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The best airline loyalty programs in Europe

5 Sep 2018 10 MIN READ

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One way to make business travel a little more enjoyable is to collect loyalty points from airlines.

You can get access to nicer lounges, better seats at no cost, and sometimes even a free flight that you can put towards an upcoming vacation. Great, huh?

Every company travel policy has different guidelines around collecting and using loyalty points, so make sure to check with your travel manager or office manager first. A common rule of thumb is that it’s okay to choose your preferred carrier if the cost is not more than 10% greater than an alternative, but some companies request that you choose the lower-priced carrier every time - no matter what.

TravelPerk allows travelers to save their loyalty program numbers so that they get used whenever possible. The more loyalty programs, the merrier!

Below, you’ll find information on all of the best frequent flyer programs in Europe, including partner airlines, destinations, and rewards.

But how do you choose the right one? The only way to get great benefits is to fly often, so choose the program whose airlines you’ll frequently fly with.

Most airlines are part of alliances, and their loyalty program partners overlap. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by selecting the best of the best programs.

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Flying Blue

Flying Blue is the Air France and KLM frequent flyer program. One great thing about Flying Blue is that they allow you to collect points when flying with their many partner airlines. The program allows you to earn air miles for every euro spent - miles that can be used for class upgrades and new trips!

Certain tiers of Flying Blue also give you access to airport lounges and offer steep discounts on seat options. If Paris and Amsterdam are business travel hot spots for you, then there’s no reason not to sign up.

Partner Airlines:
  • AirFrance
  • KLM
  • Aircalin
  • HOP!
  • Joon
  • Tarom
  • Transavia
  • Kenya Airlines
Tiers & Benefits

Check out the different levels of this program and how to move up the ladder of benefits.

XP can be earned in many ways. E.g. you can get 5 XP on an economy flight under 2,000 miles and 36 XP on a business class flight over 5,000 miles. View all the ways to collect XP here.

Tier NameExplorerSilverGoldPlatinum
QualificationFree100 XP (Experience Points)180 XP300 XP
Earn and spend miles with all partners
Use miles to upgrade in advance or on board
Earn miles per € spent on flights and optionsEarn 4 Miles per € spentEarn 6 Miles per € spentEarn 7 Miles per € spentEarn 8 Miles per € spent
Extra baggage allowanceUp to €10 discount on 1st paid check-in baggage on AirFrance, KLM and HOP!1 extra baggage allowance on AirFrance, KLM and HOP!1 extra baggage allowance on AirFrance, KLM and HOP!1 extra baggage allowance on AirFrance, KLM and HOP!
Lounge accessWith air milesWith air milesFree for you and a guest on international AirFrance and KLM flightsFree for you and a guest on international AirFrance and KLM flights
Priority check-in

Other awesome benefits from Flying Blue include free transfers for Gold and Platinum members from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Discover the full list of benefits here.

Flying Club

Brought to you by Atlantic arm of Virgin, the Flying Club also allows you to rack up flights for Delta Air. Unfortunately, tea with Sir Richard Branson is not part of the perks, but there are plenty of other cool rewards, such as exit row seats and premium check-in.

Always wanted to chillax in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse instead of your usual madhouse terminal at Heathrow? Now’s your chance. The swanky clubhouse isn’t just for first class flyers, it’s open to Gold Tier members of the Flying Club as well. So if British and Asian destinations are part of your regular routes with Virgin Atlantic, consider signing up. Even better, you’ll get free seat selection every time you fly.

Partner Airlines:
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Delta Air Lines
Tiers & Benefits

Learn about the benefits of each tier and how to qualify.

Tier NameRed TierSilver TierGold Tier
QualificationNo qualifications400 Tier Points per year (approximately 4 economy round-trip flights in one year)1000 Tier Points (approximately 10 economy round-trip flights in one year)
Earn miles on every flight
Additional bonus miles on every flight30%60%
Spend miles on Reward Flights
Pay for flights with Miles Plus Money
Free seat selection ahead of your flight in Economy LightAnytime for member onlyAnytime for member and party
Complimentary Exit row seats in Economy Classic
Extra hand and hold baggage
Upper-Class check-in flying in any cabin
Premium check-in flying in any cabin
Exclusive Clubhouse passes for you plus one guest
One complimentary Clubhouse spa treatment plus 10% off thereafter
Access to London Heathrow Revivals Lounge

Little extras like bonus birthday miles and cabin upgrades (when you earn 2,000 Tier Points within a membership year) make this loyalty program enticing.

Learn more and get started by signing up for the Red Tier of the Flying Club.

Miles & More

If Zurich or Frankfurt (or just about anywhere in the U.S.) are regular destinations for you, then Miles & More is the right choice. With so many partners in the Star Alliance, it’d be almost silly not to sign up and start racking up points. The standout benefits of this program are the cabin upgrades and priority check-in. Better yet, you can redeem mileage points at over 300,000 hotels worldwide.

In any airline rewards program comparison, this one will rank towards the top, simply because there are so many big partner airlines.

Partner Airlines:
  • Lufthansa
  • United
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Adria Airways
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Luxair
  • Condor
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Astana
  • Air Canada
  • AirDolomiti
  • Air Malta
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Air New Zealand
  • Nippon Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Avianca
  • Copa Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Condor
  • Ethiopian
  • EVA Air
  • Jet Airways
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Portugal
  • THAI Airways

Tiers & Benefits

Tier NameMemberFrequent TravelerSenatorHON Circle Member
Qualification1 award mile35,000 status miles or 30 scheduled100,000 status miles in a calendar year600,000 HON Circle miles in 2 consecutive calendar years
Miles don’t expire
Fly one class higher2 vouchers for class upgrade upon status attainment and when status is extended6 vouchers for class upgrade upon status attainment and when status is extended
Guaranteed bookingUp to 48 hours before departure in the highest booking class in Business Class, Premium Economy and EconomyUp to 24 hours before departure in the highest booking class in Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy
Waitlist priorityThird highest waitlist prioritySecond highest waitlist priorityHighest waitlist priority
Preferential check-inBusiness class check-inFirst Class check-in or Premium check-inFirst Class check-in or Premium check-in
Free baggage allowance1 additional bag in Economy, 2 in Premium Economy, 3 in First Class2 bags in Economy, 3 in Premium Economy, 4 in First Class2 bags in Economy, 3 in Premium Economy, 4 in First Class
Lounge accessBusiness LoungeSenator and Star Gold LoungesLufthansa First Class, SWISS First, and Austrian HON Circle Lounge, First Class Terminal in Frankfurt
Access to First ClassOnly with First Class Ticket (Lufthansa, SWISS)Only with First Class Ticket (Lufthansa, SWISS)Only with First Class Ticket (Lufthansa, SWISS)Regardless of service class (Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS)
Exclusive service hotline
Senator Tier card for spouse / partner

Learn more about the program and sign up here.

Executive Club

Partner Airlines:
  • British Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines
Tiers & Benefits

To get more benefits with the Executive Club, you need more Tier Points. It’s really complicated to calculate just how many Tier Points you’ll get for a flight, so complicated in fact, that there’s an online calculator you can use. For a quick understanding of how valuable Tier Points are, and how you can reach a new tier, a flight with British Airways from SFO to London Heathrow is 20 points with Economy Low and 90 points with Premium Economy.

While Tier points can help you get more benefits in new tiers, Avios is the name given to the points you spend on things like flights and cabin upgrades.

Tier NameBlueBronzeSilverGold
QualificationFree300 Tier Points600 Tier Points1500 Tier Points
Priority check-in
Priority boarding
First Class check-in and boarding
Access to business lounges
Access to First Class lounges
Bonus Avios on every flight25% bonus Avios50% bonus Avios100% bonus Avios
Free seat selection24 hours before departure7 days before departureAt time of bookingAt time of booking
Additional baggage allowance
Gold Upgrade vouchersGiven at 2500 and 3500 Tier Points in a year
Pool Avios with a household account (including up to 6 people)

Avios can be spent on holidays, hotels, car hire and more. The fact that you can pool Avios together with a household of 6 makes this program a no-brainer for anyone who regularly travels with kids, in addition to the usual business travel grind.


Want to get points for taking surveys? You can! Surveys aren’t very fun, but when you can earn points for them… they might be tolerable. The other way to earn points with TrueBlue is to fly JetBlue, so if that’s a regular carrier for you, then go ahead and sign up.

Partner Airlines:
  • JetBlue
  • Emirates
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
Tiers & Benefits

Collect 3 points for every dollar spent. You can spend points on JetBlue Vacation packages, magazine subscriptions, and flights to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines (a great carrier to a great destination, by the way). You can also get bonus points for special things, such as receiving 7,000 points when you’ve booked 7 round-trip flights in a year.

Tier NameTrueBlueTrueBlue Mosaic
QualificationFree15,000 flight points in one year
No blackout dates for spending points
Use points for any seat, any time
Points don’t expire
Pool points with your family
No change or cancellation fees
1st and 2nd bag are free
Expedited security line
Early boarding
Earn points on every flight3 per dollar spent6 per dollar spent
Dedicated customer service line
Complimentary alcoholic beverages onboard

Aeroflot Bonus

The Aeroflot Bonus program includes lots of great European airlines including AirFrance and KLM. Choose this over Flying Blue if you often travel to Russia or China or one of the other countries served by these partner airlines. Aeroflot Bonus points can be used towards hotel bookings and shopping sprees. Get to the top tier of the program, and you’ll receive 3 class upgrade vouchers!

Partner Airlines:
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • AirFrance
  • AeroMexico
  • AirEuropa
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • KLM
  • Kenya Airways
  • Korean Air
  • MEA
  • Saudia
  • Tarom
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir
Tiers & Benefits
Tier NameAeroflot BonusSilverGoldPlatinum
QualificationFree25,000 miles50,000 miles125,000 miles
Lounge access
Priority check-in
Expedited security line
Priority boarding
Priority service at ticket/transfer desks
Extra baggage allowance
Priority baggage drop off
In advance seat reservation
Economy class seats with more space50% off the costFreeFree
Service class upgrades3 upgrades allowed during Tier duration
Guaranteed paid booking on fully booked flights
Priority waitlist for paid bookings
Extra bonus miles for all flights+25%+50%+75%

Learn more about Aeroflot Bonus and sign up here.

Norwegian Reward

Do you fly with Norwegian often? Great, then this rewards program will make your day. They don’t have any partner airlines so you’ll need to use Norwegian regularly to get a lot of value here. That said, you can also earn their “CashPoints” on Norwegian Hotels, all car rentals in France, Italy, and the US, and with their many partners like GetYourGuide and Groupon.

Partner Airlines:
  • Norwegian

Norwegian doesn’t have different tiers. Instead, they allow you to rack up CashPoints from flights, hotels and Groupon purchases and then spend those points on expedited security lines, free seat reservation, free baggage, Premium upgrades and more.

For every sixth flight with Norwegian, in addition to banking points, you get 1 Reward, which gives you +2% CashPoints on every flight (or partner purchase) thereafter.

Next, when you book 6 flights again, you can use that for free expedited security on all future flights, or free seat reservation on all future flights.

What’s really inventive about this program, is that you don’t have to fly internationally 20 times a year to get really cool perks. You can quickly earn benefits - one flight, one benefit.

Go here to learn more about Norwegian’s inventive, one-of-a-kind rewards program.

Do you fly frequently for business travel? Do you wish you could book your own flights instead of dialing a travel agent or sending an email to your office manager? TravelPerk makes it easy for business travelers to book their own flights within policy. And even better, we allow you to save your loyalty program information, so you can easily add it on to every booking and get those points!

Save money when booking flights for business travel today!

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