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-, KL- and A5-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 accumulated 1800 UXP over 2 calendar years. (Jan 1st, year 1 to Dec 31st, year 2). There is no requirement on how the 1800 UXP earning is distributed over the 2 years (it can be 900/900 or 100/1700, it doesn’t matter). Ultimate is valid for 2 years once granted.
Example : from Jan 1st 2017 to Dec 31st 2018, a Platinum member has earned at least 1800 UXP. The status will be granted in march 2019 and valid 2 years (until march 2021). Ultimate is never granted outside the annual review period (if the member has attained the 1800 UXP threshold in july, Ultimate will be still granted only in March the following year).
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 9 persons who can benefit from Sky Priority services and lounge access when traveling with the Ultimate member (lounge access is only in AFKL lounges here)
- one companion Platinum card
- Zone 1 boarding, irrespective of travel class.
- Access to Hertz Platinum status
- two upgrade certificates per 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 are required to upgrade the 2 segments. Upgrade vouchers are usable only on AF- or KL-marketing and operating flights.
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, R
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.

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
Czech Republic
- PRG : no special treatment to report

Denmark
- CPH : no special treatment to report

France
- CDG 2E:
  • Departure : Escort from check-in to immigration from 8 am to 2 pm (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 : Reserved space at F1 and F2 lounges. Pre-boarding upon request at the gate before beginning of general boarding
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- CDG 2G :
  • Departure : Reserved space at the lounge
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- CDG 2C :
  • Arrival lounge : higher priority for a shower
- CDG in connection : expedited transfer, possibly involving limo transfer, can be arranged upon request in case of short or endangered connection.
- ORY :
  • Departure : Reserved space at Schengen and non-Schengen lounges
  • Arrival : no special treatment to report
- BES : 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, pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane, all consistently proposed.
- 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 : no special treatment to report
- NTE : no special treatment to report
- RNS : no special treatment to report
- UIP : no special treatment to report

Germany
- DUS : no special treatment to report
- FRA : no special treatment to report
- MUC : reserved area in the lounge
- STR : reserved area in the lounge, pre-boarding
- TXL : no special treatment to report

Greece
- ATH : no special treatment to report

Ireland
- DUB : no special treatment to report

Italy
- BLQ : escort from check-in to lounge, and through security to plane.
- FCO : no special treatment to report
- LIN : no special treatment to report
- VCE : escort through security from check-in to lounge, pre-boarding with escort from lounge to plane.

Netherlands
- AMS : no special treatment to report, apart pre-boarding sometimes granted – Shame on KL !!!

Portugal
- LIS : no special treatment to report

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

Spain
- BCN : no special treatment to report
- MAD : no special treatment to report

Switzerland
- GVA : pre-boarding upon request. A recent report (May 2019) of being able to use the reserved P area of the lounge.
- ZRH : no special treatment to report

United Kingdom
- ABZ : no special treatment to report
- EDI: no special treatment to report
- LHR (T4) : no special treatment to report

NORTH AMERICA
Canada
- YUL: no escort. Reserved table in lounge
- YYZ : escort on arrival through immigration, consistently offered.

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
- IAH: no special treatment to report
- JFK : reserved table in the dining area of the lounge (upstairs), inconsistently applied
- LAX : no special treatment to report
- ORD: escort through security from check-in to lounge, reserved area at the lounge, pre-boarding, all consistently proposed.
- 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)

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
- LIM : escort to lounge, provided spontaneously
- 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 : no special treatment to report
- DEL : no special treatment to report
- HKG : escort through security from check-in to lounge, upon request but inconsistently proposed
- HND : Arrival : nothing. Departure : escort from check-in desk to beginning of security lane, proposed spontaneously.

CARIBBEAN & INDIAN OCEAN


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.
- JED : no special treatment to report
- RUH : no special treatment to report

AFRICA
- CMN : no special treatment to report
- CPT: escort from counter to lounge, provided spontaneously
- JNB: escort from counter to lounge (no fast track at immigration), provided spontaneously
- RAK : escort on arrival, upon request (not provided on departure)
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Old Oct 8, 17, 1:08 pm
  #766  
 
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I did plenty of AF last year and if I juggle several other trips this year into AF I should be able to make Ulti. But reading this thread I am lost to what exactly the extend of Ulti is?
Do I take it form this thread that in fact there is no real tangible benefit?
Thanks for your advice in advance.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:33 pm
  #767  
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Originally Posted by MumbaiDan View Post
I did plenty of AF last year and if I juggle several other trips this year into AF I should be able to make Ulti. But reading this thread I am lost to what exactly the extend of Ulti is?
Do I take it form this thread that in fact there is no real tangible benefit?
Thanks for your advice in advance.
there are tangible benefits but they are so unpredictable that you cannot count on something. You constantly go from top excellence to nothing and bad will/laziness/mood of the day.
Most of the tangible benefits are on AF (not so much on KL) and at CDG and some outstations well managed.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 3:43 pm
  #768  
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A very upset post from AF lounge in JFK. The ultimate situation is as bad as the one I described in August, despite the feedback I gave to AF. At check-in, no proactive escort proposed. So I asked and I was told “let me see if someone is available”. Guess what was the response
So we were directed to the beginning of the so-called priority lane. And you know how a joke this is at T1 JFK which was very crowded.
At the lounge, nothing special so I asked if we have a reserved space. The agent looked clueless and directed the question to his colleague who had also the same clueless face and looking at our BP and finally told me “you can go upstairs if you want”. Oh thank you wonderful knowing that, at that time, there is no difference downstairs/upstairs (no J dinner is served at that time upstairs).
What a joke, again.
Forgot to say that on the inbound, no special attention on-board and zero contact with crew management. But they likely had no time knowing that the flight lasted 7.5 hrs in the air and departed 1/2h late because the jetway was blocked and, once landed in JFK, we waited 1h10 on-board before disembarking because no gate was available
Next time to JFK, I will take DL. At least I know what to expect.
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Old Oct 8, 17, 4:24 pm
  #769  
 
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For JFK, a hint for all those Air France passengers who really really really can’t bear standing in line, and who have TSAPre access: when the security line is too long just buy a refundable ticket on Lufthansa, use the TSAPre line, go through security and cancel your ticket. I did that two weeks ago when the line was crazy and I was going to fly on the ORY service. I even used the LH First Class Lounge before flying out on the Air France plane.

I takes 1 minute to buy the ticket on your mobile, and a « flexible » credit card, and a serious dislike of waiting in lines. But it’s possible.

NB that the TSAPre access at JFK Terminal 1 is a bit odd: you get to the podium where they check your ID in a dedicated lane, very fast, you basically overtake the rest of the priority lane. Then you are mixed with other priority pax to go through X-ray, but when you show your BP with Pre on it they give you the Pre treatment: no need to take anything out of your bags, no need to take off shoes/jacket/belt, and use of the old-style metal detector gate.

But again, only for the very dedicated. i did it because I had to join a phone conference and didn’t want to talk while surrounded by plenty of people, so that was my only way to get some quiet around me.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 12:25 am
  #770  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Champaign, IL
Programs: AF/KL FB Ultimate Platinum for Life/Club 2000, UA MileagePlus
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
A very upset post from AF lounge in JFK. The ultimate situation is as bad as the one I described in August, despite the feedback I gave to AF. At check-in, no proactive escort proposed. So I asked and I was told “let me see if someone is available”. Guess what was the response
Are you sure was the response? Oooops... The middle finger is not in the list of available Smileys, though I am sure this is what the AF answer meant.

Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post

Forgot to say that on the inbound, no special attention on-board and zero contact with crew management. But they likely had no time knowing that the flight lasted 7.5 hrs in the air and departed 1/2h late because the jetway was blocked and, once landed in JFK, we waited 1h10 on-board before disembarking because no gate was available
Next time to JFK, I will take DL. At least I know what to expect.
Though it is difficult to do proper statistics with only two data points, we seem to see a clear pattern here. For Ultimate PAXs, JFK appears to be a complete mess, where the benefits promised by the AFKL chairman and CEO, no less, are close to zero. In stark contrast, at ORD, we get the full Ultimate service, from A to Z (there is still much to be desired at the arrival, but the service is top-notch when leaving ORD). It bothers me to conclude that Ultimate PAXs get a much better, far more consistent service when the matter is handled by a third party then when it is in the hands of AFKL. In the latter instance, we are at the mercy of the willingness of an apathetic staff to follow the instructions they have been given to deal with Ultimate PAXs. It is baffling that although AFKL-operated outstations (also true at CDG and AMS) are clearly less understaffed then third-party-operated ones, we get a far better service at the latter than at the former .

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Old Oct 9, 17, 2:23 pm
  #771  
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Originally Posted by Macaron54 View Post
Though it is difficult to do proper statistics with only two data points, we seem to see a clear pattern here. For Ultimate PAXs, JFK appears to be a complete mess, where the benefits promised by the AFKL chairman and CEO, no less, are close to zero. In stark contrast, at ORD, we get the full Ultimate service, from A to Z (there is still much to be desired at the arrival, but the service is top-notch when leaving ORD). It bothers me to conclude that Ultimate PAXs get a much better, far more consistent service when the matter is handled by a third party then when it is in the hands of AFKL. In the latter instance, we are at the mercy of the willingness of an apathetic staff to follow the instructions they have been given to deal with Ultimate PAXs. It is baffling that although AFKL-operated outstations (also true at CDG and AMS) are clearly less understaffed then third-party-operated ones, we get a far better service at the latter than at the former .
IAD, which is a full AF-staffed station did provide Ultimate benefits on departure (escort through security to lounge, reserved space in lounge), but not spontaneously proposed. But at least they do it if you request.
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Old Oct 10, 17, 12:18 am
  #772  
 
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
IAD, which is a full AF-staffed station did provide Ultimate benefits on departure (escort through security to lounge, reserved space in lounge), but not spontaneously proposed. But at least they do it if you request.
Keep in mind this is what they sold us: "Spend your time saving time. Airport queues... To avoid them, your Travel Assistant finds ways, with our ground staff, to streamline your pathway through the airport". "Your Platinum Ultimate card is your absolute all-access pass... It smooths the way for you". Being offered the benefits of the Ultimate program should be the norm, not the exception (and we should not be surprised when it happens).

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Old Oct 10, 17, 7:44 am
  #773  
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Originally Posted by Macaron54 View Post
Being offered the benefits of the Ultimate program should be the norm, not the exception (and we should not be surprised when it happens)
I know, and you know of course that I fully agree with you
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Old Oct 11, 17, 3:54 am
  #774  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
For JFK, a hint for all those Air France passengers who really really really can’t bear standing in line, and who have TSAPre access: when the security line is too long just buy a refundable ticket on Lufthansa, use the TSAPre line, go through security and cancel your ticket. I did that two weeks ago when the line was crazy and I was going to fly on the ORY service. I even used the LH First Class Lounge before flying out on the Air France plane.

I takes 1 minute to buy the ticket on your mobile, and a « flexible » credit card, and a serious dislike of waiting in lines. But it’s possible.

NB that the TSAPre access at JFK Terminal 1 is a bit odd: you get to the podium where they check your ID in a dedicated lane, very fast, you basically overtake the rest of the priority lane. Then you are mixed with other priority pax to go through X-ray, but when you show your BP with Pre on it they give you the Pre treatment: no need to take anything out of your bags, no need to take off shoes/jacket/belt, and use of the old-style metal detector gate.

But again, only for the very dedicated. i did it because I had to join a phone conference and didn’t want to talk while surrounded by plenty of people, so that was my only way to get some quiet around me.
Good tip.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 12:24 am
  #775  
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CDG-HKG-CDG in J

some more datapoints. Rather good overall.

CDG-HKG
- check-in/immigration CDG : an interesting moment, as there is no AF staff on duty to escort Ulti pax in the evening. But the very courteous agent asked me if I wanted to be escorted and I said yes of course. She made a call and so I witnessed a very interesting discussion. She was told that there is no such service at that time, bla bla bla. She was saying correctly that information on her computer screen was telling her to ask the customer if he wants to be escorted, so she proposed it and what should she do now. This lasted 2-3 min and I was literally reading in her mind understanding her frustration and embarrassment. At the end it was OK and an agent came from the K lounge to escort me (who knows me after seeing each other many times at the lounge). Overall OK , but interesting.... And I’m glad they escorted me because immigration was crowded (this was at about 8 pm).
- in flight : nothing special (no special welcome) but very good service
- arrival HKG : nothing, as already reported by other Ulti pax in this thread

HKG-CDG
- check-in : no escort service proactively proposed, but when I asked it was no problem and I was escorted through security, immigration up to the Skyteam lounge
- boarding : when we arrived at the lounge, the agent proposed me to come back to pick me up for boarding and I of course answered positively . We arrived at the gate 2-3min before beginning of boarding. She didn’t make me board immediately and bring to plane, but I was bring directly at the BP scanning place (so bypassing any line) and just waited 2-3 min for the beginning of boarding OP’s and walked to the plane by myself.
- in-flight : it was the same crew as the one on my inbound, so again a nice service
- arrival CDG : the usual good Ulti service at immigration was present
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Old Oct 18, 17, 8:24 am
  #776  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Ultimate STR to PEK flight in J

New flight report, STR to PEK via CDG:

  • At STR, AFKL counter. Fast check-in, using SkyP line .
  • At STR, security check. Express passport control and X-ray check through priority line (accessible to SkyP PAXs) .
  • At STR, AFKL lounge. A small table had been reserved in the overcrowded lounge .
  • Boarding flight AF1809. Granted request for pre-boarding .
  • On board flight AF1809. No personalized welcome by chief purser . OK service.
  • Arrival at CDG 2G. No escort (but do I need one?). Bus transfer to CDG 2E-K.
  • At CDG 2E-K, AF lounge. Warm, personalized welcome. Reserved space .
  • Boarding flight AF382. No pre-boarding option. Excellent surprise at the automated gates: J to P op'up .
  • On board flight AF382. Not enough superlatives to depict the quality of the service and professionalism of the pursers .
  • Arrival at PEK. No escort (again — do I need one?).

Cheers,

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Old Oct 18, 17, 10:02 am
  #777  
 
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They should very regularly op-up Ultimate FT members, so that the rest of us would spend more on AF KL to reach Ultimate
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Old Oct 18, 17, 10:26 am
  #778  
 
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Originally Posted by ranskis View Post
They should very regularly op-up Ultimate FT members, so that the rest of us would spend more on AF KL to reach Ultimate
As much as I am happy for Macaron54, it would not help Ulti's that are buying tickets for 'in the front'. Adversly, it would be potentially revenue negative as those would then buy tickets for 'in the back'.

I have advocated before, but upgrade vouchers to all ULTI's are much more fair and aims at the same with less negative effects. That is something that one can find with most other top tier programs, so as such a proven concept.
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Old Oct 18, 17, 12:18 pm
  #779  
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Originally Posted by travelbits View Post
As much as I am happy for Macaron54, it would not help Ulti's that are buying tickets for 'in the front'. Adversly, it would be potentially revenue negative as those would then buy tickets for 'in the back'.

I have advocated before, but upgrade vouchers to all ULTI's are much more fair and aims at the same with less negative effects. That is something that one can find with most other top tier programs, so as such a proven concept.
It's absurd that it lacks even a token gesture of say, two of such upgrade vouchers. ULTIs no doubt fly a ton of J, and upgrading family members or others with the voucher could net them more regular J users in the future. Come on AFKL.
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Old Oct 18, 17, 9:36 pm
  #780  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by caliform View Post
It's absurd that it lacks even a token gesture of say, two of such upgrade vouchers. ULTIs no doubt fly a ton of J, and upgrading family members or others with the voucher could net them more regular J users in the future. Come on AFKL.
Hello, caliform,

the coupon issue is a longstanding one, but let's start from the beginning. Ultimate clients do not necessarily fly a ton of J. There are two ways to reach the Ultimate threshold — Fly a lot of long-hauls in Y and W, or fly much less, but in style, in J or P. I pertain to the former category, and for me, getting upgrade coupons is meaningful. This Ultimate benefit that many of us have asked repeatedly to be at par with other equivalent hyper-frequent-flyer programs is long overdue, and it is still not clear whether it will ever see the light. AF (and to a lesser extent KL) likes to do things its own way, upgrading their customers on a case-by-case basis, as they see fit. As of today, the Ultimate benefits heralded on the Flying Blue website,

  • Your personal Travel Assistant available 24/7 to help organise and facilitate your trip.
  • Sneak-preview offers.
  • Your personal travel preferences stored and respected (seat, meal options, etc.)
  • Dedicated phone or email contact to find solutions in the event of travel irregularities.
  • Enjoy a fast track accompaniment, during peak times, on a case by case basis.
  • Your family shares your privileges when they travel with you.
  • Solutions suggested if you miss a flight.
  • A priority search if your luggage is delayed.

are to say the least very meager over plain Platinum, and arguably not worth the mandated 360kmiles/2-year period. We have heard several times from the Flying Blue higher management that the Ultimate program would feature at some stage an upgrade mechanism, possibly by means of coupons, but to this date, nothing concrete has been announced, and we are left, like everyone else, relying on DOD upgrades pending availability (with the slight advantage that travel assistants can unlock O-seats 24 ahead of time).

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