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Old Jan 20, 06, 4:18 am   #1
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I'm a VERY frequent flyer. Should I switch from UA to LH Miles and More?

I would appreciate some advice from the M&M experts here. I fly over 200,000 miles per year on a mix of business class and economy tickets. I do 2-3 Star Alliance RTW's per year. I have been with United for many years and I am a Million Mile Flyer and 1K with them. I am also a AF/KL Platinum member. I have residences both in the US and France, but now I spend most of my time in Europe.

United gives me excellent service, many upgrades and they have a great network. But I don't spend much time in America anymore, so I'm wondering if I should move to LH. How does Sentator or HON compare with UA 1K?

With UA I get 6 (or more) System-Wide Upgrades per year. Plus I often get op-ups. How many long-haul upgrades do I get as Sentator or HON? How often are Senator and HON given op-ups on long hauls?

Is it better to use my US residence or my French residence?

With UA, I get double miles on all US flights and LH flights to and from America. Is it true that LH only gives 50% bonus? Is that 50% bonus for status miles too?

How hard is it to get HON? Can you get it easier with biz class tickets?

I have about a half-million miles on UA. Is there any way to transfer those to LH?

Does LH do status comps for someone who flies as much as I do?

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jan 20, 06, 4:36 am   #2
 
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LH will not comp you based on your UA status, but you can try based on AF/KL.

As a SEN you get one (1) lousy longhaul upgrade every two years when you requalify and only 25% exec. bonus which is also applied to status miles, but only valid on UA, LH, OS, AC. For LH use your U.S. address because then your christmas gift will be a 20% off voucher for an award booking.
That actually should make your decision in favour of UA.

HONs get more upgrade vouchers, 50% exec. bonus. Very difficult to qualify for HON if you are not in C or F.

You only have to requalify every two years (FTL,SEN or HON).

There is no way to transfer UA miles to LH. I would not do it anyway, as most * Alliance awards cost more LH miles than UA miles.

Stay with UA due to higher exec. bonus for flights between your two residences and 6 or more SWUs would be my advice.
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Old Jan 20, 06, 5:01 am   #3
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Lot of questions! I try to give some answers

earing Miles M&M vs MP

Flying across europe it's much easier to earn miles using MM. In C you`ll be credited 2000 each segment + exec. bonus (25% SEN/ 50% HON) while MP just gives you 125% of the flown miles and no bonus. Traveling intra-german you'll earn 1500 miles in C each segment. Even in Y you get much more miles using M&M.
The only problem is that you get fixed miles flying across europe so if you have a flight with more than 1000 miles MP will creadit you more (e.g. MUC-LIS Q-fare MM 750 miles + Exec. bonus and MP a little more than 1k).

Flying long haul there are many differences. Flying to US in Y using MP will give you much more miles cause of the 100% exec bonus vs 25%/50% with MM. Flying in C you'll earn 200% of the flown miles + exec bonus on MM. The most important difference in flying F which gives you 300% + bonus on MM and only 150% + bonus on UA (300%+50% of flown miles being HON vs 150%+100% being 1K)

Flying long haul to the east MM will credit you much more miles, when not using UA which you won't do starting travel in europe.

It's quite easy for you becoming SEN. You just need 100K miles. Flying 200K (actual flown miles?) will also make you a HON within 2 years (600K in 2 years inkl. exec and class of service bonus), but you need to do all is on LH/OS/LX and some small parnter-carrier metal.

Using the US adress, will earn an discount cert. for an award travel at the end of the year.

If you are sure you can go for HON I'd stick to M&M. Otherwise I'd try to qualify for 1K every year and than collect miles on an MM account when flying across europe.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jan 20, 06, 6:47 am   #4
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Thanks for the help guys. I guess I'll stick with UA for my long haul Star Alliance flights. I mostly use AF for Euro flights since I live in France as it is painful to hop through MUC or FRA to get anywhere. And I wouldn't want to wait two years to make it to HON. Maybe if I lived in Germany or Switzerland it would make more sense.
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Old Jan 20, 06, 8:00 am   #5
 
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Stimpy, You judge the two replies to your questions correctly taken into consideration the longhaul routes and where you are based.
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Old Jan 21, 06, 10:44 am   #6
 
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LH is supposedly going to stop crediting UA flights toward HON status effective April 1. That will make it very difficult for anyone to get HON unless they are flying in C or F on the LH (and integrated) airlines. You'd need to average over 130K miles per year in paid C on LH (and the other allowed airlines). And the upgrades for a UA 1K are much more generous than for HON (5 long haul segments allowed over two years).

You may wish to consider crediting some flights to LH to earn SEN status (and keep 1K), which you could get with 40-50K *A in paid C, D, or Z in a year, once every other year. You'd have to decide if the benefits are worth it to you.

Considering that UA is giving 2 more SWUs for each 50K *A status miles over 100K, you have an incentive to stick with UA I think, to earn those.

Charles
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Old Jan 21, 06, 7:03 pm   #7
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Well, the OP's tavel pattern looks like it's reasonable to make and keep both 1K and SEN status. Best of both worlds. LH is much more generous with status and award mileage on RTWs in C and F, especially on non-UA and non-LH carriers. Makes flying SQ, TG, NH etc. in F quite enjoyable mileage-wise.

Also, the SEN card offers free lounge access throughout North America. The OP might effectivley lose one single SWU every two years: when requalifying for SEN and NOT going over the 150K threshold on MP in that very year. It's only one single upgrade lost, because M&M will also award him an intercontinental e-upgrade after requalifying.

Hedging you bets is reasonable, and it's always good to have options and be able to use the advantages of more than one program.
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Old Jan 21, 06, 8:02 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flysurfer
Well, the OP's tavel pattern looks like it's reasonable to make and keep both 1K and SEN status..
The grandmaster is back - welcome flysurfer!

M&L is more generous when flying F and more generous when it comes to
status miles when flying C. Award miles-wise I would not 100% agree
LH/AC/OS/LX/LOT (and subsidiaries) flying gives you 200% miles compare to
225% on UA ...
and with the UA miles being worth a whole lot more than the LH mile.

But if the OP has to fly 200K+ BIS miles, I would definitely stick with your
suggestion.

Depending on the fares flown that allows for maxing out the advantages.
You can ug Z fares on LH even with a UA systemwide, and you can earn
150% EQM on UA B and Y fares (not sure about E) when crediting to MP
but only 100% when crediting to M&L. But B or Y on LH/OS/LX will actually
give you 150% for M&L as well (status and redeemable).

Given the complexity of the issue grabbing both stati will make decisions and
earning planning a whole lot easier.
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Old Jan 21, 06, 8:24 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weero
The grandmaster is back - welcome flysurfer!

M&L is more generous when flying F and more generous when it comes to
status miles when flying C. Award miles-wise I would not 100% agree
LH/AC/OS/LX/LOT (and subsidiaries) flying gives you 200% miles compare to
225% on UA ...
You mean 225% on Miles and More once has FTL (which wont take long), compared with 125% on UA (apart from LH transatlantic).

Quote:
Originally Posted by weero
and with the UA miles being worth a whole lot more than the LH mile.
Agree with you there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weero
But if the OP has to fly 200K+ BIS miles, I would definitely stick with your
suggestion.

Depending on the fares flown that allows for maxing out the advantages.
You can ug Z fares on LH even with a UA systemwide, and you can earn
150% EQM on UA B and Y fares (not sure about E) when crediting to MP
but only 100% when crediting to M&L. But B or Y on LH/OS/LX will actually
give you 150% for M&L as well (status and redeemable).
Again, 175% for Y and B on Miles and More once have FTL, and this does include flights on UA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weero
Given the complexity of the issue grabbing both stati will make decisions and earning planning a whole lot easier.
I dont know about it being any easier. I have several high statuses and try to credit to various schemes to best take advantage of earning and burning anomalies. However it is a challenge at times!
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Old Jan 21, 06, 9:48 pm   #10
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What about the redemption side of the story?
The purpse of earning miles is to use it later.
It is not an interest-bearing bank account anyway.
As I understand it correctly, M&M requires more miles than MP in almost all cases.
Especially bad is when you redeem your M&M miles on *A carrier.
For an Intraeuropean Flight reward ticket in C, you need 45,000 miles at M&M.
And if you come back on the same day, you have to burn additional 10,000 miles, resulting 55,000 miles in total.
For MP, it is only 30,000 at all.
For other routes and classes, M&M requires more Miles and More than MP.

That is why the program is called Miles and MORE.

What is the use of getting a little bit of more miles if you have to spend much more on redemption in the end. Am I wrong?



Quote:
Originally Posted by totti
Lot of questions! I try to give some answers

earing Miles M&M vs MP

Flying across europe it's much easier to earn miles using MM. In C you`ll be credited 2000 each segment + exec. bonus (25% SEN/ 50% HON) while MP just gives you 125% of the flown miles and no bonus. Traveling intra-german you'll earn 1500 miles in C each segment. Even in Y you get much more miles using M&M.
The only problem is that you get fixed miles flying across europe so if you have a flight with more than 1000 miles MP will creadit you more (e.g. MUC-LIS Q-fare MM 750 miles + Exec. bonus and MP a little more than 1k).

Flying long haul there are many differences. Flying to US in Y using MP will give you much more miles cause of the 100% exec bonus vs 25%/50% with MM. Flying in C you'll earn 200% of the flown miles + exec bonus on MM. The most important difference in flying F which gives you 300% + bonus on MM and only 150% + bonus on UA (300%+50% of flown miles being HON vs 150%+100% being 1K)

Flying long haul to the east MM will credit you much more miles, when not using UA which you won't do starting travel in europe.

It's quite easy for you becoming SEN. You just need 100K miles. Flying 200K (actual flown miles?) will also make you a HON within 2 years (600K in 2 years inkl. exec and class of service bonus), but you need to do all is on LH/OS/LX and some small parnter-carrier metal.

Using the US adress, will earn an discount cert. for an award travel at the end of the year.

If you are sure you can go for HON I'd stick to M&M. Otherwise I'd try to qualify for 1K every year and than collect miles on an MM account when flying across europe.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jan 21, 06, 10:29 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhiyu66
Am I wrong?
Of course you are.

1. The OP will use an U.S. address, so he'll get an annual 20% off voucher and can use the miles at a more convenient redemption rate. For example, an annual transatlantic roundtrip in C will cost him 72,000 miles (80,000 with MP).

2. The OP can also use his miles for companion awards. Here, a transatlantic C award for 2 will cost him 135,000 miles (160,000 with MP)

3. The reason behind using two programs is not to earn/burn the miles in the most ineffective way offered by each program (as the example used in your post strangely suggests), but in the most effective way! On the earning side, this means that you can benefit from special promotions regularly offered by both MP and M&M for flying on their respective metal. This will allow you to earn more miles than the official rates would suggest. And not to forget non-flying promos such as Ameniti and iDine on MP, or newspaper subscriptions on M&M.
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Old Jan 21, 06, 11:35 pm   #12
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It sounds like we are chasing two rabbits at the same time.
Anyway, what do you think is the reason why M&M offers more incentives
for those having U.S. postal addresses than say German ones ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flysurfer
Of course you are.

1. The OP will use an U.S. address, so he'll get an annual 20% off voucher and can use the miles at a more convenient redemption rate. For example, an annual transatlantic roundtrip in C will cost him 72,000 miles (80,000 with MP).

2. The OP can also use his miles for companion awards. Here, a transatlantic C award for 2 will cost him 135,000 miles (160,000 with MP)

3. The reason behind using two programs is not to earn/burn the miles in the most ineffective way offered by each program (as the example used in your post strangely suggests), but in the most effective way! On the earning side, this means that you can benefit from special promotions regularly offered by both MP and M&M for flying on their respective metal. This will allow you to earn more miles than the official rates would suggest. And not to forget non-flying promos such as Ameniti and iDine on MP, or newspaper subscriptions on M&M.
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Old Jan 22, 06, 3:16 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
You mean 225% on Miles and More once has FTL (which wont take long), compared with 125% on UA (apart from LH transatlantic)..
Yes - presuming the OP will be SEN that is. Too terse wording on my side:
all assumptions based on flysurfer's suggestion to hold 1K and SEN.
Quote:
Again, 175% for Y and B on Miles and More once have FTL, and this does include flights on UA.
Only point where I do not 100% agree - Y and B on UA metal do not give
150%/175%(for elites) on M&L anymore. Y and B on LH/OS/LX/AC/LO however
do.
Quote:
I dont know about it being any easier. I have several high statuses and try to credit to various schemes to best take advantage of earning and burning anomalies. However it is a challenge at times!..
Yes - really difficult for very frequent flyers such as you. But the OP flies about
the same as I do and splitting miles between SEN and 1K is fairly easy. Especially
after the changes the split rules are almost a trip-to-trip decision:
  • F travel, including US domestic, go to M&L
  • S&T Europe fares go to M&L
  • B and Y fares - given that the OP is not struggling to keep the status -
    go tp M&L
  • Z,C,J,D fares go to M&L while needed for requalification or if Z needs to
    be upgraded
  • cheap fares (that excludes Z) on UA metal go MP
  • Q,H,M,Y,B on UA go to MP
  • C,D transatlantic on non-UA metal: no clear direction, so can be balanced
    between the programs
  • excess miles not needed for qualification go to MP preferrably
Did I forget anything?
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Old Jan 22, 06, 3:42 am   #14
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Very comprehensive. Thanks! But yes, you did forget something. I live in France and it doesn't make any sense for me to fly to London, Madrid, Rome, etc, on LH beacuse I would have to connect through FRA or MUC. Miles are important, but getting to my destination on time is more important. When you have two legs to your destination, you are doubling the risk of delays. Most all of my Euro flights are on AF. This is why I am Platinum with AF. Plus AF gives double miles for all flights, and any bonus you might earn for biz or some promo.

So my Star Alliance trips are the long hauls, especially the RTW's as Skyteam is not a good alliance for RTW's. So let's break down RTW's for this purpose.

So lets narrow this down a bit. Say I do 120K miles per year just on RTW's and they are all in biz. Each RTW includes both a leg in and out of the US. Say I don't care about UA system wide upgrades since I'm comfortable in biz and don't really need F. Should I book those 120K miles with M&M or UA?
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Old Jan 22, 06, 3:42 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhiyu66
What do you think is the reason why M&M offers more incentives for those having U.S. postal addresses than say German ones ?
I don't know and I could not care less. I may guess that the reason may be to be more competitive with U.S. based programs on the redemption part. Which they are because of the voucher. And that's exactly why it makes sense to use both programs.

I'm only interested in facts, not in philosophical assumptions about an airline's reasoning behind specific marketing decisions. And it's a fact that award flights booked with M&M can be cheaper mileage-wise than the same flights booked with MP because of the voucher and the companion award option. So far, I haven't used A SINGLE MILE from my M&M account w/o applying either the voucher or a companion award. For other awards, I use my MP miles. That's why I have both programs. I simply make the best out of both programs.
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