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Our family booked $36,000 flights to/from Paris using credit card points

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If you followed my other entry, I booked six (6) business class tickets to Paris for the whole family. This is the first time that all of the kids will experience flying in a premium cabin. We’ve always flown economy, but it was only a matter of time that I finally pulled the trigger to fly us all in business class.

READ THIS: We used points to book 6 Business Class tickets to Paris via Air France valued nearly $24,000 | 6 Business Class tickets to Paris via Air France (daddytravelsnow.com)

But, wait, how will we fly back home?

Well, there was so much more work to be done. Once I booked the 6 business class tickets to Paris nonstop from Los Angeles, my next task was to get us a flight back home. For this trip to Europe, we do not plan on just staying around Paris, but we have plans to explore different parts of Europe. We could take the train, or we also considered taking one of the many cheap commuter flights to fly us around Europe. Not gonna lie. I really had no specific plans. One thing is for certain, Nancy wanted us to visit “new” cities, new countries – that’s paramount.

What I had to contend with

We are talking about a party of six. My family is so busy with all our individual schedules. I had 2-3 weeks of vacation to play with. I had to accommodate everyone else’s varying schedules – work, school, sports, moving back in to their college apartments…the works. It wasn’t easy.

I had to communicate with everyone via text. Why? Not everyone was at home. Most of the “adults’ in the family were either at work or at school, while I was stuck at home in front of my computer.

Something’s gotta give

For the return trip back home, I had to get everyone on the same page. I needed a drop dead date when they all needed to be back in California. Once we agreed on a date, I got to work.

What were my options to fly back to Los Angeles

I scoured different websites. I knew well enough to be dangerous. So I checked:

  • United Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Flying Blue
  • American Airlines

Creature of habit

For the business class booking, it was with Flying Blue, and I took advantage of the 25% bonus transfer offer from Chase. That means when you transfer 1,000 points from Amex or Chase, your Flying Blue account will end up with 1,250.

Something kept dragging me to check Flying Blue. I had an easy time booking our six business class tickets, and the 25% bonus was an icing on the cake that kept drawing me to book.

 

Flying Blue Promo to Los Angeles

Every month, Flying Blue has specials on flights to/from various global destinations. And ironically, for the past few months, I had not seen any specials with flights to Los Angeles. But as I scrolled down their promo in the month of May, boom, I saw this special to Los Angeles.

I followed the prompts, keyed in my dates, and for our desired travel dates, it showed 24,000 + $167 in fees.

Image courtesy of Flying Blue Los Angeles from Paris

 

And when I priced out six passengers, it was 144,000 + $1,007.10 in fees.

Flying Blue CDG-LAX for 6

What was the cash value of these 6 coach tickets from Paris to Los Angeles?

If we paid for six of us in cash, that’s $12,077.

Flying Blue in cash for 6

Flying Blue 25% Transfer Bonus

It gets better. Ok let’s step back. Keep in mind I needed 24,000 miles per person or a total of 144,000 miles for all 6 of us. Lucky for us, there was a 25% transfer bonus offer from Chase and American Express to Flying Blue. So instead of transferring 144,000 points, all I needed to transfer were 116, 000 points in order to get to 144.000 with the 25% bonus. That’s about 19,333 points per person.

Is 19,333 points one way in coach a good deal?

To be honest, after checking many different programs for our trip in the summer, many of them had an average of 44,000 miles per person + fees. United Airlines was my key source, and I checked just about every major European airport where United or Star Alliance flies out of, and I saw 43,000 one way up to 70,000 one way per person in coach. So in my mind, with the 19,333 per person in coach, direct flight, nonstop….I decided it was a good deal. Plus, the seats were clearly available for me to grab.

So how do you search Flying Blue/Air France/KLM

Easy simple steps

  • Go to Air France website or KLM website
  • If you don’t have an account yet, create one
  • Once created, login to your Air France  or KLM account
  • You’d probably get asked to authenticate via text or email with a code, enter the code
  • Click on Book with Miles
  • Enter your search parameters (one way/roundtrip, airport codes, cabin, dates)
  • Click on Search Flights
  • Your search results will give you a weeklong view
  • You have an option to choose different cabin types (Economy, Premium Economy, Business, La Premiere)
  • You could also sort by Lowest Price (in points of cash value)
  • Once you find the flights that work for you, proceed with the booking

If you do not have your points yet in your Flying Blue account, this would be the time to do the transfer from your credit card account. Remember, only transfer when you are certain and/or are ready to move forward with the booking.

$36,000 worth of flights for 6 of us

I am baffled. Never in my wildest dreams would I pay $36,000 for a trip to Paris. Even more shocking was the fact that we booked 6 business class tickets for all 6 of us to Paris! Insane!

Here’s the value for all our bookings:

Points needed 

Actual # of points used

  • Took advantage of the 25% transfer bonus from Chase to Flying Blue
  • 116,000 + 384,000 = 500,000 points (this was due to the 25% bonus transfer offer)
  • # of points saved = 124,000

Total fees out of pocket

Value if paid in cash

Which credit cards earn points that work with Flying Blue/Air France/KLM

The good news, just about every major credit card company out there has a partnership with Flying Blue/Air France/KLM.

The reward programs that work are the following:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Capital One Miles
  • Marriott Bonvoy

For a complete list of the credit cards that work with Flying Blue program, click here.

 

For more travel deals and tips, follow me on my travel page on Daddy Travels on Facebook Group or Instagram or YouTube or Twitter

Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

 

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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