Go Back > > >
Old Nov 6, 17, 3:52 am - Wikipost
Cpi-Web Forums Thread Wiki: Upcoming changes to Flying Blue in 2018
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
Last edit by: irishguy28
Wiki Link
Introduction

As you have been following the past thread, the Flying Blue programme will change as of 1 April 2018. In order to split the discussion from the earlier thread, we have created a new thread.

On 6 November Flying Blue has organised a press conference to inform the public about the changes to the programme. In addition, a mailing will be sent out to all members on the 6th and 7th of November and more information can be found on the designated website (link: https://explorefurther.flyingblue.com).

As an introduction, please find a summary of the changes below.

Please note that at the current time there is no difference expected to the benefits of the current tier.

Change 1: no more level miles, no more segments, but Experience Points

As of 1 April 2018 you will no longer earn level miles and segments per flight, but you will earn Experience Points (XP). The number of XP earned per flight depends on your cabin (multiplier times 2 for Premium Economy, 3 for business, 5 for La Premiere) and the type of flight (distinction between domestic, medium haul, long-haul 1/2/3).

For flights between 1 January – 31 March 2018 all earned level miles and segments will be converted into XP (1 segment = 7 XP; 1,000 level miles = 5 XP for members outside France). Please note that the highest conversion applies (it is not cumulative).

The number of XP required per tiers is:
- 100 for Silver;
- 180 for Gold;
- 300 for Platinum;
- 1,800 for Platinum Ultimate (in 2 years).

Please note that for current flyers who qualify on segments based on only intra-EU flights this could see an increase in the number of flights required. However, if you fly a mix if intra-EU and intercontinental (but qualify on segments), this will most likely see a reduction in the number of flights required to qualify.
For elite members, there is a roll-over of all XP above your tier threshold.

The rules for soft-landing have been extended. It is now no longer required to make at least 1 qualifying flight and in case you do not meet your threshold you will only drop one tier.

Change 2: number of miles earned dependent on fare paid (including fuel surcharge)

The number of award miles (for AF/KL/A5) earned is now depending on the fare paid (including fuel surcharge). Ivory members earn 4 miles per Euro, Silver 6, Gold 7 and Platinum 8.

Also earn award miles on AF/KL purchases (relating to seats, baggage and meals) according to the above schedule.

Earnings on partners remains as-is (based on fare class and distance flown).

Change 3: dynamic pricing of award tickets (on AF/KL/HV)

Another change will be that award tickets will have dynamic pricing, e.g. an award AMS-JFK could be more expensive than an award DUS-AMS-JFK. This is also in line with change 2, as flights from AMS are also more expensive than flights from DUS (you also earn more miles).

This also implies that we will see a difference in the number of miles required per flight. For example, an award from continental Europe to continental USA will currently set you back 25,000 miles for a one-way in economy. It does not matter if you fly to LAX or NYC, the number of miles is currently fixed. Under the new proposition, this will change. The cheaper flight (in this example: NYC) will see a slight reduction in the number of miles required, whilst LAX will see a slight increase in the number of miles required.

Furthermore, there will be a standard base level for the number of miles required per destination. As the standard revenue price increases, so does the number of award miles.

Change 4: status valid for 12 months (+ 3 months), personal membership year

FB will be moving away from membership year = calendar year (in case of upgrade of tier). Instead, FB will have an individual membership year. This means that after obtaining the higher tier, you will have 12 months to requalify. Benefit of this is that members are not bound by the calendar year (e.g. members who earn 20,000 level miles in a December of a given year and 20,000 level miles in January of the next year, do not have any benefit of their flights in case limited flights before/after).

I know some will feel that this is a significant downgrade compared to the current – at maximum – 27 months. Please note that based on FB information the majority of members (re)qualify in the last quarter of the year.

In addition, please note that for an Ivory member would like to go obtain Platinum in one year, as it will become more difficult, as (s)he will have to earn each threshold (so not 300 XP in the first year, but (100 + 180 + 300 = 580 XP). This is only applicable in the first year.

Change 5: changes to the co-branded American Express credit cards (FR/NL)

Currently you earn segments and level miles (on AF/KL purchases for Gold and Platinum card holders). This will change that you will receive additional XP when reaching your membership anniversary each year.
Print Wikipost

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 7, 17, 8:33 am #466

Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by newflyer27 View Post
Almost as you said! in my case i will need some more flights to reach platinum again! all my flights are in Y but i have quite a few domestic flights within Spain and France. it will not be that easy to add more flights to what i already did (especially that i did a segments run for 8 flights -worth 28XP-). with these new changes happening only on April, i will have some Q1 2018 segments to convert which will help me requalify next year to platinum but in 2019 it will be another story. i ll have to find a job that sends me on Longhaul flights!

below is my 2017 flights:
What you need is an Experience Gathering Run of 24XP, which you could get with 5 EU segments or 4 EU and 2 domestic.

Of course if some of your 2017 flight were already segment runs then it adds quite a bit to the cost of gaining platinum. You need to try to avoid domestic flights for your regular flying.
CyBeR is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 8:49 am #467

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 114
I guess it's down to someone's expectations. Mine were really, really low and I'm over the moon that in attempt to limit "game players", eliminate mileage runs and cut costs they did not go too far and will not hurt their customers too much.

Are the changes for the worse? Sure! And I do see that. But what did people expect? Instead of 20% increase a 10%? 5%? A decrease? A higher miles earning?

Let's be realistic here. This could have been a major disaster for most, but instead, it's a minor problem. There's no reason to get yourself worked up, you do the math and you do what's best for you under the circumstances, whether it's flying six more, or moving on. That's what I was planning on doing.

Flying Blue is still a good programme for "ex segment" runners when compared to other major 2, and that's a good thing.
skyhighlander is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 8:56 am #468
Cpi-Web Evangelist

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, AZ, BA Silver: EY
Posts: 21,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhighlander View Post
Are the changes for the worse? Sure! And I do see that.
Yet 15 minutes ago it was a "win-win" and the "cheap segment runners" were the "clear winners"

What many don't realise and maybe FB don't realise themselves, either, is that they have made the programme far less attractive for newcomers seeking to build up status.

BA realised this and changed their programme away from the model that FB has now instead adopted - BA stopped clearing Tier Points balances on the time of an increase in status, and they stopped the "shifting" of the membership year when this happened. Now, FB has devolved from a fixed 12-month collection period, to this more arbitrary "shift the year when you increase status", and "clear balances when you go up in status" model dropped by BA.

[That said, I know that others have the same model that FB is moving to - Aegean is a case in point, where it is also FAR easier to retain status, than to attain it. But that programme is better calibrated, and the qualification levels are much easier to hit as well]

I had already largely abandoned FB years ago, but will likely need a new Skyteam programme when Millemiglia may implode next year. While FB may very well indeed be where I end going back to, I am certainly not going to be an enthusiastic adopter of the programme; unless they become more plentiful with their status matches, they really will not see the expected numbers of newcomers attracted by the "improved" or "simplified" programme.

Last edited by irishguy28; Nov 7, 17 at 9:04 am
irishguy28 is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:08 am #469

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Yet 15 minutes ago it was a "win-win" and mileage runners were the "real winners"
From what I remember "win-win" was in reply to the example quoted

And I still do believe the segment people are the real winners here. How to explain it better... winning doesn't always mean being better off.

It's like with the UK. Won 2 world wars, but as a consequence got weakened and lost the empire. Still better than losing empire AND both wars

So that is all I'm trying to say - it's better than expected, and we can now relax for another few years, until the next devaluation.

Can't say the same about the members of other alliances who I'm sure will very soon face changes themselves.
skyhighlander is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:10 am #470

Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Yet 15 minutes ago it was a "win-win" and the "cheap segment runners" were the "clear winners"
Mileage runners are the losers in this new system -- that is pretty much undisputed. Miles no longer count for status and their earning, now based on cash spent, is greatly diminished for discount fares.

The real winners are occasional long-haul flyers and even more so occasional premium fliers. Their flying patterns may not have been enough for status before either on miles or segments, but may actually work for them now. See my example list earlier. Those long-haul flights, especially premium, seriously reduce the amount of short-haul segments needed for status.

Quote:
What many don't realise and maybe FB don't realise themselves, either, is that they have made the programme far less attractive for newcomers seeking to build up status.
True. I wonder what will become of that.
CyBeR is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:19 am #471

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York
Programs: AA Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Alaska Gold, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyteamEP View Post
Coming back to the Domestic XP earnings applying to US domestic flights, AirFrance told me the following on Twitter:







So according to those tweets, the XP rates shown by the calculator when looking at US domestic flights is wrong. Will see in a few days if the calculator is updated.
Thanks for that info - very valuable as this is a crucial one for me, living in the US and flying those transcons regularly. We'll see if that's true or not, since the FB team is not known to be the most reliable/knowledgeable.
Klems is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:19 am #472
Ambassador, Alitalia

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Warsaw
Programs: AF-KL P | SK D | LH FTL | Accor G | Marriott® S | Amex® G
Posts: 2,490
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhighlander View Post
And I still do believe the segment people are the real winners here. How to explain it better
Please go ahead and explain, I'm (genuinely) intrigued to know how a segment runner, starting from Ivory, will be better off with the new system [as opposed to the current scheme]. I'm sure others will also be looking forward to hearing your own version (preferably without the examples of WWII and British Empire, though, as they are not relevant here).

G
newflyer27 likes this.
AlicorporateUK is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:29 am #473

Join Date: May 2015
Location: WAW and CDG
Programs: Silver = Flying blue, Club Accor, Club Carlson
Posts: 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I had already largely abandoned FB years ago, but will likely need a new Skyteam programme when Millemiglia may implode next year. While FB may very well indeed be where I end going back to, I am certainly not going to be an enthusiastic adopter of the programme; unless they become more plentiful with their status matches, they really will not see the expected numbers of newcomers attracted by the "improved" or "simplified" programme.
Why not switching to UX Suma ?
fifty_two is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:32 am #474

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Paris
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
What you need is an Experience Gathering Run of 24XP, which you could get with 5 EU segments or 4 EU and 2 domestic.

Of course if some of your 2017 flight were already segment runs then it adds quite a bit to the cost of gaining platinum. You need to try to avoid domestic flights for your regular flying.
Don't forget i am already platinum, otherwise with my travel patterns it would be very difficult to reach platinum if I were at a lower status.
newflyer27 is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:32 am #475

Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
Please go ahead and explain, I'm (genuinely) intrigued to know how a segment runner, starting from Ivory, will be better off with the new system [as opposed to the current scheme]. I'm sure others will also be looking forward to hearing your own version (preferably without the examples of WWII and British Empire, though, as they are not relevant here).

G
A *pure* segment runner (i.e., one who flies for no other purpose than to gain status and does so on the cheapest short-haul hops) is a loser because he will require more segments than before. But those don't exist; after all what is the point of status if you don't fly, other than to gain status? You'd be more comfortable and out less money not flying at all.

As I explained before, the average real-world frequent flyer should come out ahead provided he doesn't fly solely short-haul (or worse, domestic).

As with every adjustment to a program like this, some people are going to come out ahead and other are going to find it harder. And like I said before: status does not exist to reward fliers, it exists to convince them to fly the airline instead of a competitor. Status (and award flights) are the mechanism, not the goal.

And we all knew that STE+ pax on the cheapest fares had to be a losing proposition for AFKL so we all knew a change like this had to come sooner or later. This new system rewards (or incentivises, to be more accurate) higher spend flying patterns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newflyer27 View Post
Don't forget i am already platinum, otherwise with my travel patterns it would be very difficult to reach platinum if I were at a lower status.

Assuming for a moment that your travel patterns are such that under the new system you also reach platinum, the main difference is the amount of time it would take you to do it. You would have to go up through Silver and Gold (could be done in one year as 100 + 180 < 300) to platinum. If your travel patterns support a certain level, you will reach it in either system but it may take longer to do so.

Note also that the XP roll-over will make it easier; previously, segment-qualifiers had *zero* roll-over of anything as that was reserved for people who qualified on miles. With XP, any roll-over counts towards your status the next year. That part is a huge improvement for sure.
wuzziduzziman likes this.

Last edited by CyBeR; Nov 7, 17 at 9:41 am
CyBeR is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:50 am #476

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Paris
Programs: FB Platinum
Posts: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post


Assuming for a moment that your travel patterns are such that under the new system you also reach platinum, the main difference is the amount of time it would take you to do it. You would have to go up through Silver and Gold (could be done in one year as 100 + 180 < 300) to platinum. If your travel patterns support a certain level, you will reach it in either system but it may take longer to do so.

Note also that the XP roll-over will make it easier; previously, segment-qualifiers had *zero* roll-over of anything as that was reserved for people who qualified on miles. With XP, any roll-over counts towards your status the next year. That part is a huge improvement for sure.

I agree it would just take more time but it is still feasible. And the XP rollover is clearly a plus for me because I never reach the 70k level miles needed for plat. In fact, I am not saying what is happening is bad or not, I was not expecting it to become easier for me to qualify while I use this tactic called by some "a game". I am just saying that for my personal case I will need more flights in my usual pattern or more long haul flights.
newflyer27 is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:55 am #477
Ambassador, Alitalia

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Warsaw
Programs: AF-KL P | SK D | LH FTL | Accor G | Marriott® S | Amex® G
Posts: 2,490
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
A *pure* segment runner (i.e., one who flies for no other purpose than to gain status and does so on the cheapest short-haul hops) is a loser because he will require more segments than before. But those don't exist; after all what is the point of status if you don't fly, other than to gain status? You'd be more comfortable and out less money not flying at all.

As I explained before, the average real-world frequent flyer should come out ahead provided he doesn't fly solely short-haul (or worse, domestic).
Those don't exist? I'm not sure where you've been all this time but there's a significant number of people out there who seek status just for the sake of it, hence the segment runner's definition (nothing wrong with that, it's a hobby like for myself supporting/watching Blackburn Rovers or running long distances). Why would you need segment running in the first instance if, like myself, you'd score an average of 250+ flights a year purely for business purposes? Surely you would not need to squeeze as many weekend trips as possible just to gain status (I certainly woulnd't, I miss home as I'm away with work at least 3 days a week)? All we're saying here is that those flying purely on leisure and seeking status via segments are not clear winners like somebody is trying to say. People flying for work on a regular basis wouldn't even go down that route simply because they wouldn't need to hence they wouldn't pose the question in the first instance. All-in-all, for those starting from bottom (intended as Ivory) and wanting to do weekend runs, Flying Blue may no longer be the best choice of program, that's what I was trying to say.

G
fifty_two likes this.
AlicorporateUK is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:58 am #478
Cpi-Web Evangelist

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, AZ, BA Silver: EY
Posts: 21,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifty_two View Post
Why not switching to UX Suma ?
It will be looked at again when the time comes. I seem to recall that, although they allowed the equivalent of FB Gold with fewer segments than even the current FB programme, most of the fare classes I would take with KL are excluded from earning - so, again, gaining status would have required a more conscious effort of booking longhaul J.

That said, I obtain status in oneworld and *A most years via longhaul J; typically more cheaply than would be the case with SkyTeam, or at least with Flying Blue. I renewed status with Millemiglia this year including longhaul J on the likes of Jet Airways, which is a handy feature of Millemiglia though surely soon to depart - all the EAP partners count for status earning purposes. 1 or 2 judiciously-chosen J tickets on AZ can wrap up status in Millemiglia in ways that make you wince when you look at Flying Blue; all the more so now that FB will require you to grind out status the hardest way possible, earning and passing through each individaul status level and then starting you from zero when aiming for the next rung.

But, to be honest, Ryanair and Easyjet have me more or less covered for the shorthaul European trips that previously I would book exclusively with KL in the quest for my 30 segments for Gold. I may not have lounge access, and I may not often check a bag, so the benefits of status for my shorthaul hops that are usually all I use KL for are not so critical. And unlike others on a recent thread - I somehow never seem to need to eat at airports, so the "free food" or even free coffee in the lounge isn't a saving (though I do enjoy the free booze!!!)

My travel is all discretionary and personal and paid out of my own pocket. Both *A and oneworld have managed to convert me to occasional longhaul J tickets (though I typically only buy "deal" fares, so I'm not their best customer ) but FB has never previously tempted me to behave like that on Skyteam (Millemiglia started me down that path, but once it goes, my longhaul J will probably revert back to *A and oneworld, as that's where my FFP loyalties have been fostered).
irishguy28 is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:59 am #479

Join Date: May 2009
Location: AMS
Posts: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
Those don't exist? I'm not sure where you've been all this time but there's a significant number of people out there who seek status just for the sake of it, hence the segment runner's definition (nothing wrong with that, it's a hobby like for myself supporting/watching Blackburn Rovers or running long distances). Why would you need segment running in the first instance if, like myself, you'd score an average of 250+ flights a year purely for business purposes? Surely you would not need to squeeze as many weekend trips as possible just to gain status (I certainly woulnd't, I miss home as I'm away with work most weeks)? All we're saying here is that those flying purely on leisure and seeking status via segments are not clear winners like somebody is trying to say. People flying for work on a regular basis wouldn't even go down that route simply because they wouldn't need to so they wouldn't pose the question in the first instance.

G
A segment runner who adds a few segments to supplement his regular flying is what you describe. I don't think there are any people who seek status (especially top-tier) just for the sake of having it, and doing no or almost no flying outside of that.

It'd be a person flying 60 legs just to get platinum while he flies those 60 legs next year to retain it, but does not fly otherwise.

If that person exists: he's an idiot.
CyBeR is offline Reply With Quote
Old Nov 7, 17, 9:59 am #480
Cpi-Web Evangelist

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, AZ, BA Silver: EY
Posts: 21,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klems View Post
Thanks for that info - very valuable as this is a crucial one for me, living in the US and flying those transcons regularly. We'll see if that's true or not, since the FB team is not known to be the most reliable/knowledgeable.
Don't believe everything you read on Twitter!

Others have posted in the thread that what was posted contradicts other AF sources.
irishguy28 is offline Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
- FlyerTalk - Archive - Top