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, 6:22 am
  #121  
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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?
Then you must "earn" gold, just as you do today.

You will have 1 year in order to accumulate 180XP minimum to maintain Gold.

Originally Posted by dimitriyremerov View Post
- If I qualify for Platinum before April 1st, 2018, can I keep my Platinum card until March 2020?
That has been asked, but no-body knows. Under the new scheme, there is no mechanism for extending membership that long; whether they will somehow make an exception for people that have managed to requalify to April 2020 before the new scheme comes in remains to be seen. (They may be able to recognise this via the XP conversion on the date of the changeover; or if this isn't enough to "roll over" to the following year, they may top you up in order to effectively achieve this. We don't know)
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:22 am
  #122  
 
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Some other things seen on Flying Blue's website, sorry if some were already mentioned:
(it's behind the top right 'question mark' icon)

Flying Blue Jeune is discontinued:
The reinvented Flying Blue programme will be able to serve the customer segment of the current Jeune programme, which will therefore be discontinued. The Flying Blue programme will become the sole loyalty programme for France, French overseas departments, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.
New cards will be sent:
Elite members will receive their new card in April 2018. You can check your online Flying Blue account and update your postal address if needed to receive your card. Ivory members can print or download their card in their account.
As said above, Platinum For Life is maintained: (funnily, no mention of Ultimate)
Will Flying Blue have 4 levels?
Yes, the levels will remain the same: Ivory, Silver, Gold and Platinum. After 10 years of Platinum, members become Platinum for Life members. We have no plans for adding new levels to the programme.
About award tickets:
Will there still be different kinds of reward tickets?
No, we will only have one type of reward ticket. In addition, we will keep the Promo Awards, which will be renamed to Promo Rewards.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:23 am
  #123  
 
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I am fairly positive on the news at the moment but of course we all have our own circumstances.

As someone doing a lot of short haul trips via AMS from an expensive airport, I am happy that there is a better correlation between the amount spent and the mileage earning. Depending on how KLM define government taxes, I am looking at around a 33% improvement in mileage earning, despite the fact that most of my tickets are booked back to back. Avoiding back-to-backs altogether will earn me closer to double than what I got before.

The increase in segments required to make gold is no real issue for me and the change of points year gives me more flexibility to maintain both my Silver/Gold on BA and Gold/Platinum of AFKL. One issue with the new scheme is that Gold/Plats especially may hold off booking AFKL flights to avoid triggering the a reset of their year too early.

What it will do is stop me getting in my 30 segments by the end of May, retaining Gold for the next 19 months and then diverting my attention back to BA for a while which is not ideal for me but I guess it is better for AFLK.

Qualifying by level miles is irrelevant to me as I normally reach the 30 segment target for Gold having earned only 12-13,000 level miles.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:24 am
  #124  
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Originally Posted by dimitriyremerov View Post
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?
If the ticket is not issued on AFKL stock, then it most likely has that partner's flight code and is then subject to that partner's flight table.

However, even if flights are issued under AF or KL flightcodes on partner ticket stock, I would imagine that they earn under the AF or KL table, rather than based on the euro spend.

(Of course, the XPs are earned in the same way, regardless of who issued the ticket).
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:31 am
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
(Of course, the XPs are earned in the same way, regardless of who issued the ticket).
Is that how it is understood? the XPs are earned according to the chart, even on SK partners?
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:33 am
  #126  
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Originally Posted by wuzziduzziman View Post
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.
My guess is that no further XP earning will be generated from AMEX FB ownership, other than the 15 / 30 / 60 XPs that are generated based on the colour of the card.

Originally Posted by wuzziduzziman View Post
In case there is no replacing scheme for this, the FB AMEX will be significantly devaluated.
True, but then again, in the old scheme the AMEX also generated level segments; these were of interset to segment runners, while the level miles were only of interest to those who achieved status via that mechanism.

Given that the programme moves from having two such mechanisms, the Amex has to change, too.

And they appear to have chosen to stick with the "fixed" award as regards qualification.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:34 am
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Matewx View Post
Is that how it is understood? the XPs are earned according to the chart, even on SK partners?
Skyteam partners, yes.

But again, we must assume that for fare buckets that don't earn according to the Award Mile table, then there would be no XP earning for those flights.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:35 am
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by AlvinMaker View Post
About award tickets:
Are they not going to have Classic/Flex awards any more? Surely, they are 'different' award tickets.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:36 am
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Skyteam partners, yes.

But again, we must assume that for fare buckets that don't earn according to the Award Mile table, then there would be no XP earning for those flights.
I agree with your assumption.

I am one of those "segment runner" doing SGN-HAN-SGN with VNA... Looks like I can say goodbye to my Gold status after March 2019 lol
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:37 am
  #130  
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Originally Posted by jms_uk View Post
Are they not going to have Classic/Flex awards any more? Surely, they are 'different' award tickets.
With a full move to dynamic pricing, this makes these categories somewhat meaningless.

Going forward, you pay based on the demand and the availability. Whether they give you the option to "pay more" miles in order to avoid the €45 cancel/change fee remains to be seen.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:38 am
  #131  
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Originally Posted by Matewx View Post
I agree with your assumption.

I am one of those "segment runner" doing SGN-HAN-SGN with VNA... Looks like I can say goodbye to my Gold status after March 2019 lol
Yes, there will certainly be fewer status holders under the new scheme.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:40 am
  #132  
 
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Originally Posted by Matewx View Post
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?[/URL] .
You get XP for every paid flight with Skyteam partners (so far it's not quite confirmed yet if 0-earning buckets will earn XP)

Originally Posted by hfly View Post
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.
The actual earning rate has little bearing on value of earning award miles until we know, well, the value of award miles. Currently you earn much less on FB for eq. spend, but if FB awards are cheaper it can even out.

Plus well, let's see how it actually eventually turns out when ticketing on partners. I've seen posts explaining for some US programs that depending on ticketing within/without the FFP carrier can lead to advantage on either award miles or qualifying dollars equivalent. Seeing as status points in the new FB are wholly independent of carrier, it will be interesting to see how it balances out when ticketing with other airlines.

Originally Posted by hfly View Post
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.
Yeah, it rings hollow when they talk about "simplification" and then add two whole new mechanisms to the mix.
At least the elite qualification system as such is fairly simple. TP seem to be fare and distance based, but with a different base and different multipliers from award miles.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:42 am
  #133  
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The paradoxical effect of the changes (though not unusual) is its likely to make many better off if flying other sky team airlines. Think of a cheap discounted Z return from Brussels to Bkk for €1000+600 tax, not unusual. Book it on afkl and you’ll get 4000 miles intotal. Book it with AZ though and you’d still get about 13000+ miles ie three times more.

also no indication on what happens to non eurozone residents, what’s the conversion or is the system different.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:43 am
  #134  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I've read the entire thread but not really sure it covers my questions, doubts:
As of today I have 345K status miles, I was supposed to become PLFT in December 2019.
With the old rollover I was OK.
Here's my interpretation in the new system:
April 2018, I will have 255K status miles (345-90).
Conversion will give me 1275XP
December 2018 I'll have 975XP so requalified until December 2019 and then PLFT
Do I miss something ? Is that correct ?
Tx,
Tonin
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:46 am
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
also no indication on what happens to non eurozone residents, what’s the conversion or is the system different.
That is mentioned on the mileage calculator page

Ticket purchased in another currency than € will be converted into € using an industry standard rate.
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