NEW Programs AF-KLM "FLYING BLUE"

Old Mar 23, 05, 2:24 am
  #1  
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Flying Blue

Breaking News!! F+/FD finally officially unveil the new name of the merged program Flying Blue on the KLM website today (the AF website shows nothing!!).

The program will begin in June and will have four levels: Ivory, Silver, Gold and Platinum with current levels of memberships being the determinant (this is not a problem for FD but is very unclear for F+ which currently has 3 levels only).

New cards will be sent to FD accounts in April/May.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 4:02 am
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
Breaking News!! F+/FD finally officially unveil the new name of the merged program Flying Blue on the KLM website today (the AF website shows nothing!!).

The program will begin in June and will have four levels: Ivory, Silver, Gold and Platinum with current levels of memberships being the determinant (this is not a problem for FD but is very unclear for F+ which currently has 3 levels only).

New cards will be sent to FD accounts in April/May.
Same information (Same wording in fact) on both the KL and AF sites although little information is provided. Details about the programme will be available on the F+/FD sections of the AF/KL sites beginning of May.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 4:04 am
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I just had F+ on the phone (and YES, I prefer the name F+ to Flying Blue, and as AF is no longer a state company, they do not have to enforce strongly regulations about using French language). As the staff is being trained, any information given out should be checked. I was told that :

+ F+ Rouge members would become platinum on June 1st
+ contrary to what has been pre-announced on the KLM forum here at FT, we should still earn full mileage on international N fares and earn the minimum 1,000 miles (I certainly hope this is true)
+ booking one way award flights should be possible
+ upgrading with miles should be easier

I was not calling for information on Flying Blue but to have a flight credited to my account. I was told that it ts currently not possible to do it over the phone and that I should use a fax, as they are trying to clear a substantial backlog.


I just went to the AF press release, where you have images of the new FF cards. Interestingly enough, while the Platinum card also has "SkyTeam Elite Plus", the Silver card has "SkyTeam Elite", there is no SkyTeam Elite level mentioned on the Gold card. Will it be Elite or Elite Plus ?

Last edited by JOUY31; Mar 23, 05 at 5:44 am
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Old Mar 23, 05, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
+ F+ Rouge members would become platinum on June 1st
+ contrary to what has been pre-announced on the KLM forum here at FT, we should still earn full mileage on international N fares and earn the minimum 1,000 miles (I certainly hope this is true)
+ booking one way award flights should be possible
+ upgrading with miles should be easier

I just went to the AF press release, where you have images of the new FF cards. Interestingly enough, while the Platinum card also has "SkyTeam Elite Plus", the Silver card has "SkyTeam Elite", there is no SkyTeam Elite level mentioned on the Gold card. Will it be Elite or Elite Plus ?
Exactly what I was thinking. There are F+ Rouge people out there with 40,000qmiles and others with 100+. They had to split them. I suspect they will use the same breakdown as FD for their 4 levels.
For the first year (which actually is only 9 months from June 1 to March 31 date of expiry of the cards), they will probably give all Rouges the platinum in order not to infuriate those with 40, 50, or 60,000qmiles in 2004 and keep their access to the lounges. But for next year, they will insist on a 70 or 80,000qmiles balance to become platinum. This will decrease the pressure on the lounges which are becoming terribly overcrowded especially with the news about terminal 2E which will need at least another 2 years. One has to understand that the current overcrowding of the lounges is unacceptable to all but especially those who have paid business class fares.

They will probably keep crediting V and N fares with full mileage with the increase of threshold. It would scare a too large of a customer base if they had to deal simultaneously with an increase in the thresholds and a decrease in the qmiles credit to the lowest fares.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 5:32 am
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Well, the only thing official that we seem to know if the name... and I have to be honest: Fais-moi vomir.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
This will decrease the pressure on the lounges which are becoming terribly overcrowded especially with the news about terminal 2E which will need at least another 2 years. One has to understand that the current overcrowding of the lounges is unacceptable to all but especially those who have paid business class fares.
This assumes that Gold will not have access to lounges. I don't regard this as credible. It has to be the case that Gold have access to lounges, otherwise AF would be the only program not to give access to lounges for its mid-tier. By way of comparison, current KL GEs do have such access. I would similarly expect GE to be ST E+.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by NickB
This assumes that Gold will not have access to lounges.
Could be something as simple as:
Silver gets nada- Gold gets access at AFKL lounges- Platinum everywhere.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by NickB
This assumes that Gold will not have access to lounges. I don't regard this as credible. It has to be the case that Gold have access to lounges, otherwise AF would be the only program not to give access to lounges for its mid-tier. By way of comparison, current KL GEs do have such access. I would similarly expect GE to be ST E+.
I tend to agree that Gold will be Sky Team Elite Plus - I just don't see how they can reasonably expect Rouge members who have been Elite Plus to accept no longer having access to Sky Team lounges ... it is one of the few real benefits of being Rouge.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 7:18 am
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Originally Posted by dctorres
Well, the only thing official that we seem to know if the name... and I have to be honest: Fais-moi vomir.


Wow, the new name does, indeed, really stink. They could have at least maintained one internationally recognized French word in the program name.

How about Sacré Blue?
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Old Mar 23, 05, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by blairvanhorn
Wow, the new name does, indeed, really stink. They could have at least maintained one internationally recognized French word in the program name.

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?
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Old Mar 23, 05, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by blairvanhorn
I tend to agree that Gold will be Sky Team Elite Plus - I just don't see how they can reasonably expect Rouge members who have been Elite Plus to accept no longer having access to Sky Team lounges ... it is one of the few real benefits of being Rouge.

I agree. That is why I mentioned that they might opt to give all Rouges the Platinum card for June 1 to March 31, 2006 and next year status will be based on qmiles in 2005 to reach Gold or Platinum. This will be the only way not to infuriate some of the currently Rouge members.
On the other hand, if Gold will have access to the lounges, what will be the main advantage to become Platinum? What is the incentive? Perhaps Platinums will get 100% miles bonus and say 50% for Golds??
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Old Mar 23, 05, 9:28 am
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if that theory holds true, and it sounds plausible to me!, should we expect a plat card this year or just keep the Rouge until next year?
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Old Mar 23, 05, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by ALEXIS2004
I agree. That is why I mentioned that they might opt to give all Rouges the Platinum card for June 1 to March 31, 2006 and next year status will be based on qmiles in 2005 to reach Gold or Platinum. This will be the only way not to infuriate some of the currently Rouge members.
On the other hand, if Gold will have access to the lounges, what will be the main advantage to become Platinum? What is the incentive? Perhaps Platinums will get 100% miles bonus and say 50% for Golds??
Well, as we are all basically assuming facts not in evidence due to the very poor communication from Air France on this (Exhibit 1: today's puff-piece press release ...), here are my thoughts.

I think that lounge access has been one of the biggest benefits to being Rouge within F+ and Sky Team; if you look at another alliance like Star Alliance, most of the programs' mid-tier elites are Star Gold and enjoy lounge access.

So, I think AF will try to differentiate between Plats and Golds in another way - you mention different mileage bonuses above, which seems viable to me (Rouge have traditionally had a 50% mileage bonus, why not 75% or 100% for Plats?), and don't forget that one of the other main (unpublished) benefits to being Rouge has been priority for op-upgrades when planes are full. So obviously Plats will now be at the top of the departure management priority lists for upgrades ...

I also think they might, for example, open up more award availability to Plats and perhaps have a special Plat call center, etc. etc.

Again, these are just hunches, but the two key published benefits to Rouge have historically been the 50% mileage bonus and lounge access across the Sky Team network. I really can't imagine AF alienating their Rouge elites by touching those two cornerstones; if they up the mileage bonus just for Plats, they can maintain the lounge access and mileage bonus for Rouges and no one feels like a loser (relatively speaking, of course!).
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Old Mar 23, 05, 11:12 am
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What do think might happen to us humble FP Bleu members? And do you think that collecting on Kenya Airways (KQ) will be possible this Summer?
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Old Mar 23, 05, 11:16 am
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Dctorres, they mentioned that the cards will be sent out during April/May to all members who have had some activity in the last two years. So come June 1 almost everyone will have his card.

blairvanhorn, I agree with your comments. After rethinking the possible scenarios, I think the Gold level will be the equivalent of today's Rouge and Platinum will have even more benefits. But I really do not see how they will handle the current Rouges without getting some people angry.
Scenario 1: They give all Rouges the Platinum card for 9 months. This will anger some FD people who had say 55,000qmiles in 2004 who will have to settle for Gold (had they been F+ they would have become Platinum)
Scenario 2: They split the Rouges into Gold and Platinum according to their qmiles of 2004. Some people will say that the rules changed after the game was over.
Out of the two scenarios, No.2 seems more plausible, especially if they keep exactly the same benefits that Rouges had to the new Gold level and Platinums get new increased benefits.
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