Reply To: bmi Suffers Further Route Closures

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VintageKrug
Participant

I would agree there is no need to “panic”.

But there have been significant changes to the bmi scheme, such as the increased number of miles and cash required for F “cash and miles” redemptions from x2 to x2.5, and also further restricted redemption availability on Lufthansa F, which are no doubt a taste of things to come.

The big appeal of the bmi scheme is the “cash and miles” option, which means for instance you can fly Star Alliance business class one way for 18,750k bmi miles from London to USA plus a nominal cash fee and taxes (about £180 plus taxes).

Because the mileage earning is so generous on bmi, you can earn most of these simply by applying and sparingly using a bmi MBNA American Express card. Depending on which card you opt for, you get between 20k-24k miles:

http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/en-gb/diamond-club/credit-card/credit-card.aspx

It is highly likely the cash plus miles option will either be made less attractive or removed all together should the scheme become part of Miles & More. So if you have taken advantage of these lucrative redemption opportunities in the past, it may be an idea to book up some trips, now, before the option is removed by Lufthansa or another owner.

Here is the bmi redemption chart, for which a degree in Rocket Science is a prerequisite:

http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/src/html/diamondclubhowtospendmiles.html

bmi runs a call centre in Pune, India, which can be hit and miss. If you get a good agent, then all is fine, but their systems are very manual and training is not all it could be. My experience has been good to excellent the last five times I have called them, with one agent I had to thank for her assistance and say goodbye without completing my booking.

If you pan on making a successful bmi redemption, it is ESSENTIAL that you do some research using either the free but clunky “ANA redemption tool” OR take out a subscription to Expertflyer. Do this and enquire 6-9 months out and you should be able to get a flight within a few days of your preferred date.

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