Lufthansa boarding sign
Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

Miles & More Program to be Based on Revenue Instead of Distance Flown Starting in 2018

The Miles & More frequent flier loyalty program will change to base rewards on the airfares paid by customers of Lufthansa and other airlines rather than the distance traveled — which is also known as “butt-in-seat” miles — effective as of Monday, March 12, 2018.

Miles & More Program to be Based on Revenue Instead of Distance Flown Starting in 2018

The basis of the calculation will be the fare — meaning the ticket price in euros plus any surcharges levied by the airline concerned and not for product and service fees — for flights booked on Monday, March 12, 2018 and afterwards. This figure is then multiplied by a factor dependent on the elite level status of the passenger to calculate the award Miles & More miles given to the frequent flier.

The new rules will not apply to the calculation of status, select and HON Circle miles, as they will be awarded as usual under the current system. All the privileges associated with each elite level status will also remain unchanged.

The new rules will also apply to all rebookings which affect the ticket price from Monday, March 12, 2018 — even if they were booked prior to that date.

The awarding of Miles & More miles will be based on the multiplying factor of the airline operating the flight — and as a member with elite level status, your Executive Bonus of 50 percent or 25 percent is taken into account in the multiplying factor. If you are a:

  • General member of the Miles & More program, then the factor is 4.
  • Frequent Traveller, Senator or HON Circle Member, then the factor is:
    • 6 on flights operated by the following airlines:
      • Lufthansa
      • SWISS
      • Austrian Airlines
      • United Airlines
      • Air Canada
      • LOT Polish Airlines
      • Croatia Airlines
      • Adria Airways
      • Air Dolomiti
    • 5 on flights operated by Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, or other airline partners of Miles & More which are not listed above

Other Terms About Which You Should Know

Flights which were not valid to earn Miles & More miles in the past will continue not to earn miles under the new system. Award miles will continue to be credited solely for flight segments that have been flown — a single route with both a take-off and a landing — and not on canceled flights or flights on which you missed when you are not a passenger aboard an airplane.

The new rules are valid for flight bookings via a Lufthansa Group airline booking channel or a travel agent or online travel agent. If you book via a direct sales channel of Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings or Brussels Airlines — through the official Internet web site, as one example — miles will be awarded based on the new system. If you book your flight via a travel agent or online travel agent, you will find out what system has been used to calculate your award miles when you receive your ticket number. If you book your flight through the booking channel of another airline, your award miles will be calculated according to the current system. The calculation of award miles is determined by the ticket number. For tickets beginning with the numbers 220 for Lufthansa, 724 for SWISS, 257 for Austrian Airlines, 082 for Brussels Airlines or issued by Eurowings, award miles are calculated under the new system. The one exception are tickets purchased through a tour operator. Here award miles are allocated according to the booking class, irrespective of the ticket number. In rare cases where no fare information is available, Miles & More reserves the right to continue to award miles according to the booking-class-based system.

Fares in a foreign currency are converted into euros using the OANDA currency converter at the precise time of booking a flight.

The bonus has already been taken into account in the factors and is 25 percent on flights with Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and other Miles & More partner airlines or 50 percent on flights with Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada, LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways or Air Dolomiti.

Miles will continue to be credited to you after each flight. For this purpose, the ticket price is allocated to the individual flight segments. Once you have completed your entire journey, the total miles for the individual flight segments are thus equivalent to the mileage amount for the entire ticket.


Similar changes occurred in recent years with the three legacy carriers based in the United States: with the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program by Delta Air Lines as announced on February 26, 2014; with the MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program by United Airlines as announced on June 10, 2014; and with the AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program by American Airlines as announced on November 17, 2015 — and the airlines show no signs of reversing those changes in the foreseeable future.

That the Lufthansa Group airlines — Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines — announced the launch of this new system was eventually expected and definitely no surprise with airlines based outside of the United States…

…and other than customers with “deep pockets” who spend a lot of money on revenue tickets, many members of frequent flier loyalty programs typically do not benefit from the new system of earning miles based on revenue — especially when gauging the responses posted by FlyerTalk members of this announcement.

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

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