More details about British Midland takeover emerge

While the British Midland takeover is quickly becoming an episode of Maury (“In the case of 47 year old British Midland, British Airways, you are NOT the father”), more details are emerging as to when British Midland will end their participation in Star Alliance. Last week I posted about British Midland’s announcement that they would begin the process of leaving the Star Alliance as of April 20, though we now have more firm dates.

First of all, today is the last day to use British Midland miles for travel on any Lufthansa group airline (which includes Austrian, Swiss, LOT, Brussels Airlines, etc.). Actually, if you’re reading this now it’s already too late. While their call center closes at 8PM BST, apparently hold times are over an hour, if you can even get through.

Anyway, according to a memo posted by Ghetto IFE, the customer benefit end date of British Midland’s participation in Star Alliance is May 31, 2012, so you should still be able to earn and redeem miles for travel on Star Alliance carriers that don’t belong to the Lufthansa group through then. Per my earlier post, I’m still trying to decide between redeeming those miles for travel on Singapore Airlines with fuel surcharges or on US Airways without fuel surcharges.

Comments

  1. I would try US Air. These days all their A330s have the new seats, so it is just a matter of the soft product. And I am sure you have plenty of miles with US or UA that can get you into SQ.

  2. Lucky,

    Being used to your factually correct post for years, I was quite surprised to learn from your post that Lufthansa has taken over LOT… According to Wikipedia they’re not part of the Lufthansa Group (see section ‘Lufthansa Group’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lufthansa), although they also have the “Miles and More” program as their frequent traveller program (just like Luxair and Brussels Airlines, for example)

  3. @Ben — Should I still be able to add a non-LH group segment to an existing reservation that contains LH group segments?

    Specifically, should I be able to add EWR-SFO to an existing round trip award of JFK-FRA-MXP-FRA-JFK? Since the additional flight will be three months after the round trip, adding the flight creates an open jaw AND a stopover, but surely someone there will let it slide (I’ve done it before!). After all, adding the flight would not create an open jaw if the original flights had been booked as two one-ways. So far, I haven’t been able to convince an agent to book it, but I am hopeful and ready to call again at midnight PT, if it is not too late to make a change.

  4. @ Gene — Best I can tell the fact that there are Lufthansa segments shouldn’t cause problems, as long as you’re not trying to change the Lufthansa segments. That being said, since they’re both NY area airports/co-terminals, I doubt you’ll have any issues with bmi.

  5. @Ben — Thanks. Calling bmi over the past week, I’ve burned through $45 of Skype credits and counting! I can’t wait to hear about bmi’s three routes to Morocco over and over again!

  6. How about redeeming for a trip on turkish? It’s been a while since you’ve been with them. You’re Aaaallllwaaaaayyys on Singapore Airlines :).

  7. BMI e-mail mentioned LH group as being “Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines”. Nothing about LOT. So if they really meant LH group not M&M airlines then LOT should still be doable.

  8. Lucky: Are we already really past the Lufthansa group deadline? I thought it went through the 19th which would mean it still includes today. Am I wrong on that one?

  9. @ Chris — That’s what they had initially announced, though it seems it ended a bit more abruptly, I assume in part due to the drama related to the takeover.

  10. @ Chris — As a British Airways Gold Card holder you can access them immediately, though I’m not sure about other OneWorld elites.

  11. Ahh. I’m not BA Gold I am AA Platinum and take BMI flights quite often. Was just wondering if I book my next flight on BMI if I will get the BMI lounge access. Thanks.

  12. @ Chris — A formal date hasn’t been announced for OneWorld elites getting benefits on British Midland, though I suspect it will be at least a month before that occurs.

  13. Hi again Ben,
    How about a post/thread on those last minute bmi mile burns? I have around 30K I’d like to use but can also accept conversion to Avios. As the deadline for using bmi miles on SA approaches, what are your/other peoples’ suggestions for good value use? Do you have any posts on using bmi for Singapore Airlines BTW?
    Cheers,
    Andy

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