The most powerful tool available for searching frequent flyer award availability on SkyTeam airlines went dark in May, when Air France began retooling its Flying Blue program to include more dynamic pricing. Today, the monthly Flying Blue award calendar is back in operation, restoring one of the better points and miles redemption tools out there.
Air France shows more connecting SkyTeam availability than any of its SkyTeam brethren. While Delta only shows single-leg (nonstop) availability on some partners, including China Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, Air France will show connecting flights and airline pairings among nearly every SkyTeam partner.
Using the calendar requires a Flying Blue membership, which is free and takes five minutes or less to obtain.
Once on the airfrance.com (or airfrance.us) homepage, click the ‘Use Your Miles’ tab to prompt the sign-in page.
After signing on, the award search page will appear. Enter flight details and click the checkbox next to ‘I’m Looking For Flights Around These Dates’.The calendar will appear in lieu of a single day search result.
On caveat when using the airfrance.com search tool is that Air France and KLM make more award seats available to their own members than to their partner airlines. Air France and KLM flights that appear in search calendar results are always bookable with Flying Blue miles (which can be transferred from credit card rewards programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards), but may not be bookable with SkyTeam partners like Delta.
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When the calendar disappeared in May, we were concerned the change would be permanent. Without the calendar, it becomes much more difficult to identify dates for possible award travel.
The return of Air France Flying Blue’s award calendar makes it much easier to search for award seats, and much easier to enjoy the benefits of the mileage program and affiliated points rewards credit cards.