Air France-KLM Move to a Spend-Based Loyalty Program In 2018 | Skift

In some ways, that Experience Points model is an improvement over a program in which a minimum spend is additionally required to earn status. Earning top-tier status at American Airlines, by contrast, could require 100 short hop round-trip flights — assuming 1,000 miles for each journey — but also would would need $12,000 in spend. That’s an additional hurdle that many don’t want to navigate.

But it’s also clear who Flying Blue is trying to favor with this model: Premium passengers flying long haul are going to earn elite status much faster using the Experience Points scheme.

What also doesn’t bode well for budget travelers in the new program is the way in which Flying Blue plans to start pricing award tickets.

Flying Blue eventually plans to pin the cost of a trip to fixed volumes of miles, but the exchange rate from miles to dollars isn’t clear. And while that isn’t a carte blanche for gouging customers, it does make it harder to find great award bookings, like it often was in tiered-award category systems.

Flying Blue members have until April 1 to book and fly under the traditional system. At that time, all outstanding point balances will be converted to Experience Points. In June, award bookings will move to dynamic pricing.

Read complete article here:

Air France-KLM Move to a Spend-Based Loyalty Program In 2018 – Skift.