Lufthansa Plans to Move to Dynamic Award Pricing

Lufthansa’s transatlantic joint venture partner United Airlines eliminated award charts and introduced dynamic award pricing to their own flights (but still prices partner awards based on their hidden chart). Here they followed Delta’s lead.


Copyright: jremes / 123RF Stock Photo

American, too, appears to be moving towards dynamic award pricing and their summer business class sale on AAnytime awards may be another example of this.

Delta joint venture partner Air France has eliminated their award charts after going revenue-based for mileage-earning. Lufthansa went revenue-based for mileage earning but so far has kept and devalued their award chart.

That last piece may ultimately be changing. Doug Gollan reports that Lufthansa plans to move Miles & Mile to dynamic pricing of awards.

No timetable for any announcements was given, however, when asked about the possibility, Frank Naeve, vice president sales, the Americas said, “Certainly that’s the direction we are going.”

He said the move will “reflect the demand situation on a given flight” and described it as “something that’s adding value.”

I generally see little value in Miles & More for US-based members, outside of extra award availability on Lufthansa and SWISS flights and in particular Lufthansa first class award space more than 14 days prior to departure, as well as for United premium cabin domestic awards. Nonetheless this would represent the continued spreading of a trend that is bad for frequent flyer program members.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Do these airlines really not realize that once they screw with the award pricing to where it’s not worth counting on, those of us that do buy J/F seats will just buy the cheapest ticket period on the best carrier, the second we have a bad flight which is not rare we are gone.

  2. @ Gary — I guess we are nearly done with status, except Hyatt. Hyatt hasn’t lost our trust yet, but they are the ONLY ones. I’m sure that won’t last long. It is a sad world we live in where dishonesty from the President down seems to reign supreme. Please encourage your friends at Hyatt to remain loyal to their customers.

  3. The real question is how does dynamic pricing affect partner awards. If there’s no “saver level” awards on LH, what does UA and other Star Alliance carriers have access to?

  4. “Dynamic pricing” by Airline ABC screws up availability using partner airline programs’ miles to get awards on Airline ABC. And it seems meant to do that too, unless and until the partner airlines move to “dynamic pricing” and devalue in much the same way.

    The cartel kingpins in this industry are about imposing and expanding “discipline” — one way or another — across the industry, and they do so as to jointly and severally fleece the retail customers in the market. Turning off partner airline programs’ “cheap” access to award space is but part and parcel of trying to get the partner airline programs to also move to “dynamic pricing”.

    A move to more generally have a fixed maximum value (gotten by the consumer) per mile redeemed is but another way for the industry to reduce the rebate value given to consumers of the services provided by the industry’s players.

  5. @Gene since you went on a political tangent, I will respond. The dishonesty was all your dems side. They create a false narrative out of thin air only to damage the president, lie continuously to perpetuate the false narrative, then after 2 years of investigations, when all the accusations are exposed as a big fraud, you lash out like petulant children. The real investigation is just starting. Buckle up, buckaroos.

    To the subject at hand, if airlines want to make people unexcited about earning their miles, then by all means move to a revenue based model like SWA. If you are going to tell me my miles are worth some straight cash conversion, then I’d rather just earn cashback on my spend than miles.
    So uou will then see less ppl using airline cards due to erosion of trust, more people using cashback cards, and less loyalty to any airline. Earn and burn, kids.

  6. WR2, how about giving it a rest? Not going to happen, I know. 😉

    The Queens-born con-artist-in-chief that currently occupies the White House in the role of POTUS is a con-artist with little to no respect for the truth or a prime example of how a mind can be fried in those hit by syphilis.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the current POTUS is an example of the damage that can be done by tertiary syphilis or neurosyphilis.

  7. Classical economics teaches that the price of award seats, like any other price for a good, will be subject to massive inflation when the number of points chasing any award seat increases dramatically, and the number of seats available either stays static or decreases. The printing of points through the credit card companies is the fuel for this inflation. No one should be surprised.

  8. @GUWonder – Why should WR2 give it a rest? He’s not the one who brought up the President.

  9. Those who cannot see that Donald Trump’s entire career has been one giant scam are blind, greedy, racist, or all of the above.

  10. Real con artists enterprises like: Clinton Global Initiative, or, Clinton Foundation. Or Secretary of State Pay-to-Play: Clinton and Kerry..

  11. The value of United premium cabin domestic awards is great – 17k one way or 34k r/t including for transcon flatbeds. Bummer that’s ending.

  12. Scott, how would that align with Gary supposedly being a libertarian? Do words really scare self-identifying libertarians so much so that this one would rely upon something as obvious as this: “freedom of speech is not a right to speech everywhere but a right only in the face of government and/or on government property”? 😉

    Maybe Gary is a big fan of FlyerTalk moderation too and FT’s move to wiki as much of the site as possible and eliminate lively discussions, tangents and all, so as to suit the commercial interests of catering to newbies? 😀 Well, in the case of this blog, the comments tend to be for engaging the readers and running up the audience numbers.

  13. Daniel, I think the answer is that there won’t be availability at the saver levels going forward. I’m trying to book from TPE to NYC for the month of July and there’s only 1 seat available on 7/16 from TPE to LGA via ORD on EVA. TPE to ORD is in J but ORD to LGA is in Y. Logging into SQ also shows the same segments but no availability is showing on UA because they’re all pricing at the “dynamic” level even in Y. Same goes for AA/BA. I’m trying to find a last minute ticket flight from BOS to LGA and BA isn’t showing availability for AA because there isn’t any availability at AA “saver” seats. So the airlines will spin it now as you can accrue miles with partner airlines but we won’t give availability any more. And we all have Delta to thank for coming up with this innovation of moving to dynamic pricing. All the comments above are spot-on except the political ones which isn’t the purpose of my commenting.

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