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Lufthansa Miles & More has just announced a significant overhaul of the programme… and it actually looks pretty good!
Note that nothing is changing until January 2021, so you have got plenty of time to get your head around the changes.
Status points instead of status miles
At the moment, you need to earn so-called ‘status miles’ to obtain frequent flyer status with Miles & More, which are awarded based on distance and the booking class. This is changing significantly. From 2021, a point system will be introduced and the whole system will be greatly simplified. In future, the status points will only be assigned according to travel class, not according to booking class. The following values are per single flight segment (i.e. one way):
Points credit on short-haul flights
- Economy Class: 5 points
- Business Class: 10 points
Points credit on long-haul flights
- Economy Class: 15 points
- Premium Economy Class: 20 points
- Business Class: 50 points
- First Class 70 points
The current system offers relatively few status miles, especially for economy and business class booking classes, so the new points system is a positive change for most members. The numbers above apply to all flights with Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners.
The definition of a long or short haul is according to IATA rules. For example, a flight from Germany to Tel Aviv is actually considered a long-haul flight.
‘Status Points’ and ‘Qualifying Points’
As part of the Miles & More programme changes in 2021, the thresholds for obtaining frequent flyer status will be adjusted. For this, the following types of points are relevant:
Status Points are collected on all flights with Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners according to the above point scheme.
Qualifying Points are obtained according to the same scheme as the status points. The difference is, however, that Qualifying Points are only generated on flights with Lufthansa Group Airlines (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airline, Adria Airways, Luxair, Air Dolomiti).
If you want to earn frequent flyer status with Miles & More, you have to be aware of both Status Points and Qualifying Points.
From 2021, you will need to earn at least half of the required points on airlines that are part of the Lufthansa Group to qualify for status. The exception is for top-tier HON Circle status, where ALL 1,500 Points must be earned from LH Group flights:
- Frequent Traveler: 160 Status Points (including 80 Qualifying Points on the LH Group Airlines)
- Senator: 480 Status Points (including 240 Qualifying Points on the LH Group Airlines)
- HON Circle: 1,500 Status Points (1,500 Qualifying Points on LH Group Airlines)
As you can see, you always have to earn at least half of the points needed to achieve status by flying with LH Group Airlines.
There is a negative change affecting Frequent Traveler status: Currently, apart from 35,000 status miles, FTL status can also be reached through 30 flight segments with Lufthansa Group Airlines. This possibility is going away.
Status validity is shortened to 1 year
As of 2021, Miles & More status will only last one year (on top of the remainder of the year it is earned in). Currently, it is the case that you can secure status for 2 years, but in future, re-qualification must be completed annually:
“If you achieve or renew your status on the basis of points from 1 January 2021, the term will be at least one year. It will start as soon as you have achieved your status and finish at the end of February in the year after next.”
Starting in 2021, both Lifetime FTL and Lifetime Senator status will be awarded:
- Lifetime Frequent Traveler: 7,500 Qualifying Points
- Lifetime Senator: 10,000 qualifying points + at least 10 years Senator
As you can see, only Qualifying Points apply to the Lifetime Status and there is no Lifetime HON status. Previous milestones in the context of status stars points are considered – a ratio of 2: 1 will be used for Status Stars to Qualifying Points.
Streamlining the programme
As part of the programme changes, some previous components will be eliminated. These include the Jet Friends programme and the Senator Premium Award. From 2021, the Executive Bonus will also only exist with regard to award miles, not with regard to status miles.
You can read more about all the changes on the Lufthansa website here.
A version of this article first appeared on InsideFlyer Germany