Lufthansa Buy Miles Option Being Discontinued

In terms of rather bizarre moves which counter the industry trend, Lufthansa will be discontinuing the option to purchase Miles & More miles. Per a notice on their website:

The option of being able to buy the miles you are short of for an award flight with a Lufthansa Group airline will only be available for a few more weeks. This option will be removed from the Miles & More programme during July 2014.

Until then you can buy up to 20,000 miles and receive an extra 20% more miles as well.

Lufthansa-Buy-Miles

So through June 30, 2014, it’s possible to buy Lufthansa miles with a 20% bonus, but after that they’ll be discontinuing the program altogether. I find this move rather puzzling, given that Lufthansa charges €35 (~$47) for 1,000 purchased miles. That’s just about the highest cost to purchase miles in the industry.

At that rate I have no clue why they wouldn’t offer — and even encourage — people to purchase miles.

The only explanation I can come up with is that not enough people were taking advantage of it for it to be worthwhile to continue the program. But at the same time if not enough people were taking advantage of it, you’d think their solution would be to lower the prices and make it more appealing, as opposed to discontinuing the program altogether.

Or perhaps this is just a very poor translation, since the page for the 20% bonus on purchased miles reads as follows:

The additional mileage package of 20,000 miles and the offer of 20% more miles on all mileage purchases are only available until 30 June 2014.

So maybe this is a doom-and-gloom way of saying that the promotion is ending?

The first announcement does seem pretty explicit, so I’m guessing it is being ended. Either way I don’t think this really matters since it wasn’t a good deal to begin with, though I do find the move strange.

Comments

  1. With other programs offering 100% bonuses and the ability to book LH flights, some rewards at lower costs than LH’s own FF program it’s a no-brainer for the consumer.

  2. Second communication talks about “additonal” mileage package… but first communication is explicit… strange… LH is getting more and more bizzare… they charge for exit row seats 60 EUR, but if you take the offer, payment site is not working… one would think that they would want to get additonal money…

  3. I think they are trying to say the current promo is ending. I recall M&M only allows members to purchase upto 12k miles, but when the current promo started they added an exceptional 20k option.

  4. At first this almost sounded like “bad” news for M&M members. After reading the post a second time I realized that when LH does something to further restrict the options of their own members the approved euphemisms are “bizarre” and “strange.” Good to know.

  5. This is because LH has outsourced their mileage program to a separate company where LH rules the status side of Miles&more and the subsidy runs the bonus side. So from July on (date of registry of the outsourced company) LH can’t sell bonus miles any more – but probably the new company will (and ar a cheaper price IMO).

  6. Even if they do end it totally, you could always buy SPG points and transfer them over, if you wanted to buy M&M miles.

  7. The German version of the news item is exactly the same (including also sounding like a poor translation), so it cannot have anything to do with translation.
    As far as the page where you can actually purchase the miles is concerned, I assume they just didn’t update it so far.

  8. Miles and More can be really a bizarre program. It’s very restrictive and not very rewarding (esp. in regards to LX F class). Sometimes I feel as though LH begrudgingly has a mileage program only because they have to (the same way they feel about having flat beds in J).

  9. I really hope this is just concerning a 20% bonus offer.

    @ Lucky – since M&M program will be kind of separate soon, do you think they’ll become more reasonable (i.e. lower prices) since they actually are supposed to make money on their own?

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