Lufthansa Miles & More has announced changes to their Intra European redemption levels and the associated fuel surcharges which will effect all tickets issued on or after the 15th September 2016.
Moreover, despite record low fuel prices Lufthansa Miles & More has not touched the absolutely insane fuel surcharges on their worldwide flights which can surpass 600 EUR per round trip if you book a connection flight.
You can find the announcement from Miles & More on their website (see here).
For award flights on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS within Europe, Miles & More members will pay a significantly lower surcharge from 15 September 2016 – just 5 Euro instead of 40 Euro per flight segment in Economy Class and just 20 Euro instead of 43 Euro per flight segment in Business Class.
All Miles & More flight awards, including mileage bargains, will require an additional 5,000 award miles for an outbound and a return flight.
How will these changes look after the introduction? Below is an example Lufthansa displays in their article:
So to get this straight, after keeping astronomically high fuel surcharges during times when many other airlines such as ANA, JAL & Singapore Airlines have reduced them drastically they finally took the step to reduce them to realistic levels (actually fuel should be included in the baseline price in the first place) but not without missing out on the opportunity the increase the award by 5,000 miles.
35,000 Miles for an intra Europe award plus another 87 EUR in taxes is a bad joke. Despite Miles&More already being the least competitive program in Europe it doesn’t keep them from continuing to make it even worse.
Further changes include:
If you decide to take an award flight within Europe at short notice, the Fly Smart Flight Award will also be available in future for 20,000 miles in Economy Class as well as for 30,000 miles in Business Class. In addition, award miles can, as usual, be redeemed to pay for taxes, fees and surcharge. From September, only 15,000 instead of the previous 18,000 awards miles will be sufficient for all Economy and Business Class flight awards, including transfer connections within Europe. This reduction is valid for all Lufthansa and selected Miles & More airline partner flight award bookings.
All above mentioned changes will come into effect for bookings (ticket issuance) of flight awards within Europe from 15 September 2016. Award flights booked (issued) before then, even if they are for departures after 15 September 2016, are subject to the currently valid conditions.
‘Only’ 15,000 miles to substitute the taxes & fees? Never mind that this amount was just increased a few years ago but now they expect people to rejoice when they lower it by 3,000 Miles? Crazy.
Miles & More has lost their competitive edge for redemptions on their own metal a long time ago, this just adds fuel to the fire.
The program continues to be out of touch and redemptions such as the one outlined in the example (35,000 miles + 87 EUR for Economy Class Frankfurt to Rome) make no sense whatsoever, especially for the leisure traveler.
There is potential to save some money if you’d otherwise buy a very expensive ticket with a price beyond 500 EUR but who really does that for such a route where you can routinely buy tickets between 99-149 EUR. Maybe self employed business travelers but certainly no leisure traveler. Such awards are nothing but a scam which isn’t really surprising if you have followed the Miles&More business model over the past 15 years.