Asiana posted the following note to their Asiana Club website yesterday concerning bmi (British Midland International):
For those who cannot read Korean (ahem), a friend translated this for me. Per Asiana, bmi will be leaving Star Alliance on 18 April, just two weeks from today. Asiana Club members will continue to be able to redeem points for flights on bmi through 31 May. Asiana adds that it is unclear what will happen beyond that point.
With that last note of uncertainty, it is possible that we will continue to be able to redeem bmi Diamond Club points for Star Alliance flights for the next few months, but I would not take any changes. In fact, I will be doing my best to burn my ~100K bmi miles by 18 April.
I'll have a post up in the next day or so on the best strategies and uses of bmi miles, but generally you want to keep away from Lufthansa First Class (10K surcharge) and remember that intra-Europe flights are charged on a per segment basis, which can be a good deal if you are flying direct, but not so good if you have to make a stop or two.
After years of holding bmi gold status, I had my first bmi flight to Bishkek a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it very much. The UK-based airline is very much like British Airways in terms of in-flight product, though, so I have to think that many customers will not even notice a difference after the merger.
The bmi Diamond Club call center in India is notoriously bad, so be patient when calling--sadly, there is no way to redeem these miles online for Star Alliance flights.
(hat tip to Ghetto IFE)