If you are ever tempted to complain about British Airways Executive Club or any other frequent flyer programme, spare a thought for our poor German, Swiss, Austrian and Belgian friends trying to find some value out of Lufthansa’s Miles & More programme.
Despite the fact a barrel of oil now costs less than half of what it used to, Lufthansa has resisted reducing its surcharges on European flight awards. This will change on 15 September, 2016, conveniently after the peak summer holiday season.
Lufthansa are reducing the surcharge to “just” 5 euros each way (down from 40 euros) but, to compensate, are increasing the number of miles required for the award flight by 5,000 for a return in Economy Class. Miles & More members must still pay all taxes. It is important to note that the date of travel is irrelevant – any award booked before 15 September will pay the higher surcharges…
On the webpage outlining these changes, Lufthansa provide the following example.
This only goes to show what ridiculously poor value short haul awards offer with Miles & More. Why? Here’s a simple ITA Matrix search for a return ticket on Lufthansa between Frankfurt and Rome (i.e. excluding Alitalia or any low-cost-carrier options)
Most days and flights are available for 145 euros return. In other words, after 15 September, Miles & More members can save a mere 58 euros (145 minus 87) in exchange for 35,000 miles.
But before then, the M&M member would actually pay MORE (157 euros) for the award ticket than a regular paid ticket. In both cases, the paid ticket would also accumulate a few miles as well. I could provide countless examples, but since Miles & More are so willing to embarrass themselves I’ll just stick with their example.
This example shows that, if you collect miles with Miles & More, please please please don’t waste them on intra-European flights. Save them for other uses, perhaps one of the monthly discounted long haul awards I regularly highlight on Flying Piggie.
BA’s Reward Flight Saver (or virtually any other Star Alliance programme) doesn’t look nearly so bad now does it???