Miles and More Earning, Redemption, and Status Changes Coming

Miles and More is making a bunch of changes, some of which are positive but on the whole will not please elite members.

Effective September 1, top tier HON Circle status credits can only be earned from premium cabin fares.

HON Circle Members are guaranteed the ability to book business class travel, even if business is sold out, but that will now require the highest (most expensive) booking class. I didn’t realize that wasn’t the case already and do understand that if they’re going to oversell the cabin it needs to be for full revenue.

Discounted business class (Z) bookings will earn fewer miles — 1,000 award on domestic flights (down from 1500), 1250 within Europe (down from 2000), and 150% of flown miles for intercontinental flights (down from 200%). And Z is no longer the most deeply discounted fare class, there’s a new P for promotional business class far that will earn 500, 750, and 100% mileage flown for domestic, European, and intercontinental flights. These start off as Lufthansa changes this month, and roll out to Austrian in mid-May and to Swiss in September.

And Z and P discounted business class tickets are no longer eligible to be upgraded to first class on Lufthansa, effective September 1. On Swiss at that time first class upgraded will go up from 15,000 miles to 35,000 miles each way.

On the plus side for Miles & More members, one-way partner redemptions become available September 1, and German residents will only need 100,000 status miles instead of 130,000 to hit Senator status (previously Germans were penalized with a higher mileage threshold than the rest of the world).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary ┬╗

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  1. I hope the restriction that Z fares cannot be upgraded to first class will NOT apply to UA SWUs (er GPUs). Does anyone know?

  2. There have been Flyertalk posts confirming that UA SWU’s printed for use on LH no longer list Z fares as eligible for upgrades. It is a shame, as this was a really good use for SWUs. The downgrades to Miles and More are quite unpleasant as well.

  3. M&M is becoming more and more a waste. The only benefit of my FF status anymore is lounge access. I cannot even find award flights back to the states on given dates; tried three different timeframes. And when you can use miles, the taxes are so ridiculous, almost as much as a flight i can find on expedia; its no longer worth it. And using the miles for upgrades to business class are becoming nonexistent. Tired of it.

  4. @Gary I used a printed UA SWU to upgrade a LH Z fare early December 2011, so it wasn’t in effect then. It’s one of the best uses of a SWU given there is so little inventory to confirm Y fare upgrades

  5. @Carl – yes, but when did you have the UA SWU *printed* — I believe the printed rules changed for certs sometime last summer. If you still had a valid ‘old’ printed SWU they worked on Z fares,but the new printed rules specifically excluded them.

  6. Gary, one way awards on LH/OS/SN/LX were already available since Dec2010, starting September you can book them online.

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