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This is a day I have not been looking forward to for a few years. Ever since the announcement of revenue-based frequent flyer programmes in North America, I knew that eventually European airlines would follow – it was just a matter of time and I was so very much hoping for “later” rather than “sooner”. However, we all knew this was coming. The Lufthansa Group announced today that Miles & More, the frequent flyer programme of Lufthansa, Austrian, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, etc., will become revenue-based on 12 March 2018 – award miles will be earned based on the price of the ticket rather than on the distance flown.

The Changes to Miles & More

Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines, SWISS International Air Lines, Brussels Airlines, and Eurowings have copied from the American carriers created a “new system” for crediting award miles. For flights booked (tickets issued) from 12 March 2018, miles will be earned based on the base fare of the ticket plus any carrier-imposed surcharges. Miles credited for flights booked before this date will still be earned under the old system (the actual distance flown).

The New Earning Structure

  • Miles & More Members without status will earn 4 miles per Euro spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges
  • Miles & More Status Members (Frequent Travellers, Senators, HON Circle Members) will earn:
    • 6 miles per Euro spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges for flights on Lufthansa, SWISS International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada, LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Adria, and Air Dolomiti
    • 5 miles per Euro spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges for flights on Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, or “another Miles & More partner airline”

What if your ticket isn’t paid for/issued in Euros? Miles & More will convert the fare from your original payment currency into Euros at the exact time of ticketing using the OANDA currency converter. This means that you have total control if booking in another currency and will know exactly how many miles you will earn when you book your flight. The Executive Bonus for status members is already integrated into this earning structure – it is either 50% or 25%, depending on which airline you will fly.

The new revenue-based system will apply for every ticket booked via a Lufthansa Group booking channel. Miles & More specifies that if your ticket is booked via a travel agent or online travel agency, you will know which system (revenue-based or traditional) is used to calculate your miles once you receive your ticket number.

Lufthansa Miles & More: Best Way to book First Class

Lufthansa Miles & More: Best Way to book First Class

Important (some good news?)

“If you book your flight through another airline’s booking channel, your award miles will be calculated according to the current system.”

This theoretically means that if you don’t book your ticket through a Lufthansa Group booking channel or select travel agents/online travel agencies (determined by the ticket number), you will continue to earn miles based on the traditional (current) system – the distance flown. There is some good news to these changes after all.

What about Status, Select, and HON Circle Miles?

Nothing changes for now – these continue to be awarded based on the current system (distance flown). There currently are no changes to earning status or status-level benefits.

In Conclusion

This is a very disappointing change by Miles & More – the reasons are obvious, only passengers spending an insane amount of Euros on tickets with the Lufthansa Group will be rewarded more – everyone else will earn much less miles on tickets. I’m incredibly disappointed in Lufthansa with these changes – 5 Star airlines should not restructure their frequent flyer programmes overnight so that only a select few members benefit while the rest earn much less miles.

Miles & More is no longer a frequent flyer programme, but rather a frequent spending programme.

Be sure to check out some of the awesome Travel Rewards Credit Cards, Hotel Rewards Credit Cards, and Point Rewards Credit Cards that are available and will earn you lots of miles and great travel benefits!


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.