Award Availability Alert: Canada to Europe round trip economy class for 30,000 to 40,000 Flying Blue miles (even for summer 2023!)

Right now you can book reward tickets between Canada and Europe with Air France KLM’s Flying Blue for as little as 30,000 miles round trip! As first pointed out south of the border by TPG and later by Frequent Miler there is tons of availability between the US and Europe at 15,000 miles each way so we decided to check if the same holds true for Canadian departures. And it does. You can fly to many cities in Europe in Economy Class from Montreal, Quebec City or Toronto for only 15,000 Flying Blue Miles one way or 30,000 round trip. Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver departures see these flights at 20,000 Flying Blue Miles one way or 40,000 round trip.

UPDATES: 

This is a pretty big discount from the normal amount of miles required from the Flying Blue program (from 21,500 each way from Eastern Canada) and significantly less than what other programs normally require. For example (these are for round trip) you’d be looking at 65,000 points with RBC Avion (and a way higher cash co-pay for the taxes and fees), 70,000 to 80,000 Aeroplan points, 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points and so on!

Montreal to Paris

Let’s take a deeper look at one redemption and then we’ll also provide an overview of some of the other route options. For the deeper look why not one of the most popular routes for Flying Blue members, Montreal to Paris. This is for February 1 – 9, 2022:

Here is the cash cost for those same flights:

 

As you can see if you redeem 30,000 miles it would cover $603.04 of the ticket cost. This means you are receiving 2.01 cents per mile of value which is quite good for economy class. For those who convert Membership Rewards to Flying Blue this works out to ~1.5 cents per point. This means if you happened to earn all those points with the American Express Cobalt Card’s 5x points that’s a 7.5% return on your spending (Which is not hard to do, as that’s only $8,000 in spending on groceries, dining etc. and not including the welcome bonus)

To compare, we checked Aeroplan options on the exact same dates as above and it was 70,000 points plus $141 in taxes and fees. Yes Aeroplan is $120 cheaper but the difference in points is way more costly than that so Flying Blue is the better option here. 

I am also showing the Flying Blue rewards offering the first checked bag free as well:

This adds $75 in value per direction (making each Flying Blue mile worth 2.5 cents) as Aeroplan charges $75 for the first checked bag per direction for the above example and the cash price for the Air France flights work out $75 more per direction to have the first checked bag included as well. 

Some more examples:

Montreal to Budapest

Calgary to Munich

Toronto – Nice

Quebec City – Paris



 

Vancouver – Budapest

Edmonton – Budapest

Overall Availability

 

Here are just two months of availability examples for Montreal to Paris – September 2022 and July 2023. As you can see there are a lot of dates open!

 

Most of these lower redemption amounts are showing for flights September 2022 right through to July 2023. This is where the redemption option is great – there’s availability for May, June, July of 2023 so you can lock in some super low reward flights right now for next spring and summer! Could you imagine getting your family of four to Paris for only 120,000 miles (160,000 Membership Rewards points) and about $1,000 in fees? FYI, children aged 2 to 11 receive a further 25% off these mileage rates so if you are two adults and two kids in that age group it would only be 105,000 miles! That’s a pretty amazing deal. 

Here’s an example for four adult tickets next July:

Two adults and two kids ages 2-11:

Tip to see the calendar search on Air France’s website

You can search for availability on Air France’s site with a calendar search however they don’t really tell you how. You simply need to be log in first and then click on the Book with Miles tab. And then keep the travel dates box empty and then click “Search Flights” and you’ll get the calendar view.

Also, this calendar search only works when you have ‘1 Adult’ selected. The minute you add a second passenger or more you have to input dates for the search to work,

Do note as well their site can be finicky and won’t always let you see the calendar and forces you to input dates. If this happens you can try a different browser or log out, clear your cache and give it another shot. 

Earning Flying Blue Miles

Air France KLM Flying Blue doesn’t have their own credit card in Canada just yet (it’s on its way with Brim) but you can convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Flying Blue at a rate of 1 to 0.75 miles.  This ratio may not seem as good as the 1:1 to Aeroplan or British Airways but when you have discounted rates like this that ratio is just fine! Thus for the 30,000 mile round trip redemption you would need to only convert 40,000 Membership Rewards points (think about the same Aeroplan redemption above, you would need 70,000 Membership Rewards points) and you need 53,334 Membership Rewards to cover the 40,000 miles for the Western Canadian departures. It can take up to 3 days for points to transfer to Amex to Flying Blue so our fingers are crossed these discounted redemptions last at least until Wednesday or beyond. 

Recommended reading: Current American Express Membership Rewards cards offers

Wrapping it up

To be able to redeem only 30,000 miles and $250 to $300 for flights from Eastern Canada to Europe, especially in the height of summer is a deal that shouldn’t be passed up. If you have enough Flying Blue Miles or Membership Rewards points right
now and you have Europe on you radar for next week or next year you
should definitely consider this reward option!

Click here to visit the Air France Canada website to search for and book your flights!