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 Dec 15, 17, 9:06 am
  #826  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
...so you're not even taking her with you for a nice birthday trip....
No sir, the following Tuesday we go to Chicago and Minneapolis for 10 days - don’t want to spoil her too much.

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Old Dec 15, 17, 9:19 am
  #827  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
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Originally Posted by Billyfergus View Post


But I am not increasing in status since I already am Platinum. However, based on what you say, this means that I am losing out on my status earned by taking 69 flights in 2017 which should allow me to remain Platinum to end of 2018 and using up my 300 XP earned in the first three months of 2018 for only an additional three months? Does this mean if I stayed at 299 XP until of end of year and only gained one more XP on the last day of year, I would have Platinum to end of 2019 instead of April 2019? Hardly encouring people to stick with sky teams airlines if this is the case.
No, the realignment would only take place in case you were Gold for 2018 based on your flights in 2017.

So if you were, say, Platinum for 2017, but in 2017 you only took 45 flights for 50k miles, and then you had 44 flights in Q1 2018 then it would mean you become Platinum by virtue of 308XP on April 1st.

In that case, you would have a Platinum card for 2017+3m, then you would get your Gold card for 2018+3m, and on April 1st you'd have qualified for Platinum again until Mar 2019 (+3 months, presumably)

If you only had 42 flights in Q1 2018, and therefore 294XP from conversion, you'd become Gold as normal on April 1st, however as soon as you reached 300 (so 3 domestic flights in Eco, or 1 domestic and 1 international or maybe 1 longhaul eco), you'd become Platinum again, for that date + 1 year (+3 months, presumably)
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Dec 15, 17, 9:20 am
  #828  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Silver: AZ, BA
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Originally Posted by Billyfergus View Post


But I am not increasing in status since I already am Platinum.


Apologies; I missed out on that.

Originally Posted by Billyfergus View Post

However, based on what you say, this means that I am losing out on my status earned by taking 69 flights in 2017 which should allow me to remain Platinum to end of 2018 and using up my 300 XP earned in the first three months of 2018 for only an additional three months? Does this mean if I stayed at 299 XP until of end of year and only gained one more XP on the last day of year, I would have Platinum to end of 2019 instead of April 2019? Hardly encouring people to stick with sky teams airlines if this is the case.
You cannot change your membership year until you next go up in status. Therefore, you would first have to drop in status.

Given that dropping in status is not part of any of the scenarios above, then the things you ask about cannot happen.

(When you are already at Platinum, you are already experiencing the system in the same way that it will operate under the new rules. The only people that will see changes in how the system operates - as regards length of status and the dates of membership years - are those people who increase in status under the new rules).
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Old Dec 15, 17, 3:32 pm
  #829  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Paris
Programs: FB platinum, M&S elite+, M&B gold
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
If you only had 42 flights in Q1 2018, and therefore 294XP from conversion, you'd become Gold as normal on April 1st, however as soon as you reached 300 (so 3 domestic flights in Eco, or 1 domestic and 1 international or maybe 1 longhaul eco), you'd become Platinum again, for that date + 1 year (+3 months, presumably)
If you had 42 flights in Q1 2018, wouldn't you become Gold before April 1st as per the old rules, as soon as you reach 30 flights during Q1, and then get status until march 2020?
UlyssesParis is offline  
Old Dec 16, 17, 11:59 am
  #830  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
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Originally Posted by UlyssesParis View Post
If you had 42 flights in Q1 2018, wouldn't you become Gold before April 1st as per the old rules, as soon as you reach 30 flights during Q1, and then get status until march 2020?
Yes, if you were previously Silver or Ivory, but in this case, we are talking downgrade from Platinum to Gold. In which case you would "be" Platinum until March, as FB gives out card valid for next year + 3 months.
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Old Dec 16, 17, 4:29 pm
  #831  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Paris
Programs: FB platinum, M&S elite+, M&B gold
Posts: 38
Indeed thanks for clarifying, these corner cases are fascinating
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Old Dec 18, 17, 4:40 am
  #832  
siw
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SE England
Programs: AF-KL FB Plat.
Posts: 392
I became Platinum in September 2017 and will carryover 9,858 Level Miles to 2018. I have flights booked in Feburary 2018 which will get me to 110,265 Level Miles. I judge it sensible to make the most of the one off conversion of 1,000 Level Miles to 5 XP on the 1st April 2018. So would it be sensible to do some extra flight in Q1 2018 to get myself to 120,000 Level Miles and thus have 600 XP, which is 2 years of Platinum in the bank? I worked out that I can do a C rtn from LHR via CDG/AMS to somewhere less than 750 miles to get 7,500 Level Miles. And likewise a Y (75% sub-booking class) route for 2,252 Level Miles, to get a total of 120,017 LM (where the trivial 17 LM are omitted from the conversion). Could even be crazy and do 8 more 7,500 LM rtn trips (two per weekend) to net 180,017 LM for 3 years of Platinum in the bank for the XP converstion but struggling to find the best schedules and cheapest prices.

Are others doing extra flights to make the most of the 1st April conversion rate?
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Old Dec 18, 17, 5:09 am
  #833  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,673
A (very) short-haul segment in Z gives you 1875 level miles before April 1st, and 15XP (or 3000 equivalent level miles) after April 1st, so I'm not sure I see an advantage of taking those additional flights before unless you are taking longer segments than LHR-AMS/CDG, you'd have to go to MOW/IST for that
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Old Dec 18, 17, 7:15 am
  #834  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Silver: AZ, BA
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
I judge it sensible to make the most of the one off conversion of 1,000 Level Miles to 5 XP on the 1st April 2018. So would it be sensible to do some extra flight in Q1 2018 to get myself to 120,000 Level Miles and thus have 600 XP, which is 2 years of Platinum in the bank?
Absolutely not!

You appear to have missed the fact that 1 level segment will convert to 7 XP....which is a far better rate than the 1,000 level miles -> 5XP conversion. 1 Level segment - however it's earned, even if it's a dirt-cheap short flight - is worth more than 1,000 level miles, which are far more expensive to acquire than that single level segment.

The minimum amount of level miles earned by a domestic (AF) flight is 100 Level Miles, where as the minimum amount of level miles earned by an international flight is 150 Level Miles. As such, you would need 7 of these international cheapest-possible segments, or 10 of these domestic cheapest-possible segments, to reach 1,000 level miles, which in your scheme you value only as 7XP. However, the 7 or respectively 10 segments would convert, via the level segment mechanism, to either 49 XP or 70 XP.

As such, the conversion presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain status on the cheap - and even to acquire rollovers into future years - by benefitting from this "loophole" to allow level-segment related rollovers. Anyone who is platinum already, or who can earn platinum via this loophole in the first 3 months of the year, could, by doing enough segment running, build up a rollover solely on number of segments, which may see them have Platinum for several further years.


There are 90 days between 1 Jan and 31 March 2018 in which to build up your level segment counter.

At 1 flight every 2 days, that's 45 segments, which converts to 315 XP, and instant Platinum (if not already held) from 1 April 2018.
At 1 flight every day, that's 90 segments, which converts to 630 XP - Platinum and at least another year after rollover.
At 2 flights every day, that's 180 segments, which converts to 1260 XP - Platinum for over 4 years.

etc etc etc...
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Dec 18, 17, 7:35 am
  #835  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,673
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Absolutely not!

You appear to have missed the fact that 1 level segment will convert to 7 XP....which is a far better rate than the 1,000 level miles -> 5XP conversion. 1 Level segment - however it's earned, even if it's a dirt-cheap short flight - is worth more than 1,000 level miles, which are far more expensive to acquire than that single level segment.
But he will already have 110K level miles, earned by presumably flying much less than the 78 segments required to gain the same amount of XP.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 9:51 am
  #836  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum
Posts: 164
Quick question.

If I take a CDG > LHR flight in January will this convert to 7XP in April no matter the fare class?
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Old Dec 18, 17, 11:32 am
  #837  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by TographerE View Post
Quick question.

If I take a CDG > LHR flight in January will this convert to 7XP in April no matter the fare class?
yip
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Old Dec 18, 17, 11:46 am
  #838  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum
Posts: 164
Cool! I was going to do CDG > LHR in Business before April but this seems fruitless if I am just going to get the same XP.

Thinking it would be more profitable to just go CDG > AMS > LHR to bump up those XP.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 12:10 pm
  #839  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum; Marriott Bonvoy Titanium; Hilton Gold
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Absolutely not!

You appear to have missed the fact that 1 level segment will convert to 7 XP....which is a far better rate than the 1,000 level miles -> 5XP conversion. 1 Level segment - however it's earned, even if it's a dirt-cheap short flight - is worth more than 1,000 level miles, which are far more expensive to acquire than that single level segment.
That assumes he'll get those 100K level miles by flying 24/7 on cheap flights and also has the segments. It will convert either level miles (1000 -> 5 XP) or segments (1 -> 7 XP) to XP, whichever is greater, but if he doesn't have the segments (because he's more likely flying in premium cabin), he'll convert by level miles, so a dirt-cheap flight before April is a waste, because he'll still convert the level miles.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 1:17 pm
  #840  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by TographerE View Post
Cool! I was going to do CDG > LHR in Business before April but this seems fruitless if I am just going to get the same XP.

Thinking it would be more profitable to just go CDG > AMS > LHR to bump up those XP.
CDG-LHR is ~1850 miles though, so it all depends on how much flights and miles will you have in total from Q1 2018.
If you can do CDG-LHR-CDG, and it's the only flight you'll do, you'll earn 2 segments and ~3700 level miles.

Therefore you'll get 15XP from miles, and not 14 from segments, that assuming they will not do proportial XP from miles (which they probably won't).
If you can do CDG-AMS-LHR-AMS-CDG, you'll get 35XP as from 7500 miles, instead of 28 as from 4 segments.
If you do Y, you'll get 14/28 from segments (or 21 if you connect on one direction only).

If you have any other flights, it works roughly like this, if your average mileage earning per leg is less than 1400 miles, you'll get more by segment. If your average mileage earning is more than 1400 miles per leg, you'll get more by mile, except in rare cases where the math works against you, like 2800 miles for 2 segments.

Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
But he will already have 110K level miles, earned by presumably flying much less than the 78 segments required to gain the same amount of XP.
Originally Posted by Sjondorn View Post
That assumes he'll get those 100K level miles by flying 24/7 on cheap flights and also has the segments. It will convert either level miles (1000 -> 5 XP) or segments (1 -> 7 XP) to XP, whichever is greater, but if he doesn't have the segments (because he's more likely flying in premium cabin), he'll convert by level miles, so a dirt-cheap flight before April is a waste, because he'll still convert the level miles.
This.
With that in mind, siw, it would make sense to hunt miles over segments, however! I agree with Ditto that it doesn't make that much sense.
You'll have 550XP converted with no extra flights. This means you'll need 50 more XP to get to your target of 2 platinum years. Your noted C return via AMS to somewhere will gain you only 7500 miles pre-change, but it will gain you 60XP post-change. So it's better to not chase the extra 10,000 miles.
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