With the sale of British Midland to British Airways nearly complete, some details are emerging as to when British Midland will be leaving the Star Alliance. Per British Midland’s Facebook page.
Q. What happens once the sale completes?
It is the intention that bmi will begin to withdraw from Star Alliance at the date of completion of the sale, which we expect to be around 20 April, 2012.
bmi, Lufthansa and Star Alliance will be working together during the coming weeks to ensure bmi’s smooth exit from Star Alliance. We will update you as soon as more information becomes available.
So while it doesn’t seem like the dates are set in stone, the message is clear — burn your British Midland miles now, before they’re converted to British Airways Avios points.
In a twisted way I’m going to miss British Midland terribly. To me the airline itself has always been a bit like the Addams Family. They fly mostly out of London and serve Almaty, Kazakhstan, but not Paris or Frankfurt.
But the frequent flyer program is a completely different story. It’s awesome for a few reasons:
- Their award chart is based on zones and they offer cash and points, so it’s easy to get a great deal without using many points. For example, a roundtrip ticket in business class between the US and South America cost only 60,000 miles, or alternatively 30,000 miles plus £210.
- They offered one of the most attractive options for earning Star Alliance Gold status, at only 38,000 miles per year to requalify (which gets you lounge access with US airlines even when flying domestically).
- They offered huge bonuses for premium cabin tickets, up to 3x miles, and even more points if you had already requalified for status for the year.
While British Midland does impose fuel surcharges for redemptions on most airlines, they’re quite a bit more reasonable than what British Airways charges. Furthermore, they don’t charge fuel surcharges on US Airways and TAP, last I checked.
But the other awesome feature of British Midland miles is that they could be used to book Singapore Airlines award space that other Star Alliance airlines didn’t have access to. You can see a FlyerTalk thread listing experiences on that here. I have about 100,000 British Midland miles and should probably decide how to use them sooner rather than later.
Anyone else have British Midland miles to burn and not sure what to do with them?
(Tip of the hat to Gary)