Upcoming changes to Flying Blue in 2018

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Old Nov 5, 17, 8:52 pm   -   Wikipost
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Introduction

As you have been following the past thread, the Flying Blue programme will change as of 1 April 2018. In order to split the discussion from the earlier thread, we have created a new thread.

On 6 November Flying Blue has organised a press conference to inform the public about the changes to the programme. In addition, a mailing will be sent out to all members on the 6th and 7th of November and more information can be found on the designated website (link: https://explorefurther.flyingblue.com).

As an introduction, please find a summary of the changes below.

Please note that at the current time there is no difference expected to the benefits of the current tier.

Change 1: no more level miles, no more segments, but Experience Points

As of 1 April 2018 you will no longer earn level miles and segments per flight, but you will earn Experience Points (XP). The number of XP earned per flight depends on your cabin (multiplier times 2 for Premium Economy, 3 for business, 5 for La Premiere) and the type of flight (distinction between domestic, medium haul, long-haul 1/2/3).

For flights between 1 January 31 March 2018 all earned level miles and segments will be converted into XP (1 segment = 7 XP; 1,000 level miles = 5 XP for members outside France). Please note that the highest conversion applies (it is not cumulative).

The number of XP required per tiers is:
- 100 for Silver;
- 180 for Gold;
- 300 for Platinum;
- 1,800 for Platinum Ultimate (in 2 years).

Please note that for current flyers who qualify on segments based on only intra-EU flights this could see an increase in the number of flights required. However, if you fly a mix if intra-EU and intercontinental (but qualify on segments), this will most likely see a reduction in the number of flights required to qualify.
For elite members, there is a roll-over of all XP above your tier threshold.

The rules for soft-landing have been extended. It is now no longer required to make at least 1 qualifying flight and in case you do not meet your threshold you will only drop one tier.

Change 2: number of miles earned dependent on fare paid (including fuel surcharge)

The number of award miles (for AF/KL/A5) earned is now depending on the fare paid (including fuel surcharge). Ivory members earn 4 miles per Euro, Silver 6, Gold 7 and Platinum 8.

Also earn award miles on AF/KL purchases (relating to seats, baggage and meals) according to the above schedule.

Earnings on partners remains as-is (based on fare class and distance flown).

Change 3: dynamic pricing of award tickets (on AF/KL/HV)

Another change will be that award tickets will have dynamic pricing, e.g. an award AMS-JFK could be more expensive than an award DUS-AMS-JFK. This is also in line with change 2, as flights from AMS are also more expensive than flights from DUS (you also earn more miles).

This also implies that we will see a difference in the number of miles required per flight. For example, an award from continental Europe to continental USA will currently set you back 25,000 miles for a one-way in economy. It does not matter if you fly to LAX or NYC, the number of miles is currently fixed. Under the new proposition, this will change. The cheaper flight (in this example: NYC) will see a slight reduction in the number of miles required, whilst LAX will see a slight increase in the number of miles required.

Furthermore, there will be a standard base level for the number of miles required per destination. As the standard revenue price increases, so does the number of award miles.

Change 4: status valid for 12 months (+ 3 months), personal membership year

FB will be moving away from membership year = calendar year (in case of upgrade of tier). Instead, FB will have an individual membership year. This means that after obtaining the higher tier, you will have 12 months to requalify. Benefit of this is that members are not bound by the calendar year (e.g. members who earn 20,000 level miles in a December of a given year and 20,000 level miles in January of the next year, do not have any benefit of their flights in case limited flights before/after).

I know some will feel that this is a significant downgrade compared to the current at maximum 27 months. Please note that based on FB information the majority of members (re)qualify in the last quarter of the year.

In addition, please note that for an Ivory member would like to go obtain Platinum in one year, as it will become more difficult, as (s)he will have to earn each threshold (so not 300 XP in the first year, but (100 + 180 + 300 = 580 XP). This is only applicable in the first year.

Change 5: changes to the co-branded American Express credit cards (FR/NL)

Currently you earn segments and level miles (on AF/KL purchases for Gold and Platinum card holders). This will change that you will receive additional XP when reaching your membership anniversary each year.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:14 am
  #226  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Programs: Flying Blue, Accor Le Club, Hilton HHonors, Hertz Gold Plus
Posts: 218
The XP earning scheme for US domestic flights on DL is really disappointing. How come did someone in FB thought that one should earn the same amount for a TLS-CDG and a LAX-JFK?!?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:15 am
  #227  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
That's a lot of work to go to, for so little benefit!

And besides, I was more thinking about our North American friends, for whom earning looks paltry, and for whom an FB Amex is not likely to be achievable even via that work around.

(Maybe FB will "extend" the FB Amex to other territories, but I doubt that Delta would like that if there was a US card!)
For the french FB Amex, ​​​​the only requirement is a french bank account.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:15 am
  #228  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Under the new scheme, once you get to Silver, all credit for the flights that got you there is taken away. So, you start from 0 (or rather, however many XPs above 100 your last flight brought you to), and you must grind out another 180 XP.

So, to earn Silver from Ivory, you need to put together 280XP. Yes, you can take as long as 2 years to do this, but - unlike in the old scheme - if you do a huge spurt of flying, you cannot double-count the earlier flights.
That certainly takes away a quick status earning opportunity...

So for example if I am renewing Gold as of 1-1-18, do I need 180XP or 280XP to maintain next year?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:15 am
  #229  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: MME (midway between NCL and LBA)
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Posts: 628
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
So, to earn Silver from Ivory, you need to put together 280XP. Yes, you can take as long as 2 years to do this, but - unlike in the old scheme - if you do a huge spurt of flying, you cannot double-count the earlier flights.
This is the major problem with the changes as I see it - how will ever FB attract new regular fliers or existing elites from the likes of BA or LH? Without a status match it will take too long to get mid tier/lounge access.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:17 am
  #230  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Originally Posted by tigertanaka View Post
This is the major problem with the changes as I see it - how will ever FB attract new regular fliers or existing elites from the likes of BA or LH? Without a status match it will take too long to get mid tier/lounge access.
And all that spend going into improving the Crown Lounge. Going to be considerably empty in a couple of years time.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:18 am
  #231  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: DUS/AMS/HAM
Programs: HH-D / IHG-Sp / Marriott-P / LH-SEN / BA-S
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
That's a lot of work to go to, for so little benefit!

And besides, I was more thinking about our North American friends, for whom earning looks paltry, and for whom an FB Amex is not likely to be achievable even via that work around.

(Maybe FB will "extend" the FB Amex to other territories, but I doubt that Delta would like that if there was a US card!)
Well some people might still want to have that FB status. FB AMEX Gold/Plat earns extra 4/8 qualifying flights per year I believe. For some member who doesn't fly too often with AF/KL could be more advantageous than you thought - but otherwise you're right.

Also, I believe FB Silver is somehow worthier than the useless LH FTL. I myself am FB Silver but I don't know too much benefits of that either because I seldomly fly ST. But do you get a free bag even if you purchase Mini tarif?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:20 am
  #232  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,153
Originally Posted by shotb83 View Post
That certainly takes away a quick status earning opportunity...

So for example if I am renewing Gold as of 1-1-18, do I need 180XP or 280XP to maintain next year?
180.

Someone earlier had a nice analogy: XP are like coins in a wallet that you use to purchase an upgrade to the next level. If you go from Silver to Gold, you pay 180XP and you are left with whatever amount of XP you have left after 180 is deducted. If you maintain Gold (that is you don't reach 300), you pay 180 to remain Gold the next year.
CyBeR is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 9:21 am
  #233  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Silver: AZ, BA
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Originally Posted by shotb83 View Post
That certainly takes away a quick status earning opportunity...

So for example if I am renewing Gold as of 1-1-18, do I need 180XP or 280XP to maintain next year?
If you're looking at renewing -or going up one level - nothing has changed.

If you are Gold in the new programme, your advertised target will be 300XP for Platinum. Because you already have Gold, you don't first need to go through Silver.

As a Gold in the new system, and at the time of the launch of the new system, you will retain your year-end target of 31 December and your target will be to get to 300XP for Platinum. However, if you achieve 180 or more, you will start the next year as Gold again, with the same unchanged 31 December end-of-year, and once more with a target of 300XP for Platinum.

If you are currently in a comfortable situation whereby you qualify for Gold - except for those who qualify only by way of 30 segments - then nothing materially will change for you.

(If you qualify on the basis of dirt-cheap short european sectors, your ability to qualify for Gold will be stretched and you may find you need to add more flights - or a couple of business flights - to help reach 300XP, which is a more challenging target for "cheap" flyers than was the 30 segments).
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:22 am
  #234  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: DUS/AMS/HAM
Programs: HH-D / IHG-Sp / Marriott-P / LH-SEN / BA-S
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by SkyteamEP View Post
For the french FB Amex, ​​​​the only requirement is a french bank account.
Are there French banks that open SEPA FR-account w/o French address but still within EU? 5 years ago I think it was impossible, but maybe now the situation changes? Here in Germany there's Cortal Consors which is obviously the online version of Paribas and they can open a SEPA DE-account for almost any address in the world.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:22 am
  #235  
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Originally Posted by SkyteamEP View Post
The XP earning scheme for US domestic flights on DL is really disappointing. How come did someone in FB thought that one should earn the same amount for a TLS-CDG and a LAX-JFK?!?
I'm not sure that they thought through the full implications.

However, if they did - then it must surely have been intended as a middle-finger salute to US members. Or as an incentive for the rest of us not to bother flying Delta in the US. Or just not to bother with FB at all!
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:32 am
  #236  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 277
Amex has not updated their website yet, so it's hard to know what will change

I tried to call customer care but they have no clue for the moment
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:33 am
  #237  
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Originally Posted by enzo0511 View Post
Amex has not updated their website yet, so it's hard to know what will change

I tried to call customer care but they have no clue for the moment
I wouldn't expect them to update their website for a long, long time.

After all, if you order the card now, you get the current card, with the current T&Cs and the current Flying Blue programme.

These "changes" will only come into effect in April 2018. You can't order that new card yet. Therefore, the details won't need to go online for a long long time.

(I would expect them to write to you in due course, outlining the changes, and giving you the option to cancel your card if you are not happy with the new terms).

Last edited by irishguy28; Nov 6, 17 at 9:40 am
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:36 am
  #238  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Paris
Programs: FB Plat, Accorhotels Le Club Gold
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Originally Posted by enzo0511 View Post
thanks for your input

that's what I was thinking...
Let us hope that PF2 will be maintained.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:36 am
  #239  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 1,153
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I'm not sure that they thought through the full implications.

However, if they did - then it must surely have been intended as a middle-finger salute to US members. Or as an incentive for the rest of us not to bother flying Delta in the US. Or just not to bother with FB at all!
I wonder if it's a disincentive to fly connecting intineraries with a long connection. I.e., AMS-JFK and then a US tcon instead of something like AMS-SFO. In Y that would both be 12 XP (10 + 2 for AMS-JFK-SFO, or 12 for AMS-SFO). In J it would add up to the same actually: 30 + 6 (assuming earning XP following the 'business' row for the DL segment) vs 36.

This small revelation is certainly affecting my plans for next year. I'm probably going to fly J to SEA which would net me 60 points non-stop, or I can route through SFO which is far enough away to earn 72 points non-stop, plus 12 for a domestic segment. My earlier ideas had a connection in DTW or YVR instead to double up on segments. Also, huisje.

Last edited by CyBeR; Nov 6, 17 at 9:43 am
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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:37 am
  #240  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
(If you qualify on the basis of dirt-cheap short european sectors, your ability to qualify for Gold will be stretched and you may find you need to add more flights - or a couple of business flights - to help reach 300XP, which is a more challenging target for "cheap" flyers than was the 30 segments).
If you are based out of AMS or are a French resident yes. If you live elsewhere in Europe and always transfer through CDG/AMS, then requalification is not that different as long as you don't go to France much.

Gold currently requires 8 SH European trips (8 x 4 segments to get the 30 required) and in the future it will be 9 trips (9 x 4 segments x 5 XP to get 180 XPs required). However a couple of long hauls or J segments could mean that 8 trips are enough and for some, fewer trips will be required than before.

For me who doesn't even come close to qualifying via level miles, there has never been any point in using KL for long haul J - I might consider it now as the additional XPs actually count for something.
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