Lufthansa's Miles & More program

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I will post the details here shortly.

 

Short version, it's going to get even more difficult/impossible to get status unless your a pilot. :-/

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Seems lufthansa will be spinning off M&M into a subsidiary with the possible goal being taking the new company to the stock exchange. Air Canada did this with their mile program many years ago but stupidly sold all of their stock. Aeroplan has been shitt..g money ever since and LH is desperately looking for new income.

 

2012 M&M supposedly made 700 million euros which is a lot of money in the difficult airline industry.

 

All changes in recent years have always made status achievement at M&M more difficult. This round will be no different. Details have not emerged yet but after LH is transferring all European flights not originating/ending in Munich/Frankfurt to their cheepo airline germanwings the 500 miles one got will now only be 125.

 

Lufthansa also likes to hike up prices (cut down the worth) of the miles.

 

I have a link I will post that I can't from my ipad right now.

 

Just cracked the 100 Staralliance flights this week in 2 years and it's very depressing what the miles and status will actually get me. :-(

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after LH is transferring all European flights not originating/ending in Munich/Frankfurt to their cheepo airline germanwings the 500 miles one got will now only be 125.

 

That is already the case on a lot of flights still operated by LH - I have been receiving the princely sum of 125 for most of my European flights for some time now. It is indeed depressing.

I know I'm only a drop in the ocean for them, but since LH reduced their miles on offer some years back, I no longer make a point of flying with Star Alliance members as I used to. For flights to NZ I always stuck to Thai/Air NZ (in the days when they still flew into Germany)/ Asiana/ LH/SIN for the miles...once it became not worth it, I swapped to Emirates. If lots of people did that, it may make LH rethink their business strategy. Although within Europe/based from Germany, it's difficult to swap your loyalty to one other big partner.

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..but after LH is transferring all European flights not originating/ending in Munich/Frankfurt to their cheepo airline germanwings the 500 miles one got will now only be 125.

 

With LH it used to be that econ flights across the Atlantic got 1 M&M Mile per real NM - now the lowest proces (such as my company book) only get 50%. Previously 4 transatlantic return flights got you FTL/Silver.

 

Its all pretty moot since my employer doesn't really believe I need to travel any more hence I fell out of FTL/Silver some years ago & have to see that I use up my miles by end March 2014. Guess one has to realise that that phase of life is over.

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Switching airlines is indeed difficult if you travel inner European. Air Berlin does not have nearly the frequency and destinations on offer :-(

 

If it becomes to difficult to keep my FTL then I'll switch to the DB for Germany since it doesn't take that much longer. For the price of many E tickets I can get a first class ticket on the train. Just did this week Paris-Frankfurt on the ICE and TGV. If you take into consideration that most airports are way outside of the city center then train is a serious option. Only because the airport is 30 min away and in the city in hamburg it's still an option for me.

 

We will see...

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Best thing to do is ditch Lufthansa and get Aegean, because they are the most generous by far. They're also Star Alliance, so you earn points on the same airlines. However, you get Blue status after earning a mere 4000 points (1000 of which you get by signing up). Then once you have Blue status, you get Gold with a mere 16,000 further points accrued within a year sometime in the next 2 years. A single return flight home to Australia will do it for me.

 

Best of all, once you're Gold, as long as you accrue any points (that's a single flight anywhere) within 3 years, you keep that status forever.

 

On top of that, as long as your membership remains active, your points also don't appear to ever expire.

 

So I recently switched. Let's see how long it takes me...

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...or United as I pointed out above. Also Star Alliance but vastly more generous in miles awarded, number of miles needed for a reward booking, and availability of reward flights. The only reason it didn't work for me is that I get most my points from the credit card not from actual travel. I've since switched to the DB scheme and credit card and earn about €300 a year without trying, whereas with M&M I saved about €500 on two long-haul flights after seven years of collecting.

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So applied for the Aegean card. Do I actually still have lounge access as long as I'm collecting via another Staralliance member? In other words book with Aegean card but access with my FTL LH card?

 

Will checkout the united package.

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..., whereas with M&M I saved about €500 on two long-haul flights after seven years of collecting.

Then, you didn't collect a lot of miles. I already redeemed a few hundred thousand miles and saved a few thousand euros. This week, I will redeem 80.000 miles for a return ticket Munich- Buenos Aires and just pay the taxes. I save €830 with that. I used to be a Senator with LH.

 

 

Do I actually still have lounge access as long as I'm collecting via another Staralliance member? In other words book with Aegean card but access with my FTL LH card?

In the last few years it became more difficult to enter a Star Alliance business lounge as FTL with an economy flight. You need to be a Senator to access it, because there are just too many people with status FTL. Examples are Schiphol Airport or Jo'burg.

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This week, I will redeem 80.000 miles for a return ticket Munich- Buenos Aires and just pay the taxes.

No you don't, you pay Lufthansa's "taxes and charges", which as discussed at length above will come to around €500 compared to $80 with United. That's the entire problem with M&M.

 

When Lufthansa charge you €500 taxes and fees in addition to tens of thousands of points when you can fly with a different airline for €600 in cash then you only save €100, regardless of what the regular Lufthansa price is.

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I only get access to LH (and inner circle )business lounges. No access at SAS for instance :-(

 

That's why gold would be appealing.

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So let me get this straight. If I dump my United program for the Aegean program, I will get Gold with 16,000 pts. and be able to use Star Alliance lounges everywhere?

 

2) Can I also book travel with my points say from Munich to the U.S. on any Star Alliance partner?

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Not quite 16,000 points. It's 16,000 points after you have Blue status, and you need 4000 to acquire that first (3000 if you consider you get 1000 points just for joining). And you don't start accruing Gold status until you actually have Blue, so as far as I understand it, you have to get flights to get you up to Blue level first (3000 miles on top of the joining bonus in your first 12 months membership), then once you have that, you only need 16,000 miles within 2 years to get to Gold.

 

So yes, it means you'll be able to use Star Alliance lounges on your flights, and you get an extra luggage allowance (and all the other perks of having Gold status). Plus, your Gold status never expires - the only thing you have to be careful about is to not allow your membership to lapse - which it does if you earn no points in a 36 month period. So any Star Alliance flight anywhere within 3 years maintains it.

 

And you'll be able to travel with your points on any of Aegean's partner airlines - which includes all of the Star Alliance.

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That's how it works. Compare other Star Alliance airlines such as Turkish or United first before selling your soul to Aegean. Particularly as an American you may be better off with United, e.g. by applying for their credit card (which requires a US address).

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I asked my travel agent to change my miles number in their booking system to the new Aegean number this afternoon and she couldn't believe what I told her concerning the benefits and going around LH to get status at about the quarter of the points.

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That's how it works. Compare other Star Alliance airlines such as Turkish or United first before selling your soul to Aegean. Particularly as an American you may be better off with United, e.g. by applying for their credit card (which requires a US address).

 

Yeah - it really depends on what's more important to you. If it's accruing and spending points, then United might be a better fit for you. If it's the status, then Aegean is the go.

 

Your flying habits also come into play, because Aegean Gold status is lacking in a few other areas. One is that a lot of frequent flyer programs give you miles bonuses, free upgrades, and other extras once you get a better status, whilst Aegean doesn't. So if you fly enough to earn the equivalent status with another FF program, then go with that one instead.

 

Personally, I would never get enough points for a status increase with any other airline and I'd prefer to get the status for the extra luggage and the lounge rights, than the points.

 

One last thing to consider. The other Star Alliance members might get pissed off with this - especially if a lot of people jump across and they have to allow casual travellers extra luggage and access to their lounges. So it wouldn't surprise me if Aegean get pressured and the requirements change to be more in line with the other carriers at some point.

 

EDIT: Just saw one more thing as far as Lufthansa goes, and that is that booking classes O, I, X, R, N, L, T, E, K, P on Lufthansa accrue no points on Aegean, and other booking classes accrue less points than on Miles and More. So it's clearly a lot worse for accruing points and might be worth investigating a little more before just jumping in. There seem to be quite a few booking classes with most airlines that accrue no points. Full list available here.

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