Qantas Frequent Flyer has expanded their 2018 codeshare agreement with European airlines Air France and KLM.

Qantas members can now earn and redeem Qantas Points on all Air France-KLM flights. Elite status holders will also get tier benefits when flying.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said:

Members will now have access to hundreds of thousands more reward seats in popular destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Athens, as well as new destinations across France, Italy and Northern Europe.

At a quick glance, there is ample Business and Economy Class availability on short-haul flights within Europe. However, it is more limited on flights between Asia and Europe, like Singapore – Paris.

Air France A380
Air France will retire all ten of its A380s by 2022

Air France-KLM routes, aircraft and cabins

Two European airlines—France’s Air France and The Netherlands’ KLM—merged in 2004 to become one company, but continue to operate under their respective brands.

Air France has two hubs in Paris (one at the more international Charles de Gaulle and more domestic Orly.) KLM has one hub at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.

They are part of the SkyTeam alliance.

Routes

As you may expect, the two airlines have extensive networks within Europe.

However, travellers from Australia may be more likely to fly them between Europe and Asia, Africa, North America and Latin America. More specifically, these routes may be of interest:

  • Paris – Bangkok/Ho Chi Minh City/Hong Kong/Singapore/Taipei
  • Amsterdam – Bangkok/Delhi/Kuala Lumpur/Hong Kong/Mumbai/Singapore/Taipei
  • Paris – many Canadian/US cities, e.g. Montréal & New York
  • Amsterdam – many Canada/US cities, e.g. Boston & Las Vegas
  • Amsterdam – surprising number of Latin American cities, e.g. Buenos Aires
Popular Air France-KLM routes for Australian travellers
Some popular Air France-KLM routes between Asia and Europe

An interesting fifth freedom flight that KLM operates is the 2½-hour journey between Bali and Singapore. On this highly competitive route, you can often find great Business Class cash fares, flying in a lie-flat seat.

The airline also operates a fifth freedom flight between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

Aircraft & cabins

First Class

Air France La Première, one of the best First Class products in the world, can only be booked by elite members of the airline’s Flying Blue loyalty program. It has caviar, curtains and car service.

KLM does not have a First Class cabin.

Business Class

The redemption to aim for is Business Class on international flights. However, Air France trails other airlines in the quality of a number of its Business Class hard products.

In my opinion, the best option to fly is a Boeing 777 or 787, with reverse herringbone seats set up in a 1-2-1 configuration.

The Airbus A350 is the next best product, again with direct aisle access for all passengers but a tight seat.

Air France A350 Business Class
Air France’s A350 Business Class is modern but offers limited space

A refurbishment program for the airline’s A330 fleet (due to be completed by end of 2020) will upgrade its seats to lie-flat ones albeit in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Finally, (as-yet-unrefurbished) A330s, A340s and, surprisingly, A380s have angled-flat seats.

Air France A380 Business Class
Whilst some would expect an A380 to have a lie-flat Business Class product, that isn’t the case on Air France

Moving along, the highlight of KLM’s fleet is its 787s, with reverse herringbone seats.

You can take a virtual reality tour of KLM 787 Business Class

Then, the inferior (but still) solid alternative is the lie-flat seats set up in a 2-2-2 configuration on the airline’s 747, 777 and A330 fleet.

Business Class passengers get access to excellent lounges in Amsterdam and pretty good lounges in Paris.

Premium Economy Class

For a compromise in pricing and quality between Business and Economy Class, Premium Economy might be a good fit for you. Air France offers a recliner seat, improved dining experience and an amenities kit. The best product is on the 787.

Air France 787 Premium Economy
You can fly Air France Premium Economy from Asia to Europe for 81,800 Qantas Points

KLM does not have a Premium Economy Class cabin.

Economy Class

Whilst I haven’t flown Air France or KLM myself, I generally hear positive reviews of their Economy Class. You’ll get the most legroom on Air France’s 777 aircraft.

Qantas elite status privileges on Air France-KLM

Qantas elite status members get the usual priority boarding, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance privileges on Air France or KLM, regardless of whether they’re flying on an AF, KL or QF codeshare flight number.

KLM Crown Lounge
Buyer beware: not all Qantas elites get lounge access when flying Air France or KLM

However, if flying in Premium Economy or Economy Class, you’ll only get lounge access if you’re on a QF flight number. (If you’re flying Business or First Class, you’ll get lounge access regardless of status.)

Qantas Point pricing for Air France-KLM flights

Air France and KLM redemptions fall into the more expensive Partner Classic Flight Reward table. Here are some examples of one-way redemptions:

OriginDestinationCabinQantas Points
Paris/AmsterdamSoutheast AsiaBusiness104,500
Premium Economy81,800
Economy45,000
BaliSingaporeBusiness30,000
JakartaKuala LumpurBusiness30,000
Paris/AmsterdamUS East CoastBusiness75,000
Premium Economy59,000
Economy30,200
Paris/AmsterdamUS West CoastBusiness90,000
Premium Economy70,800
Economy37,800
ParisDomestic flights within FranceBusiness20,000
Economy10,000
Paris/AmsterdamMost of Western EuropeBusiness20,000
Economy Class10,000

Make sure to factor in high taxes and carrier charges added to Qantas Point redemptions on Air France and KLM. For example, a one-way Business Class flight from Singapore to Paris will add on ~AU$330 in taxes.

Neither Air France nor KLM is part of the oneworld alliance, so they cannot be included in a Qantas round-the-world redemption.

How to book Air France and KLM flights with Qantas Points

  1. Go to the Qantas website
  2. Select Use points in the search box
  3. Enter in your origin, destination and travel date
  4. View the award calendar
  5. Select your preferred flight/s
  6. Provide your credit card details for the taxes and charges
  7. Complete your booking

For more information, check out our guide on how to search for frequent flyer award space most efficiently.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members should have access to Air France and KLM seats at 353 days before departure. (Note that this is six days after the airlines’ own Flying Blue members can access seats, so some may already be taken by then.)

Air France First Class car service
Flying Blue restricts all First Class awards and some Business Class availability to its own members

Furthermore, it is important to remember that, like Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air France and KLM reserves some seats for its own Flying Blue members, meaning award seats made available to partners like Qantas is limited.

How to earn Qantas Points on Air France and KLM flights

You can earn Qantas Points on all Air France and KLM flights, regardless of whether you are travelling on an AF, KL or QF codeshare flight number. However, you can only earn Status Credits if you are travelling on a QF codeshare flight.

KLM Boeing 787 on tarmac
You can earn Qantas Points (but not Status Credits) on all Air France-KLM flights

For example, you’ll earn 1,625 points (worth ~$30) on a one-way Discount Economy ticket from Singapore to Paris. You can check how many Qantas Points you’ll earn on Air France and KLM flights.

To claim your miles, simply enter your Qantas Frequent Flyer number at the time of booking. If you haven’t done that, you still have many other opportunities to in the lead-up to and after travel.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use Qantas Points to book flights on Air France or KLM?

Yes, you can use Qantas Points to book travel on Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class flights on Air France and KLM. To start your booking, go to the Qantas website and select Use points in the search box.

Can you use Flying Blue miles to book Qantas flights?

Yes, you can use Air France and KLM Flying Blue miles to book Qantas flights. You can do so on the Flying Blue website. However, note that this program uses dynamic pricing, which may mean that the redemption offers poor value.

Can you include Air France or KLM flights in a oneworld Classic Flight Reward?

No, you cannot include flights on Air France or KLM on a oneworld Classic Flight Reward booked with Qantas Points. That’s because both Air France and KLM are part of SkyTeam, not oneworld.

SkyTeam alliance cabin crew members
Both Air France and KLM are part of the SkyTeam alliance

Summing up

The ability to use Qantas Points for flights on Air France and KLM is an exciting one! They are both great airlines with extensive networks, good lounges and solid Business Class products (depending on the aircraft.)

However, they fall into Qantas’ more expensive partner award chart. On top of that, they attract quite high taxes and carrier charges. Given that, you’ll want to compare your options to flying with one of Qantas’ cheaper partners.

If I were to choose between the two airlines, I would go for flying KLM out of Amsterdam. The airport is more traveller-friendly than Charles de Gaulle. In addition, Amsterdam has lower departure taxes than Paris. Plus, KLM Business Class passengers are served Dutch house-shaped chocolates at the end of their flight!

To start your booking on Air France or KLM, go to the Qantas website.

Supplementary images courtesy Air France-KLM and SkyTeam.

You can now use your Qantas Points for flights on Air France and KLM was last modified: January 16th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt