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 Ė 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 Ė at maximum Ė 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, 5:20 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Interesting to see that all the wisecracks - including myself! - who were certain that status earning will have a minimum spend got it wrong;
I never really expected that to happen. It's a very American idea to do that, while in Europe we don't like to talk about money. So it comes as no surprise to me that DL has such a system (for US members) as well as AA but that none of the European FFPs (so far as I know) have a direct cash spend requirement.

Originally Posted by fifty_two View Post
Hi all
- what will be the earning charts for flights with non-ST partners ??
I am told that for flights on airlines that don't have FB as their FFP, mileage earning is the same as today. XP presumably cannot be earned on non-skyteam partners (when not skyteam coded).


Whats the current status of domestic russian flights ? are they recognized as international flights or domestic flights in FB ?
As per above it appears that those who often fly domestic sectors in Russia are better off with SU.
CyBeR is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 5:25 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
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Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
Iím concerned. Right now Iím 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?
Why should it always reset? At most, it will go down by 300 but prolong your platinum for 12 more months. It makes little sense for AFKL to reset the clock more often.
They also talk about the clock resetting when reaching "next level", of which there is none after Platinum. So I guess if you have 300+ points, it works sort of like this - 12 months go by, you "soft land" to Gold, but as you have 300 points, you "upgrade" to Platinum instantly and the clock is reset.
Good thing is, carryover is now not limited to maintained status, so if you end up your Platinum year with 280 points, you're just a single long haul in PE or even one R/T in Europe with a connection in Y from requalification.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 5:26 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 207
Have two concerns:
- There is nothing specified on how to re-qualify for the status for the next year. What if I'm gold and want to stay gold?
- If I qualify for Platinum before April 1st, 2018, can I keep my Platinum card until March 2020?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:27 am
  #109  
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Originally Posted by aviationbuff View Post
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!
This is crazy... in places like Russia, distances can be > 2000 miles and this is reflected in the ticket price. This is very unfair, but in general this whole new system is not a big step back for those spending big $$$ with AF/KLM. It seems like they are penalizing the big $$$ (just like the new upgrade program).

For me the changes this round is worst than the last April fool changes to the program. Not really a single positive aspect I've deduced from the new rules, they have made the program just more complicated and non-customer friendly (which goes against their aim to be a Top-5/3 customer loyalty program).

Cheers!
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:29 am
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
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Originally Posted by dimitriyremerov View Post
Have two concerns:
- There is nothing specified on how to re-qualify for the status for the next year. What if I'm gold and want to stay gold?
I would expect the system just checks whether you have 180 points after your year ends, and if yes, you stay gold (less 180XP), if not, soft landing.

Originally Posted by dimitriyremerov View Post
- If I qualify for Platinum before March 2018, can I keep my Platinum card until March 2020?
I believe you should, although it's a tall order to do 70K miles in 3 months, even if you have some carry over.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 5:30 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Asia
Programs: FB Platinum
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
Indeed, and I am quite puzzled by that. So a 100 EUR return ticket in Y will have the same "power" as a 600EUR same-day ticket on the same flights?
Under old rules, it was still same segments, but at least more level miles.
can anyone confirm this?

so it seems like a cheap booking class economy ticket will earn the same number of XP as an expensive economy flex ticket? the only difference will be the number of (award) miles earned?

and its the same when flying Skyteam partners?
natcin is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 5:41 am
  #112  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 207
Another interesting concern: How will I earn Miles on a ST-issued ticket which includes AF/KL-marketed flights?
E.g. ticket issued by CZ, most long-haul flights are CZ-marketed, but it does include AF/KL-marketed flights, for example AMS-PAR. How much Miles will I get for that segment?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:52 am
  #113  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Which leaves me to wonder whether the bitter pill is hidden elsewhere.
dynamic award pricing is, I think, the major negative change. It does not need to be on paper and in the abstract but I suspect that this will result in a major bout of inflation in the cost of awards. The thread on dynamic pricing for upgrade awards suggests that too.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:55 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
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Originally Posted by natcin View Post
can anyone confirm this?

so it seems like a cheap booking class economy ticket will earn the same number of XP as an expensive economy flex ticket? the only difference will be the number of (award) miles earned?

and its the same when flying Skyteam partners?
That appears to be the case, yes.

The new scheme does not reward more expensive fare buckets for status earning, though it does still reward them for earning miles. The same should apply for skyteam partners, with the caveat that FB doesn't know the ticket price in that case and will use distance + fare bucket/cabin class as it does today.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 5:56 am
  #115  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: WAW and DUS
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Originally Posted by natcin View Post
can anyone confirm this?

so it seems like a cheap booking class economy ticket will earn the same number of XP as an expensive economy flex ticket? the only difference will be the number of (award) miles earned?
Based on the infos they provided it will be as you said

Originally Posted by natcin View Post
the only difference will be the number of (award) miles earned?
Wait and see , because these new dynamic ''prices'' for awards flights can play against you and your airport

Originally Posted by natcin View Post
and its the same when flying Skyteam partners?
no changes
fifty_two is offline  
Old Nov 6, 17, 6:08 am
  #116  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: VietNam
Programs: Flying Blue, Le Club AccorHotels
Posts: 53
I am confused...

1. On AF Flights, I will earn
- Miles according to how much euro i spend.
- XP according to length of flight & cabin.

2. On Skyteam partners, on website it says unchanged & refers to the partner section...
- I get the miles will be calculated on fare class & distance.
- How about XP, i didn't see any info? Today, I get qualifying segments. Will I get XP according to the length of flight & cabin again?

So my confusion is with #2 .
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:08 am
  #117  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: DUS, BRU
Programs: Skyteam E+ (FB Plat.), LH MM, Iberia plus, HH & Bonvoy Gold, Chevalier de la zagte berm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
As stated before, segment-running is now a thing of the past in Flying Blue.

People who previously only ever qualified on segments will now have to sit down and see if an FB Amex - presumably the Platinum - will be worth the extra cost [and extra Miles] - otherwise segment-runners will all migrate to LCCs or other programmes/alliances.
That is understood - the various AMEX FB cards will generate up to 60 XP's instead of segments.
What we do not seem to know yet is how FB AMEX will deal with AF/KL ticket purchases, which did generate up to 2 level miles / € spent.
In case there is no replacing scheme for this, the FB AMEX will be significantly devaluated.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:11 am
  #118  
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They are going to a revenue based system that other than the EUR factor is a copy of Delta's, I get that - although significantly worse, as forgetting the $-EUR thing being that FB is 5,7,8,9,11 per DOLLAR while FB is 4,6,7,8 per EURO. So for every Dollar that a Diamond Earns on Delta they will get 11 miles/points while the same dollar will earn only 7 miles/points. As I am sure that they will copy Delta's crappy algorithim's this means they will probably be worth at least 30% less.

What I do NOT get is this whole XP thing, it is not necessary and for their top tier fliers quite counter productive. BA's Tier Point system has been derided by the entire industry for years, and BA itself wishes that they had not done it, KL has a weird system prior to FB that was so complicated and weird that they jettisoned it at the start of FB, and that was a breath of fresh air. Yet they are complicating it, for no apparent reason.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:14 am
  #119  
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Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
Iím concerned. Right now Iím 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?
No.

When you have the top-tier status, there is no point in resetting your year. You simply achieve your "next year" status, but it won't actually start until the end of your current-year status.

So, people who enter the new programme as a Platinum, will retain their 31 December end-of-year anniversary for as long as they continue to maintain platinum.

(the immediate upgrade only effects those going up a level. For Platinums, nothing much will really change).
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:19 am
  #120  
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Originally Posted by fifty_two View Post
- what will be the earning charts for flights with non-ST partners ??
There already are.

You won't earn XPs for non-ST partners, so nothing will change there. You continue to earn miles at the rates governed by the tables - which are updated from time to time.

Originally Posted by fifty_two View Post
- 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 ?
Again, for all airlines, earning is dictated by the tables. If you are flying a Skyteam partner in a fare class that doesn't earn miles, you are probably not going to earn any XPs.

This basic "rule" doesn't change. The tables may change from time to time.

Originally Posted by fifty_two View Post
- also they forget about non-flying partners , cause if from AF/KL 1Ä=4 miles minimum , I donít know if they will follow the same standards
That earning rule only applies to flight tickets issued on AF, KL (and probably the other FB members) ticket stock.

Earning for hotels/car hire/flights on other airlines is the same as it was before - governed by whatever table is in effect on the date in question.
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