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, 5:42 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: PAR/BIA
Programs: FB Platinum, BAEC Silver, Eurostar Carte Blanche
Posts: 263
Originally Posted by delanotre View Post
Is there still a difference between french residents and others?
No, which is a good thing honestly.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:45 am
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Given that XP are being deducted at point of status achievement, does this apply also to accepted status miles for Q1 2018?
First of all, your level miles / status segments will be converted to XP.

It is very unlikely that, in the process of doing this conversion, the XP number generated pushes you above one of the XP thresholds. If it does, however, that number of XPs is removed from your account and your status is upgraded.

The far more likely scenario, though, is that your account is "updated" on 1 April and will have a new XP number, with no change in status. When you cross the next XP threshold, only then will that number be taken away and your status updated, with a year in which to retain that status, or aim higher.

Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Because it seems that if I get just over 25K miles to get silver, I would get 125XP to count towards gold?
Yes, building a high segment or level miles amount in the first quarter of 2018 would be a sensible thing to do, for those that can. Because it will be the very last time that level miles/segments can be used to attain more than one single status level. (though, unlike the old scheme, those Level Miles/Segments won't remain available to you for all of 2018, but only until you go up a level, at which stage they will be taken away).

Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
It would suck to get just under 25K then though, possibly instant silver but only ~20XP to go for gold qualification...
In your example, if you had 24k level miles at the end of March 2018, you would just be short of Silver. The 24k level miles would be converted to 120 XP, which gives you Silver - so you actually earn Silver faster under the new scheme for this particular flying pattern. You would then start the "new" programme with an XP total of 20XP, and a target of another 160XP required by 31 March 2019 in order to get to Gold.

In your example, it clearly would be better to "run" for Silver, so that you avoid having the status-upgrade performed as part of the change to the new programme; you would then start already as Silver, and have a much greater starting XP total to bring Gold closer. (the target for Gold is 180, and in this scenario, you would be "starting" your year with at least 125 XPs).

However, I think this is very much a corner-case, and there won't be many people on 24k level miles by the end of March. One hopes, however, that anyone flying that much DOES their homework and makes sure they play the system to their benefit. It would be better to attain Silver, for this particular customer, under the "old" rules by the end of March.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:47 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 2,415
Another thing I'd like to know, will OLCI upsell to Biz guarantee 3x XP value? It could be good value given that on some routes the upsell price might be just about the same as the fare.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:50 am
  #94  
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Please take a moment to look through the wiki/summary, should have some answers to the questions raised.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:51 am
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Another thing I'd like to know, will OLCI upsell to Biz guarantee 3x XP value? It could be good value given that on some routes the upsell price might be just about the same as the fare.
Unlikely, given that they don't currently give the business miles for such upgrades currently (except accidentally).
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:52 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: BRS
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
no, that is not what domestic means. It means any internal flight (such as dl flights in the us; af/hop flights in france; ux flights in spain, az flights in italy, etc etc etc)
ams-sxm? Cdg-ppt?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:55 am
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Gajan View Post
Please take a moment to look through the wiki/summary, should have some answers to the questions raised.
I struck out the "this is only applicable in the first year" regarding the qualification tiers. It's applicable in EVERY year. You will have to start from the lowest rung available to you on ANY given year. Getting to Platinum can be a three-year process (if only because, every time you go up in status, your "year" ends automatically, and a new one starts. The concept of a "year" is more flexible in the new FB - it can be a maximum of one year, but it may actually be less).


If you're Ivory, you need 100 + 180 + 300 in three consecutive subsequent "years" to reach Platinum, a year "ending" whenever you cross one of those thresholds.
If you're silver, you start the year needing 180 + 300 in two consecutive subsequent "years" to reach Platinum, a year "ending" whenever you cross one of those thresholds.

etc etc
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:57 am
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Weean View Post
ams-sxm? Cdg-ppt?
KLM does not classify SXM as a domestic flight - KLM does not operate any domestic flights. AF does not classify PPT as a domestic flight, if only because it requires a stop in LAX.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:00 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: AMS
Programs: FB Platinum | BA Silver
Posts: 57
I’m concerned. Right now I’m sitting on about 112k level miles for this year with more still to come (potentially getting to 70k before April 2018 with the carryover + more flights). In the new system does it mean that when I qualify for platinum and my xp resets and 12-months starts, that each time I hit 300 xp it will reset and start a new 12-month period?

Last edited by foxtwo; Nov 6, 17 at 6:05 am
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:00 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I agree that it is unfair to treat flights this way, and possibly they weren't thinking about DL flights when they made up this table - I suspect they were really only thinking about AFKL.
Couldn't agree more with you. In the current earnings table, the domestic table is only applicable to AF flights (within France). With DL, there's the minimum earning of 500 miles for flights below 500 miles. I guess, they will adjust this scheme giving the minimum of 2 XP for flights below 500 miles and the rest according to the chart, meaning a trans-con could earn 8 XP (for L1).

But this is pure speculation for now, we have to wait for an updated earning chart to be published.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:01 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Sjondorn View Post
I think what they meant as domestic are the short hops only (something like within 500 miles or so).
In the meantime the new XP calculator is up on the flying blue website - domestic long haul Russia is indeed just 2 XP in economy. What a bummer!
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:10 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Any word on mileage redemption?
Any word on ULTI, qualification requirements, benefits?

Interesting to see that all the wisecracks - including myself! - who were certain that status earning will have a minimum spend got it wrong; we also thought that they’ll increase re/qualification thresholds - they did for people starting from scratch, but remained the same for requalification, which is still possible with segments (without calling it that way). And, we were completely off by thinking that segment would no longer be a relevant measure - it is, as XPs are awarded (amongst other things) on a segment basis. Except that now the value of every segment can be increased by booking a higher class, which actually could be attractive for some.

I can see their logic for still giving some sort of status to the lower yielding frequent travelers, but for thinning out the top. Which makes a lot of sense.

I must say, not Armageddon at all, contrary to our expectations. Which leaves me to wonder whether the bitter pill is hidden elsewhere. In redemption levels for instance, or in making some status benefits optional (« choice benefits » is something that DL uses, isn’t it?).
don't we already have a inventory controlled award system? I can remember to have priced out an inner-European economy award for about ridiculous 95.000 miles ...

LATAM has inventory controlled award tickets since ages and you are most probably able to snatch an award seat - but for a huge price tag. E.g. FRA-LIM in economy is 120.000km roundtrip on LATAM. you can find award tickets for up to 460.000km in coach class

The bright side is - that while searching for inner South American award tickets - business class awards were often cheaper than economy or premium economy awards
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:12 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Originally Posted by delanotre View Post
Is there still a difference between french residents and others?
Slight difference in the conversion factor of the extra status miles you have at the end of March. Each 1000miles will be converted to 4XP if french resident and 5XP outside.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:13 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
First of all, your level miles / status segments will be converted to XP.

It is very unlikely that, in the process of doing this conversion, the XP number generated pushes you above one of the XP thresholds. If it does, however, that number of XPs is removed from your account and your status is upgraded.

The far more likely scenario, though, is that your account is "updated" on 1 April and will have a new XP number, with no change in status. When you cross the next XP threshold, only then will that number be taken away and your status updated, with a year in which to retain that status, or aim higher.
Probably unlikely, admittedly most of the people who can get 20-25K level miles within a quarter already have Gold or Platinum.

Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Yes, building a high segment or level miles amount in the first quarter of 2018 would be a sensible thing to do, for those that can. Because it will be the very last time that level miles/segments can be used to attain more than one single status level. (though, unlike the old scheme, those Level Miles/Segments won't remain available to you for all of 2018, but only until you go up a level, at which stage they will be taken away).

In your example, if you had 24k level miles at the end of March 2018, you would just be short of Silver. The 24k level miles would be converted to 120 XP, which gives you Silver - so you actually earn Silver faster under the new scheme for this particular flying pattern. You would then start the "new" programme with an XP total of 20XP, and a target of another 160XP required by 31 March 2019 in order to get to Gold.
You would get silver faster, but yeah, if the 25K level miles are converted to XP for Gold, you could get Gold much faster later on. I need to keep an eye on that.

As an aside, it seems that AF wants to keep more people at Silver as opposed to Gold. It used to be easier (by miles) or at most as hard (by segments) to get from Silver to Gold than from Ivory to Silver. Now it is significantly harder to get 180XP from Silver to gold than it is to get 100XP from Ivory to Silver.


Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
In your example, it clearly would be better to "run" for Silver, so that you avoid having the status-upgrade performed as part of the change to the new programme; you would then start already as Silver, and have a much greater starting XP total to bring Gold closer.
Indeed for my planned status run it's imperative that I get to Silver before April, but it turns out it's actually almost better for me to leave the rest for the new rules as I'd be able to attain Gold easily and have plenty XP left over for eventual requalification. (The downside of it is that under old rules, I'd have gold until end of 2019, plus grace period. The upside of it is that while I expect to have a solid number of segments in rest of 2018, but not much level miles to roll over; these upcoming flights would help with requalification.)

Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
However, I think this is very much a corner-case, and there won't be many people on 24k level miles by the end of March. One hopes, however, that anyone flying that much DOES their homework and makes sure they play the system to their benefit. It would be better to attain Silver, for this particular customer, under the "old" rules by the end of March.
My corner case is specifically interesting in that I plan to start next year hard, but from a total zero.
I suppose there will be many people with 24K miles by the end of March, but I believe most of them are already Gold or Platinum, so all the miles will convert into requal pool anyway.

Same applies for segments by the way, from 14 segments you'll be one domestic short of silver at 98XP, but with 15 you'd get 105 towards your Gold.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:19 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: WAW and DUS
Programs: Gold: Flying blue / Silver: Club Accor
Posts: 960
Hi all

thanks for quick updates

it looks like now people will need to do brainstorming

Also the idea of individual membership year can be helpful if you are flexible

If you can schedule your highest earning flights during your gold/platinium qualification year , it can be faster and easier to reach your goals

I guess more details will come later but iam curious about some points

- what will be the earning charts for flights with non-ST partners ??

- we all had cases when a booking class gives nothing (miles/segments) with some ST partners , like OK . Will it change or stay the same ?

- also they forget about non-flying partners , cause if from AF/KL 1€=4 miles minimum , I don’t know if they will follow the same standards

As usual we will need to wait and see .....

Last edited by fifty_two; Nov 6, 17 at 6:38 am
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