An interesting tweet turned up today from Brussels Airlines during the latest Lufthansa earnings call:
Let’s take a step back and look at the reasons for this… and they lay at the steps of Brussels Airlines part-owner, Lufthansa – and it’s Miles and More “Loyalty” programme (Brussels Airlines is 45% owned by Lufthansa Group).
Miles and More for the low-price frequent flyer is (bluntly) nothing short of a disaster. How so?
The last devaluation took a major axe to what was pittance earnings, on all routes – including German Domestic, Intra-European and WorldWide. See below at the cuts in Europe alone:
(Data: Lufthansa, Miles and More – Interpretation GhettoIFE – 20th September 2014).
So on Intra-European tickets, earning is tough before you begin (although Miles and More does offer a 30 segments to FTL Status, but no hand up to Senator and beyond). Then there’s the matter of redeeming small matter of redeeming. And good luck with that too – 30k M&M miles for a return economy anyone (or 45k if you want business.. plus tax!)
Not what I’d call “value orientated” or tilted towards the European Flyer.
So lets idly speculate. What could a programme like this be? Well, there is a an example already, and it’s at fellow Lufthansa’s company Germanwings who offer the Boomerang Club (which sounds like a Qantas special, but still…)
Their offer includes:
- 10 miles for every € 1 spent on a Germanwings flight
- Reward flight for only 10,000 miles
- VIP security at selected airport
Ok, not as extensive as FTL or SEN which throw in lounges… but for a point to point traveller, this isn’t too bad.
On a sample €39.99 Basic one-way fare , that’s 400 miles (or 390 if Germanwings are tight). That’s a FAR better reward than the measly 125 Miles and More Miles you’d get. The Smart fare starts at €57.99 – and again, rewards BETTER than the Miles and more programme (580 miles vs… 250 or 125). Best starts at €169 and does qualify for full miles and more miles (1000/2000 miles per flight), and maybe best credited in that programme.
Lets make some more assumptions, based on a Basic and Smart Fare:
Basic: 10,000 ÷ 400 = 25 flights for a free flight Smart: 10,000 ÷ 580 = 17 flights for a free flight Now, compare with Miles and More based on low and a mid fare Basic: 15,000 ÷ 125 = 120 Flights for a free flight Smart: 15,000 ÷ 500 = 30 Flights for a free flight
That’s… not what I’d call nice.
Whilst I suspect the miles inside the “European Point-to-Point” programme will be ring-fenced (so you can’t transfer them to Miles and More miles – like Boomerang Club), for those who fly solely on European routes only on a point-to-point basis, this could be one hell of a good thing – as there’s GOT to a better option than what exist for Miles and More – which rewards those customers with lined long haul pockets in premium cabins.
The programme will launch this year according to Brussels Airlines:
For Intra-European flyers, could be an interesting one to look out for if your travels take you to or through Brussels regularly…