Lufthansa Group has published an update on forthcoming changes to its status programme.
Plans to revamp the programme were originally announced in 2019, but as the group put it “then everything changed”, and the changes were pushed back due to Covid-19.
They will now take effect from January 2024, with status and HON Circle miles being replaced by what the group says is “a simple and clear points system”.
Points will be awarded according to travel class and whether the flight is continental or intercontinental, with no Executive Bonus for status members as is currently the case – more details on this can be seen here.
In order to reward those who travel with Lufthansa Group airlines the most, the new system will consist of Points, Qualifying Points and HON Circle Points.
Members will earn Points on flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Eurowings Discover and Air Dolomiti, plus the co-issuing Miles and More airline partners (Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Luxair), and all other Star Alliance airlines.
Meanwhile Qualifying Points will be earned on flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Eurowings Discover Air Dolomiti, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Luxair, and HON Circle Points will be earned only on those carriers, when flying in business or first class.
To achieve Frequent Flyer status members will need to earn both 650 Points and 325 Qualifying Points within one calendar year, while to achieve Senator status members will need to earn 2,000 Points and 1,000 Qualifying Points over the same period.
HON Circle status can only be achieved by earning 6,000 HON Circle Points under the new system.
Note that the group is reducing “both the term and the qualification period” for achieving status to one year. Currently once a member has qualified or requalified, their status is valid for at least two years and ends in the following February, while the qualification period for HON Circle Members is two consecutive calendar years (one calendar year for Frequent Travellers and Senators).
However the group said that “overall, it will be easier to achieve status”.
In addition the current Miles and More Selections programme (where members can choose benefits once they reach a certain number of select or HON Circle miles) is to be replaced by a fixed rewards chart where members will receive benefits without having to claim them.
Examples of this include 15,000 award miles for Senator members reaching 3,500 Qualifying Points, and a Frequent Traveller partner card for HON Circle members reaching 11,500 HON Circle Points.
Finally “long-term loyalty” is being rewarded with new lifetime statuses – Frequent Flyer when members reach 30,000 Qualifying Points, and Senator when members reach 40,000 Qualifying Points.
In recognition that some members “have been flying with us for a long time”, existing Star Points (currently awarded depending on the individual’s relevant status for each day of membership) will be converted into Qualifying Points for achieving Frequent Traveller Lifetime or Senator Lifetime status, at a rate of one Star Point for two Qualifying Points.
The new system will apply to all flights operated from January 1, 2024, irrespective of when they are booked – so a flight booked in March 2023 for travel in February 2024 will fall under the new system.
Note that the changes will no affect the earning of Miles and More award miles, which will continue as at present.
Commenting on the news Sebastian Riedle, vice president loyalty Lufthansa Group, said:
“With the status programme, we are focusing even more on our customers’ needs. Our priority is to create a simple and transparent programme, paired with special privileges throughout the travel chain. We want to offer the most simple and most attractive loyalty programme on the market”.