Many years ago – when Continental was a partner in SkyTeam, KLM ran a promotion that matched your highest mileage balance in any other scheme. I had nearly 2,000,000 with United at the time and this was matched after I took dozens of flights with CO and Malaysian in order to earn the match.
Fast forward a couple of years and Air France bought KLM and multiplied all Flying Blue balances by 1.6 to reach equality with their members.
In the meantime
I have used, given away and bought luggage with, the miles and am down to about 300,000.
AF/KLM only allow Elite members to cash in miles for their First Class service – La Premiere.
I did a status match with AF/KLM last year and this is due to expire at the end of the month and so it was time to find a seat, in First, in December. I already have a flight booked to New York for a pre-Christmas book and so considered myself lucky when I found a seat from LA to Paris, and London, which met my needs. And now it turns out to be on the A380! (This will be my first long trip on this aircraft.)
So for 125,000 miles and EUR355 I will be sitting here in December: