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how do upgrades work with KLM / Air France Flying Blue?

how do upgrades work with KLM / Air France Flying Blue?

Old Apr 4, 2024, 4:47 am
  #31  
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There are no tables for mileage upgrades and there is no point ringing to enquire unless you actually have a booking already made.

Using miles to upgrade is not a good use of miles (exception: when you HAVE to travel in Economy anyway; if it turns out that there is a decent upgrade offer then go for it). If you actually want to travel in J, starting off by tying yourself to a particular flight for which there may or may not be any upgrade seats available, which you won't know until you have booked the Y ticket, is not a promising way to set about travelling in J.

It would make more sense to use your miles to redeem outright into the business cabin. Going the "buy Y, then upgrade with miles to J" route means you'll almost certainly have paid more - in both cash and miles - than if you had first conducted a good search for a J ticket and bought one at a good price. When you're searching for a J award ticket, you can be flexible; when you're searching for a J upgrade award, you cannot be flexible - because you've already tied yourself to a particular flight in Y.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 5:03 am
  #32  
 
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Great advice, thank you!
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 5:12 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Jade_BR
Thank you, I wasn't sure about the cash upgrade.
Does KLM use dynamic pricing for miles upgrade? Do you know if there's a table somewhere I can refer to?

I'm considering buying Y on a personal trip to the States and upgrading with miles but I don't know if a) I have enough miles and b) it would be worth it. Thanks!
I've never redeemed FB miles actually. Gold status has been valuable to an extent for us, but that didn't stop KLM telling my wife to go f*** herself when she missed a flight by seconds [she was lollygagging at the wrong gate due to neurodivergent issues]. She's now leaving the job that had us travelling a lot between AMS and WAW, so it's highly unlikely we'll be renewing either.

I would view the miles as worthless until you can manage to find a use that works for you. Every award search I've done has shown ridiculous mileage costs or very sporadic availability at reasonable costs, though admittedly I've only ever been poking around rather than seriously trying to use them. I've not flown long-haul with KL or AF in quite some time, so haven't had any insight into upgrading with miles.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 6:52 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by etiene
I've never redeemed FB miles actually. Gold status has been valuable to an extent for us, but that didn't stop KLM telling my wife to go f*** herself when she missed a flight by seconds [she was lollygagging at the wrong gate due to neurodivergent issues].
Very interesting datapoint, given the discussion over in this thread.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 7:07 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by etiene;[url=tel:36134691
36134691]AIUI in Flying Blue this is also the case if you upgrade with cash.
Tickets upgraded in advance (as opposed to at check in) in cash earn XP of the upgraded cabin.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 7:10 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by sehgalanuj
Very interesting datapoint, given the discussion over in this thread.
It was entirely her own fault, but I was a bit surprised there wasn't more understanding especially since she'd have been in absolute bits. She seemed to think the lounge agents were just putting her through on the phone to the call centre, who merely pointed out that it was a non-changeable ticket. Didn't help that [for the first time in a while that I've seen] flights were sold out or very busy.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 7:12 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
Tickets upgraded in advance (as opposed to at check in) in cash earn XP of the upgraded cabin.
Any insight into why the websites now don't allow you to upgrade the return leg only?
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 11:20 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
Any insight into why the websites now don't allow you to upgrade the return leg only?
Interesting.

We are very spoiled by US programs that allow a lot of flexibility and visibility during the booking process. On the UA app I can see cabin class availability, fare code, upgrade one-way or r/t using miles or cash online at time of booking (if available), etc. It's just a completely different model. Transitioning has been a bit of a shock. I used to fly 120k miles per year for work consistently (almost entirely international, almost entirely paid biz) and now my travel patterns have shifted from relocating to Europe as well, so it's almost like learning the airline loyalty game from scratch all over again.
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 12:53 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
There are no tables for mileage upgrades and there is no point ringing to enquire unless you actually have a booking already made.

Using miles to upgrade is not a good use of miles (exception: when you HAVE to travel in Economy anyway; if it turns out that there is a decent upgrade offer then go for it). If you actually want to travel in J, starting off by tying yourself to a particular flight for which there may or may not be any upgrade seats available, which you won't know until you have booked the Y ticket, is not a promising way to set about travelling in J.

It would make more sense to use your miles to redeem outright into the business cabin. Going the "buy Y, then upgrade with miles to J" route means you'll almost certainly have paid more - in both cash and miles - than if you had first conducted a good search for a J ticket and bought one at a good price. When you're searching for a J award ticket, you can be flexible; when you're searching for a J upgrade award, you cannot be flexible - because you've already tied yourself to a particular flight in Y.
This is OK if you have control of making a booking, but if you're on a business trip and your employer has an economy-only policy (my situation) then an upgrade at OLCI is the only realistic way. I've just done this for a 12-hour flight tomorrow and emptied my Flying Blue miles (again!).
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Old Apr 4, 2024, 2:12 pm
  #40  
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A new dynamic (rather than fixed) mileage upgrade tool is currently being developed, we hope to release it in the coming months.
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 6:19 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
A new dynamic (rather than fixed) mileage upgrade tool is currently being developed, we hope to release it in the coming months.
Thank you Ben. Will this tool be available at the time of booking, so a PAX could book knowing if an upgrade is available, and how much it will cost?
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 8:12 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
A new dynamic (rather than fixed) mileage upgrade tool is currently being developed, we hope to release it in the coming months.
does that mean that upgrades will be available always, but the mileage price will be dynamic like with the regular reward tickets? currently O or Z availability are necessary for the fixed price mileage upgrades.
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 9:10 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by f0zzyNUE;[url=tel:36140127
36140127[/url]]does that mean that upgrades will be available always, but the mileage price will be dynamic like with the regular reward tickets? currently O or Z availability are necessary for the fixed price mileage upgrades.
yes, pretty much this
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 10:30 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
yes, pretty much this
Up to now only bucket class O is available on EU destinations for upgrades from eco to business.

As a consequence, upgrade possibilities are quite limited.

Looking forward to enjoying this new enhancement (of course as long as the miles requested for upgrades remind descent )
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 10:41 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by Bullspread
Up to now only bucket class O is available on EU destinations for upgrades from eco to business.
Actually it is award bucket class O and Z (Z = extended upgrade availability for FB elite). AFAIK
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