Upgrading Flights Between CDG and Asia Using Miles

Old Apr 19, 19, 7:11 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New York City
Programs: Delta Platinum
Posts: 77
Upgrading Flights Between CDG and Asia Using Miles

Hello!

My new strategy this year for Air France has been to pick up a bunch of Flying Blue miles in addition to my main Delta SkyMiles account.
This way I can upgrade some flights for free, instead of paying high upgrade charges at the airport.

Anyway, I have a trip on May 23 using this routing JFK-CDG-ICN, and the return on 02 June PEK-CDG-JFK.

While many people tell me my way of doing this is odd, I always remind them of the wonderful opportunity I have to facilitate a day trip in Paris by doing this.

I was able to upgrade one of the 4 flights, CDG-JFK, to business. But the other 3 haven't been so lucky. The routing JFK-CDG-ICN seems to be selling decently, so I can see why it's not (yet) available... but the flight PEK-CDG has a seat map that is completely wide open (I see 3-4 "blocked" seats, but "blocked" seats are not assigned most of the time) so this one is throwing me off... Why won't they offer an upgrade with miles on it?

Anyway, I'm wondering if people who upgrade on Air France frequently could offer me any advice. When is usually a "sweet" spot for upgrades? When do they usually open more seats for upgrades with miles?

Any advice helps! If all else fails too I will still inquire at the airport

Thanks!!
dbernard2000 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 19, 12:53 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by dbernard2000 View Post
Hello!

My new strategy this year for Air France has been to pick up a bunch of Flying Blue miles in addition to my main Delta SkyMiles account.
This way I can upgrade some flights for free, instead of paying high upgrade charges at the airport.

Anyway, I have a trip on May 23 using this routing JFK-CDG-ICN, and the return on 02 June PEK-CDG-JFK.

While many people tell me my way of doing this is odd, I always remind them of the wonderful opportunity I have to facilitate a day trip in Paris by doing this.

I was able to upgrade one of the 4 flights, CDG-JFK, to business. But the other 3 haven't been so lucky. The routing JFK-CDG-ICN seems to be selling decently, so I can see why it's not (yet) available... but the flight PEK-CDG has a seat map that is completely wide open (I see 3-4 "blocked" seats, but "blocked" seats are not assigned most of the time) so this one is throwing me off... Why won't they offer an upgrade with miles on it?

Anyway, I'm wondering if people who upgrade on Air France frequently could offer me any advice. When is usually a "sweet" spot for upgrades? When do they usually open more seats for upgrades with miles?

Any advice helps! If all else fails too I will still inquire at the airport

Thanks!!
Have you called Flying Blue to check availability?
If you have Expert Flyer you can get notifications if upgrade seats will be available.
In theory (that is what FB promised) should every available revenue seat also be available for upgrade.
Be prepared for high redemption rates to Asia. The AF264 flight from CDG to ICN on May 23rd sets you back as an award ticket for 122.000 miles and experience says that upgrade redemption rates will also be in that caliber of miles.
BobTL is offline  
Old Apr 21, 19, 12:12 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New York City
Programs: Delta Platinum
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by BobTL View Post

Have you called Flying Blue to check availability?
If you have Expert Flyer you can get notifications if upgrade seats will be available.
In theory (that is what FB promised) should every available revenue seat also be available for upgrade.
Be prepared for high redemption rates to Asia. The AF264 flight from CDG to ICN on May 23rd sets you back as an award ticket for 122.000 miles and experience says that upgrade redemption rates will also be in that caliber of miles.
I've been calling them almost every day now... still nothing
As for cost, Premium economy to Business are actually affordable points rates.

In A Class:
JFK-CDG: 30,000 miles
CDG-Asia: 52,000 miles

But mine ended up being more expensive and in S class, so these rates are totally affordable:
JFK-CDG: 15,000 miles
CDG-Asia: 24,000 miles

I'll still keep checking,
thanks for the advice!
dbernard2000 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 19, 12:47 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by dbernard2000 View Post
I've been calling them almost every day now... still nothing
As for cost, Premium economy to Business are actually affordable points rates.

In A Class:
JFK-CDG: 30,000 miles
CDG-Asia: 52,000 miles

But mine ended up being more expensive and in S class, so these rates are totally affordable:
JFK-CDG: 15,000 miles
CDG-Asia: 24,000 miles

I'll still keep checking,
thanks for the advice!
When you want to redeem FB miles, itís dynamic since last year so itís not possible to say that it will be a set amount of miles.
BobTL is offline  
Old Apr 21, 19, 11:12 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New York City
Programs: Delta Platinum
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by BobTL View Post

When you want to redeem FB miles, itís dynamic since last year so itís not possible to say that it will be a set amount of miles.
For my routing in particular, FB has advised me multiple times by phone that these are the rates for my segments in particular, and they are the same for both ICN and PEK (in this case)

In fact I did get one of the 4 segments upgraded, the final CDG-JFK, and it did go through from S to business at a rate of 15,000 miles.
dbernard2000 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 19, 11:27 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by dbernard2000 View Post
For my routing in particular, FB has advised me multiple times by phone that these are the rates for my segments in particular, and they are the same for both ICN and PEK (in this case)

In fact I did get one of the 4 segments upgraded, the final CDG-JFK, and it did go through from S to business at a rate of 15,000 miles.
Then Iíd advise you to get that in writing because itís not according to their policy. I hope for you itíll work out because 15.000 miles is a deal of the century.
Goldorak and Boturham like this.
BobTL is offline  
Old Apr 22, 19, 12:44 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New York City
Programs: Delta Platinum
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by BobTL View Post

Then Iíd advise you to get that in writing because itís not according to their policy. I hope for you itíll work out because 15.000 miles is a deal of the century.
About 6 agents on 6 different days and times have quoted me these rates, so this time I trust it for these city pairs,
Nevertheless, unfortunately it's all irrelevant if AF keeps holding the space they aren't even successfully selling... I guess I'll just keep an eye on it, perhaps now within 40 days the PEK-CDG portion will start to actually sell some of its seats in business...
dbernard2000 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 2:21 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,941
Originally Posted by dbernard2000 View Post
My new strategy this year for Air France has been to pick up a bunch of Flying Blue miles in addition to my main Delta SkyMiles account.
This way I can upgrade some flights for free, instead of paying high upgrade charges at the airport.
That's not a great strategy...

Upgrading was always hit-and-miss and it makes more sense to redeem outright with miles in the first place. If you are looking to upgrade, once you have committed to a certain date and flight - by buying your ticket - you have no further ability to "move" to a flight where availability may later show up. Unless you have verified with FB that a seat is available for upgrade, at the time of purchase, I would advise against this strategy.

When using miles, you need to be agile and proactive - it is up to you to hunt out the offers and respond accordingly. Paying your money and taking an economy ticket on a certain flight means you have almost no chance of being able to upgrade on that flight, if there isn't a seat available for upgrade right at the moment that you decide to buy a ticket on that flight.

But in view of how FB actually operates now, after the most recent changes, that is an even worse decision. With the new changes to FB, award seats can be redeemed for ever-increasing amounts. As such, there is far far less prospect of seats being made available at the cheapest rates once they are all gone - and these are the seats you need available in order to upgrade!

I would advise you to consolidate all your Skyteam flying in the one account, unless you have a very good reason to do otherwise. Having FB miles to use for upgrades is not a good reason.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 8:11 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: New York City
Programs: Delta Platinum
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
That's not a great strategy...

Upgrading was always hit-and-miss and it makes more sense to redeem outright with miles in the first place. If you are looking to upgrade, once you have committed to a certain date and flight - by buying your ticket - you have no further ability to "move" to a flight where availability may later show up. Unless you have verified with FB that a seat is available for upgrade, at the time of purchase, I would advise against this strategy.

When using miles, you need to be agile and proactive - it is up to you to hunt out the offers and respond accordingly. Paying your money and taking an economy ticket on a certain flight means you have almost no chance of being able to upgrade on that flight, if there isn't a seat available for upgrade right at the moment that you decide to buy a ticket on that flight.

But in view of how FB actually operates now, after the most recent changes, that is an even worse decision. With the new changes to FB, award seats can be redeemed for ever-increasing amounts. As such, there is far far less prospect of seats being made available at the cheapest rates once they are all gone - and these are the seats you need available in order to upgrade!

I would advise you to consolidate all your Skyteam flying in the one account, unless you have a very good reason to do otherwise. Having FB miles to use for upgrades is not a good reason.
I always buy premium economy to guarantee that cabin at a minimum, plus to earn status points with Delta. The FB account I have is from a secondary credit card, a Mastercard, since Delta uses Amex and that is not accepted everywhere. Plus the AF Mastercard offers 3x miles on ALL SkyTeam flights, not just 2 on Delta like Delta's Amex... My flying is already consolidated, but this is just closing the gaps that were still open from before. I cannot pay award miles AND keep status, and I fly almost exclusively with SkyTeam (unless a particular routing just doesn't make sense) so status (this year diamond in particular) is an important factor. Not to mention the rates from PE to business are much more affordable, as stated above the quotes between JFK/CDG in S-class are 15k miles, and flights CDG-ICN/PEK are just 24k miles. Totally within reach after having saved up quite a bit from the Mastercard.

Second, it's certainly not true that an upgrade WON'T open. In fact, I already got one of the flights upgraded 2 months after purchase, I'm just looking for the other one. I have GDS access at work and when I'm in my record I can see the upgrade inventory vs. full award inventory (which as we know AF uses two different forms of O)
dbernard2000 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread