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Lufthansa’s Miles and More Program Makes Big Changes

Lufthansa’s Miles and More Program Makes Big Changes

Frankfurt, November 11, 2019: The CCO of Lufthansa’s Munich Hub, Markus Binkert, today announced sweeping changes to Miles and More, Europe’s largest loyalty program. Starting in 2021, the way to attain elite status will be based on a simple system of points earned by flying with any partner airline.

This marks a significant change in how the program approaches their members: since 2004 the system was tuned again and again towards rewarding revenue contribution and ignoring how frequently members flew with partner airlines. First, the status points earned on cheaper economy class fares were slashed, followed by a reduction of points earned in cheaper business class fares in 2012. Flyertalk members have compiled a list of past cuts to the program here.

Image Source: Lufthansa

Earning Status Points: Cabin and Region

Once the new scheme goes into effect, members will earn status points using a simple table:

Economy

Premium Economy

Business

First

Regional

5

5

10

10

Intercontinental

15

20

50

70

 

When traveling, members no longer have to keep in mind more than 20 rules, as they do today. They can simply earn miles based on two factors: the cabin of service they are flying, and they are flying within one region (regional) or between regions (intercontinental) as defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Gone are the complex rules that defined the level of earnings based on which booking class the fare you paid was ticketed.

Image Source: Lufthansa

“Qualifying Points” v. “Points”

Points earned are further classified by which partner they were earned on: if earned by flying any of the ‘integrated’ partners of Miles & More (which today include the airlines Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish, Luxair and Croatian Airlines) the points are recorded as ‘qualifying points’, any flights taken on partner airlines like the Star Alliance are recorded as ‘points’.

This distinction comes into play when members earn their status: the lowest elite level called ‘Frequent Traveller’ (FTL) is earned after earning 160 points in a calendar year, the ‘Senator’ (SEN) level is attained after 480 points. In both cases, at least half of these need to be ‘qualifying points.’ However, for ‘HON Circle,’ the highest level of the program, only the ‘qualifying points’ count: the ‘HON Circle’ status is awarded once you reach 1500 ‘qualifying points’ in a calendar year.

HON Circle status is recognized as one of the most aspirational status in the frequent flyer world: members of this elite level can use the First Class services at Lufthansa hubs, with personal assistants taking care of their every need and individual transfer from or to an aircraft in luxury cars if the flight arrives on an apron position. In the last round of adjustments, attaining this status was only possible if members earned at least 300,000 ‘HON Circle’ status miles a year for two years in First or Business class (the equivalent of roughly 10 long haul roundtrips a year).

Lifetime Elite Status

Another new concept introduced at Miles and More is the possibility to attain life time elite status if a member has earned 7500 ‘qualifying points’ since the inception of the program in the early 1990s, he is automatically awarded lifetime FTL status. Once the threshold of 10000 ‘qualifying points’ is crossed and the member has been at SEN for any 10 year period in the past, the member attains life time Senator status. Previously the program had unpublished rules of awarding such status, but instances were rare and subject to much discussion on Flyertalk.

Other Changes

While the changes are welcome, it also means that a few features will sadly go away:

  • status will now only last a year after qualification (used to be at least two years)
  • status stars (introduced 2013) and select miles (2014) will be discontinued
  • Jetfriends the sub-program for members under 18 will fold
  • a unique feature for Senators to get an award on any flight for a 150%premium will no longer be available

 

The good news for SEN and HON will be that the 2 viz. 4 evouchers, the currency to upgrade flights, will now be awarded every year. While there will be no rollover of points, Miles and More intends to incentivize overachievement of status with additional award miles, evouchers or the option to nominate a relative or friend for a status upgrade. Further details on the changes can be found in this Flyertalk discussion.

 

“Miles and More had become an old house that was extended and modified in a way that even some of us got lost in it” says Binkert. “After a years work, we are now starting with a clean sheet in 2021, which will make the program more attractive.”

 

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. wuzziduzziman

    November 11, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Looks like theiy are moving to a similar scheme as AF/KL’s Flying Blue

  2. weero

    weero

    November 13, 2019 at 5:05 am

    Yeah!

    I will be Lifetime Senator without having collected a single status mile in 7 years.

  3. Jackie_414

    November 14, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Airlines in general have been gutting their programs. In the US, United is the latest. I am out. Rather than pushing my budget to maintain 1K, I am simply going to fly 1st class on the 10 or so trips I make a year, finding the lowest price among the majors and a select few non-majors. Internationally, I will do the same, shopping around for the best price. I would rather fly Singapore, Thai, EVA, or Lufthansa than United anyway.

  4. 777 global mile hound

    November 24, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Expiring points & miles? no Thank You I can find 12 plus other carriers where I will spend and redeem for premium travel

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