Lufthansa Confirms: Gutting Elite Status Effective 2021

A week and a half ago I wrote about leaks that Lufthansa would change how their elite status is earned in 2021. That’s now confirmed. Via You Have Been Upgraded Lufthansa has mailed out letters to some customers teasing the changes they’ll be making.

  • Points replace status miles. (Joint-venture partner United just did this and points was a euphemism for ‘money’)

  • Status lasts one year instead of two years.

  • Lufthansa Group airlines will count more towards status than partners. United did this, too, and I’d bet that flights with United count in a similar fashion because of the joint venture.

  • A lifetime elite status program will be formalized

  • Elimination of Status Stars because those benefits are ‘complicated’


Copyright: jremes / 123RF Stock Photo

Here’s the letter:

As our guest you are at the heart of our thoughts and actions. We want to make travelling 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 arte the most important new features you can expect from January 2021:

– 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.

These changes will apply to flights form 1 January 2021. You will find detailed information at www.miles-and-more.com/frequent-flyer

We look forward to travelling with you again soon.

Could Miles & More get any worse if they tried? They moved to revenue-based mileage earning a year and a half ago. They devalued their award chart this year. And they have plans to move to dynamic pricing of awards.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. @ Gary — Yeah the stars and even the upgrades are complicated. Been M&M SEN for 3 years and never used these benefits. Use the status for *A lounge access and LH/LX companion awards. We are switching back to UA crediting of our LH/LX F trips come 2020. Maybe UA will be better, but I’m not holding my breath. I guess we can use our PLAT AX credits for a United Club membership.

  2. Hopefully this ultimately leads to dollars spent as the only criteria for status. Rewards people who most benefit the airlines, not those who game the system with mileage runs and credit card tricks.

  3. “As our guest you are at the heart of our thoughts and actions.” So very true but not in the customer-friendly way LH wants you to believe. LH like almost all airlines is a publicly held, for-profit corporation. Therefore, under American law at least, and economic theory, it is obligated to soak its customers for as much of their money as possible while providing as little as possible while maximizing profit and shareholder return. For major airlines frequent-flyer programs seem to be less important than they once were in contributing to overall financial performance. Now FF benefits are viewed as giveaways airlines are eager to rein in.

  4. As troubling as this series of measures to destroy value are, it’s even more disturbing that Lufthansa chooses to use blatant lies to describe the changes. They should explain that they want to make more money while offering customers less. It’d be unpleasant but honest.

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