Air France is already probably the most restrictive airline on the planet on the subject of firstclass award tickets. Now the airline is including much more restrictions to those awards.
Air France’s new firstclass award restrictions
Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue loyalty program has introduced that new restrictions are coming to firstclass (La Premiere) awards as of January 1, 2023:
- Top quality awards might be restricted to Platinum members; beforehand Gold members additionally had entry to those awards
- Air France will launch at most one firstclass award seat per flight; beforehand the airline usually launched two seats, and typically much more
Understand that on high of those restrictions, Air France has very excessive redemption charges for these passengers who’re eligible for these awards. For instance, a transatlantic firstclass award on Air France will price you a minimal of 220,000 miles one-way.
Flying Blue’s justification for that is fascinating:
Air France lately unveiled its new and improved La Premiere cabin. Consequently, the airline is updating the restrictions on utilizing Flying Blue Miles to entry this extremely sought-after cabin.
So the declare is that this transformation is being made as a result of Air France has introduced a brand new firstclass product, regardless that there’s no precise schedule but for when this might be launched. Hmmm…
In equity, Air France has a wonderful firstclass product, and an unbelievable firstclass floor expertise in Paris. I rank Air France’s firstclass inflight product because the second finest on the planet, and Air France’s firstclass floor product as being one of the best on the planet.
My tackle Air France’s firstclass award modifications
On the one hand, I see the place Air France is coming from. The airline solely has roughly 20 planes with firstclass cabins, and every aircraft has simply 4 firstclass seats. I can recognize how making two firstclass award seats obtainable on the time of reserving limits income potential for the cabin, even when mileage award tickets are fairly costly.
On the identical time:
- Flying Blue’s elite perks are fairly weak, and entry to firstclass awards was the first good thing about Flying Blue Gold or Platinum standing past normal SkyTeam Elite Plus perks
- By limiting firstclass awards to at least one seat per flight, the airline is guaranteeing that loyal members won’t ever be capable to journey in firstclass on miles as a pair
- Whereas I can recognize that Air France needs to chop again the variety of firstclass award seats, a man-made restriction of 1 seat per flight nearly appears punitive; the primary class cabin isn’t all the time offered out, so why not no less than make extra seats obtainable because the departure date approaches, or not set a man-made restrict?
- It’s odd to justify this based mostly on the longer term firstclass product that might be launched, provided that it’s not even on the market but; that’s form of like Skytrax giving Lufthansa a 5 star ranking earlier than the product was even launched
Air France is making its firstclass awards much more restrictive. As of 2023, firstclass awards might be restricted to only Platinum members, and there might be at most one award seat per flight. It’s a disgrace to see this transformation, particularly with the already excessive redemption prices for this product.
What do you make of those modifications to Air France La Premiere awards?