Negative changes to KLM and Air France mileage earning with Delta

Delta and its partners, KLM and Air France, recently revamped their fare codes to be consistent across all three carriers. As part of the change, Delta, KLM and Air France have  introduced new fare codes for their flights. The new fare codes are X and V and are in the cheapest fare bucket (or our favorite types of fares).

This normally has little relevance to most travelers except we are interested in mileage earning fares. However, these fares and codes are bad for earning miles. Until the introduction of these fare codes, all KLM and Air France fares were 100% mileage earning. Looking at the mileage earning chart on for Air France and KLM, this still seems to be the case.  But looks can be deceiving.

Looks like 100% for everything!

Air France mileage earning – Looks like 100% for everything, except for those not listed

Looks like 100% for everything except those not listed.

Looks like 100% for everything except those not listed.

KLM and Air France have been publishing a lot of V class fares into the market since March 19th, when this change was completed. Here’s an example of a KLM fare to one of our favorite deal destinations – Istanbul.


This is a good deal to Istanbul from Chicago. However, it is in V class and ZERO mileage earning as it is not listed in one of Delta’s mileage earning classes. With this introduction, Delta’s main transatlantic airline partnerships with Air France and KLM are becoming more like United’s partnership with its main partner, Lufthansa; the cheapest class (K) on Lufthansa earns ZERO miles with United. Now, only with American Airlines can you earn 100% with the cheapest fares with its main partners, British Airways and Iberia.

We are disappointed with this new policy as we really liked KLM and Air France for their good deals to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Airline partnerships will continue to evolve and the trend that we are seeing is less generosity with international partners with respect to mileage earning fares.

How to Avoid Booking These Fares?

The good news is that Delta, KLM, and Air France usually publish the same fares from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for about the same price. For this fare, Delta has the same exact fare. In those instances, it makes sense to book with Delta on Delta flight numbers.


In instances where Delta does not have an equivalent fare, we will be not be publishing KLM or Air France fares that are not mileage earning unless the fare is extremely cheap.


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