Air France Makes It More Difficult To Search Award Availability

One of the best tricks to finding often pesky SkyTeam (think Delta Skymiles) frequent flier mileage awards has been the Air France website. Unlike Delta, Air France’s website shows connecting flights between almost all SkyTeam carriers, including China Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Kenya Airways, and also more readily shows availability on trips that involve more than one airline.

One of the best search features Air France had disappeared into thin air this week. Air France’s website no longer makes it possible to view a monthly calendar of available award seats.

RIP award calendar. It is no longer possible to find available Air France, KLM or SkyTeam awards across a month, unless you search every individual day.

JuicyMiles award booking staff reported that they lost the ability to access the monthly calendar sometime late Thursday.

There used to be a box here that said “Search For Flights Around These Dates” that would pull up a calendar. It’s now gone, meaning you’re going to spend all day looking for SkyTeam flights.

This effectively increases the time and effort it takes to redeem Flying Blue frequent flier miles (which can be transferred from both Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards). Travelers will now have to ply the website day-by-day to find any room at all.

It’s easy to rack up a lot of Flying Blue transferable points with credit card sign ups.

This change also increases difficulty of searching for partner SkyTeam award availability on just about every airline. The next two best options for finding SkyTeam mileage award flights are Delta and Korean Air. Delta’s website is finicky, and often won’t show various connections that are available over the phone. Korean Air’s website is also plagued by frustrating limitations and inconsistencies.

Air France/KLM is preparing to institute changes to Flying Blue redemptions (shared with KLM) on June 1. Changes include the disposal of award charts, as Delta did several years ago, and introduction of a fully variable pricing scheme.

Air France’s press team has not responded to an inquiry about whether the elimination of the award calendar is permanent.

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