I do not use the term “sleazy” lightly, but I can think of no adjective more apt for the Air France-KLM Flying Blue loyalty program. I’ve bemoaned the saga I had to endure in order to book an award trip that touched Africa and yesterday I ran into a couple more problems.
ISSUE #1: Cannot make more than one booking in a single login session
First, it’s probably best not to try multiple transactions without logging out of your Flying Blue account, closing your browser, clearing your cookies and cache, and logging back in again. I was booking a r/t from JFK to CDG for a client and was forced to book the trip as two one-ways rather than a single r/t (see below for why). I booked the outbound leg without issue. Then I thought I booked the return without issue. I selected the flight, entered the passenger and payment details, and a new PNR was generated. I pulled up the PNR and the reservation looked perfect, although it had not auto-ticketed like the outbound.
In the meantime, I booked another intra-Europe flight for the client. Same issue–no auto ticketing, but a new PNR was generated, everything appeared “confirmed” and there was no mention of any error or glitch on the screen.
About two hours later, neither reservation had ticketed. I thought I’d give it a bit more time, but by the end of the day the reservations had just dropped off.
I called my amigos in the Flying Blue call center and they could see no history of a booking attempt in the account. When I gave them the reference numbers, the response was “this reservation is empty.”
I actually had to provide the flight information to the CSR, who manually rebuilt the reservation and then ticketed it. The whole process took an hour…
If booking multiple tickets with the same account, I would at least log out and log back in, as annoying as that may be.
ISSUE #2: Be vigilant for rogue added fees on round-trip bookings
Take a look a the flights below–
(and don’t blame me for the horrendous fuel surcharge–the client wanted to fly non-stop!)
Add up $472.70 and $404.68 (which doesn’t even make sense in the first place because taxes are much lower coming out of the USA and flight time is also shorter flying east…) and what do you get?
You’re correct. $877.38. But let’s see what happens when we try to purchase this reservation as a r/t ticket–
Oh no! We have to pay an extra $201.39 for the pleasure of booking both flights together.
Extra taxes? Nope. Just an inflated “carrier imposed fuel surcharge” (read: fuel surcharge) line that is more by itself than the combined fuel surcharge and government taxes when booking the two legs separately.
But if you book them separately, the “correct” price displays–
See, only $877.38?
I almost missed this and I bet many people do (particularly the math challenged among us). This may be an “innocent” glitch by Flying Blue but to me it is another example of how sleazy this program is. How convenient that it works out so nicely in Flying Blue’s favor…
Flying Blue: you’ve been notified. Now fix it. And fix your whole program while you’re at it.