Flying Blue Platinum Ultimate Status

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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 1800 UXP over a rolling 24 month period. It is similar to the normal XP counter, resetting as soon as the tier is reached. Ultimate is valid for 2 years once granted.
Example : from Jan Year 1 to Nov Year 2, a Platinum member has earned 1800 UXP or more. The status will be granted in Nov Year 2 as soon as the threshold is reached, and is valid for 2 years (until end of Nov Year 4). The UXP counter resets to 0 and the re-qualification period starts again.

There is no rollover of UXP for the next qualification period.

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
- two upgrade certificates per membership year, usable from Y to J or from W to J. Upgrades are confirmed instantly at the time of booking (via the Travel Assistant). One voucher = one way. So to upgrade a return trip, 2 vouchers must be used. Vouchers are transferable to a travel companion traveling with the Ultimate member. 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.

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, R
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.

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
- 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
  • Arrival : Special (super fast track) lane for immigration until 2 pm
- CDG 2F :
  • Departure : There is a special Ultimate check-in counter in the SkyP zone. Sometimes, escort is provided from the counter to security (skipping the line). Reserved room in the lounge. Pre-boarding upon request at the gate before beginning of general boarding
  • 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).

- ORY :
  • Departure : Reserved space at Schengen and non-Schengen lounges. Pre-boarding upon request at the lounge.
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- 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
- LYS : escort through security from check-in to lounge, reserved area at the lounge (lounge closed), pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane, all consistently proposed. A voucher can be asked at checking or obtained at a kiosk, because of lounge closed.
- 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).
- NTE : no special treatment to report
- PUF : bypass queue at security and pre-boarding provided upon request
- RNS : bypass queue at security and pre-boarding provided upon request
- 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
- MUC : reserved area in the lounge
- 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 : no special treatment to report, apart pre-boarding sometimes granted – Shame on KL !!!

Poland
- WAW : no special treatment to report

Portugal
- LIS : no special treatment to report

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
- 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 : 03/2022 : escort on arrival. No special treatment to report on departure

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 (but very inconsistently provided). Reserved area in lounge, pre-boarding
- YYZ : escort on arrival through immigration, consistently offered. / Escort from check-in to lounge and from lounge to airplane
- YQB : escort from checkin to lounge proposed.

USA
- ATL : no special treatment to report (in connection)
- BOS : escort through security from check-in to lounge, pre-boarding, all consistently provided upon request.
- 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. 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
- LAX : no special treatment to report
- ORD: since 11/2021, it seems no more Ulti benefit are provided on the ground in ORD (+ AF lounge is now closed definitely and replaced by the bad Swissport lounge)
- 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)

Mexico
- MEX (Terminal 1) : escort through security to lounge. Ride from lounge to gate.

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
- BOG : no special treatment to report
- LIM : escort to lounge, provided spontaneously
- GIG : no special treatment to report
- GRU : no special treatment to report
- SCL : no special treatment to report

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).
- BOM : escort from plane to immigration, and from checkin to the lounge
- DEL : no special treatment to report
- 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 : nothing. 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.
- PTP: Reserved table in lounge. Pre-boarding upon request at the lounge with escort from lounge to plane.

MIDDLE EAST
- 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
- 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.
- ZNZ : no special treatment to report (not even lounge access)



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Old Jan 25, 17, 3:12 am
  #46  
 
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Let's do the math:
- 360,000 level miles in 2 years -> 180,000 level miles in 1 year
- 1 domestic leg in Abonné fare brings 1,000 level miles
- do a NCE-ORY-BES and return once a week 45 weeks a year and you have made half the way

So an IT consultant living in NCE and working for the French Navy in BES to deploy a software can make it

No need for Premiere in FB strategy
bodory is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 3:17 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by bodory View Post
Let's do the math:
- 360,000 level miles in 2 years -> 180,000 level miles in 1 year
- 1 domestic leg in Abonné fare brings 1,000 level miles
- do a NCE-ORY-BES and return once a week 45 weeks a year and you have made half the way
Or do 958 short-haul sectors in the minimum earning class (188 miles; e.g. CDG-AMS; CDG-LHR; AMS-LHR) per annum for 2 years which would require you to take 3 such flights each day all year.

Or, in the new Light 20% earning buckets, take 1200 such trips each year [meaning well over 3 each day]
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Old Jan 25, 17, 3:35 am
  #48  
 
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Actually it is not that bad with the Z fares within Europe. It costs around 600 EUR for 4 segments in Z that earn 1875-3000 miles per segment.
So with an average of 2000 qualifying miles on AF per flight at 150 average cost, you reach 360k miles with 180 segments at 150 EUR, so 27000 EUR in 2 years. Now let's see if the benefits are worth it. If they give P service for J (long haul?) flights, then that could be interesting for the regular J flyer.
ranskis is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 3:50 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Among the benefits will be the ability to reserve your favourite seat.... in the lounge

I kid you not!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-f...ue-status.html
From own experience during the test phase this works a bit different: in some lounges they prepare a cordoned-off area where they put a couple of drinks and some nibbles on a table. In some outstations they sometimes have a little private room where they set you up with a bottle of champagne and some canapes (had that in BOS once and in one other station, don't remember which, both times flying with family, so it was nice to be set up in the private room).

But take this with a grain of salt, (i) this was the test phase of that PA service, (ii) which we don't have confirmation will be part of Ultimate, even if it sounds like it.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 4:13 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by ranskis View Post
Actually it is not that bad with the Z fares within Europe. It costs around 600 EUR for 4 segments in Z that earn 1875-3000 miles per segment.
So with an average of 2000 qualifying miles on AF per flight at 150 average cost, you reach 360k miles with 180 segments at 150 EUR, so 27000 EUR in 2 years. If they give P service for J (long haul?) flights, then that could be interesting for the regular J flyer.
I ran the maths slightly differently, again comparing to HON.

For HON it takes 600,000 miles on LH/LX/OS metal in First or Business Class. This is the equivalent of
  • Either 47 one-way flights between Zurich and New York in First
  • or 68 one-way flights between Zurich and New York in Business
  • or 240 intra-Europe J class flights

To compare, for Platinum Ultimate, where it takes 360,000 level miles in any class, it takes much less flights in First and slightly less in Business:
  • A mere 22 one-way flights between Paris and New York in P booking class
  • or 33 one-way flights between Paris and New York in F booking class
  • between 57 (booking class J) and 66 (booking class I) one-way flights between Zurich and New York in Business
  • or 192 intra-Europe Business class flights

The typical traveler qualifying for this status would probably have a mix of destinations, but this is a guidance (I use these routes for my own calculation as they are the ones that I fly most frequently, other long haul routes coming and going in waves).

I am sure the first mileage-run calculations will pop up here very soon.

Now let's see if the benefits are worth it.
Exactly.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 4:32 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
From own experience during the test phase this works a bit different: in some lounges they prepare a cordoned-off area where they put a couple of drinks and some nibbles on a table. In some outstations they sometimes have a little private room where they set you up with a bottle of champagne and some canapes (had that in BOS once and in one other station, don't remember which, both times flying with family, so it was nice to be set up in the private room).
That's a far cry from being able to use the AMS VIP services, as promised in the other thread!!!

I don't see what's premium about being required to sit in a cordoned-off area and having some snacks set out. But, to each their own!
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Old Jan 25, 17, 5:26 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
That's a far cry from being able to use the AMS VIP services, as promised in the other thread!!!

I don't see what's premium about being required to sit in a cordoned-off area and having some snacks set out. But, to each their own!
I never said that you wouldn't be able to use the AMS VIP service. I haven't been to AMS. I only said that you don't get to reserve your seat in the lounge, but they do it for you.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 8:11 am
  #53  
 
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KLM does it at the tiny lounge in SFO. It is a table with a sign that says reserved. Then they bring ins some 'vips' who are served a drink and snack. It looks a bit silly. But it is nice to get a seat in a lounge that is way to small for KLM and AF departing around the same time @ 2pm.

Racking up lots of miles is not that difficult if you are unlucky enough to fly them. I did a year with 25 WBC returns (one week there, one home) to Tanzania and that was more then 300K in level miles.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 8:49 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by Meneer Guggenheimer View Post

Racking up lots of miles is not that difficult if you are unlucky enough to fly them. I did a year with 25 WBC returns (one week there, one home) to Tanzania and that was more then 300K in level miles.
You're right, levels like this often come with significant impact on private life. Although I realised that the true explosion of my mileage balance came when I made a point to fly home between trips and fly out again next day, and make a multitude of one-day trips rather than a tour.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 9:02 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by Meneer Guggenheimer View Post
Racking up lots of miles is not that difficult if you are unlucky enough to fly them. I did a year with 25 WBC returns (one week there, one home) to Tanzania and that was more then 300K in level miles.
You prove my point. It's almost impossible to reach the 360k by flying only economy so what can you give to people already being in Biz most of the time? : A dedicated travel manager

It makes sense imao, I provide this kind of service to most of my close family and they like it. I started doing that when I wasn't flying too much for someone raking usually 130k level miles in Y and it's very appreciated to have someone checking doing the check-in, entering your passport info, keeping an eye on the seats, finding the best itineraries, suggesting miles utilisation, having a look on the inventory for upgrades, doing the bookings, monitoring weather and possible disruption etc etc.

So if in addition to that, they also make sure of an even smoother experience on the ground then perfect. I would assume someone flying this much in J or above just don't want to be bothered having to do all the above and neither as being stuck in a queue or denied entry in the lounge because of the crowd.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 9:54 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Mirk View Post
You prove my point. It's almost impossible to reach the 360k by flying only economy so what can you give to people already being in Biz most of the time? : A dedicated travel manager

It makes sense imao, I provide this kind of service to most of my close family and they like it. I started doing that when I wasn't flying too much for someone raking usually 130k level miles in Y and it's very appreciated to have someone checking doing the check-in, entering your passport info, keeping an eye on the seats, finding the best itineraries, suggesting miles utilisation, having a look on the inventory for upgrades, doing the bookings, monitoring weather and possible disruption etc etc.

So if in addition to that, they also make sure of an even smoother experience on the ground then perfect. I would assume someone flying this much in J or above just don't want to be bothered having to do all the above and neither as being stuck in a queue or denied entry in the lounge because of the crowd.
As someone who already flies a lot in J, I can't see the appeal of this myself. Perhaps nicer ground services and less time in lines, but I imagine if you're at 200K+ mi annually you already have someone for this. For all the other 'concierge' stuff there's a litany of top tier credit cards and other services that already have this and are probably better (I doubt AF/KL is going to buy in Hamilton tickets, for instance ).
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Old Jan 25, 17, 11:38 am
  #57  
 
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Anyone here on FT won't have much interest in such service as we are all mostly educated flyers with a tendency to be control freaks regarding our travels...

Personally, I don't think I will ever be able to let someone else manage my travels
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Old Jan 25, 17, 12:52 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
The blog above mentions that 200 customers have reached that threshold, which I find surprisingly few. M&M HON, which is achieved after reaching a very similar threshold of level miles but only in First and Business Class has 5,000 (!) members. With only 200 they can really do some fancy things.
I think the 200 number is a mistake in this blog. I have heard that 3000 pax were "targeted" by this Ultimate service.

Originally Posted by travelbits View Post
it's discussable whether this is a new level at all or just an additional service offering to TOPT
Platinum Ultimate is not a new tier in FB strictly speaking. The status is still Platinum and you are eventually eligible to additional services with Ultimate. So it comes on top of a platinum or LTPE FB status and you go back to regular Plat/LTPE if you don't maintain your flying pattern.

Originally Posted by bodory View Post
Let's do the math:
- 360,000 level miles in 2 years -> 180,000 level miles in 1 year
- 1 domestic leg in Abonné fare brings 1,000 level miles
- do a NCE-ORY-BES and return once a week 45 weeks a year and you have made half the way

So an IT consultant living in NCE and working for the French Navy in BES to deploy a software can make it

No need for Premiere in FB strategy
You are correct, but when you think about the cost of such tickets, you are a very valuable customer for AF with such a flying pattern, and so you may deserve to be treated very well

Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
From own experience during the test phase this works a bit different: in some lounges they prepare a cordoned-off area where they put a couple of drinks and some nibbles on a table. In some outstations they sometimes have a little private room where they set you up with a bottle of champagne and some canapes (had that in BOS once and in one other station, don't remember which, both times flying with family, so it was nice to be set up in the private room).

But take this with a grain of salt, (i) this was the test phase of that PA service, (ii) which we don't have confirmation will be part of Ultimate, even if it sounds like it.
I understand from your posts that you were part of the test phase of this Ultimate status ? Because I know for sure there was a test period in 2016 with a sample of eligible customers. The service was supposed to be launched in sept 2016. I don't know if it was really done at that date or if it's launched only now.
So if you were part of the test phase, can you share information with us ?
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:35 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Flying Blue ... contacted the moderators of this forum to remove the picture and any insights one poster was giving.
Not true. Full stop.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 1:40 pm
  #60  
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Goldorak is right in that it's an 'additional' status on top of Platinum Elite, LTPE, and even Club2000/Skipper. It can be seen online when you log in as a sort of 'badge' on your status tier.

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