KLM just disabled Reward Flight searches for Flying Blue members with 0 balance.

There's an old adage in the world of loyalty programmes. “Burn while you earn”. Because a company's goal is to make money, not friends.

Air FranceKLM's loyalty programme Flying Blue has undergone some pretty unfriendly changes in the last couple of years, going from a fixed reward chart to dynamic pricing. For the uninitiated, it effectively means they have come up with a fixed monetary value for each Flying Blue point, with a tiny bit of each side.

Starting sometime between, er… last night and this morning, KLM no longer allows Flying Blue members to search for award space online if your account balance is zero. (I am still testing this out for Air France).

[Edit: see the comments section as this might not be an isolated incident, but things could be back to ‘normal' after the weekend. We shall see!]

While to the layperson this may seem entirely sensible for lack of ‘loyalty', this creates a big problem for those searching for passengers who are trying to book business and first class flights on either KLM or Air France, then paying for it with a different Skyteam partner's programme. Indeed they may be very loyal to the French or Dutch airlines when buying tickets, but instead credit their miles to a different programme.

 

When I try to do anything with a dummy account all the fields are greyed out and I am unable to click anything.

Further inspection of the source code following Seth Miller's comment, it clearly looks like Flying Blue have done what they can to disable the inputs.

 

Please let us know below if you are experiencing similar issues, if you have a non-zero balance but cannot book rewards, or if you have a zero balance but are still able! The plot is thickening…

Comments

    • Is there any published notice of such action? It does seem to have caught several miles and points members by surprise. And why would they block only members with 0 miles and not non-zero accounts?

      • Advance notice would be awesome, but non known provided. Monkey miles first reported this last weekend. Miles balance not relevant unless you’ve seen DPs otherwise. Merely a server side outage. My fear last weekend was a stealth FB devaluation, but did not notice any redemption changes. Is also possible that outage is unplanned and not yet known by IT.

  1. Miles husband is correct. I have a large miles balance and I am unable to search. This is not the first time this has happened.

  2. I have a zero-balance Flying Blue account (DL medallion) and wanted to search reward flights to see whether I’d get a good deal if I transferred credit card miles.

    I ran into this very problem (visible but disabled inputs) two weeks ago. No way I believe it’s a temporary server outage, and I didn’t realize it was something I should mention to a blog.

    I’ll write back in a few hours when I have a chance to try again.

  3. Search fields are still greyed out at 4pm ET Jan 21st. Is there still an outage or maintenance? –

    Nobody is picking up at the Flying Blue USA number: +1 800 375 8723 (toll free) yesterday 45min and today 60min wait before giving up on elevator music. Sent two emails, but no response yet. FB chat on airfrance and klm, no responses in either. Is everybody on vacation or is there a strike?

    Do I need to transfer files to flying blue account to be able to do searches? – Saw some comment about zero balance. May somebody confirm? – Thanks a lot.

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