Reach Flying Blue elite status with 1 return trip and donation to a good cause

Jun 17, 2022

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Flying Blue has introduced a new and exciting way to reach the next level in their loyalty program. Travellers can now purchase extra options with their flights that help a good cause, like reforestation projects or the use of sustainable aviation fuel. These options can be paid for in either cash or Flying Blue miles.

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Members earn 1 XP for every 2,000 miles or 10 euros contributed, or a multiple thereof. Since TPG values KLM miles at 1.0p apiece, the cash payment is a better option.

Some examples of donations you can choose while buying your flight might include:

  • Reforestation: pay €10 or 2.000 miles to get 1 XP
  • Reforestation and Sustainable Aviation Fuel: pay €19 to get 2 XP
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel and Reforestation: pay €33 to get 4 XP
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel: pay €469 to get 47 XP

While this would perhaps be most useful used as a way to obtain a couple of extra XP to get you across the finish line for your next status level, it’s also possible to leverage this option to get to the first tier if you have no status with Flying Blue.

Let’s dive into how you can use this new option in the most effective way.

Reaching elite status with XP

Operating as the loyalty program for KLM and Air France, as well as some smaller carriers like Kenya Airways, Flying Blue allows you to reach the next status level by obtaining XP (eXperience Points). XP is awarded based on distance flown and travel class, as seen in the table below.

Flying Blue elite XP chart
XP earnings per flight segment flown. Table courtesy of Flying Blue.

To reach elite status, you need the following amount of XP:

  • Silver: 100XP
  • Gold: 180XP
  • Platinum: 300XP

Please note that these amounts are cumulative. You start out at Explorer, the base level. Once you reach Silver status with 100XP, your XP counter is reset to zero and you start saving up for the 180XP needed for Gold status. That means to reach Platinum status from the base level in one go, you need 580XP.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Flying Blue for UK Flyers

Flying Blue silver status

The first elite tier in the Flying Blue program already has some solid benefits:

  • an extra free luggage item.
  • priority services, albeit limited to SkyTeam hub airports like Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) — you are able to board behind all SkyPriority and business class travellers and able to use the priority check-in desk.
  • free selection of regular seats during booking.
  • 25% discount on Economy Comfort seats.
  • 6 instead of 4 Flying Blue miles per euro spent on tickets and extras.

As you can see, it’s worthwhile to pursue this status level. The luggage perk especially has lots of potential value, as most economy class fares to the Americas as well as within Europe no longer include checked luggage. The fees to bring checked luggage are quite steep, so if you fly often this perk will save you a considerable amount.

Also, if you fly through Schiphol often, the priority services can be a huge privilege with long queues being predicted over the summer months.

Silver status with one round trip and a donation

To really get the most use out of this deal, you could couple up the most expensive fuel option with a round-trip business class flight within Europe. For most destinations, that would mean connecting through either Amsterdam (AMS) or Paris (CDG).

This amounts to four segments flown, each of which qualifies as an international segment under 2,000 miles thus giving you 15XP per segment and 60XP in total.

With the sustainable fuel contribution, that lands you at 107XP – enough to reach Silver status with 7XP to spare towards Gold status right after.

As an example, let’s look at a return flight to Barcelona (BCN):

Flying from London (LHR) to Barcelona (BCN) in Air France business class, you would spend £432 for the ticket + £401 for the sustainable fuel purchase – totalling just £833 to get you to Silver status in one trip. This new status will be valid for 12 months counted from the next month after you cross the threshold.

Depending on your travel patterns, that could be a great deal, especially if you were already planning a trip to Barcelona — all while doing something beneficial for the environment along the way.

Featured image courtesy of Air France.

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