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Thread: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

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  1. #1
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    Sep 2012
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    Default WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    I joined the Lufthansa "Miles & More" mileage program and not long afterward took a roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to London on Air New Zealand (A partner airline in the program.) only to discover upon my return that Lufthansa's Miles and More program....'DOES NOT GIVE MILEAGE CREDIT FOR several ticket classes.
    Mine was a K Class ticket (Economy). So if your not paying a certain class fair, you get no mileage credit at all for flights traveled. None!
    This was not mentioned in their Miles and More "advertising" although there was mention of this in the fine print of their "Terms and Conditions." without specific details as to the affected classes. Looking over the mileage requirements to buy anything with your miles, the few bits of garbage on offer, and the absurd number of miles required for everything. I thought I would warn anyone considering joining the Miles and More program. Oh! Any accumulated mileage is only good for 1 year.Mileage programs have really become increasingly less worth joining unless you in fact are truly a frequent flyer. Otherwise, the imposed restrictions and rules really make them no more than a “Come On” to get passengers.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    Hi Imasumak,

    I did some investigating and have found that unfortunately, Lufthansa grants miles for K class tickets on every partner airline EXCEPT Air New Zealand, Avianca, & Jet Airways do not grant miles for K class tickets out of 37 partner airlines. I'm not sure why you chose Air New Zealand - though I love the airline - perhaps it was a great fare or you love them too, I get that! Otherwise, among the partner airlines I saw that could do L.A. to London would be American, United for sure, but again, perhaps their flight choices weren't great or neither were the fares. But that's one of the keys when flying partner airlines.....try and book with an airline that does give you miles for the flights. In general, these airline alliances work well with transferring mileage but there are always a few exceptions.

    Another fact I found on the Lufthansa Miles & More program is that miles do not expire before 36 months/3 years from the date you flew and earned the miles. Indeed miles programs have changed, but there's still a chance here to earn and use miles over a 3 year period. This travelers some time to build up miles. Award levels have gone up slightly, i.e. required number of miles to get a free round trip ticket....domestic flight used to be 30,000 miles, upgrades for maybe 10,000 one way. Sometimes, there were "specials" on mileage redemptions (they'd offer a few destination or some other offer) but now that may only happen for high mileage travelers; I noticed Lufthansa had "Gold" and "Silver" levels, it read like it might be possible to get Silver by applying for their Miles & More credit card. Airlines have always had "status" rewards for high mileage travelers; generally after exceeding 100,000 miles in one year. You then get into the airline's luxury lounge at the airport, etc, and other "privileges" which generally work best for business travelers. But even businesses have cut back on travel with the technology today for video conferencing and more. And yes, the shopping catalogues don't always have great options for low mileage levels, though depending upon the program, there are a FEW things available at reasonable levels. I recently "mile" shopped and had a hard time deciding whether to get one big thing with the miles or a few smaller things....I think it was about 39,000 miles....I got one big thing...a Flip Video camera.

    I am sorry you did not get credit for your miles, I can understand the frustration. But, it's important to know the best way to use your airline alliance in order to get where you are going AND get mileage credit. Often, it will work and in some odd situations, it won't. Plan well; if possible, sometimes a few extra bucks on a fare with an airline that WILL grant you miles might be worth it.

    I hope your next trip goes better and <b>remember, if you keep your Miles & More account, miles are good for 3 years from date of the first trip you take in the program.</b> Good luck!
    Colleen Costello
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    McLean, Virginia
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    I have never gotten a free ticket from any airline mileage program although it is not for lack of trying. I fly the cheapest airline that can do my itinerary and you don't always get miles. When that happens, because I saved miles upfront, I view it as getting my miles up front.

    I belong to American and United and have their credit cards. My next itinerary is American-Qantas to Sydney. I will get miles on American for that.

    And so it goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    You know what, I didn't get any miles for my Air New Zealand flights last year either (except for one short in-country one that was some piddly number of miles). I was trying to get US Airways miles for it. I think it must be an Air NZ thing. Wonderful airline to fly, but I was super-disappointed not to get those miles.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  5. #5
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    At the time I flew Air New Zealand Down Under, I did get the miles. It's very disappointing to know two of you did NOT get them as these are the some of the farthest flights many of us will take and make a nice addition to FF mile accounts. I wonder if the issue is with ANZ or the Domestic Airlines partnered with ANZ, though imasumak was trying to get miles on Lufthansa and soliteyah on United Airways.....one foreign and one domestic airline.

    This is HIGHLY suspect and in an era where the programs seem to have changed so much (not in the traveler's best interests) that no miles are granted on flights that to California from NZ or Oz to destination totals 15,000+ round trip. I was curious and did a lookup to see if something similar was happening with Qantas, member of the Oneworld programme and an American Airlines partner. It appears a "K" class ticket would qualify for miles in the AA frequent flyer program BUT there are a few areas that read a bit vague to me and I'm quite used to dealing with these programs. Overall, it looks good. I thought that the "distance" might be an issue on Qantas flights down under with partner airlines as it seems to be with ANZ but it doesn't seem so.

    It seems like for what we most agree about an airline we all find so pleasant to fly on, things are pretty BAD with regard to getting credit for miles flown on Air New Zealand into many partner airlines miles programs. I'm wondering if the hang up here is related to being a member of Air New Zealand's program as well as your "home" based FF program because not much else makes sense.

    What did US Airways and Lufthansa say about not granting miles for an ANZ trip? Did either of you contact Air New Zealand? This just sounds SO wrong. Everyone here are pretty savvy travelers, I know....I'm sure calls were made. Was any "decent" reason ever supplied about not getting credit? Is the villain Air New Zealand?

    A miles mystery I'd love to figure out.
    Colleen Costello
    Message Board Moderator

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  6. #6
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    Hi Imasumak,

    If you already belong to United's Mileage Plus, you may try to have those miles registered with them (I think).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    Colleen, I did an electronic appeal to US Airways and they did seem to blame Air New Zealand. As I recall, ANZ has a frequent flier program you have to pay to be a part of, which is why I didn't bother joining it. I'm guessing that we were on the cheapest possible economy-class ticket, and perhaps our fare class was excluded from miles on a partner airline. Or maybe I would have had to pay to join the ANZ program. Either way, I was out of luck!
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  8. #8
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    Hi soliteyah,

    I'm quite sure all of us are traveling on the most affordable ticket we can get.....the fact that there are so many booking classes is mind boggling, but then if most of us stood up on the plane and actually revealed what we paid for our seats, the variance would probably cause us all to faint and hence, possible sleep for the first time ever on a plane! Though passing out from shock isn't exactly sleeping.....that said, it is what it is and it kind of stinks. No more so than not getting miles for taking one of the longest flights of our lives, especially when air travel has become....well what it has become. ICKY. Wish I could be more eloquent.

    What mystifies me is this: why would anyone PAY to join a mileage program and why would any airline join an airline "alliance" if they are not going to grant miles to members of partner airlines? Is "K" class the lowest fare on an airplane? I doubt it. Yet there is no way to find out on any airline website what the fare class designations indicate or for that matter, why there are so many when effectively, there are only 3 classes of travel (in general) Coach, Business and First. Sure there have been new "classes" created, mostly for marketing purposes to business travelers. It's likely that with each new aircraft order, the airline configuration is varied to include these new "classes" so that could add maybe 3 more fare classes. A reward ticket or upgrade likely has a class, refundable, non-refundable (but then, most seats on a plane are coach and most of searching for the best fares get non-refundable tickets - one large fare category!!) so aside from Million milers, of which there are very few (I met a six million miler - kinda weird when he boarded and got hugs/handshakes from pilots and ALL crew but we had an interesting discussion and no, I never asked how but wow did I want to!) I don't know who else there is. Any airline staff commuting or dead-heading get standby only (sometimes only a jump seat) so I doubt that's a class.

    So.......Air New Zealand; why bother? In going through upwards of 50 airline sites to check for rewards/fare categories;classes I've seen about 5 that seem to be like ANZ, none of which I can remember because they are not majors, but international regionals. What exists is quite an anomaly and flies (pardon the pun) in the face of what any/all airlines are doing to try to get people to fly with them - give them something because most every other thing, including dignity with the security drama of travel, has been taken away from travelers who by and large, are mostly "average" ordinary people!! I don't like anomalies and I don't like inconsistencies/irregularities in commerce.

    I'm inclined to think you've contacted Air New Zealand but how high did you go? I had a professor in business school who impressed upon us the importance of ensuring that as a consumer, your rights are protected and that above all, a company should be eager and willing to make their customers happy. When they are unwilling to do so directly, she told us to first, write directly to the TOP - one might not think one's letter will get there, but it will.....Executive Assistants have more power and influence with their bosses than most company staff or consumers could ever know. Next, every State has an Attorney General's Office and within, an office devoted to Consumer Affairs. File complaints with Attorney General's and cc the Company President, CEO, Chairman all or one. It may seem like a Davy & Goliath thing, but in this lesson we learned, large companies were forced to make things right and then some. It likely won't solve every problem, but it does solve many. I'm not talking about a lawsuit; just filling out a complaint form and writing a few letters - these matters warrant Certified Snail Mail, Return Receipt Requested. Just state the facts. My Aunt was doing it before I ever got to college. Now I do it.

    US Airways response sounds like it was kind of rubber stamped with a proverbial "shrug of their shoulders" (we guess it's ANZ) but what does that say to the US Airways customer? Their answer was not to answer. Air New Zealand may not be an American company but they are doing business in America and partnered with American companies. This may sound like it takes time, but it's really not. All ANZ did was fly to from USA/NZ.....that's NOT all there is.

    I really, really, really want you to get these miles and something to change. One more thing: I bet there are A LOT of folks that have flown ANZ since they have become stingy with miles..........there is power in you and power in numbers. Maybe there is still a chance!! If there is, go for it.
    Colleen Costello
    Message Board Moderator

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: WARNING! Re: Lufthansa Miles & More mileage program.

    I have no idea why you'd pay to join a FF program! I certainly wouldn't. Maybe if I lived in NZ and traveled all the time I would, but for the once- or twice-in-a-lifetime trip, no way.

    I'm sorry to say I never did call Air NZ -- if I'd made a big enough stink perhaps I could've gotten somewhere, but I'm awfully lazy about that sort of thing. (Anything that requires me to sit on hold for customer service is something I'll put off for weeks or months.) I'd imagine it was too long ago now to get credit for the miles. Ah, well. I'm pretty philosophical about it. It was a great trip and a great flight, and I'll do better next time.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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