Status renewal – or not with Miles & More

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 27 Jan 2018
at 15:11
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)

  • STORMIN’
    Participant

    I am just wondering who is being unreasonable here – me or LH Miles & More.

    I have been a Senator card holder for a reasonable period of time and ultimately ended 2017 with 95.366 tier points against the 100,000 tier point threshold required to renew. I would have reached the threshold in December 2017 had Swiss not cancelled a flight but there were other mitigating circumstances as articulated in my (third) communication with LH Miles & More, as below:

    QUOTE
    I refer to your email of 12th December 2017, the conclusion of which truly surprises me. Let me put the situation into context.

    1. I am currently:
    British Airways Gold for Life
    Air France KLM Platinum Elite Plus for Life
    American Airlines Gold for Life
    Emirates Gold
    LH Senator Gold for the past 3 or 4 years

    I generally complete over 100 flights per year and manage to retain my Status where I want / need to. LH / LX works well for me as I prefer to travel through LCY and I like the service. I have been responsible for encouraging colleagues to give LH / LX a try

    2. I fell short of the 100,000 miles threshold for 2017 by less than 5,000 miles. I had a day return flight booked to Zurich on 7th December 2017 out of LCY. There were weather issues that day but the only flight to be cancelled was the LX flight on which I was booked. I was informed that the inbound flight from Zurich which was operating the outbound flight on which I was booked, diverted to STN due to the fact that the flight crew were insufficiently experienced to operate the new type of aircraft concerned in such weather conditions. Because I was travelling to Zurich for a meeting later that morning, travelling on a later flight was not a solution and I therefore didn’t travel. This was unfortunate in itself as I lost the opportunity of securing some business, all because Swiss rostered a flight operated by an aircraft / flight crew that apparently didn’t have the competence to operate the service. Although I was booked Economy, I had arranged to upgrade to Business at LCY and was about to complete the payment process when the flight was cancelled. I had also been informed by the Swiss sales staff that there was sufficient availability on the return flight that would enable me to upgrade to Business at a cost which was economic to me. Had Swiss not cancelled the outbound flight, I would have secured enough Tier Points to have crossed the 100,000 miles threshold. I would therefore like to enquire / understand why I am being penalised for Swiss’s inability in being able to operate a service in circumstances where every other airline operating in / out of LCY on the day / time, was able to do so

    3) I was reluctant to refer to my wife’s demise but the fact of the matter is that this quite reasonably caused me to not travel for most of the first quarter of 2017 – she died on 4th February 2017. Obviously, had this not occurred, then I would have easily reached the 100,000 miles threshold, very possibly by the end of October 2017. I am truly astonished that I am not being shown some compassion here

    I am travelling LX on 7th January 2018 – LCY / ZRH / DXB in Business – I therefore fall short of the 100,000 miles threshold by 7 days

    In light of all of the above, I would therefore ask you to reconsider your current position.
    UNQUOTE

    I had initially written relying upon the cancelled flight only as I did not particularly wish to involve my wife’s circumstances into this matter, believing that the flight cancellation should have been sufficient for LH Miles & More to consider my situation favourably. However, a very robust “computer says no” came back, so I tried again but with the same response. The above represents the third attempt. Their response to this was as follows:

    QUOTE
    We regret to hear that our reply did not meet with your expectations. Your desire to prolong your Senator status is understandable and we empathise with your situation. As we wish to offer equal treatment to all of our customers, regardless of the circumstances, we cannot make any exceptions and grant you the extension of your status unless you have fulfilled the requirements for requalification. Your flights on 07 January 2018 cannot be taken into consideration for the calculation for the year 2017
    UNQUOTE

    I respect the fact that there are rules but as with all rules, there are often circumstances where favourable due consideration is given where there is justification to do so. I would have thought that my circumstances fell into that category. Needless to say, my upcoming trip this weekend will be the last with the LH group who clearly don’t value my loyalty but I am curious to have some feedback as to whether it’s thought that I am being unreasonable in expecting an override of the rules


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I think they are being utterly and appallingly unreasonable and inflexible. Your letter to them is courteous, fair, and reasonable. Technically of course they are correct, computer says no, but someone has the authority to override the computer.

    Over the years I have won three battles with Lufthansa by being persistent and dogmatic. I would take it further, copy in Star Alliance head office, LH General Management etc, and I would lay odds on you winning this one. If you win, we can buy each other a beer.

    My condolences on your bereavement too.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Hi Stormin’ – firstly my sympathies and condolences for your sad loss on February last year.. n

    I think the problem is that your mail was dealt with in the usual bog standard non personal way and personal manner.

    On the harsh side of your situation, airlines must receive hundreds (or even thousands) of requests from passengers falling short of status each year and asking for consideration. It would be hard to imagine an airlines having the capability to investigate and reply to each and every request.

    On the flip side, I read your post and you have made a very reasonable request for the reasons stated and it is a shame firms in general choose not to take requests such as your to one side and reply in more personal manner.

    I have read on these threads of passengers being surprised at being awarded status, without a request when falling short.

    Whilst many of us will have sympathy for your situation, sadly, the airlines don’t or to be fairer, don’t have the ability or resources in place to allow for personal replies..


    frustratedflyer
    Participant

    I do think LH are being unreasonable especially as their cancelled flight was a key part of the problem.

    As you are based in the UK I would contact the UK office of Lufthansa as well https://www.addressesandpostcodes.co.uk/address/yS243BtE/lufthansa-german-airlines-2-heathrow-boulevard-284-bath-road-sipson-west-drayton-ub7-0dq.html

    Alternatively as you say you could just stop flying them.


    NNoah16
    Participant

    My experience with LH/SWISS is the same.
    I was in a similar situation where I was 3000 miles short of achieving HON status and they would not bend the rules for me.

    Needless to say, I completely abandoned them after that and was dropping down the tiers every year.

    When I eventually did not achieve Senator they did offer for me to pay Euro3000 to maintain it which I declined and when I eventually dropped past Silver they did offer for me to pay Euro1500 to retain which I also declined. Now I am basic Blue 🙂

    I used to fly with them a lot in First and no plea call nor letters worked with them. Rules are rules…

    In my case, they lost a significant amount of business. Hey ho.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’m sorry to say that I don’t think LH are being unreasonable. I fully understand your frustration but the problem is always for whom should the rules be bent? While fully understanding your circumstances, and my deepest condolences to you, Miles and More, unlike many other programs allow you to achieve qualification in any one of two years, so I imagine you did not qualify in the first year after your renewal and you just missed it in the second.

    Then I don’t think your flight to ZRH from LCY would have given you 5,000 miles. I think the upgrade fare would likely only have given you 750 miles per leg (at least that’s what I got) + the executive bonus. So you would not have qualified anyway. Nor could you have been sure of getting the upgrade fare on the way back despite what they told you at LCY. If you had bought a full business fare at the outset, then yes, you would have achieved 5,000 miles. I’m sure had you booked a full fare business ticket then Swiss may have been more sympathetic to your circumstances and may have bent the rule.

    The other point is, when Swiss cancelled my flight (on two occasions this year) they rebooked me, once on BA and once on RJ and I was entitled to the miles I should have received had I flown Swiss – and which have just been credited. So surely Swiss would have made alternative arrangements for you, and i know BA fly at roughly the same times as Swiss. I don’t of course know the circumstances but if someone was visiting me I would have been understanding of the delay and looked to accommodate my visitor at a slightly later time.

    As tragic as your circumstances were, there are many reasons people cannot make the trips they planned. A friend of mine, Gold with Emirates, had a very bad accident meaning he had to cancel his travel plans for 3 months. As a result he dropped from Gold to Silver, but despite speaking to EK it was all to no avail as they would not budge. They told him they valued his business but seeing his travel pattern he would soon be back to gold. And he was.

    To conclude, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable in your demands if you would have got the 5,000 miles, and as frustrating as it is I do have some sympathy with LH’s stance. Good luck with it and maybe a letter or two will do the trick. I wish you well anyway.


    fatbear
    Participant

    Several years ago, I failed to reach the renewal level to maintain my gold status with KLM two years running, but they renewed it anyway both years……….


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Heppened to me maybe 10 years ago with BA, I was maybe 50 Tier points shy of Silver, (having been silver a few year in a row).

    Without asking, they sent me a renewal Silver card and noted I was a few points short but given the economic situation at the time recgignised that some fall off was happening generally they were glad to renwew at Silver.

    I did not complain!


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Actually on re-reading Norman’s inital email, the following struck me.

    I expect that in prior years, Norman and others exceeded the Tier POint requirements for whatever level. I know I have.

    Then at the end of the accumulation period, the airline wipes your points so the Tier points in excess of the threshold are lost/wasted/ ie of no value.

    Is there an arguememt for these to be carried forward ?

    NOte that conversely, Avios/airmiles do not expire for usually quite a period after the year in which they were accrued expires? so why the difference?

    I find that once I have made the tier points for the next year (usually BA) then I switch to other airlines so as to try maybe a status card elsewhere or to try another product (I’ve tested Alitalia, Air France etc) without losing out. This acts to rob BA of additional revenue and is surely not what they want.

    Any views ?


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    As a parallel point CX encourages continued patronage after hitting the renew Diamond Level which is 1200 Club Points.
    Namely hit 1400 and you get two first class lounge passes for anyone in your redemption list regardless of class of travel, one of my daughters availed of that, 1600 points and you get 4 upgrade vouchers and 1800 a redemption group member gets a complimentary Gold Card status……and finally, my own fault, I let some miles elapse by 3 months. I discovered this when I went to make a redemption booking.
    The response from the Marco Polo Club Centre was “Let us get back to you”.
    24 hours later an email confirming the redemption booking.
    In my experience CX has always helped out whenever they could.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I find that once I have made the tier points for the next year (usually BA) then I switch to other airlines so as to try maybe a status card elsewhere or to try another product (I’ve tested Alitalia, Air France etc) without losing out. This acts to rob BA of additional revenue and is surely not what they want.

    Good point Pat and that’s what I do. I’m now gold with EK as well as Swiss. I suppose the incentive with Swiss is going on for Hon status but I’ve little prospect of that.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Sadly Norman, in this day and age loyalty only works one way, with a few exceptions..

    Loyalty schemes are inherently designed to drive exclusivity to one brand, up to a point.
    When consumers have too much choice , and are driven by other factors primarily low cost point you’ll find companies changing T&C’s , creating new tier levels and tweaking aspects of the scheme to try and keep you tied to the brand at minimal outlay to themselves. .

    The worst thing you can do as a consumer is be overly loyal, smash your tier points and guess what, the computer is still just going to recognize you as what you are, another number in a scheme designed to bribe you into spending more money exclusively with them. As validated by SwissExPat, LH hasn’t even considered your previous loyalty like others have experienced with KL & notably BA, who automatically held my Gold for a year after I just failed.

    I’d also suggest that another reason for your cold hearted response from LH, is that many companies nowadays have brand reputation recovery teams when the robotic rigidity created by the company themselves spills over into social media.

    I’d get back in touch with LH and ensure you link in this discussion..

    Having said that, I wouldn’t hold out much hope, you clearly mean not much to LH, after all theres someone else just around the corner that can take their place.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    To follow up on my point about TIER points in excess of the Threshold, I would further reinforce my arguement as follows.

    With BA, the ‘COST’ of getting (or renewing) Silver or Gold is 600 or 1500 Tier points respectively.

    So why would they essentially charge you more than these amounts for the benefit of 12 months access to Silver or Gold level benefits ? [If you bought an item in a shop for 6 pounds and handed in a 10 pound note, you would get 4 back]

    I believe the excess over the threshold could in some way be used in a future period (with some limits) so as to make up a defecit. Maybe this is actually what happens behind the scenes with BA but not with LH.

    Also I note that BA have introduced a PATERNITY credit for continuing the benfits of BAEC Status for a paternity period. So it seems that there is some recognition of that fact that members sometimes have a break from travel.


    Henryp1
    Participant

    I think the best way is to have FFPs which are revenue based,which are reset each year.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I think the best way is to have FFPs which are revenue based,which are reset each year.

    Henry, I think this is what Miles and More are now doing. I got a missive from them somewhere that mileage will be revenue based with 4 points per Euro spent, 5 for Silver and 6 for Gold. In my case on my usual Joburg run I’m actually slightly better off, 42,000 miles v 39,000 now. I’m not sure how that will relate to status miles though.

    Pat, I’d just add something, after 10 years with (unbroken) Senator status you get Gold for life provided you’re 60+ and have acquired at least 1 million tier miles. So I guess there is some loyalty recognition there. In addition i got a very nice, personally signed letter and a gift!

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