Lufthansa Miles & More Changes Coming 2024

Lufthansa Miles & More Changes Coming 2024

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In November 2019, Lufthansa announced major changes to its Miles & More frequent flyer program. The changes were initially supposed to kick in as of 2021, though logically enough they were postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.

We now have an update on this — Lufthansa intends to implement Miles & More program changes as of January 1, 2024, and it’s expected that this will be communicated to members as of December 2022. While there’s not yet a public update about the changes, I wanted to recap what was communicated to members back in late 2019, as I imagine the plan is still similar.

All of this is in addition to Lufthansa Miles & More going revenue based in 2018, and also devaluing its award chart in 2019.

Lufthansa’s letter to Miles & More members

To start, let me share the letter that Lufthansa sent to Miles & More members in November 2019, describing the changes:

As our guest you are at the heart of our thoughts and actions. We want to make traveling as personal, simple and pleasant as possible for you, so every one of your journeys becomes a positive experience. That is our aspiration for our new, modern premium concept.

Our status programme only met this requirement to a limited extent in recent years. Your wishes for simplification also reached us more and more frequently. We have therefore set out to revise our frequent flyer programme for you. In future, you will not have to spend a lot of time figuring out rules or asking yourself how to achieve your status. You will be able to concentrate solely on what is important to you and enjoy your journey.

Today, we would like to take this opportunity to share the initial details about our frequent flyer programme with you. Here are the most important new features you can expect:

* How to achieve status will become more transparent – a comprehensible points system will replace the status miles.
* Your trust in us will pay off – status will primarily be achieved through flights with our airlines.
* Loyalty will be rewarded – there will be lifetime Frequent Traveller and Senator status for loyalty over many years.
* The period of validity will be changed – your status will be active for at least one year in future.
* The structure will become clearer – we will say goodbye to complicated elements such as Status Stars.

We look forward to traveling with you again soon.

There is some ridiculous spin in this letter — “you will not have to spend a lot of time figuring out rules or asking yourself how to achieve status,” but rather “you will be able to concentrate solely on what is important to you and enjoy your journey.”

Major changes are coming to Lufthansa Miles & More

The new Lufthansa Miles & More program

As you can probably tell, the above doesn’t actually tell us much about what is changing. Fortunately Lufthansa has published all of the details of the new program. Lufthansa’s head of marketing has made two promises about the new program:

  • It will be a lot easier for everyone
  • Anyone flying with Lufthansa Group’s airlines will be rewarded more

Those sure are some promises…

Lufthansa will award status points rather than miles

As of January 1, 2024, you’ll no longer earn status based on a multiplier of the distance flown, but rather you’ll earn status based on earning a certain number of points. Note that this doesn’t change how you earn award miles, but rather this only impacts earning status.

The points earned will vary based on the cabin you’re flying, and whether you’re flying a continental or intercontinental flight:

  • In economy you’ll earn 5 points for continental and 15 points for intercontinental
  • In premium economy you’ll earn 5 points for continental and 20 points for intercontinental
  • In business class you’ll earn 10 points continental and 50 points for intercontinental
  • In first class you’ll earn 10 points for continental and 70 points for intercontinental

It’s quite surprising that the most discounted fare in a cabin will earn the same number of points as the most expensive fare. This presents some interesting potential mileage run opportunities.

Lufthansa will start awarding status points rather than miles

Continental vs. intercontinental flights

The definition of continental and intercontinental is as straightforward as you’d expect:

  • A continental flight is a segment for which the arrival and departure airport are on the same continent
  • An intercontinental flight is a segment for which the arrival and departure airport are on different continents
Status will be awarded based on continental vs. intercontinental flights

Points vs. qualifying points

Under the new program, Miles & More will have both “points” and “qualifying points.”

If you’re flying one of the following airlines you’ll earn “qualifying points” (these are either Lufthansa Group airlines, or airlines that use Miles & More as their frequent flyer program):

  • Austrian Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Croatia Airlines
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Luxair

Meanwhile travel on other airlines will just accrue points (and not “qualifying points”). While “regular” points can still count toward status, you need to earn a minimum number of qualifying points to earn status.

See, the program is so easy? 😉

Only travel on certain airlines will earn qualifying points

New Miles & More status requirements

With the new program:

  • Frequent Traveler status will require 160 points, and half of those need to be qualifying points
  • Senator status will require 480 points, and half of those need to be qualifying points
  • HON Circle status will require 1,500 points, all of which need to be qualifying points

One positive change is that historically you couldn’t earn HON Circle status based on travel in economy on Lufthansa. That won’t be the case going forward anymore, as economy travel will qualify.

Status will only be valid for a year

Historically Lufthansa status has been valid for two years, though with the new program it will only be valid for one year. I’d say that’s a pretty big devaluation.

Lufthansa Miles & More status will be valid for one year

Lufthansa introducing lifetime status

Lufthansa will be introducing lifetime status for the first time:

  • Lifetime Frequent Traveler status can be achieved with 7,500 qualifying points
  • Lifetime Senator status can be achieved with 10,000 qualifying points plus 10 years of Senator or HON Circle status

In both cases, only qualifying points will count toward lifetime status, so travel on most Star Alliance airlines wouldn’t qualify. If you’ve been loyal to Miles & More up until now, you can earn lifetime status based on your past activity.

Bottom line

Major changes were announced to the Lufthansa Miles & More program back in November 2019. Due to the pandemic they’ve been postponed indefinitely, but there’s now an update. The changes will finally kick in as of January 1, 2024, and it’s expected that this will be communicated to members as of December 2022.

Some people may be surprised to hear this, but I don’t actually think the new program is necessarily negative. Every program has pros and cons, and this of course represents a significant change.

I’d say it’s very bad news that status is now only valid for a year, while the good news is that lifetime status is being introduced. Other than that, I’d say the changes aren’t necessarily bad. Of course everyone has different travel patterns and preferences.

What I’m surprised by with the new program is how good it is for those looking to get good value, rather than just those flying full fare tickets:

  • The distinction between continental and intercontinental flights leaves a lot of opportunities
  • The most discounted fare in a cabin counts the same toward status as the most expensive fare in a cabin
  • It’s nice that travel in economy will count toward HON Circle status

What do you make of these Lufthansa Miles & More changes?

Conversations (33)
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  1. simon Billett Guest

    Devalue flying with Lufthansa even more, the 2 year status was a big benefit - but now add this to the appalling customer service now, and having to constantly make mileage requests because because 50% of the time your account is not automatically credited. Unless they fix their customer service ( currently sitting on 8 complaints for lost luggage, delays, cancellations for 4 months and more) - the membership will continue to drop as regular...

    Devalue flying with Lufthansa even more, the 2 year status was a big benefit - but now add this to the appalling customer service now, and having to constantly make mileage requests because because 50% of the time your account is not automatically credited. Unless they fix their customer service ( currently sitting on 8 complaints for lost luggage, delays, cancellations for 4 months and more) - the membership will continue to drop as regular travelers seek to move to the Air France and flying blue and to airlines you can trust, airlines who put the customer at the heart of what they do.

  2. Marco Guest

    Another big devaluation (1y vs 2y) and again rules that needs so many explanations that will make things more complicated than before ( does Athenes to Tel Aviv counts as intercontinental?; what if I buy a ticket under UA code but its operated by LH: do I get points or qualifying points ?).
    Not to mention the skyhigh thresholds which make Senator for life extremely hard ( imoossible even to use spare qualifying points...

    Another big devaluation (1y vs 2y) and again rules that needs so many explanations that will make things more complicated than before ( does Athenes to Tel Aviv counts as intercontinental?; what if I buy a ticket under UA code but its operated by LH: do I get points or qualifying points ?).
    Not to mention the skyhigh thresholds which make Senator for life extremely hard ( imoossible even to use spare qualifying points from previous years). The program is testing its elasticity too much.. I am rather keep going with flyingblue which seems more achievable and straightforward.

  3. Piotr Guest

    Really surprised at all the hate here. I prefer this new program much much more - gives a chance to those who pay for their own flights and not only corporate travellers a chance to get Senator each year, finding great P deals will be truthfully rewarding.

  4. Smouch Guest

    Nobody with a functional brain cares.
    This program has been a joke for decades.
    The only reason to be a Miles and more member is the insurance, not the upgrades.

  5. Muthukumar Srihari Guest

    There is no way to register for Miles & More program, Error appears and i had tried more than 50 times and even written to them with no reply. Highly deplorable.

  6. Jazz_ocean Guest

    I wonder what happens to the Miles accumulated up to now - I have been saving them for years

  7. BobBHX Guest

    LH already has lifetime status. I have been lifetime Senator for a few years now.

  8. TravelinWilly Diamond

    So it’s Flying Blue but more complicated.

  9. tom Guest

    .....so is IST-ANK an intercontinental flight ?

    1. Peter Guest

      No. IST-CAI-TLV are 2 intercontinental flights though...

    2. Roozbeh Guest

      If u are willing to fly IST-FRA-ANK on LH then Sure . A 45 minutes flight of 100$ (on TK ) will cost you 12 hours (with layover) and quadruple price ! Do the math and enjoy the points !

  10. ted poco Guest

    Maybe they will fix their website to allow entering a frequent flyer partner number to an existing reservation.

  11. ted poco Guest

    Maybe they will fix their website to allow entering a frequent flyer partner number to an existing reservation.

  12. Michael Guest

    So I guess the Frankfurt-Tunis route will get a surprising increase in business class demand.

    1. Jerry Guest

      I’m finding Algiers-Frankfurt-Tunis same day round-trip for $740 in March 2023, which would be 200 points…
      So basically star silver is $740 now assuming you’re based in Algiers or around $1000 if you’re based in EU and have get to Algiers to start the mileage run

  13. Alex Guest

    @te futi la cur: just shut up and get lost!

  14. Gary Hohenstein Guest

    In the last 10 years Lufthansa has become a real shitty airline. I hate to fly with them if I can avoid it.

  15. Christian Guest

    @Ben….you said “In business class you’ll earn 10 points continental and 50 points for intercontinental”…..is that one way or round trip? So is a RT Business Class trip between US-Europe 50 or 100 points?

    1. Lee Guest

      Think of tier points on BA. Every segment earns points . . . in both directions.
      Instead of ORD to IST non-stop on THY, do ORD-JFK-FRA-IST.
      I can imagine people doing tier point runs under the new system.
      But, in the end, does anyone actually want to be tied up with LH?

  16. Jones Guest

    This is VERY bad for me. Will need to fly FOUR TIMES more often than I do now (even at pre-pandemic levels) just to keep my current status. Or keep track of opportunities for mindless, cheap, circular mileage runs around the Mediterranean (through Europe, Africa and Asia) just to get inter-continental qualiflying points.

    I was hoping that the pandemic would have put paid to these changes permanently but I guess not. Time to junk M&M...

    This is VERY bad for me. Will need to fly FOUR TIMES more often than I do now (even at pre-pandemic levels) just to keep my current status. Or keep track of opportunities for mindless, cheap, circular mileage runs around the Mediterranean (through Europe, Africa and Asia) just to get inter-continental qualiflying points.

    I was hoping that the pandemic would have put paid to these changes permanently but I guess not. Time to junk M&M and LH Group, I think. Anyone with suggestions of a better *A frequent flyer programme to join?

  17. GroeneMichel Member

    These changes seem quite OK to me? It is very easy to get frequent traveler (which allows lounge access at LH group lounges) by just doing 2 US-EU return flights? In the past you needed at least 30 flights for that (or 35,000 status miles)...

  18. Bb Tt Guest

    Miles&More was already complicated and they made it even more complicated now.
    They should also fix their website to provide actually useful information.
    And who in the world thought that "points" and "qualifying points" are good choices? They are to similar and will confuse people.
    Bottom line, they want people not to get statuses, so it makes sense.

  19. Cedric Guest

    Well status will be MUCH easier to get. Basically 4 flights to europe with connecting flights and you are SEN. Only good for a year, but way easier to get.

    1. Jones Guest

      YOU may fly to Europe FOUR TIMES A YEAR, EVERY YEAR, but who else does that?

    2. Petri Diamond

      #Jones. Some of us have to do it. US to Europe 56 times in five years, plus Asia and Africa on top of that. Now I may contribute some of those upcoming trips to LH.

    3. Some Guy Working in Loyalty Guest

      "YOU may fly to Europe FOUR TIMES A YEAR, EVERY YEAR, but who else does that?"

      People who don't fly enough to earn status? Status isn't free. The whole point is to compel high spenders (such as someone flying overseas 4x annually) to do their spending on LH, instead of a competitor.

  20. John Guest

    Haha, you're good at catching the spin masters at LHG! The love to turn s*** into gold.

  21. Elijah Guest

    FlyingBlue XP tends to be very lucrative to people who live outside their hubs since that short little european hop makes an outsized contribution to the points earned on that itinerary. Mileage runs taking advantage of cheap eurobusiness fares with a connection are also great with FB. Seems like they’ll be the case now with M&M too, so I’m actually pretty happy about these changes. It actually makes M&M a competitive program for *A earning now imo

    1. Marcus Guest

      I wish they would make it easier to get award seats even if it is at a higher mileage like SQ that shows Saver and other options

  22. StarGoldUA Guest

    What’s the deal with TATL partners then?
    United is glaringly missing , quite likely due to their partnership with Emirates

    1. mdande7 Diamond

      You'll earn on United and all other Star Alliance, just not qualifying points

    2. Lee Guest

      BUT, front-of-the-bus seats from LAX to JFK or YVR to YYZ are deemed to be on "continental" flights and will earn few points. This is just like the raw deal that Flying Blue hands US and Canadian passengers. Punt.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

So it’s Flying Blue but more complicated.

2
Cedric Guest

Well status will be MUCH easier to get. Basically 4 flights to europe with connecting flights and you are SEN. Only good for a year, but way easier to get.

2
Some Guy Working in Loyalty Guest

"YOU may fly to Europe FOUR TIMES A YEAR, EVERY YEAR, but who else does that?" People who don't fly enough to earn status? Status isn't free. The whole point is to compel high spenders (such as someone flying overseas 4x annually) to do their spending on LH, instead of a competitor.

1
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