For almost two years there’s been speculation that the bmi program would be ending, folded into Lufthansa. It’s seen some changes, like increases in the cost of first class awards and a premium for first class on Lufthansa (likely because Lufthansa First was so darned available).
The speculation really heated up of late, although it was mostly centered on increased costs for the award chart.
But today there’s a fast-moving Flyertalk thread which caused me to log into my own (elite) bmi account.
When I log into my bmi Diamond Club account, there’s a link on the left hand navigation that says “Miles and More” — click on it and the text reads:
Thank you for registering for the status match and miles transfer offer, from the Diamond Club frequent flyer programme to the Miles & More frequent flyer programme.
Whilst the membership account transfer process is in progress, your Diamond Club account will be suspended and from 16 May 2010 you will not be able to earn or redeem miles against this account. When the miles transfer and status match is complete, your Diamond Club membership will cease to exist and you will no longer be able to access your old membership information via flybmi.com.
Please ensure you now begin to use your Miles & More membership number against all future flight bookings and for all other miles earning and redemption activities.
So it looks pretty darn likely that – while there’s been no other communication of late — that the IT folks have let slip that bmi members are being migrated over to Miles & More. Presumably this means the end of the separate Diamond Club program. A sad day, indeed.
Now, as a bmi elite member I rather like the idea of a status match into Miles & More. If I’m given new Senator status now, the hope is that it lasts for two years (as is the norm), expiring February 2013, with a soft landing to two years at the Frequent Traveller (Star Alliance Silver) level if I do not requalify for Senator.
Of course when programs combine, your balances that used to be in separate accounts can get combined, and that’ll be helpful to some that are saving for awards.
One strong benefit of Lufthansa Senator is the 50% off redemption for a companion on the same award. That’s not matched by bmi’s offerings.
But bmi Diamond Club was otherwise so much more valuable, in particular the items that will be missed:
It had to happen eventually, the bmi program was a scrappy little value-creation machine, especially for elite members flying paid premium class fares and redeeming for premium cabin international travel.
And I’ve certainly valued my complimentary lounge access when flying domestically in the US as a result of bmi status as well.So assuming this isn’t all some giant hoax by the Diamond Club IT staff, it marks a sad end to a great program.
(Hat tip Stevenshev)