to reach the new qualification level by year's end. Telling your customers that they are the most loyal and therefore receive a Rouge card in March 2005, then in May 2005 that they are only second best is one of the worst commercial attitudes possible. And about the argument of fairness to Gold in FD, they would not be demoted but just keep their second tier, which would not be the case of Rouges moving to Gold.
I agree with you 100% based on principle, Jouy. But based on practicality, I also tend to agree with what Alexis wrote:

Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
c- About the 4 levels of membership, it is worthy to note that KLM only mentions a transfer to 4 new levels which leads to believe it will merely be a simple transfer to the same levels as previous. On the other hand, AF says that there will be 4 new levels and transfer will be based on current status and acquired q miles . Based on this, I don't think that all Rouges will become Platinum. Only those with the same amount of qmiles as the current FD highest level will become Platinum. Others will become Gold.
I just read this on the AF site and my first reaction was also that their wording implies that they will split Rouges into Plats and Golds based on 2004 qualifying miles.

Although I would be disappointed not to maintain the highest level in the new AF program after having fulfilled the mileage requirements as spelled out in the T&C for qualifying in 2004, I hope that AF has the good sense to soften this blow by at the very least maintaining all current Rouge benefits (e.g. system-wide ST lounge access, qualifying miles for all fares that have been qualifying in the past, etc.) ... and they might even consider increasing the 50% mileage bonus for Golds as a gesture of goodwill.

Last edited by blairvanhorn; Mar 24, 05 at 3:03 pm
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Old Mar 24, 05, 3:10 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
Given the flavour of current discussions on the AF and KL boards, I believe it would be somewhat premature to merge the two boards. The members of each original FFP are focusing on the moves AWAY from what they currently enjoy, and rightly so, as no reliable information is available on the forthcoming merged program (what a horrible name, BTW). And the discussion of the past and present merits of FD, with different approaches from the UK and the Netherlands is rather arcane for current F+ members .
Well, nothing is decided, and we've requested that nothing happen until June at the earliest. At the end of the day, Randy will have to decide what he'll do with the two forums.
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Old Mar 24, 05, 3:34 pm
  #51  
 
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I sincerely hope both forums stay separate. I would be extremely depressed to read "Flying Blue" all day in my forum list

Really, EVERYONE in this thread dislike the name, English and non-English native speaker alike. I wonder how did the companies in charge of F+ and FD decide the name...
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Old Mar 24, 05, 8:26 pm
  #52  
 
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When KL took over AF; and variations on a name

Originally Posted by graraps
The name sounds a lot more KL than AF...KL has always painted everything (from planes to FD cards) blue...And Dutch isn't much of an international language so English has been always in use...And even the word Flying was carried over from FD... When did KL take over AF?

1. Oh come on, stop moaning about the name, it gives new meaning to the expression "I flew blue". And the principal colour in AF design is also blue, white not being a colour, eh? Since when did creativity shine out of a merger?

Try making a new name out of the letters...
Belly fungi ...
Big felluny ...
The best of all is by using Welsh words

2. KL took over AF, in AMS at least, at the cusp of 2004-2005. We AFers are now encouraged to use the KL lounges where Internet costs, No Staff Smiles, and No Staff Cares whereas the AF lounge was all good personal service and free e-access. The same grim staid anonymity greets us at check-in and ticketing, now there is no AF service desk for bright and personalised service.

The takeover of AF by KL (in customer relations) was confirmed, it seems in January 2005, when AF reservations made in the Netherlands had to be ticketed on KL (074) stock. Prior to owning KL, AF used to issue its own tickets on AF stock.
Try changing an AF reservation for a IAD-AMS ticket in Washington at an AF counter in less than 70 minutes, and without hearing the AF staff 'blue' (slander) their apparently (perhaps they have a point) incompetent colleagues at KL, or in fact NW. It's never worked for me.

And they poured salt on the wound this March (2005) by announcing that Netherlands-based members of AF Voyageurs Rewards, their biz incentive deal, were being transferred to the KLM Blue Bizz programme, which only gives rewards for tickets issued on KL stock. At 70 minutes a ticket change, that's asking a lot from a client.

No doubt the KLMers responsible for this are rubbing their hands in vengeful glee, but me, a mere customer, am taking more and more to flying red, yellow, other shades of blue. Until they sort themselves out, ufbellying or whatever it's called.
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Old Mar 24, 05, 10:46 pm
  #53  
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I see nothing but positives with this news. Not only will I get my usual great service and support from AF, but now I will get that from KLM too. So I instantly get top level elite in another airline that happens to fly to a heck of a lot of places.

I haven't flown KLM longhaul in many years. I'm looking forward to trying it again later this year.

I flew about double the required amount for Rouge last year so I expect I'll get Platinum. I would equaly expect that people who only did the bare minimum would get Gold. But I'm not going to cry about it if they make an exception for this year. I'll just deal with packed lounges like usual.
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Old Mar 25, 05, 1:30 pm
  #54  
 
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Like many others, I can't say that I'm terribly excited by the new name - even though I can see the common ground for the color. I hope that it is not a sign of us feeling the blues after learning the detail of the new program. ;-)
The idea is probably to loose the French and Dutch identity in order to create a Pan-European company with no flavor (just plain vanilla).

For us who are current F+ Rouge members, we have somehow been given the value of this card until March next year, so I don't think that they can remove any benefits.
I hope that we can continue the lounge access since it is a very good benefit of the program. Perhaps the new Platinum will give access to First class lounges rather than the regular lounges?

I'm wondering how much SkyTeam is trying to harmonize the different member frequent flyer programs? Delta has similar names for the different levels, and has just (again) modified it's program.
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Old Mar 25, 05, 2:21 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
IMHO, it would not be a very good move to move now some Rouges to Platinum and others to Gold. Of course, it depends on the level of benefits which Gold will enjoy, but we have no information about that. It would be much wiser to transfer ALL Rouges to Platinum and give them the incentive to reach the new qualification level by year's end. Telling your customers that they are the most loyal and therefore receive a Rouge card in March 2005, then in May 2005 that they are only second best is one of the worst commercial attitudes possible. And about the argument of fairness to Gold in FD, they would not be demoted but just keep their second tier, which would not be the case of Rouges moving to Gold.

Just my 2 cts.
Trouble is that there is no benefit that is currently available to F+ Rouge which is not available to FD Gold. Giving additional benefits to all F+ Rouge while denying it to FD Gold would seem hardly fair: increasing the benefits for some AF FFers at the same time as diminishing the benefits for some KL FFers, all the more so as the threshold for F+ Rouge (40K) is lower than the threshold for FD Gold (50K).
I agree with you that it would be problematic to separate out among the Rouges but it would be equally problematic to treat some Rouge and some FD Golds differently.
The only sensible way to deal with this would have been to announce the new programme a year in advance and bring it on board the following January.
Failing that, the least bad solution is put all F+ Rouge, FD Plat and FD Gold to top level for the transitional period.
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Old Mar 25, 05, 2:58 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by NickB
Trouble is that there is no benefit that is currently available to F+ Rouge which is not available to FD Gold. Giving additional benefits to all F+ Rouge while denying it to FD Gold would seem hardly fair: increasing the benefits for some AF FFers at the same time as diminishing the benefits for some KL FFers, all the more so as the threshold for F+ Rouge (40K) is lower than the threshold for FD Gold (50K).
I agree with you that it would be problematic to separate out among the Rouges but it would be equally problematic to treat some Rouge and some FD Golds differently.
The only sensible way to deal with this would have been to announce the new programme a year in advance and bring it on board the following January.
Failing that, the least bad solution is put all F+ Rouge, FD Plat and FD Gold to top level for the transitional period.
I'm not to familiar with the FD program, so it is difficult for me to comment on it. Also, I believe that you can't be member of FD with an American address. You would have to be member of NW's program (and the other way around in Europe).

You can't compare the threshold between F+ Rouge and FD Gold since the F+ has different level depending on the country. It is 60,000 miles in France, but 40,000 miles in the US.

Otherwise, I can only agree on your observations.

The reason for the news release photo of the new FB Gold card doesn't contain the SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus is probably because they haven't worked out the status yet. - Or they are afraid of telling it ;-)
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Old Mar 26, 05, 1:31 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by GrapeDane
The reason for the news release photo of the new FB Gold card doesn't contain the SkyTeam Elite or Elite Plus is probably because they haven't worked out the status yet. - Or they are afraid of telling it ;-)
I think it is also something they are negotiating with their Skyteam partners. Note that benefits for Elite/Elite+ are valid at all partners in Skyteam. They will have and should have a say about all this matter.
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Old Mar 26, 05, 1:40 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by GrapeDane
You can't compare the threshold between F+ Rouge and FD Gold since the F+ has different level depending on the country. It is 60,000 miles in France, but 40,000 miles in the US.
;-)
This is why they have to find a system which is as fair as possible for all. The first year there will be some losers and winners on all sides (but the losses/gains will be minimal) but later on all will be on an equal basis including the thresholds will be same to reach the various levels whether you are resident of France, Netherlands or anywhere.
Also, US residents will have the same benefits as everyone (currently Rouges get a 100pct bonus whereas everyone else gets 50pct). To compensate that, they will probably give 50% bonus to Golds all over the world and 75pct or 100pct bonus for all Platinums.
Platinums will be allowed lounge access in the U.S as the threshold to reach Platinum will be closer to other Elite+ within the US members of Skyteam.
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Old Mar 26, 05, 6:54 am
  #59  
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
Platinums will be allowed lounge access in the U.S as the threshold to reach Platinum will be closer to other Elite+ within the US members of Skyteam.

???
US Skyteam members don't allow their elites lounge access for domestic flights (only DL does and even then it's indirect through complimentary lounge membership). All ST E+, regardless of airline, flying Skyteam internationally are entitled to lounge access.
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Old Mar 27, 05, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by gougouk
Actually Air France American Express Card offers qualiflying miles but KLM Amex offers miles which are not qualiflying. Will they give qm miles for KLM/AX holder or change the rules for AF/AX holders?
The credit card companies purchase the miles from the airlines. I would therefore imagine that AMEX in France pays more for the qualifying miles than AMEX in Holland pays for the non-qualifying miles. I don't think the merger of the Programs should have anything to do with that. It's an issue for AMEX and not for Air France/KLM.
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