Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
I occasionally flag the monthly “Mileage Bargains” released by Lufthansa’s Miles&More loyalty scheme. For me, they’re one of the (sadly) few ways of actually getting good value from your Miles&More miles. Without them (and, to a lesser degree the FlySmart option), I do struggle to find ways of redeeming my M&M miles in a way that actually makes financial sense.
On the flip-side, by using the Mileage Bargains option you can get yourself a great deal.
What’s the problem with ordinary redemptions?
The long-standing issue with M&M redemptions is the comically high taxes and fees Lufthansa levies on loyalty flights. When you’re redeeming vast chunks of miles and yet also paying a substantial amount of cash as well, it can be very hard to find any real value in redemption flights (not least when you’ve worked hard to build up your mileage stash). This problem is made particularly acute when you look at some of the amazing “full-cash” fares you can often get with the likes of Qatar etc.
By way of random example, an ordinary redemption of a Business Class flight from London to Chicago will cost you 105,000 miles plus an eye-watering €644.68 in taxes/fees:
And how is this resolved by the Mileage Bargains option?
The Mileage Bargains option let’s you redeem your Lufthansa Miles&More loyalty miles at around half the usual rates, and sometimes better than that. So, while you still end up paying the same high levels of taxes and fees, you pay a lot less in miles, making the overall package much more reasonable.
However, the key value with Lufthansa’s Mileage Bargains is in the Lufthansa Business Class redemptions. While you will have to pay a fairly hefty tax/fee supplement, you will get great value for your miles – making the overall flight cost (in both miles and cash) good, and potentially excellent, value.
Mileage Bargains also offer an extended range of Economy Class options, but given the taxes and fees, even at the heavily reduced mileage rates you will struggle to get good value. As noted above, my general view is that pretty much the only way to get genuinely good value for redemption of Miles&More miles is via Business Class redemptions via Mileage Bargains or Fly Smart.
Another great thing about Mileage Bargains is that, because they are allocated to flights where there is not anticipated to be massive demand, availability is generally very good. Availability if of course a major headache with reward flights (as any Avios redeemer will know all too well).
Taking the Chicago Business Class example above, Chicago is fairly regularly included as a Mileage Bargains option at just 55,000 miles. While 105,000 miles + €644 is of debatable value, 55,000 miles + €644 is a good deal.
So why a post about Mileage Bargains this month?
I’m writing this post about Mileage Bargains not just as a general reminder, but also because the booking process is now slicker. Lufthansa have updated the Mileage Bargains site with several helpful filters, to allow you to narrow down the options available to you based on your requirements:
As you can see, you can choose your departure airport, and with Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London (City/Heathrow) and Manchester all regularly featured, this is a solid redemption option for everyone in the UK, not just those London-based.
So what’s available in January?
January’s UK mileage bargains have just been released, and while there’s only six options in Business Class, the available destinations are impressive, as follows:
- Washington (Dulles) for 55,000 miles instead of 105,000
- Dallas (Fort Worth for 55,000 miles instead of 105,000
- Shanghai for 70,000 miles instead of 135,000
- Hong Kong for 70,000 miles instead of 135,000
- Seoul for 70,000 miles instead of 135,000
- Osaka for 70,000 miles instead of 135,000
Note however the difference between the booking and travel window, as is always the case with Mileage Bargains. You need to book the flights by 31 January 2017, for travel between 1 May and 15 June 2017.
Is Lufthansa Business Class any good?
Lufthansa Business Class is a good quality hard product. While not up there (in my view at least) with the Etihads, Qatars and Singapore Airlines, it’s still pleasant and efficiently run. You can read our full review of it here.