The Lufthansa to Germanwings migration gathers pace

Back in November, I outlined how Lufthansa is moving all of its non-Frankfurt and non-Munich short-haul services to its low-cost subsidiary Germanwings.

London-Hamburg, London-Berlin etc will all move from Lufthansa to Germanwings. 52 aircraft are being transferred from Lufthansa as part of the move.

Lufthansa Germanwings

From 1st July, Germanwings will be offering three classes of fare:

BEST – free snacks and drinks, free baggage, empty middle seat, extra legroom, lounge access, fast track security, priority boarding, flexible ticket, earns Miles & More miles

SMART – free snacks and drinks, free baggage (less than BEST), extra legroom, earns Miles & More miles

BASIC – nothing but your seat (no free food, no free baggage, no lounge, no extra legroom), earns Miles & More miles

There has also been a major shift in how elite members are treated.

Firstly, as Germanwings is not in Star Alliance, you get no benefits at all with a Star Alliance Gold or Silver card.

Miles & More Senator (Gold) members will get lounge access – but, oddly, only when travelling on a route where BEST fare are available! Some routes will not sell this ticket class, so no lounge access!

Frequent Traveller (Silver) cardholders will not get lounge access – they will have to pay. No-one gets priority check-in, priority boarding or a higher baggage allowance unless they pay for a BEST ticket.

The latest update

Lufthansa has recently announced a softening of the restrictions on elite benefits after substantial criticism. Frequent Traveller (Silver) members of Miles & More will now receive priority check-in, although no additional baggage allowance (except for ski equipment).

Lounge access will also be given to Frequent Traveller members on SMART fares, although they are still not allowed in for free if travelling on a BASIC fare. You are also not allowed to use shared Star Alliance lounges, so you are stuffed if flying from Heathrow on Germanwings.

Senator members will now receive priority boarding and lounge access on the cheapest BASIC fares, which has also changed from the original plans. No additional baggage allowance, though.

(There are NO elite benefits for Star Alliance status card holders apart from Miles & More cardholders!)

It also appears that BASIC fares will now earn some Miles & More miles.

The timetable for integration also appears to have slipped, with 2014 now being seen as the completion date for the project. The latest timetable for the integration is this:

Germanwings route changes

You can find out more about the transition on the Lufthansa website here.

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Comments

  1. Lady London says:

    Given Lufthansa’s domination of the European shorthaul market overall, this is really bad news for those seeking to accrue Star Alliance miles in Europe. Does anyone remember when so many of us were trying to use our remaining Diamond Club miles after LH sold BD and took access to LH award seats away immediately? That was when I noticed how important it is to have access to LH for intra-European connections. If it’s all going to Germanwings then how few airlines and routes can you still get Star Alliance miles on within Europe? I’m struggling… any ideas?

    • You will now earn miles on all Germanwings routes, it seems. This is a change to the original plan. However, how many is unclear – it may just be, for example, 25% of miles flown on the cheapest fares.

      • signol says:

        I recently earned 125 miles on a CGN-STN one way Basic fare.

        • Sounds about right, unfortunately. Only another 1,359 of those flights and you’ll be able to go First Class to New York, return.

  2. Lady London says:

    wow. 125 miles on the cheapest fares. Sounds like back to the bad old days with BA. I’ll pass, thanks.

    • Yes, the good old days when your earned more miles on the credit card spend to buy the ticket than you got from flying it!

      • Indeed at this rate they’ll be giving AF/KL a run for their money on rubbish earnings!

        Thankfully they still fly to Frankfurt from Edinburgh, so that’s on LH – however for any other routes I’d just view them the same as any other LCC and there’s little reason I’d choose them over and above someone like EasyJet. Glad I’m not still looking to make lots of *A redemptions as this has gutted things for Europe.

  3. So this would mean A3 cardholders won’t get any miles (as it’s not Star Alliance) so when the change takes place there would be no incentive for me to consider them on the LHR-BER route over BA.

    A lot of BD*G’s matched with A3 or TK as LH seemingly didn’t want them (perhaps it was part of the agreement with BA). Switching all the non-core routes to a non *A subsidiary to deprive Star Alliance status holders benefits isn’t a good business decision in my mind.

    Also as the lounge in LHR is Star Alliance, not Lufthansa, that could mean even M&M Senators won’t have lounge access. After the sale of bmi they already meant LH*S (FTL) couldn’t access any lounge at LHR (they used to use the bmi lounge).

    • I agree, it seems unlikely you’d get access to the LHR lounge. LHR – Stuttgart went to Germanwings separately about 18 months ago and I don’t think SEN’s have had lounge access.