Booking KL/MF BER/SHA TYO/SHA

Old Jan 30, 19, 8:02 am
  #1  
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Booking KL/MF BER/SHA TYO/SHA

Hi everyone,

I have been trying to book this flight found on Matrix via Xiamen (MF) airline:

The outbound flight is:
TXL/AMS in I, operated by KL
AMS/XMN in I, operated by MF
XMN/SHA in J, operated by MF

The inbound flight is:
NRT/XMN in I, operated by MF
XMN/AMS in I, operated by MF
AMS/TXL in Z, operated by KL

When trying to book it on their website, it shows TXL/AMS as Y instead of I/Z.

I tried to call the booking hotline in AMS and explained that issue but the operator advised to reach the XMN hotline instead since they have more leverage to make these kind of changes. After reaching an English-speaker on the XMN hotline, the operator told me that it is actually impossible to change the booking class on any non-operated MF flights since they do not have any agreement to cover that.

The weird thing is Google Flights/Priceline.com/Skyscanner are able to find the right flight with the right booking. Google Flights advises to call MF to book which proved to be unhelpful, Priceline.com is able to book it on their platform and Skyscanner redirects to third-party OTAs.





My questions are:
  • Is MF correct that there is no possibility to book any seat in I/Z for these legs?
  • Or is it a glitch from Google Flights/Priceline.com/Skyscanner?
  • If not, is Priceline.com reliable? I would strongly prefer to book it on the airline website if possible.

Thanks!

Last edited by thrwwrtlvsn; Jan 30, 19 at 8:07 am Reason: formatting
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:24 pm
  #2  
 
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Hi,

I believe the issue is that on Xiamen's website the flight from Tegel to AMS is coded as an MF flight. And you only get Economy for this.
If it is coded as KL flight it will be business and slightly more expensive.
This is what has happened to me.
Sometimes they don't offer the flight under KL code on their website. You might need to use a third party vendor for this.
Happened to me twice on flights to MNL.
If you really need to fly in business between Berlin and Amsterdam KLM is offering an upgrade at online check-in. If I remember correctly for 65 or 69 Euros.
Given that you only have 1 hour for transfer I would pay the 15 euros for an additional legroom seat (exit row) and pay a fiver for pint of Heineken next to the KLM Hopper gates.
Its the same seats anyway and the food served on the flight isnt as good as 40 Euros.
At least as per my experience.

Edit: I used Prcieline before. No issue. They are part of the whole Booking.com enterprise together with Kayak.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 7:38 am
  #3  
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Hi endet,

Thank you for your reply!
I believe the issue is that on Xiamen's website the flight from Tegel to AMS is coded as an MF flight. And you only get Economy for this.
If it is coded as KL flight it will be business and slightly more expensive.
I believe you are right, I simulated again on Xiamen's website and both TXL/AMS are MF-coded Y-class legs.

Sometimes they don't offer the flight under KL code on their website. You might need to use a third party vendor for this.
Do you have any third-party vendor to recommend? I did not see any way to pay in EUR on Priceline. Ideally I would be looking for a European-based one - for European consumer protection law? - and pay the ticket in EUR.
I have also found that Flight Network via BWM proposes the right booking, what do you think?

If you really need to fly in business between Berlin and Amsterdam KLM is offering an upgrade at online check-in. If I remember correctly for 65 or 69 Euros.
Given that you only have 1 hour for transfer I would pay the 15 euros for an additional legroom seat (exit row) and pay a fiver for pint of Heineken next to the KLM Hopper gates.
Its the same seats anyway and the food served on the flight isnt as good as 40 Euros.
Thank you for the suggestion! I agree that flying business with KLM on TXL/AMS does not make a lot of sense given the little benefits it gives but the extra XP/miles run they produce is worth the extra money demanded, e.g. around 20EUR.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by thrwwrtlvsn View Post
Hi endet,

Thank you for your reply!

I believe you are right, I simulated again on Xiamen's website and both TXL/AMS are MF-coded Y-class legs.


Do you have any third-party vendor to recommend? I did not see any way to pay in EUR on Priceline. Ideally I would be looking for a European-based one - for European consumer protection law? - and pay the ticket in EUR.
I have also found that Flight Network via BWM proposes the right booking, what do you think?


Thank you for the suggestion! I agree that flying business with KLM on TXL/AMS does not make a lot of sense given the little benefits it gives but the extra XP/miles run they produce is worth the extra money demanded, e.g. around 20EUR.
Hi, from experience there are not many OTAs that find the flights with KL coded flights. I personally would book with Priceline. I booked a ticket with before and had no issue. Being part of the bigger booking.com conglomerate I am not afraid that the go bankrupt anytime soon.
If you are afraid of the currency conversion fees have a look at Revolut. 0% fee for electronic purchases.

My upgrade odder for DUB to AMS on KLM was 69 Euros in October 2018. 15 Euros for exit row seat.

If you end up flying MF: on the shorthaul try to check whats on the chinese menu. It might be fried noodles and with such much better than the "western choice".
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Old Jan 31, 19, 11:38 am
  #5  
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Yes, so far Priceline/Flying Network/BudgetAir are able to find flights with KL-coded flights or at least the right one.
Actually I wanted to settle the booking in EUR because I would like to use my Amex to get insurance coverage and miles points in the process.
The only OTA that seems to provide sufficient information with regards to the booking is Flying Network by the way.

How is your experience on MF flights? I have seen some reviews of MF flights and it is always quite funny the way they propose their "western choice".
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Old Jan 31, 19, 3:52 pm
  #6  
siw
 
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I booked MF discount business I/J LHR-AMS-XMN-HKG rtn on the MF website (paid with AMEX to get 2x MR). The LHR flights are in KLM aircraft in Y with MF codeshare numbers. Just like your flights. I contacted MF about the KLM flights being in Y and was told that’s the way it is when they sell tickets on other airline’s aircraft. Not fussed being in Y for very short flights as the seat is the same and I still have lounge access and SkyPriority. But the lower earned FB Miles and XP is annoying.

Flown MF B789 J class before and product was good so happy to take it again and the price was low.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
I booked MF discount business I/J LHR-AMS-XMN-HKG rtn on the MF website (paid with AMEX to get 2x MR). The LHR flights are in KLM aircraft in Y with MF codeshare numbers. Just like your flights. I contacted MF about the KLM flights being in Y and was told that’s the way it is when they sell tickets on other airline’s aircraft. Not fussed being in Y for very short flights as the seat is the same and I still have lounge access and SkyPriority. But the lower earned FB Miles and XP is annoying.

My next flight in May to MNL has the outbound DUB-AMS sold by MF as KLM coded and therefore Business. The return AMS-DUB is MF coded only
But there is not enough time for the lounge anyway so a pint of Heineken and an Exit row seat does it as well.
BTW: When you get your boarding pass in Xiamen printed for the shorthaul Economy class within Europe they print a "Sky Priority" line on it if your inbound to AMS is in buisness. Hold on to that boarding pass as a re-print in AMS (at least the one from the vending machines) will not show this.

Last edited by endet; Jan 31, 19 at 10:50 pm
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Old Jan 31, 19, 11:43 pm
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My next flight in May to MNL has the outbound DUB-AMS sold by MF as KLM coded and therefore Business.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 6:27 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
I booked MF discount business I/J LHR-AMS-XMN-HKG rtn on the MF website (paid with AMEX to get 2x MR). The LHR flights are in KLM aircraft in Y with MF codeshare numbers. Just like your flights. I contacted MF about the KLM flights being in Y and was told that’s the way it is when they sell tickets on other airline’s aircraft. Not fussed being in Y for very short flights as the seat is the same and I still have lounge access and SkyPriority. But the lower earned FB Miles and XP is annoying.

Flown MF B789 J class before and product was good so happy to take it again and the price was low.
I had more or less the same explanation when I contacted MF but to me it just seems strange when Matrix shows the possibility to book KL flights under MF code in business.
I think the quoted price is good as well, the same flights around these dates are going for about 2500EUR.

Originally Posted by endet View Post

My next flight in May to MNL has the outbound DUB-AMS sold by MF as KLM coded and therefore Business. The return AMS-DUB is MF coded only
But there is not enough time for the lounge anyway so a pint of Heineken and an Exit row seat does it as well.
BTW: When you get your boarding pass in Xiamen printed for the shorthaul Economy class within Europe they print a "Sky Priority" line on it if your inbound to AMS is in buisness. Hold on to that boarding pass as a re-print in AMS (at least the one from the vending machines) will not show this.
Hmm, I thought that not every KL-operated short-haul flights sold by MF are business if the MF segments are business?
Just for the sake of my understanding, I thought it is better to book these short-hauls in MF-coded flights instead of KL because they will accrue more miles? If it is KL-coded then wouldn't it go to the normal scheme of FB, i.e. revenue-based miles?
By the way, I have found the same ticket but with only MF-coded flights on all segments but the price is much steeper.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 6:49 am
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Hi,
For short-haul flights within Europe operated by KLM:
If MF code you sit in economy and your ticket for this flight is issued as economy class
If KL code you sit in business and your ticket for this flight is issued as business class
As far as I know mileage accrual depends on the Programm you are collecting them.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 7:38 am
  #11  
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Thanks for the clarification!
I thought MF code in business is possible given that Matrix/Google Flights/etc are showing this actually (see my first post for reference).

By the way, if you book through an OTA a KL/MF flight, and say you use AFKL FB, I guess that MF flight should be accrued under the usual miles scheme (e.g. miles flown and booking class) whereas KL flight should be accrued under the new revenue scheme (e.g. ticket price - taxes)? But then how does FB know how much the KL legs cost given that the booking is for the entire flight?
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Old Feb 1, 19, 7:55 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by thrwwrtlvsn View Post
Thanks for the clarification!
I thought MF code in business is possible given that Matrix/Google Flights/etc are showing this actually (see my first post for reference).

By the way, if you book through an OTA a KL/MF flight, and say you use AFKL FB, I guess that MF flight should be accrued under the usual miles scheme (e.g. miles flown and booking class) whereas KL flight should be accrued under the new revenue scheme (e.g. ticket price - taxes)? But then how does FB know how much the KL legs cost given that the booking is for the entire flight?
I have never seen flights as business when MF coded. I know that the Matrix and some OTA show them. But as soon as you are at the final review page they show up as Economy.
On FB accrual I recommend to ask in the FB forum. I for example collect with Delta as miles do not expire and I try fly cheapest business class so not needing status.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:04 am
  #13  
siw
 
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Originally Posted by thrwwrtlvsn View Post
Thanks for the clarification!
I thought MF code in business is possible given that Matrix/Google Flights/etc are showing this actually (see my first post for reference).

By the way, if you book through an OTA a KL/MF flight, and say you use AFKL FB, I guess that MF flight should be accrued under the usual miles scheme (e.g. miles flown and booking class) whereas KL flight should be accrued under the new revenue scheme (e.g. ticket price - taxes)? But then how does FB know how much the KL legs cost given that the booking is for the entire flight?
It is for that very reason why I now do my best to avoid KL and AF flight numbers and try to get codeshare flight numbers on AF/KL aircraft when transitting through CDG or AMS.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by endet View Post
I have never seen flights as business when MF coded. I know that the Matrix and some OTA show them. But as soon as you are at the final review page they show up as Economy.
On FB accrual I recommend to ask in the FB forum. I for example collect with Delta as miles do not expire and I try fly cheapest business class so not needing status.
​​​​​​​That is very good to know. I actually tried to do a few simulation on Flight Network and apparently whenever there is a MF-coded on KL flight, it is not possible to choose your seat during booking but it is possible on KL-coded ones.
BudgetAir returns an all MF-coded flight with business on KL-operated legs without the choice to choose any seat (even MF flights). It is still showing they are in business before finalizing the payment.

Last edited by thrwwrtlvsn; Feb 1, 19 at 9:17 am Reason: format
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:16 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
It is for that very reason why I now do my best to avoid KL and AF flight numbers and try to get codeshare flight numbers on AF/KL aircraft when transitting through CDG or AMS.
So siw, do you confirm what I assume? Because I believe it would make much more sense to book an all MF-coded flight than having some segments in KL code for the purpose of collecting miles.
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