A reader is a senator (or gold card member) of Miles & More, Lufthansa’s loyalty program. He makes a roundtrip on TAP Portugal that like Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance. On his Miles & More account he observes that the miles for the round trip have been credited. However, the 25% bonus miles for senators are lacking.
How many miles to earn?
Before his departure he makes a screenshot of the Miles & More page when he checks how many miles he will earn. The reason is that in the past he experienced that Miles & More gave him incorrect information.
The screenshot (click here) clearly shows he will earn 25% bonus miles. So he sends Miles & More a request to credit the bonus miles to his account. Given his previous experience he attaches the screen shot to his email to substantiate his request.
Miles & More’s response to his email reads: "As a status customer you used to receive the familiar Executive Bonus of 25% on scheduled flights operated by Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines/Tyrolean Airways, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair, SWISS and United.”
With the revenue-based system he continues to profit from an Executive Bonus if he books via a sales channel of the Lufthansa Group. The bonus is no longer allocated additionally. Rather, it is included in the multiplication factor and is comprised of 25% according to Miles & More.
Power of attorney
Passengers can no longer verify whether they received the 25% bonus. But at this point our reader has had enough anyway and sends the correspondence to us. When we ask Lufthansa for clarification, the response is unique: “Are you authorized to speak on behalf of someone else? We are not allowed to provide any comments on specific passengers’ cases to journalist unless they have the power of attorney.” This trick is new to us, so we ask the spokeswoman who doesn't allow that. But she doesn't respond.
At first sight, the screenshot suggests that Miles & More has provided incorrect information again. However, an alternative explanation might be that the information on Lufthansa’s website was outdated. In fact, this seems the most likely option to us.
In March 2018, Miles & More switched from a miles based frequent flyer program to a revenue or price based program. This implies that the number of miles passengers earn no longer depends on the distance flown, but rather on the ticket price.
Alaska Airlines an exception
Most airlines have made that switch. Alaska Airlines is now one of the most popular carriers because it is an exception on the new rule. At this airline the miles you earn still depend on the miles flown.
Miles & More no longer attractive
As a result of the switch from a miles to a revenue based system the Miles & More program has lost its appeal. In practice, only business travelers, whose expensive tickets are paid for by their employers, can still earn senator status.
For members only
Therefore, it is irrational to stick to the Lufthansa Group just because of the miles. Economy travelers are much better off if they buy tickets with the best price/value ratio, irrespective of the airline.
Lufthansa seems to understand that and prevents non-members from reviewing the Miles & More program. Only members can do so. Thus, if you want to review the program you need to register as a member.
Tags: Miles & More, bonus miles, status customer