We just returned from Kiev on Lufthansa First Class last night. After a wonderful flight, I came home and crashed for 11 hours, only to awaken to news that Lufthansa is “enhancing” Miles & More, the frequent flyer program for Lufthansa and eight other airlines, effective January 3, 2011.
Of course, the announcement of “enhancements” begins with the usual positive spin, by listing the following significant improvements:
- One-way awards will now be charged at 50% of the round-trip price, down from the current 75%.
- Awards will now allow two stopovers, up from the current allowance of one stopover. It is not clear to me if two stopovers will be allowed on one-way awards or only round-trip awards.
- The same-day award booking surcharge of 10,000 miles will be discontinued.
Then, come the real “enhancements”:
- The 3,000 mile discount for online award bookings will be eliminated.
- Business and First redemption rates will be increased by roughly 15% - 25% across the board. From North America, rates will increase as follows:
- North America:
- Business 45,000 to 55,000 (22% increase)
- First 60,000 to 75,000 (25% increase)
- Business 60,000 to 70,000 (17% increase)
- First 100,000 to 125,000 (25% increase)
- Central America and Caribbean:
- Business 50,000 to 60,000 (20% increase)
- First 70,000 to 85,000 (21% increase)
- Europe and South America:
- Business 90,000 to 105,000 (17% increase)
- First 140,000 to 170,000 (21% increase)
- India and South Africa:
- Business 160,000 to 185,000 (16% increase)
- First 240,000 to 290,000 (21% increase)
- Middle East, North/Central Africa, Asia, Oceania:
- Business 120,000 to 135,000 (13% increase)
- First 180,000 to 210,000 (17% increase)
- North America:
Although we have only 3,522 Miles & More miles, this announcement is a great disappointment to The Mileage Millionaire. Why? Because we have over one million bmi Diamond Club miles, which will soon be converted to M&M miles. I’ll cover the pros and cons of burning or holding bmi miles in another post, although the list of pros for burning bmi miles just got a huge addition.