Bits: Lufthansa devalues the Miles & More reward chart, Finnair adds a 2nd long haul plane from Heathrow

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News in brief:

Lufthansa devalues the Miles & More reward chart

Lufthansa is devaluing Miles & More on 9th May.  Members have not been emailed yet but there is an announcement on the M&M home page.

You can see the new reward chart here (PDF).  For comparison, the existing one is here (PDF).  The changes apply to flights on Lufthansa Group airlines and partner airlines.

The changes are fairly modest if I’m honest.  Here are a few examples:

UK to USA, Business – was 105,000 miles return, will be 112,000

UK to USA, First – was 170,000 miles return, will be 182,000

UK to SE Asia, Business – was 135,000 miles return, will be 142,000

UK to SE Asia, First – was 210,000 miles return, will be 222,000

UK to Middle East, Business – was 70,000 miles return, will be 70,000 miles return

UK to Middle East, First – was 125,000 miles return, will be 130,000 miles return

A “Round the World” flight award will increase by 10,000 miles in Business and 20,000 miles in First.  The “three region” flight award will increase by 10,000 miles in Business and 20,000 miles in First.

Whilst this changes are relatively low, this moves comes on top of a shift to revenue-based earning at Miles & More last year.  This means that most members have also been receiving fewer miles when they fly and have therefore taken a double hit.

For me – who never flies Star Alliance for cash and picks up miles via Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest transfers (60,000 points = 25,000 miles) and from the new Miles & More Mastercard (a very good 1.25 miles per £1), the impact is modest.

Given that our most common redemption is UK to Middle East, 70,000 miles return is still laughably better than 100,000 Avios off-peak / 120,000 Avios peak.  I also love doing the occasional one-way Lufthansa First Class redemption – it is the classiest F product in the air – and this will only add a few thousand miles to those trips.

If you are comparing the figures above with over schemes, remember that children under 12 get a 25% discount on redemptions as long as you book with Adria Airways, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair or SWISS.

Lufthansa Miles and More devaluation

Finnair adds a 2nd daily long haul aircraft to Heathrow – Helsinki

From the start of the Summer timetable at the end of March, Finnair is adding a 2nd daily long haul aircraft to the Heathrow – Helsinki route.

The 10.20 and 18.10 departures from Heathrow are now scheduled with A350 and A330 aircraft respectively, which means a flat bed in Business Class.  Coming back, you want the 08.00 (A350) and 16.00 (A330) from Helsinki.

These flights are bookable with Avios, which makes for a fun short break if you book into Business.  I reviewed the Finnair A350 in Business Class on a Heathrow to Helsinki flight here.

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Comments

  1. Sort of Finnair related, Aer Lingus has applied for permission to join the transatlantic cartel, er, joint revenue sharing partnership.

    BAEC tier points on EI as well as Avios, then?

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/aer-lingus-applies-to-join-iag-american-airlines-joint-venture-1.3770986?mode=amp

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Think they would need to rejoin oneworld. I’m sure that will happen at some point

      • BA can award tier points in BAEC to whoever they want. If EI joined oneworld that would mean all OW airlines would have to.

  2. Seems like AY thinks leaving the EU is going to lead to more LHR-HEL traffic then?

    Well at least, no longer need to decide between the A320 or paying for another hotel night in order to take the A350

    • I would expect the decision was driven by cargo, not pax.

      • BA are dropping their afternoon/ evening flight at the same time so they will only have a morning rotation to HEL now; this will be a way of keeping capacity without using an extra slot pair.

        • Thanks, useful to know, so it seems it’s pax driven after all.

        • Lady London says:

          Is that kind of cooperation legal? Basically this would make it sound like British Airways and Finnair have agreed not to compete?

        • lady london – look up “joint business agreement” with regards to finnair, JAL and BA. they not only agree not to compete but pool ticket revenues and share them between the three airlines.

  3. Concerto says:

    As for Lufthansa Group, it is now a monopoly in much of Europe and it has been downhill all the way since Air Berlin has died. I’m glad the changes are not big, but I reckon it’s going to be incremental, eroded away bit by bit. As I wrote elsewhere, devalue it just a bit more and they might as well just close the programme.

    • Pangolin says:

      Sadly this is true – the LH Death Star has swallowed up most of the competition in Central Europe and around. Even Ryanair got crushed when they tried to take on Lufty in its home market. Ryanair had eaten the lunch of other domestic full service carriers, like Alitalia, but Lufthansa used their enormous economic and political clout to swat them away like a fly (I remember seeing O’Leary losing his rag and going into a massive rant about how they’d been unable to get slots at various German airports).

      • Lady London says:

        Dirty tricks from Lufthansa getting local German authorities and airports to mysteriously be unable to find slots for Ryanair? Surely not.

        Ryanair would be the best thing to happen to Lufthansa and its customers.

  4. James Ryan says:

    Lufthansa F classiest in the sky? I’m surprised at that.. I’ve only done BA F but from what you see from Etihad, Singapore Airlines etc I wouldn’t expect you to say Lufthansa beats those products.

    • It’s a very classy product. Importantly, their service is consistently very good.

    • Bad seat, very classy service, caviar etc.

    • It’s all in the service. I’m trading in a MTP hotel cerificate to get another shot at LH F. The only decent breakfast I have ever had on a plane was on LH F.

  5. Is there a way to conveniently check what aircraft is flying a given route 6-12 months out? Some arcane Matrix magic perhaps?

    • Should show in the booking system, try an Expedia dummy booking or airline site. Often hidden, eg Finnair makes you click the flight number during booking.

      • Right, but that requires putting in the dates the dates. I’d rather love to get something like “all the dates a 787 is operating on this route in the next year” in a nice overview or table. If it doesn’t exist, maybe I’ll take a look at the available APIs myself…

    • Roberto says:

      Dummy booking will show it…

  6. Pangolin says:

    I’d been expecting far worse in terms of the M&M devaluation, so this is almost a relief, especially if you compare it some horrorshow devaluations from 2018, like Qatar.

    The switch to a revenue-based system is a much bigger deal. The problem with Lufthansa is not devaluation of awards but of earnings. Under the new system, award mile earnings are often 50-75% lower than status miles (which are unchanged). The only people better off are business travellers getting last-minute overpriced flights in premium cabins – i.e. the kind of people who are indifferent to changes in incentive schemes that might cause someone to switch to a different airline.

    • Lady London says:

      And that’s exactly the kind of customers Lufthansa has decided to keep @Pangolin ! S** the test of us

  7. Lady London says:

    Is that kind of cooperation legal? Basically this would make it sound like British Airways and Finnair have agreed not to compete?

    • Lady London says:

      *refers to Finnair adding another flight to Helsinki daily at the same time as British Airways decides to run one less? Not coincidental perhaps and could look like those two airlines are working together to manage capacity on the route thus limiting competition?

      WordPress keeps deciding to put replies standalone
      …when they are replies

    • They’re one alliance so effectively acting in concert. All of the flights on the route are BA-AY codeshares anyway, so it doesn’t matter much who’s operating them. I’m flying this route next week on a Finnair flight, but I think it’s going to be BA metal.

    • BA and Qatar don’t compete on Doha and beyond. BA and JAL do not compete on Japan. BA, Iberia, Finnair, Iberia and soon Aer Lingus don’t compete on North America. Nice work if you can get it.

      You can download the Aer Lingus submission to join the BA/IB/Finnair JV. Apparently customers have benefited magnificently from the three airlines price fixing for the last 10 years and will benefit some more if Aer Lingus can start doing it too.

      • Finnair are using a wide body on HEL-LHR because the timing of HEL-HKG means the plane would otherwise sit empty all day in Helsinki, so better to use it for a short haul route in europe during daytime. LHR is chosen partly due to cargo demand. The second long haul plane to LHR is due to HEL-HKG going twice daily (BA dropping to 1x daily probably helped them decide to allocate it to HEL-LHR).
        It will be interesting to see what happens to premium economy on these planes when used HEL-LHR since they will for sure not sell premium economy tickets HEL-LHR. Status card holders and paid upgrades from Y probably.

        • I thought the PE on these aircraft were just regular economy seats with extra pitch and sold as economy at a higher price to reflect that. No PE in the sense of BA, AF or SQ for example.

        • finnair do not have premium economy at the moment. I was talking about the premium economy these planes will have once finnair introduce premium economy.. The “regular economy seats with extra pitch” are called economy comfort and that is not the same thing as premium economy.

  8. OT does anyone know where I can change the frequent flyer membership on an Swiss Air booking. The site isnt the most user friendly…..

    • Lost+confused says:

      From memory it’s easy (and obvious) enough to do during online check in.

      • I just did it for my trip to Davos (flights from LHR to ZRH and back). Wasn’t straightforward. My rule of thumb Star All FF programme is A3. But – class L didn’t qualify for points, so had to use SK number for that AT CHECKIN (not possible via Manage my booking). But BEWARE! the last used FF becomes your default option, so for return flight I had to MANUALLY change to A3 again (different booking class, so good for miles). And it gave me Priority status (I assume because I’m Silver with A3). Ugh… this FF world is tough!

    • Also, it’s not been called “Swiss Air” since 2002 or so. It’s just SWISS #Pforpedantic

  9. Mariusz says:

    OT: Is anyone else still waiting for the 10k Virgin miles for taking out the Virgin Money life insurance product back in June?

  10. My Hilton account has caught up with the posted points this evening.

  11. Lufthansa currently has some good J class LH (and whY on LH group) reward mileage reductions for travel 01/05-15/06.

    http://www.meilenschnaeppchen.de/index.php?lang=en

    For example LH in J, book by 31/01:

    55000 Chicago, Toronto, Washington, Vancouver, Montreal,

    40000 Dubai, Marrakech, Addis Ababa, Baku

  12. It looks like the A330 is only rostered Sunday through to Friday on the HEL-LHR-HEL afternoon flight. On a Saturday it’s operated using an A319.

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