Financial Times: Lufthansa to take control of bmi

Long story short it looks like Sir Michael Bishop will be selling his stake in BMI to Lufthansa, which means they’ll basically have full control. Yadda yadda yadda. If you want details on the business end of the deal, check out the Financial Times article.

More important to me is what this potentially means for those of us that have been accruing miles in what many would consider to be one of the best frequent flyer programs out there. Even though many of us never fly BMI, we credit flights under 500 miles to them, use them for double dipping with Hilton, and of course for all kinds of other partner activity such as car rentals.

The good news is that it looks like we’re safe until January 12, the earliest the option will become effective. So, if you have BMI miles to burn, then burn baby, burn! Even if you don’t think you’ll be able to travel on the dates you book, you’re better off booking before January 12 and paying the change fee than paying LH’s inflated award costs.

It’s also worth mentioning that we really don’t know what’ll happen. The announcement was just made today, so it’s way too early to be certain what’s going to happen. That being said, I’m betting we’ll see “enhancements” from the BMI side of things.

Another interesting opportunity to explore is possibly matching to BMI before January 12. BMI is one of the few international airlines that readily status matches to their top tier, which gives you, among other things, complimentary lounge access on all Star Alliance flights, even domestic ones. Considering that the program could very well be merged into the LH Miles & More program, I’m betting we won’t see status matches anymore. Therefore it’s basically a “free” status match, at first to BMI Gold and then if the programs merge probably into LH Senator. Since I just matched to NW Plat I should be able to further match to BMI Gold, which I might just do in December.

Anyway, those are my two cents for the time being. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Wouldn’t the folks at BMI want to see your recent NW statements (and not just your Plat card)… which then might not actually show a whole lot of activity?

  2. Good point, I’ll look into that. Many airlines only require an elite card, while many airlines require a statement but only to make sure that your name is on it (basically), to avoid fraud. I’ll get back to you.

  3. Hmm.. who predicted this some time ago? šŸ˜‰

    For those who want to status match, the usual applies. A big reminder is they WILL NOT match UA or US (or other Star Alliance partners) without a very very good reason (the thought being that one does NOT poach ones partners customers!)

    For those considering, I’d do your match in early December or very early January to give you your 12 months *G card (and the GUV’s), and time to get the 38k to requalify.

    This should put you in a position for SEN if they decide to migrate everyone to Miles and More eventually….

    Lucky – I’d rack up a few flights at least before making that match to demonstrate you can meet the requirments – but then at the BD qualification levels that shouldn’t be a problem.

    AA Gold btw will match to BD Silver šŸ˜‰ Colours don’t matter – status does.

    There are substantial threads on the BMI Fourm about what’s happening (alas some of us – me included) are morning the “loss” of actually what is quite a nice airline (When you get to know the crew of their long haul routes and see them back and forth, it really opens up discussions).

    Of course for those who have not sampled the delights of the BMI short haul cheese toasite… have not lived :p šŸ˜‰

  4. Based on past experience, bmi Diamond Club will be around for another 18 months or so.

    But I agree that the days for freely available status matching are numbered, unless of course you have BA Gold status.

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