So- where did your money go if not to Lufthansa for flights this year?

Old Dec 3, 13, 2:45 am
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So- where did your money go if not to Lufthansa for flights this year?

As it is now December and well into the period of cuts to the Miles&More program- where did your money go if not to Lufthansa?

I took a look and mine went to (in order):
Emirates (because of their enhanced offerings out of Venezia)
Qatar (because they fly to destinations that Lufthansa does not)
British Airways (because they offer a very good short haul product to London and their business class product)
Cathay Pacific (because of their business class product and excellent HKG hub)
Iberia (because they fly to many business Latin America and North Africa destinations)
Air Canada (business class product is quite good actually)
Easyjet (their new mini hub out of Venezia)
Alitalia (new business class product is quite good actually)

With the exception of North Africa this was all business that previously went to Lufthansa- while I am still well into qualifying for Senator my HON Circle miles are minus 80% while my overall flying has increased over previous years. Compliments to Lufthansa management. I think there are a lot more customers like this than customers "delighted" with the 10 year old business class slanted slope and the ever less convenient Frankfurt hub (the Z gates did not accomplish anything to be more comfortable to the customer).
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Old Dec 3, 13, 3:20 am
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Like you my HON miles are down 80% this year but my overall mileage is up.

Most of my biz to Australia, South Africa, China and India went to EK, convenient departure and arrival times and a great F product. The number of HON tags on EK is just amazing now, the record were 6 Hon's out of 8 in F one day.
UK flights are now all BA, its a so so airline, but breakfast is still great.

Southern China and Taiwan went to CX, beats LH in every respect.

Have not yet found a replacement for Swiss business class to the US East and West Coast. Tried out BA twice and both times they messed it up.

Alitalia is NOT an option due horrible chaotic MXP, financial situation and arrogant ground staff.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Fendant View Post
Alitalia is NOT an option due horrible chaotic MXP, financial situation and arrogant ground staff.
I agree AZ is not a great option and the way they have set things up it is really only FCO as a hub now.

If BA can get London to work properly or can improve the consistency of the Iberia product (which ranges from very good to terrible) they will take Lufthansa out of Southern Europe with their Madrid or London hubs (doubtful but possible). From Italy QR joining OneWorld gives them a huge boost in the frequent flyer area as they have very convenient flights to Asia and now being able to requalify for BA Gold with them makes a compelling value proposition when combined with the excellent pricing of CX out of MXP.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 3:31 am
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After I thoroughly tried and tested BA last year I have this year again been more loyal to LH (480K Hon Miles). Nevertheless I still did not give them all my business , but did so far 5020 Points with Oneworld on BA EC and my target is 6020 TP's, this includes another two trips with them and as they always hand out extra miles in autumn (30K per roundtrip, nice) this year has been very, very rewarding on BA as I left my remaining trips to book after August and before that did most with LH.
Other experiences, money spent elsewhere:
I had a very good F return with AF to South Africa (very classy F product, but the FFP is sooo lousy). Reason for this was that I travelled with my Group CEO and as he is French we had to obviously fly AF....
I did a return in F on CX to HKG which was rather disappointing (the seat is ok, but I would prefer the new LH product any day).
I also tried Etihad to SIN, which was given free to me by Etihad as they wanted me to try their flight ex Dublin (great experience with great seats), but hated the long middle of the night transit in AUH. This is not for my taste. But thanks to my TA for getting me a free trip.
All in all great travel year. But I hope its going to be less next year as my wife starts to be really unhappy with me being on the plane so much.

Last edited by MumbaiDan; Dec 3, 13 at 3:40 am Reason: added value
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Old Dec 3, 13, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by MumbaiDan View Post
After I thoroughly tried and tested BA last year I have this year again been more loyal to LH (480K Hon Miles). Nevertheless I still did not give them all my business , but did so far 5020 Points with Oneworld on BA EC and my target is 6020 TP's, this includes another two trips with them and as they always hand out extra miles in autumn (30K per roundtrip, nice) this year has been very, very rewarding on BA as I left my remaining trips to book after August and before that did most with LH.
Other experiences, money spent elsewhere:
I had a very good F return with AF to South Africa (very classy F product, but the FFP is sooo lousy). Reason for this was that I travelled with my Group CEO and as he is French we had to obviously fly AF....
I did a return in F on CX to HKG which was rather disappointing (the seat is ok, but I would prefer the new LH product any day).
I also tried Etihad to SIN, which was given free to me by Etihad as they wanted me to try their flight ex Dublin (great experience with great seats), but hated the long middle of the night transit in AUH. This is not for my taste. But thanks to my TA for getting me a free trip.
All in all great travel year. But I hope its going to be less next year as my wife starts to be really unhappy with me being on the plane so much.
Good point on AF- the product is good but the frequent flyer program is really poor- in fact I use the Delta program which is very generous but impossible to redeem so I use the points for IC hotels where you get excellent value in cities such as London and San Francisco where hotels are generally very expensive and redemption is easy and free (no taxes, fuel surcharges etc).

I also tried Ethiad once and don't really "get it".

I had a disappointing F flight on SQ however they gave me 2 free Mont Blanc pens when I complained (well actually they gave me a 1000 SGD certificate for duty free which I redeemed for 2 Mont Blanc pens and a pair of cheap headphones).

My problem with BA is Heathrow which is a very difficult airport- when I fly to London City or Gatwick (two gateways from VCE) I really like BA and they are extremely convenient as my clients are in the city, Canary Wharf, and 8 km from Gatwick in the direction of Brighton so 10 minutes or so on the train.

On Lufthansa this year I have only had excellent (best in class) on board service however this is countered by the hard product which in business class feels farther and farther behind every year. The ground services as a HON have also had a significant decline in outstations where it used to be excellent and now is at best grudgingly OK. My last flight into Denver our HON greeter was a very aggressive man yelling at everyone to turn off their cell phone- I did complain to the station manager and the man denied it until I pointed out in detail what he said and what he did to the poor customer standing next to me at which point he grudgingly apologized.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 4:30 am
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mea culpa I too have strayed to EK
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Old Dec 3, 13, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by moeve View Post
mea culpa I too have strayed to EK
I never wanted to go to EK and I never wanted the middle of the night transfer. I was literally forced there by Lufthansa and I then discovered:
1) There are a lot of flights without the middle of the night transfer
2) DXB is a far better airport for transit than FRA- even as a HON
3) The driver service to and from my office or home is a wonderful service
4) The frequent flyer program is not nearly as bad as I was led to believe it to be
5) Even as a gold my "free yearly gifts" are a lot nicer than what I get as a HON (the picture last year for example)
6) First on EK often costs less than business on LH
7) The hard product is continually improving on EK in business in particular
8) A380 is really a wonderful product in business and first
9) Business can cost as much as 50% less than Lufthansa
10) No NEK or even anything close to it.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
My problem with BA is Heathrow which is a very difficult airport- when I fly to London City or Gatwick (two gateways from VCE) I really like BA and they are extremely convenient as my clients are in the city, Canary Wharf, and 8 km from Gatwick in the direction of Brighton so 10 minutes or so on the train.
I've flown just enough to requalify for SEN @ 104k miles thru 2017 and this will be the last qualification unless the travel policy changes (with this year's flight I won't be able to requalify with the new rules).
We are allowed to fly Y+ for anything above 6hrs. LH & *A airlines do not offer Y+ to where I'm flying (mostly USA, mix of east and west; I don't consider UA's offering comparable to BA's. SK has limited N.America options and even less VCE offering, TK timings do not work for me).

So I'm turning my head to BA (and OW), where thanks to BD I'm Gold. It will be hard to reach 1500 TPs, but I will try. Have not transited LHR in a long time and LHR connection out of VCE are poor (I'd really like to write a letter to BA...but it will probably fall on deaf ears) unfortunately they see VCE as a tourist destination, P2P. There are so many small-medium enterprises in the north-east that it amazes me they have never tried to get a huge chunk off LH's business.

Will let you know if the grass is greener..
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Old Dec 3, 13, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by MACH81 View Post
There are so many small-medium enterprises in the north-east that it amazes me they have never tried to get a huge chunk off LH's business.
This is a great point- when I have mentioned this to LH management they suggest the PartnerPlus program which is not even worth the time to participate in.

I think IB may have a very good chance at taking LH business if they just up their consistency- also with the AA connections at MAD there are a lot of good options now on a carrier I formerly avoided. And Vueling is a very tough competitor for Germanwings in my opinion.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
..No NEK or even anything close to it.
10 abreast on the 777 - that counts as NEcKisch.


I spend most money on OneWorld and within OneWorld AA and then BA (almost the same amount).

The the LH group with LH most and nearly as much on OS and LX.

Then SQ (forced ).

Then CO.

The rest went to NH, TG, Scoot, JetStar.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by weero View Post
10 abreast on the 777 - that counts as NEcKisch.


I spend most money on OneWorld and within OneWorld AA and then BA (almost the same amount).

The the LH group with LH most and nearly as much on OS and LX.

Then SQ (forced ).

Then CO.

The rest went to NH, TG, Scoot, JetStar.
I have never flown economy on Emirates so cannot comment.

I am surprised you spent so much with Lufthansa- I thought they had programmed their systems not to sell you tickets?

Whenever possible I avoid USA based airlines although I do use DL from time to time when they have nonstop from VCE to both JFK and ATL- the convenience is just too good. The one time I flew with US Airways they actually said "Oh, so YOU TWO are the customers who PAID for business class" like it was some kind of rarity- won't repeat that experience in a hurry.

Surprisingly my past couple of flights with AA were really good ex-MAD.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
As it is now December and well into the period of cuts to the Miles&More program- where did your money go if not to Lufthansa?

I took a look and mine went to (in order):
--CX (because of occasional TPAC routing needs that UA does not meet, value for money FRA/HKG, DLs divorce with KE--can not earn DL status miles on KE anymore, regardless of fare basis--and also for the excellent HKG hub)

--DL (because once in a while the nonstop from STR/ATL serves my needs, and their FRA/JFK in discount business is sometimes as cheap as an LH Y-fare [<=~1.500],)

--U2 (yes, not only U2, but me too , because they are great from BSL to London)

--LA (because they have a reasonable schedule to/from SCL, and I can supplement my OW status)

--SQ (once in a while when they are price competitive ex-ZRH, and once in a while when they are more than a couple of hundred Euros cheaper than LH FRA/JFK)

Compliments to Lufthansa management. I think there are a lot more customers like this than customers "delighted" with the 10 year old business class slanted slope and the ever less convenient Frankfurt hub (the Z gates did not accomplish anything to be more comfortable to the customer).
My overall travel spend is up about 40% this year (mostly to Asia), and my spend on LH is down about 25%, almost all due to deficiencies in the Asia network and Asia pricing (I am with TRAVELSIG on this one--LH doesn't need to be the absolute cheapest, but when they can't even come within 30% of the competition, AND the schedule isn't optimal for me, then it is clear LH would prefer I fly to Asia with another carrier).

The outdated hard product (BTW, in F as well on the A340s ex FRA) combined with the devaluation of Z-fares in the M&M program (even at old C prices!) are the final "nails in the coffin".
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Old Dec 3, 13, 6:57 am
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My money has gone mainly to AY this year, followed by BA.

Not only have I not clocked up any miles with LH this year... but the same can be said about SQ.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
This is a great point- when I have mentioned this to LH management they suggest the PartnerPlus program which is not even worth the time to participate in.

I think IB may have a very good chance at taking LH business if they just up their consistency- also with the AA connections at MAD there are a lot of good options now on a carrier I formerly avoided. And Vueling is a very tough competitor for Germanwings in my opinion.
PartnerPlus Benefit is a joke even though I've successfully used it once...it enhances along way with miles and less...

I took a look at the BA version today...on business IIRC...doesn't look more generous at first sight...

I don't have a good amount of experience...one MIA-MAD...in Y...maybe worse than LH in terms of seat and meal...on par with AA probably...the whole thing made for a wonderful experience just because in the loungeand during boarding I was next to Adriana Lima!!! ;-) she, of course, did not travel in cattle class...
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Old Dec 3, 13, 9:43 am
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I flew more EK, CX and BA this year.
I will finish this qualification period with about 670k HON Miles, down from just over 900k in the last two qualification periods.
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