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Avoiding Expensive Redemption Fees
I’ve been an LH Senator for over 6 years now as I travel from India to America quite often but off late its getting harder to keep the Star Gold status as LH has dropped their miles per segment on business (P) quite drastically.. Star Gold from other carriers get the same benefits as LH Senators for WAY fewer miles. LH also gives its members two eVouchers for upgrade every year but that does’t work on most fare categories.
In your opinion, which Star Alliance member carrier should I switch to? Lufthansa has the best connections from my city but redeeming miles on LH is very expensive (about $1,000 in fees for a business class to America from India! in addition to the 160,000 miles!)
What’s the best way to redeem miles for journeys between Asia and America without paying the really high taxes on european carriers on Star Alliance? I end up paying over a $1,000 on taxes for Business Class ticket redemptions and want to find a way to avoid this! (my main sector is usually BLR – NYC/DFW with a transit in FRA) Thanks!
What miles are you using? That’s probably the main factor.
I’m using the regular Miles and More Award Miles.. What other miles can I use? I book it through the LH website.
UA Mileage Plus miles or Avianca LifeMiles dont charge fuel surcharges so look into that as an alternative. I believe UA also has pretty generous award rules as well.
[USER=1407]@AbJ[/USER] — Well, if you have Miles&More, that’s the issue. They levy outrageous fees on pretty much everything. So you’re not missing anything.
Other Star Alliance carriers have more moderate fees, and some don’t have fuel surcharges at all. How are you accruing miles?
AbJ – I would start by looking at the fare classes you typically fly. Then check Aeroplan, United and Singapore Airlines award charts to see which would give you the best redemption value.
[USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] probably a good fit to merge with [URL]http://asklucky.onemileatatime.com/threads/best-star-alliance-program.5120/[/URL]
Been United 1K for 4 years straight, then a friend of mine (5 years GOLD) was given a soft landing (Silver, after a few emails) and I was given nothing! This was the only complaint about UNITED. Personal opinion – go for UNITED (Star Alliance gold). If you fly a lot, consider getting SA gold by doing an around the world in business or some other mileage run. Round the world will just about get you up to Gold.
Did you also consider dumping the Star Alliance altogether and perhaps switching to One World and then fly via LHR from India to the States?
I’ also not quite sure where the $1000 per award is coming from? Is this what LH really charging in fees? If anyone could please post a photo of such fees, because I am honestly shocked but still a bit skeptical they are so high.
I’ve just quickly checked UNITED’s award for Bangalore – DFW, 1 leg, in business brings up circa $150 in charges (incl of $50 fee for non-status members, which could easily be avoided if you are UA Gold or up) on top of 80K mile-spend, which is quite reasonable.
[QUOTE=”AlexGBBAGold, post: 11950, member: 1393″]I’ also not quite sure where the $1000 per award is coming from? Is this what LH really charging in fees? If anyone could please post a photo of such fees, because I am honestly shocked but still a bit skeptical they are so high. [/QUOTE]
Alex, you’re a BA Gold, but are shocked by the LH redemption fees? Lufthansa’s are typically lower than those British Airways assesses on similar routes!
But yes, that’s the going rate for the scammy fuel surcharges on longhaul premium cabin redemptions, at least for transatlantic routes.
Tiffany, yes, I am still shocked. My game to use BA for positioning. I’d get very annoyed if i paid more than $10 for a redemption. Example: 7,5K avios and $5 will get me from MIA to DCA. As for the long haul, perhaps BJS to KUL, i’d have to pay $150. I’d broadly agree with you that it could be very expensive sometimes. Positioning in my book is the best use of miles but only if you generally physically fly a few (3+) around the worlds per year. Around-the-worlds are a completely different subject though….
I’d never dream of paying $450 (as they are quoting now), per Business leg from Bangalore to DFW on BA. But i am shocked because I am sure i will have considered doing something like this some time ago but pulled out for the obvious reason – rip-off redemption charges. Europe to Dallas is not an easy route in terms of availability anyway… But i’d prob give it a whirl flying India – Europe and then redeem BA avious (if I absolutely have to) from MAD to DFW via LHR, if i absolutely must, that is, if i was Flying as a One world enthusiast.
But as the above punter asked, If LH fees are expensive, which StarAlliance is more reasonable. The answer is UNITED and I have given the redemption cost as an example. I am sorry for the tone, but the redemption costs and de-valuations get my blood boiling over. Example. Staralliance have devalued my most fav/best value for money route from Tokyo to Rarotonga. Used to be 10K miles, now, I think 12,5. This is probably THE absolute value for money route of any existing redemptions in Any airline/alliance.
I’m shocked, shocked I tell you that a BA booster like [USER=1393]@AlexGBBAGold[/USER] is shocked about BA’s redemption fees. :eek::eek::eek: