Lufthansa was ranked as a “5 Star Airline” by Skytrax earlier this month, a ranking that was well deserved for the airline as Lufthansa’s First Class is the best in the world, the airline has the best European operations, and the FAs and ground staff are excellent in all cases. I love and will always love Lufthansa as I truly believe they are the best airline in the world – no other airline provides such an incredible and consistent experience.

However, while I love this German airline, I’ve been very much disappointed with them the past few days. The reason is obvious: Lufthansa has decided Miles & More should switch to a revenue-based model and will do so in March 2018. Miles & More claims this new way to award miles will significantly benefit members as the current system has been “incomprehensible” and “not liked” by many members. I don’t ever remember being asked my opinion on the subject as a loyal Senator member for over ten years.

The new revenue-based Miles & More will award me significantly less miles than ever before as this new model only benefits those who spend a ton of money on flights (business executives – who don’t even pay for the tickets themselves). For example, a round-trip Kraków to Frankfurt to Chicago First Class ticket for $4k USD currently earns me about 33k Award, Status, and HON Circle Miles. Under the new system, I will still receive 33k Status and HON Circle Miles.. but I will only receive 24k Award Miles (4000 x 6 (the earning rate for elite members)). Not only that, it really won’t be 24k as the award miles credited will be for the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges only and not the airport taxes.

Dear Lufthansa: 5 Star Airlines don’t copy U.S. airlines. The airlines in the United States first introduced a revenue-based model only because they were awarding 100% of the miles flown on all fares – that didn’t make sense to them. Lufthansa has been awarding only 25% for the cheapest Economy tickets – so Miles & More was already revenue-based in a way. The switch to a full revenue-based model doesn’t make sense in the case of Miles & More.

Innovation is a key quality of a 5 Star Airline. Instead, Lufthansa is simply duplicating what the U.S. airlines have done and destroying their frequent flyer programme without even asking members their opinion (and they claim they have). For the first time in my life, I am really disappointed by what Lufthansa has done.

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