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Regular readers will remember my posts on Lufthansa‘s Miles & More frequent flyer scheme. I’m generally quite taken by Lufthansa‘s premium cabins and do believe that the Miles & More scheme can offer genuine value. Check out my post on some good redemptions here if you are looking for inspiration on what to do with your Miles & More points.
Annoyingly however, you had to call your local Miles & More service centre to find and book most partner redemptions. Online booking was restricted, for the most part I believe, to airlines owned by Lufthansa (e.g. Austrian, Swiss, …) and those that use Miles & More as their own frequent flyer scheme (such as LOT Polish).
Lufthansa announced earlier this week that you can now book online redemptions on certain other Star Alliance carriers:
Click here to see the announcement on the Miles & More webpage.
Why is this good news?
- Convenience. you will no longer need to call your local Miles & More service centre to book redemptions on these airlines. For us in the UK, this is convenient for those looking to travel to Taiwan (or to Southeast Asia via Taiwan) on EVA air. BA offer no direct flights to Taiwan at the moment.You can now book online flights between London and Taipei in business class for 67,000 plus 247.27 GBP in taxes (one-way):
- It is also good news for those that believe that Lufthansa’s surcharges on redemption tickets are ludicrous and devalue the scheme massively. Some of these carriers that can now be booked online impose minimal surcharges on award tickets. Let’s take a look at ANA in particular:
A first class redemption from Heathrow to Tokyo will cost you 105,000 Miles & More plus 192,27 GBP in taxes. Now compare this to the 358.40 GBP Lufthansa wants in taxes and surcharges on the same route:
It is great to see Miles & More facilitate award booking. Hopefully online booking will become possible for more airlines through the Miles & More website soon. The ability to book online certainly makes it easier to spot the considerable difference in taxes and surcharges without having to call in.
One issue seems to be availability however. Whilst availability seems to be wide open for Lufthansa redemptions, including in premium cabins, it was somewhat difficult to find availability in ANA’s premium cabins through Miles & More for example.