Old May 9, 2019, 4:08 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: sehgalanuj
FLYING BLUE ULTIMATE

Main facts
Ultimate is not a status in FB but a tag on Platinum / Platinum for life / Club 2000 Skipper existing status.
While regular FB status (Silver/Gold/Platinum) are based on experience points earning (XP), Ultimate status is obtained by Ultimate XP (UXP) earning. UXPs are earned exclusively on AF- and KL-coded (= marketed) flights, whatever the operating airline.
Some examples :
- CDG-JFK AF-marketing, AF-operating : eligible to UXP earning
- CDG-JFK DL-marketing, AF-operating : NON-eligible to UXP earning
- AMS-BOS KL-marketing, DL-operating : eligible to UXP earning
- BOS-IND KL-marketing, DL-operating : eligible to UXP earning
- SIN-SYD AF-marketing, QF-operating : eligible to UXP earning
- CDG-FCO AZ-marketing, AZ-operating : NON-eligible to UXP earning

XP earned via AFKL Amex cards are not eligible (those are XP and not UXP).

To qualify for Ultimate, it is needed to have 900 UXP over a year. It is similar to the normal XP counter, resetting as soon as the tier is reached. Ultimate is valid for 1 year once granted. Note 03/2023 : the qualification system just changed from 1800 UXP over 2 years to 900 UXP/1 year. Some transitional measures are in place for the current Ultimate members. See here for details about handling of transition period :
https://www.flyingblue.com/fr/landin...m_content=main

New 03/2023 : a rollover of surplus UXP (over 900) is now possible to the next year and only to the next year (example : year 1, the member earns 2000UXP. At the end of year 1, only 900 UXP will be rolled-over to year 2 and the remaining 1100 UXP earned in Y1 will be lost and not be transferred to year 3. If during year 2, the member earned 1000 new (fresh) UXP, 100 will be rolled-over to year 3.

Hard benefits
- All FB Platinum/Club 2000-Skipper benefits
- Access to a Travel Assistant service 24/7. They are reachable by phone or by email. In practice, from 8 pm to 8 am CET, calls are taken by the Platinum line.
- highest priority on waiting list and in case of irrops
- Possibility to register up to 8 persons who can benefit from Sky Priority services and lounge access when traveling with the Ultimate member and on same PNR(lounge access is only in AFKL lounges here). Note that we had several reports in 2022 showing that SP benefits are not granted in practice to travel companions.
- one companion Platinum card
- when the Ultimate member is flying P, 2 guests are allowed in CDG P lounge.
- Zone 1 boarding, irrespective of travel class.
- Access to Hertz Platinum status
- four one-class upgrade certificates per membership year, requiring 1 from W to J, or 2 from Y to J. Upgrades are confirmed instantly at the time of booking (via the Travel Assistant). One voucher = one way. Vouchers can also be used by one of the 8 registered friend/family members travelling by themselves. In case of a long-haul flight with a medium-haul connection/feeder (e.g. CDG-AMS-JFK), the medium-haul segment will be upgraded also with still only one voucher used. In case of 2 long-haul flights in connection (e,g. DXB-CDG-JFK), the use of 2 vouchers is required to upgrade the 2 segments. Upgrade vouchers are usable only on AF- or KL-marketing and operating flights and the PNR must contains only the AFKL flights to be upgraded (if the PNR contains other non-AFKL flights, you cannot upgrade even just the AFKL flights).
The upgrade coupons are valid as soon as you reach Ultimate and is valid for 12 months. The vouchers need to be used within the membership year, but can be applied for travel post expiry date.

Rules for eligible booking classes for the upgrade vouchers are described below :

AF flights, long-haul
Premium Eco to Business
Original booking class : A, S, W
Upgraded booking class : Z, I, D, C (it means that if the flight has only J fare available, one cannot upgrade)

Eco to Business (all flights, except to/from USA, Canada, Mexico)
Original booking class : Y, B, M, U, K, H, L, Q, T, N, R
Upgraded booking class : Z, I, D, C (it means that if the flight has only J fare available, one cannot upgrade)

Eco to Business (flights to/from USA, Canada, Mexico, including LAX-PPT)
Original booking class : Y, B, M, U, K, H, L, Q, T, N
Upgraded booking class : Z, C

KL flights, long-haul
Eco to Business (all flights, except to/from USA, Canada, Mexico and DEL)
Original booking class : Y, B, M, U, K, H, L, Q, T, N, R
Upgraded booking class : Z, I, D, C

Eco to Business (flights to/from USA, Canada, Mexico and DEL)
Original booking class : Y, B, M, U, K, H, L, Q, T, N
Upgraded booking class : Z, I.

Airline-specific soft (unpublished) benefits
- AF, KL and contract staff at airports have a popup message on their computer screen when checking-in an Ultimate pax or when scanning a BP at the lounge (AFKL lounges only) asking them to be attentive at any special request of the Ultimate pax. See also below for airport-specific soft benefits. There is no known official policy for operational upgrades of Ultimates, but Ultimate members have all reported on FT a higher rate of op-up (but those remain rare !).
- AF and KL cabin crews are instructed to provide extra care and attentions on-board. It can take different forms : special greetings, extra amenities (pillow, oshibori, etc), F&B from the upper class, upgrade on board (Y to J medium haul, W to J or Y to W long haul), earlier and quicker meal service. This is not systematic and is up to the appreciation of the crew. Based on the reports of Ultimate members of this forum, AF crews seems to be more compliant than KL crews with those directives, although there has been several reports in this thread of nice attentions provided by KL crews.- Unlimited downloads (any day) in AF PLAY apps.

Other Skyteam airlines do not provide any extra service or attentions to FB Ultimate passengers.

Airport-specific soft (unpublished) benefits
All benefits below should be understood for departure, unless otherwise noted. In addition to what is mentioned below, it has been reported several cases of expedited transfers organised by AFKL staff in case of short/endangered connection at various airports.

Please complete/edit this list as needed.

AFKL HUBS
Amsterdam
- AMS : some reserved tables in the Non-Schengen lounges. Otherwise no special treatment to report, apart pre-boarding sometimes granted Shame on KL !!!

Paris CDG
- CDG 2E:
  • Departure : Escort from check-in to immigration in the morning (super fast track). Reserved space at K/L/M lounges. Pre-boarding upon request at the gate before beginning of general boarding Escort confirmed to be provided as of October 2nd 2023
  • Arrival : access to dedicated lane at passport control, all the way to the left, follow the "ULTIMATE" sign. On occasions, ADP staff refuse entry despite show of ULTI boarding pass/status card. Lane confirmed functioning as of October 5th, 2023 (unmanned line)
- CDG 2F :
  • Departure : There is a special Ultimate check-in counter in the SkyP zone. Reserved room in the lounge. Pre-boarding upon request at the gate before beginning of general boarding. Escort is provided from the counter to security (skipping the line). Escort confirmed to be provided as of October 5th, 2023
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- CDG 2G :
  • Departure : Reserved space in the lounge
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- CDG 2C :
  • Arrival lounge : higher priority for a shower (Note : 2C arrival lounge definitely closed)
- CDG in connection : expedited transfer, possibly involving limo transfer, can be arranged upon request in case of short or endangered connection. Rarely provided spontaneously (need to call the TA, but acceptance is never guaranteed).

Paris ORY
  • Departure : Reserved space at Schengen and non-Schengen lounges. Pre-boarding upon request at the lounge.
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report

EUROPE
Austria
- VIE: no special treatment to report

Croatia
- DBV: no special treatment to report
- SPU: no special treatment to report (not even lounge access)

Czech Republic
- PRG: no special treatment to report. Pre-boarding refused.

Denmark
- CPH: no special treatment to report

France (non-hubs)
- AJA: no special treatment to report
- BES: no special treatment to report
- BIQ: no special treatment to report
- BOD: pre-boarding from lounge to plane inconsistently proposed
- CDG: see top of the list in "AFKL hubs" for most recent update
- LYS: Escort from lounge to plane when flying from B gates provided upon request . Preboarding with escort to the plane consistently provided.
- MPL: pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane, sometimes proposed (AF agent comes to the contract lounge to meet the Ultimate guest)
- MRS: no special treatment to report
- NCE: Reserved area in Infinity lounge (inconsistently provided : seems to be provided only when lounge crowded). Pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane, sometimes proposed.
- NTE: no special treatment to report
- ORY: see top of the list in "AFKL hubs" for most recent update
- PUF: bypass queue at security and pre-boarding provided upon request
- RNS: bypass queue at security and pre-boarding provided upon request
- TLS: Escort from check in to lounge inconsistently provided. Pre-boarding consistently provided
- UIP: no special treatment to report

Germany
- BER: no special treatment to report
- DUS: no special treatment to report
- FRA: no special treatment to report
- HAM: no special treatment to report
- HAJ: No special treatment to report.
- MUC: Reserved area in the lounge, escort from lounge to plane with pre-boarding proposed.
- STR: reserved area in the lounge, pre-boarding

Greece
- ATH: no special treatment to report
- HER: no special treatment to report
- JTR: no special treatment to report

Hungary
- BUD: escort through security from check-in to lounge proposed

Ireland
- DUB: no special treatment to report

Italy
- BLQ: escort from check-in to lounge, and through security to plane.
- BRI: no special treatment to report
- CTA: no special treatment to report
- FCO: no special treatment to report
- FLR: no special treatment to report
- LIN: no special treatment to report
- MXP: pre-boarding granted by request
- VCE: escort through security from check-in to lounge, pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane (not always consistently proposed)
- NAP: no special treatment to report

Netherlands
- AMS: see top of the list in "AFKL hubs" for most recent update

Norway
- OSL: no special treatment to report
- TRF: no special treatment to report
- KRS: no special treatment to report
- SVG: no special treatment to report

Poland
- WAW: no special treatment to report
- KRK: no special treatment to report
- GDN: no special treatment to report

Portugal
- LIS: pre-boarding proposed upon request

Russia
- SVO: no special treatment to report
- LED: no special treatment to report

Spain
- AGP: no special treatment to report
- BCN: no special treatment to report
- MAD: no special treatment to report
- PMI: no special treatment to report
- SVQ: no special treatment to report
- TFS: no special treatment to report
- VLC: no special treatment to report

Sweden
- ARN: no special treatment to report
- GOT: no special treatment to report

Switzerland
- GVA: pre-boarding upon request. Reserved area in the lounge
- ZRH: no special treatment

United Kingdom
- ABZ: no special treatment to report
- EDI: no special treatment to report
- LHR: no special treatment to report

NORTH AMERICA
Canada
- YUL: Escort from check-in to lounge upon request. Reserved area in lounge, pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane
- YYZ: escort on arrival through immigration, consistently offered. / Escort from check-in to lounge and from lounge to airplane
- YQB: escort from check-in to lounge proposed
- YVR: no special treatment to report

USA
- ATL: no special treatment to report (in connection)
- BOS: escort through security from check-in to lounge, pre-boarding, all consistently provided mostly spontaneously, sometimes upon request. A separate room in the AF lounge is also proposed.
- DTW: no special treatment to report (starting from DTW or in connection)
- IAD: escort through security from check-in to lounge upon request, but inconsistently provided. Reserved area at the lounge + extra attentions from staff (table reserved for night service, etc)
- IAH: no special treatment to report
- JFK (AF only/terminal 1) : reserved table in the dining area of the lounge (upstairs), possible to benefit from the "night service" on all flights and not only the 2 last ones ex-JFK (update 09/2023 : no more night service in JFK lounge). Some kind of priority at the La Prairie spa (after P pax). KL flight no special treatments to report and access to Delta Sky Lounge at T4. Update as of 17th December 2022: dinner service not always offered, subject to whether the staff knows about this or not.
- LAX: no special treatment to report
- ORD: On arrival, escort through immigration (not consistently provided). On departure, escort through security to lounge and from lounge to plane (pre-boarding)
- MSP: no special treatment to report, except one case of special DL Elite VIP treatment with expedited immigration and Porshe transfer to/from lounge (not a regular benefit to expect)
- SEA: pre-boarding with escort to plane
- SFO: reserved area in lounge

Mexico
- MEX (Terminal 1): escort through security to lounge with access to dedicated space. Ride from lounge to gate. Sometimes escort on arrival

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
- BOG: no special treatment to report
- LIM: escort to lounge, provided spontaneously
- GIG: Pre-boarding upon request.
- GRU: escort in case of short connection upon request, inconsistently provided
- SCL: no special treatment to report
- EZE: escort to lounge with special crew lane for immigration provided spontaneously

ASIA / PACIFIC
- BKK: escort through security from check-in to lounge, upon request but inconsistently proposed. In connection : escort in case of short connection (better to request it before departure).
- BLR: escort from lounge to gate, pre-boarding provided
- BOM : escort from plane to immigration, and from checkin to the lounge
- DEL: as of 01/2024 escort upon arrival; proactive pre-departure call to arrange terminal entry via VIP entrance and escort to gate for pre-boarding (if lounge used, offered to pick up for pre-boarding)
- HKG: no special treatment to report (escort through security from check-in to lounge is now systematically refused, while provided during the 2 first years of Ulti)
- HND: Arrival : new 09/2023 = escort through immigration. Departure : escort from check-in desk to lounge, proposed spontaneously
- KIX: Arrival : escort through immigration, wait at baggage claim. Departure : escort from check-in desk to lounge All proposed spontaneously
- SIN: no special treatment to report


CARIBBEAN & INDIAN OCEAN
- CUR: no special treatment to report, there is no (sky)priority lane for security or immigration, but escort/short track is available for 100 $.
- HAV: at departure, escort from check in counters until security checks. Pre-boarding offered. No escort at arrival. No reserved space in Lounge.
- FDF: No reserved space in Lounge. Pre-boarding upon request at the gate.
- MRU: escort on arrival through immigration. Unknown for departures (no data point)
- PTP: Reserved table in lounge. Pre-boarding upon request at the lounge with escort from lounge to plane.
- RUN: Pre-boarding proposed at check-in and in the lounge, with escort from lounge to plane. Reserved seats in lounge
- SXM: Escort for incoming transit pax (from/to AF flight) through passport controls and security, pre-boarding pro-actively offered for AF departure

MIDDLE EAST
- AUH : no special treatment to report
- BEY: no special treatment to report
- DXB: escort from check-in to lounge and from lounge to plane, all upon request, consistently provided. Access to the Ahlan lounge (normally reserved for P pax) instead of Skyteam lounge.
- JED: no special treatment to report
- RUH: no special treatment to report
- IST: no special treatment to report

AFRICA
- AGA: escort from check in to lounge and from lounge to aircraft, provided spontaneously
- CAI: no special treatment to report
- CMN: escort on arrival through immigration (not always consistently provided)
- CPT: escort from counter to lounge, provided spontaneously
- JNB: escort from counter to lounge (no fast track at immigration), provided spontaneously
- LOS: no special treatment to report
- RAK: escort on arrival, upon request (not provided on departure)
- RBA: on departure : escort to lounge and to plane, provided spontaneously.
- TUN: Escort on arrival though immigration provided. Escort from check-in to lounge provided
- ZNZ: no special treatment to report (not even lounge access)

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Flying Blue Platinum Ultimate Status

Old Feb 3, 2017, 2:12 am
  #151  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Posts: 30,149
Originally Posted by johan rebel
Wow! Is that something to get excited about?

Johan
Define 'excited' The CCR is a mediocre First class lounge by European standards, well below the AF P lounge and the FRA F terminal, and even the F lounges of several OW partners like CX and QR (and in my view QF).

Still, at the age of BA ghastly BoB within Europe it makes a difference. I now virtually choose alternative airlines when flying ex-LGW and indeed, haven't a single BA flight from there currently lined up whilst I had some every month this time last year, the year before etc. By contrast, BA still wins many of my decisions ex-LHR specifically because of CCR access. Having a decent full meal, a nice cocktail, and an excellent coffee before the flight makes a difference. All three are significantly better than in GF.
orbitmic is offline  
Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:07 am
  #152  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Posts: 7,820
<Complete hypothesis mode on>

*If* - and we don't know, so this is just a hypothesis used for this argument - the services for Ultimate customers are largely around personal assistance but no access to P lounges then the question should be asked what it is that prevents AFKL to offering certain benefits which others can offer? For instance, why no booking guarantee for any flight for paid tickets, booking guarantee for member +3 for award tickets, upgrade vouchers, reduced mileage awards for accompanying person?

For those of us who have been flying on European airlines over the past 15 years it is interesting to see how certain airlines have much more "volatility" in their quality aspiration than others. Going from a rubbish product to making real efforts, and vice versa. Air France went from decent to terrible, and shot itself in the foot in the 2006-2015 years, but is now nicely recovering (not there yet, but right direction). British Airways was a frontrunner and liked by many for its good product, but just when AF is coming back British Airways is shooting itself in the foot and is now the airline to avoid. Lufthansa/Swiss, much less volatile, they've never been the frontrunner among the EU3 (although they do some things very nicely, such as their First product on the ground and in the air), and over time gradually decreased service levels and have become not-great-airlines-to-fly-with - but never to the point where they are the worst of the pack. And then it's interesting to see some that are very steady (easyjet), and some that were/are upgrading their offering (Alitalia, Ryanair, from different starting positions though).
San Gottardo is offline  
Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:56 am
  #153  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Asia
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 186
i can't speak for most of the Plat members here, since i rarely ever fly AF/KL, though I'm Plat with them.

but i sure know that if they offer upgrade vouchers or the other perks as mentioned above, it will 'force' me to book more Y/PE flights with them to utilize the upgrade.

while i know DL and MU within ST offer upgrade vouchers, and i fly mostly MU/SU for work (with the occasional AF depending on price/timings), but their FFP (MU/SU) systems are way too primitive and borderline un-usable and my mileage accrual levels wouldn't be as high on DL as they would be on AF.

i know as an individual, i am considered small change for them, but i wonder if there are many in my position.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 6:35 am
  #154  
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I would be extremely surprised if they grant P lounge access to Ultimate pax.
Goldorak is offline  
Old Feb 3, 2017, 8:48 am
  #155  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM)
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Location: Rotterdam, NL
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
I would be extremely surprised if they grant P lounge access to Ultimate pax.
I don't think that is going to happen either
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 10:54 am
  #156  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
BA still wins many of my decisions ex-LHR specifically because of CCR access. Having a decent full meal, a nice cocktail, and an excellent coffee before the flight makes a difference. All three are significantly better than in GF.
To each his own.

I don't drink coffee at all, nor alcohol when flying, and I've found the restaurant halfway decent at best, with the waiter service hit and miss.

The CCR is a dark and stuffy place, lacking privacy and daylight. Sure, you can go out and sit on the terrace, but out there it is only slightly less noisy than Penn Station on a busy Friday afternoon, although it admittedly smells better.

I know they have these cabanas, but they are few in number, and I've never figured out quite what they are for. I guess that in the short time you are allowed, you can just manage to have a shower, while trying to sleep, watch TV and have a meal all at the same time.

Things may have changed, I gave up on BA quite a few years ago, but back in the days I used to dump my stuff in the CCR, then go straight upstairs to the Club lounge to get some ice cream (they used to have Green & Black's), followed by a visit to GF on the way back for newspapers (far larger selection than in the CCR). Then I had to ask somebody at the bar for a soda, instead of just grabbing one myself from a fridge.

Originally Posted by brunos
But the big issue is P lounge access.
Only for those whose travel pattern would allow them to take advantage of P lounge access. There may well be plenty of (prospective) Ultimates out there who couldn't care less, simply because they never go anywhere near CDG.

Johan
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 4:24 am
  #157  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Interestingly, I have now heard two separate claims that this and other enhancements (as in genuine ones) have been timed to try and poach high contribution flyers from BA which are suspected/understood (I could not quite make out which it was) of being dissatisfied with BA's continuous enhancements (as in the Cruzian/Walshian faux-ami) so that AF-KL apparently think that the BA fortress is now assailable for high contribution pax. It makes the lack of details on Ultimate even more bizarre from my point of view.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 5:31 am
  #158  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
Interestingly, I have now heard two separate claims that this and other enhancements (as in genuine ones) have been timed to try and poach high contribution flyers from BA which are suspected/understood (I could not quite make out which it was) of being dissatisfied with BA's continuous enhancements (as in the Cruzian/Walshian faux-ami) so that AF-KL apparently think that the BA fortress is now assailable for high contribution pax. It makes the lack of details on Ultimate even more bizarre from my point of view.
Why can't it simply to be to reward extremely frequent flyers? Why does it have to be Machiavellian? I don't think BA has anything to do with it. I think I've read many times over the years in this forum that they should treat Platinums better. Now they are. The extreme Platinums anyways.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 7:08 am
  #159  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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enjoy the ULTI on-board training video...


Last edited by travelbits; Feb 4, 2017 at 7:14 am
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 8:19 am
  #160  
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Originally Posted by stimpy
Why can't it simply to be to reward extremely frequent flyers? Why does it have to be Machiavellian? I don't think BA has anything to do with it. I think I've read many times over the years in this forum that they should treat Platinums better. Now they are. The extreme Platinums anyways.
Originally Posted by orbitmic
Interestingly, I have now heard two separate claims that this and other enhancements (as in genuine ones) have been timed to try and poach high contribution flyers from BA
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 10:39 am
  #161  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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I am new to flyertalk but started hunting the internet for information regarding frequent flyers and I came across this forum.

I was contact by Flying Blue and invited to join the new Platinum Ultimate. I travel economy comfort and take over 150 flights per year.

For a couple of years I have been a member of a dedicated VIP service which provides me with a sort of concierge service but this is only available Monday to Friday from 8am - 5pm. The new Platinum Ultimate is going to offer the same services but now 24*7.

My dedicated concierge will be contacting me to discuss how/what they do in the next 2 weeks. Once I know more I will post on here.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 11:14 am
  #162  
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Originally Posted by Rolaw1
I am new to flyertalk but started hunting the internet for information regarding frequent flyers and I came across this forum.

I was contact by Flying Blue and invited to join the new Platinum Ultimate. I travel economy comfort and take over 150 flights per year.

For a couple of years I have been a member of a dedicated VIP service which provides me with a sort of concierge service but this is only available Monday to Friday from 8am - 5pm. The new Platinum Ultimate is going to offer the same services but now 24*7.

My dedicated concierge will be contacting me to discuss how/what they do in the next 2 weeks. Once I know more I will post on here.
Welcome! We're happy to have you.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 11:32 am
  #163  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
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Posts: 30,149
Originally Posted by caliform
Welcome! We're happy to have you.
Indeed! Welcome - and congratulagions!!
orbitmic is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2017, 11:59 am
  #164  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by Rolaw1
I am new to flyertalk but started hunting the internet for information regarding frequent flyers and I came across this forum.

I was contact by Flying Blue and invited to join the new Platinum Ultimate. I travel economy comfort and take over 150 flights per year.

For a couple of years I have been a member of a dedicated VIP service which provides me with a sort of concierge service but this is only available Monday to Friday from 8am - 5pm. The new Platinum Ultimate is going to offer the same services but now 24*7.

My dedicated concierge will be contacting me to discuss how/what they do in the next 2 weeks. Once I know more I will post on here.
Hi there - where are you located?
travelbits is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2017, 12:07 pm
  #165  
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Originally Posted by Rolaw1
I travel economy comfort and take over 150 flights per year.
A very warm welcome, and my commiserations.

Boy, am I ever glad that I don't get anywhere close to taking that number of flights annually, especially in EC, personal concierge or not.

Johan
johan rebel is offline  

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