Lufthansa Miles & More Award Chart Devaluation

Filed Under: Awards, Lufthansa
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Lufthansa Miles & More is a program we don’t talk about too much on the blog here, since the miles are generally pretty hard to come by. That’s because Miles & More isn’t transfer partners with any of the major transferable points currencies in the U.S., outside of Marriott (though transfers are currently not processing correctly).

Earn Miles & More Miles Through Marriott

In general I tend to think their partner award rates aren’t that great. The one real advantage of the Miles & More program is that members can book Lufthansa first class awards more than 15 days in advance (while members of partner programs can book these seats at most 15 days out).

Lufthansa first class caviar service

Miles & More offers extra award availability to their own members, so can also be a worthwhile program for those looking for multiple business class seats, though the fuel surcharges are outrageous. On the plus side, if you’re traveling with an infant-in-arms, you’ll only pay the taxes and fees (including surcharges) on their ticket, unlike other programs which charge a percentage of the base fare as well.

So there are some strategic uses of Miles & More.

Anyway, Lufthansa Miles & More has just announced an award chart devaluation as of May 9, 2019. This is based on the day that you ticket your reservation rather than the day that you travel, so you can still lock in tickets at the old prices for travel on subsequent dates.

You can find the old award chart here and the new award chart here.

Here’s a comparison of just a small part of the chart (for travel originating in Europe and North America, with the old chart on top and new chart on bottom):

I’d say the most noteworthy changes are that:

  • Flights within North America (on United) are increasing in cost from 30,000 miles to 35,000 miles roundtrip in economy, and 55,000 miles to 60,000 miles roundtrip in business
  • Flights between North America and Europe are increasing in cost from 105,000 to 112,000 miles roundtrip in business class, and 170,000 miles to 182,000 miles roundtrip in first class

Bottom line

Any award chart devaluation is bad news, though at least this one is fairly mild. An increase in cost of 6,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe in first class isn’t a huge deal, in my opinion.

Frankly I’m more bothered by Lufthansa having recently hugely increased carrier imposed surcharges for travel originating in North America. For example, a roundtrip first class award ticket between the US and Europe now includes $1,500+ in carrier imposed surcharges, and that doesn’t even include taxes and fees.

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  1. Many middle eastern countries have been moved away from Europe to North Africa thereby removing their discount (only for people living in those countries) so for example a F rt from cai or tlv to North America is almost doubled. Also p.s. on ua is going up to 20k plus many other devaluation’s…was a nice niche program that thankfully most people didn’t bother with

  2. Lufthansa have a good offering but it’s not so good that they can afford only to attract people paying top end fares in whatever cabin although that seems to be their strategy. Their restriction of award seats and the outrageous level of YQ on them is legendary.

    At the same time they have cut earnings sigificantly in the M&M programme making it revenue based – another sign that if you’re not paying top end fares you are of no interest to them.

    So when they sell 20% of their seats to top end fare payers and the rest are empty because they’ve p*ssed off everyone else the problem will come home to roost and they will have to give away a lot to get people back.

  3. Doesn’t even matter anymore. Miles & More is one of the worst FFPs in Europe. The only worthwhile use of miles is for the “Mileage-bargain” business class roundtrips. That’s a decent deal. Everything else is terrible.

  4. I fly Lufthansa a lot between US MIA or JFK and Europe. Usually buy premium economy and bid upgrade to business class. Works out to about $2400 round trip in bizness which is not bad for pricing originating from US. Perhaps I should credit my Lufthansa miles to United or other Star Alliance. What do you think?

  5. @Rafa definitely credit to United. Absolute no brainer.

    Lufthansa Miles & More is pretty much a useless program. The fees Lufthansa charges for award redemptions are so high that you have good chances of flying for less money if you actually just buy a ticket.

  6. Oh Lufthansa… living in Germany you are pretty much stuck with M/M. Even got their overpriced Mastercard which only earns 0.5 miles per euro – silly me. Whenever I geht close to an award, they devalue their miles. Perhaps I should donate my miles to Unicef and move on.
    They are still a decent airline though.

  7. I’ve been a M&M Senator for years and have never seen First Class availablity in awards on Lufthansa/Swiss except super last-minute (ie within 48-hours)… transatlantic Business awards are pretty plentiful though and a good option for one-way travel (for return revenue tickets are nearly always better).

  8. Two uses for Lufthansa Miles & More. Option #1. I think the best use of Lufthansa Miles & More miles is using them on business class from the USA to Europe on SAS. In December 2018 I flew IAD-CPH on SAS using Miles & More for 52,000 plus the $5.60 9/11 fee.

    Option #2. The other use would be to book first class on Lufthansa. Even though you are charged outrageous surcharges, you can book further out than using partner miles. It’s great to use United or LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class, but these flights only become available within the 10-14 days before flight. Great if you can drop everything and go thing. You can book business in advance using United etc. I flew home MUC-IAD using 70K United miles plus the applicable taxes etc.

  9. I just got ANA FIRST FOR GOOD OLD ONE WAY 105K MILES for april between Tokyo and Fra, sadly next first class i’m planning to spend my miles on will be pricey …;\

  10. I’m not really surprised about this, as I don’t remember seeing any devaluations for a few years.
    I was saving my miles up for Business class Europe to Asia, which would have cost me 135,000 miles (I’m at around 122,100) will now cost another 7,000 miles.
    Given how little I can afford to fly these days (revenue based earning makes it hardly worth it anyway) and the annual fee on the M&M credit card (needed to prevent expiry as I don’t have status) I’m giving up on that goal. Might just cash in the miles in the world store or just give up on M&M and let them expire.

  11. Want to enroll LUFTHANSA Miles & More? FORGET IT! They keep you away with every possible (and impossible) means.
    “Your registration could not be completed at this time for technical reasons. Please try again later.” — has been the standard message, at the end of the lengthy online process, for many month. (No registration can be made on the phone or in person!)
    E-mails go unanswered, phone assitance advises you to try Firefox (“Chrome does not work for most people”).

  12. Thai have just announced a devaluation from 01/10/2019. They’ve tried to stealthilly impose it along with a small bonus for Royal Orchid Plus members. Looks like the main casualties are very long distance flights (Europe and New Zealand) and all business & first class flights beyond Zone 1 (nearby Asean), increasingly for longer distance flights. Furthermore, they’ve tried to make the comparison hard by now only showing one-way awards (with return awards double).

    I appreciate that the comparative economy-business class awards don’t reflect the price differentials. However, 2 points I’m not sure Thai has carefully thought about 2 points:
    – Airlines need to be open with their customers. It could look to some that Thai is trying to deceive their customers by burying with the ‘bonus mileage’ news.
    – Their Europe awards are now more expense that Lufthansa’s Miles & More (still 80,000 compared to new Thai rate of 85,000, up from 70,000). My suspicion that they’re trying to balance their demand for Europe awards flights. Not sure what message this sends out though.

    A previous plan to devalue miles was ‘scrapped’ in 2014. Will be interesting to see what the public response is this time.

    Further details of new mileage at:
    Previous 2014 announcement about devaluation postponement:

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