Modifying Flying Blue Award itinerary

Old Mar 7, 2023, 1:53 pm
  #1  
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Modifying Flying Blue Award itinerary

This is my first time traveling on a Flying Blue award. I have a round-trip from the US to CDG, with the outbound in (low award -- 55K) business and the return in (low award -- 30K) premium economy. The low business class inventory just became available on the return.

The FB desk is telling me that I cannot simply change the return segment (and pay the different in FB miles), but rather the whole itinerary must be repriced (which wouldn't make sense to do because there is no outbound itinerary in anything close to the 55K business class level).

Is this really how the program works? Is there any way around this? Sorry if this is obvious to those regularly using FB awards, but I was really surprised by this.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 7, 2023, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerwma
(...) Is this really how the program works?.
Yes, it is.

.
Is there any way around this?.
Yes, but only for next time. Book 2 OW. You can cancel one without affecting the other.
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Old Mar 8, 2023, 2:34 am
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Originally Posted by flyerwma
Is this really how the program works?
See 3.2.8 of the Flying Blue T&Cs:
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Old Mar 8, 2023, 2:59 am
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Indeed, always book one way tickets if that does not make it more expensive in miles. More flexibility.
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Old Mar 10, 2023, 12:31 am
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Originally Posted by carnarvon
Yes, it is.

.

Yes, but only for next time. Book 2 OW. You can cancel one without affecting the other.
will the price in miles or taxes the same when booking 2 OW instead of 1 RT ?
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Old Mar 10, 2023, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by macaron95
will the price in miles or taxes the same when booking 2 OW instead of 1 RT ?
There might be a (slight) difference in the amount of taxes, but that is unavoidable. The amount of miles required won't change; any return booked in Flying Blue is simply the sum of (cost in miles of chosen outbound) + (cost in miles of chosen inbound)

Note, however, that if book a return trip as two one-ways, and you then decide to fully cancel the trip, you are subject to twice the fees; you have two separate tickets to cancel, and therefore are subject to the cancellation fee twice (2 * €50).

So it's not the case that you should book a return automatically as two one-ways. This should only be done when it makes sense based on your requirements.

If one of the legs you've found is perfect for your needs and you do not anticipate needing to change it (as in the OP's case; the outbound was at what he calls the "low award") but you are not happy with, and intend to change, the other leg (as in the OP's case; the inbound was booked in Premium Economy but they clearly wanted Business, and seem to have booked the inbound leg as a "placeholder" to be changed when and if a suitable Business option later showed up), then you should not "connect" the two journeys together. Book your "perfect" outbound as a one way- otherwise, if and when you change the ticket for a better inbound flight, you are likely going to lose that "perfect" outbound too, because you stuck it on the same ticket with the flight you want to change, and when you change, you lose everything on the ticket, and that "perfect" outbound won't still be available when you later make the change.

Last edited by irishguy28; Mar 10, 2023 at 1:07 am
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Old Mar 10, 2023, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by atflyer
Indeed, always book one way tickets if that does not make it more expensive in miles. More flexibility.
you just have to keep in mind that you have to pay cancellation fees twice in case you have to cancel the whole itinerary. (fee for each oneway ticket)
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Old Mar 11, 2023, 3:41 am
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There is one more option that I was told by the PSL.

Book the return flight in business for 55K as a one-way right now. Then fly the outbound of the roundtrip ticket. Cancel the return PE flight of the roundtrip after having flown the outbound for 50 euro penalty, receiving back the 30K miles and taxes for the inbound PE flight.

Or alternatively you can fly the outbound first. Then call to cancel the return flight for a refund of 30K miles (Costing 50 euro change fee) and then book the one-way return ticket. This of course has the risk of the C-class award not being available any more at that time, or the 30K miles refund taking long leaving you without a ticket. Therefore I would recommend booking the new one-way inbound flight first as described above.

I must say that I did not use this trick myself, but after inquiring about cancelling the return flight on a roundtrip ticket I was told that this is the way to do it - preventing a reprice on the first flight. I'd suggest giving them a call to verify and possibly try this method.

The risk seems fairly minimal if you are able to book the return flight as one-way right now. Worst case they refuse to cancel the PE segment after having flown the outbound, in which case you will cancel the one-way business flight (50 euro penalty) and fly back in PE as originally booked.

Originally Posted by macaron95
will the price in miles or taxes the same when booking 2 OW instead of 1 RT ?
In some cases a roundtrip causes different mileage prices compared to two one-ways. Always check both. I've recently been in the situation where I was checking award prices and found low-priced awards to the US around the 55K mark, searching for one-ways. Wanting to book the flights I had found on a return ticket they went up to 80K. Booked them as multiple one ways for 55K each without issue.
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Last edited by Xandrios; Mar 11, 2023 at 3:57 am
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Old Mar 11, 2023, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Xandrios
There is one more option that I was told by the PSL.

Book the return flight in business for 55K as a one-way right now. Then fly the outbound of the roundtrip ticket. Cancel the return PE flight of the roundtrip after having flown the outbound for 50 euro penalty, receiving back the 30K miles and taxes for the inbound PE flight.

Or alternatively you can fly the outbound first. Then call to cancel the return flight for a refund of 30K miles (Costing 50 euro change fee) and then book the one-way return ticket. This of course has the risk of the C-class award not being available any more at that time, or the 30K miles refund taking long leaving you without a ticket. Therefore I would recommend booking the new one-way inbound flight first as described above.
I thought about this (option 1), but the problem is that I don't keep a balance in my Flying Blue account. I'm generally a DL flyer and only transfer to FB just enough miles for an award. So I don't want to end up with 30K miles in my FB account. I'm planning on doing option 2 (the "alternatively") if there's the inventory.

Thanks to all.
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Old Mar 11, 2023, 3:35 pm
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Does AF not cancel a reservation if there's a duplicate? In the scenario presented above, the OP is advised to book the new business class award while the prior PE award is still ticketed. I know that other airlines would cancel duplicate reservations on the same flight. Is it not AF's practice to do so?
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Old May 17, 2023, 1:57 pm
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Just an update on this. There was return inventory in Business (O Class/55K), but AF would only hold the reservation for 24 hours before ticketing. So the morning of my outbound, I made a reservation for the return flight in business. After I landed in Paris at got settled, I called to cancel and redeposit the PE ticket (50 EUR fee) and ticket the business ticket (transferring the needed miles from American Express). It all worked out. (The 50 EUR redeposit fee seems silly when up-gauging to a higher class of service, but such is life...)
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Old May 18, 2023, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by flyerwma
(The 50 EUR redeposit fee seems silly when up-gauging to a higher class of service, but such is life...)
It's not a "redeposit" fee; it's a cancellation fee.

It serves to dissuade people from making speculative bookings or "hogging" seats that they intend to later forfeit.

Up-gauging to a higher class of service still means that a PE seat that someone else may have wanted and used was not available to them for the period during which you had it reserved, and when released at short notice there is no guarantee that it was made available for redemption again at the original/low price.
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Old May 21, 2023, 11:08 am
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While it is cheaper to book return cash tickets, always book award tickets as one-way bookings. It doesn't get you a better deal to book return award tickets but removes flexibility.

Booking single award tickets gives you the ultimate cheat of being able to rebook at a better price. Rebooking will cost you 50€ but it's worth it most of the time.

We monitor hundreds of Flying Blue award fares and cheap fares can appear even on the day before the flight.
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Old May 21, 2023, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingbluealertscom
While it is cheaper to book return cash tickets, always book award tickets as one-way bookings. It doesn't get you a better deal to book return award tickets but removes flexibility.
Not strictly true; return tickets are just as "flexible" as one-way tickets. And it's cheaper to cancel a return than it is to cancel two one-ways.

Originally Posted by flyingbluealertscom
Booking single award tickets gives you the ultimate cheat of being able to rebook at a better price. Rebooking will cost you 50€ but it's worth it most of the time.
You can only rebook at a better price if you actually find a better price; and this is certainly not a given. Many flyers only book at the lowest possible price anyway, so finding "a better price" later is not possible.

And if you decide to cancel completely, having booked two one-way tickets instead of a return ticket, you end up paying €100 per person to cancel two one-way tickets rather than €50 per person to cancel a single return.
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Old May 22, 2023, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
Not strictly true; return tickets are just as "flexible" as one-way tickets. And it's cheaper to cancel a return than it is to cancel two one-ways.
I agree on the 100. But if you cancel return tickets just to rebook one of the 2 tickets (outbound/return) you are most likely going to pay extra miles on the other one as the award price will be different as well.

Originally Posted by irishguy28
You can only rebook at a better price if you actually find a better price; and this is certainly not a given. Many flyers only book at the lowest possible price anyway, so finding "a better price" later is not possible.
Of course, but at times you have to book the flight anyway and can't afford to wait (and/or risk a price increase). You only need a 4000 miles difference to make your 50 fee back (at a 0,0125/mile valuation).
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