Flying Blue Stopovers with Partner Airlines
Flying Blue announced in 2022 that it would introduce free stopovers on award flights. When so many award programs have been restricting or eliminating free stopovers, it was refreshing to see Air France and KLM's loyalty program make such a positive change like this one. Initially, free stopovers were only available on flights operated by Air France or KLM. But you can now book Flying Blue stopovers with partner airlines!
How Flying Blue Stopovers Work
Generally, stopovers are layovers that are longer than 24 hours, extending to multiple days. Stopovers let you stay in a connecting city for a while and essentially squeeze in another trip into your existing itinerary.
Stopovers with Flying Blue must be booked over the phone. You can still search award availability through Air France or KLM. Once you find availability, just call Flying Blue at 1(800) 375-8723 to book over the phone. Stopovers with Flying Blue are free. There are no extra miles or cash fees incurred, making this an excellent use of Flying Blue miles.
To learn more about stopover opportunities among different airlines, check out our ToP Guide on How To Maximize Award Travel Redemptions With Stopovers.
Flying Blue Stopovers Now Available on Partner Airlines
When Flying Blue first introduced free stopovers, they were only available on Air France- or KLM-operated flights. This meant that you could not book a stopover if your itinerary involved a partner airline like fellow SkyTeam members Virgin Atlantic or Vietnam Airlines. But that is no longer the case!
The head of Flying Blue recently confirmed that free stopovers are now available on partner airlines. He also mentioned that Flying Blue is working on improving the training for its customer service agents to help making the booking process easier. Thus far, we have seen the occasional agent not fully understanding the policy or how to book the stopover.
Opportunities with Flying Blue Stopovers
This new development offers a lot of opportunities. For starters, Flying Blue is one of the easiest miles to earn, since the program is a transfer partner with every major bank. Second, banks regularly offer transfer bonuses to Flying Blue. Third, every month Flying Blue releases its famous promo rewards, which offer opportunities to book dirt cheap awards on Air France and KLM flights throughout the world.
As if these stacking opportunities weren't awesome enough for Air France and KLM flights, using them for free stopovers on other SkyTeam airlines and Flying Blue partners makes them even better! In fact, you should now be able to book a stopover even on itineraries that do not involve any Air France or KLM flights. For example, you could have a stopover in Taipei when flying from the U.S. to Singapore on China Airlines. There is a lot to explore with this new development.
Flying Blue Stopovers with Partner Airlines: ToP Thoughts
The ability to book Flying Blue stopovers on partner airlines is a welcome development. This change certainly makes Flying Blue an even better loyalty program. I'm curious to see what type of bookings can be done involving Flying Blue partners with this new opportunity. If you want to learn more about how to maximize stopover rules, check out this post.