Lufthansa’s Miles and More is a great frequent flyer programme for those who fly mostly First/Business Class and higher Economy Class fares. Miles and More award miles generously for First and Business Class, and also for expensive Economy fares.
Senator Status (Star Alliance Gold) requires 100k Status Miles within one year, and the status is valid for at least two years (meaning you don’t need to re-qualify every year, just every other year). Status Miles can be earned by flying all Star Alliance member airlines. I re-qualify almost every year since I fly a lot with Lufthansa and United in Business and First Class, when there is a great deal. And if it is First Class, I only need two of those trips on a longer journey to re-qualify.
Miles and More members have access to Lufthansa First Class award space any time before departure, and Miles and More Senators and HON Circle Members can also book SWISS First Class using miles.. and it’s very easy for us to book it as SWISS First is usually wide open.
There, however, is one thing I absolutely hate about Miles and More. And it has to do with award booking rules: you can only book 2 flights per direction on a one-region journey, 3 flights each way on a two-region journey, and a maximum of 4 flights each direction on a three-region journey. For round trips, just double these amounts (example: max 4 flights on a round trip within one region).
What this means is that, for example, on a journey within one region, you can book a maximum of two flights each direction of travel. So for example, I can book Kraków – Frankfurt – London, and that’s the maximum number of flights allowed per direction, meaning I can’t add a third flight without the award being priced out as two awards.
Well, in Europe it isn’t a big deal.. however when flying from Europe to America, it almost always kills me each time I (try to) make a booking from Kraków to Seattle.
Why am I saying that? Because I can have a maximum of three flight segments each way. The first flight is always from Kraków to a hub city, like Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, or Zurich. The second flight becomes the transatlantic segment to a major North American city (Seattle doesn’t have Lufthansa First Class), and the final flight is from the major N.A. city to Seattle (usually with United, sometimes with Air Canada).
So the problem is as follows: I need to fly from the European hub city to a major N.A. city served by United or Air Canada from Seattle. Where is this an issue? Well, in a lot of cases:
- New York JFK is out of the question since United doesn’t fly there
- Los Angeles doesn’t work for SWISS’ flight from Zurich because it lands as the last United flight departs for Seattle
- Dallas – no direct flights with United to Seattle
- Miami – no direct flights with United to Seattle
So I really, really wish I could fly, for example, Kraków – Zurich – Los Angeles – San Francisco – Seattle… but I can’t do that on one award, since the max number of flight segments per direction on a two-region journey is 3. And it isn’t just from Europe to America where this issue exists.. but rather on all journeys within two regions, in my experience…
Is there something you hate about your favourite frequent flyer programme?