vfw614
Topic Author
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Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:31 pm

A German court has ruled that it is unlawful for an airline to increase the amount of miles needed for a reward flight at short notice as this effectively devaluates a frequent flyer's miles. In the case in question, a German professor with 800.000 miles in his account sued after Lufthansa had increased the miles required for award flights at short notice without a reasonable transition period. The frequent flyer argued that, based on his travelling habits, the change had devaluated his account by 40 per cent. The court held that the change was unlawful and that Lufthansa must guarantee a reasonable transition period that allows customers to spend miles already earned under the conditions applicable for reward flights when the miles were earned (effectively forcing Lufthansa to maintain two or more separate accounts for each customer).

German FTD has already calculated that the ruling could cost Lufthansa close to 1bn EUR if upheld at the appeals stage as the changes that came into effect in early 2011 saved Lufthansa the equivalent of 320.000 business-class TATL tickets.

Interesting development - apparently a law firm is already soliciting disgruntled frequent flyers. The funny thing is that the guy who won the case offered Lufthansa a settlement well into the litigation, but Lufthansa reacted in its usual blasé way of treating customers, arguing that it was completely up to them how the FFP is designed.

Have there been similar cases in other jurisdictions? This could cost airlines billions.....

soure (only in German): http://www.ftd.de/unternehmen/handel...sieg-gegen-lufthansa/70009690.html




lost the from Germany to Asia from 210.000 to 240.000 miles. The FF
 
ikramerica
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:25 pm

1. AA lost a similar case in the 80s. I still have a page I patched together with the old awards somewhere.

2. This ruling doesn't cost LH €1b. That's a false statement. It will trim into planned cost cutting, but claiming that failure to implement a change is a cost is government accounting, not real accounting.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:47 pm

Well, to be honest Lufthansa's Miles&More program can be quite annoying in this respect, so I kind of sympathize with the person. The award ticket prices on LH are higher than on most other airlines, and they have gone up several times in the recent past. Plus the miles are not worth as much to begin with, as you still have to pay massive taxes and fees and fuel surcharge and what not, amounting to about half of the ticket price.
I recently booked a transpacific on AA, and I paid about $50 in addition to the miles.
On LH, a transatlantic one way comes at more than 200 EUR on top of the miles you shell out.

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
sulley
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:24 pm

Elites and FF programs are getting out of control. The airlines created a monster.
In thrust we trust!
 
steve6666
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:14 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 1):
2. This ruling doesn't cost LH €1b. That's a false statement. It will trim into planned cost cutting, but claiming that failure to implement a change is a cost is government accounting, not real accounting.

It will increase the size of the provision on the balance sheet for the liability in respect of FF benefits accrued, so there will be a charge in the income statement, even if the cash costs only come through later.
eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
 
ikramerica
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 4):
It will increase the size of the provision on the balance sheet for the liability in respect of FF benefits accrued, so there will be a charge in the income statement, even if the cash costs only come through later.

No, it fails to DECREASE the size, but doesn't increase it. Some been counter sold "if we devalue the ff miles by 20%, we can reduce our liability" but that liability exists until those miles are actually successfully devalued.

It's semantics, but the miles were accrued based on the old values, not the new, so there isn't a cost, but a lost savings.

If I contract to buy something for $100, then later negotiate it down to $80, only to have that deal fall through, I'm still contracted at $100 and have lost nothing.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
LOWS
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:05 pm

Quoting Sulley (Reply 3):
Elites and FF programs are getting out of control. The airlines created a monster.

Terribly correct. I'd be happy to use my miles in the LH World Shop, but not if LH is going to require a 90k Mile Minimum.

I've long given up hope of ever using them for a ticket. Especially when I'm still paying 100€+ for the taxes, fees, fuel, etc.

I was looking at using miles for an upcoming trip to AMS. LH wanted 250€ (or another 15k Miles) for the taxes! I eventually just ended up paying 180€ and not using miles.
 
Semaex
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:13 pm

Quoting LOWS (Reply 6):
Terribly correct. I'd be happy to use my miles in the LH World Shop, but not if LH is going to require a 90k Mile Minimum.

Exactly. The few LH miles I have I spend at the World Shop. Bought a Cargo MD-11 model the other day, was worth it, especially since the miles are lost by the end of 24 months or so anyways. I wouldn't use them for travelling, no way. It's way too tricky.
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
iainbhx
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:40 pm

I have a substantial number of LH miles and I must admit I'm interested in this judgement, however, I suspect that LH will just clamp down on the inventory further. The only useful way to spend them is either on upgrades or on premium classes and it can be quite hard to get either to open up inventory. I'm wait listed for an upgrade in January 2013!
iainbhx
 
speedbird217
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:16 am

My own experience with the Miles&More program from LH:
Flying on around 10 inner-German LH-flights in 2 consecutive years and owning the Miles&More Credit Card that gives you 1-2 Miles per Euro of turnover with the card, I barely have a free flight as of now.

I flew one leg across the Atlantic and back last year with British Airways and already have a free return flight from Germany to the UK. LH would give me a towel or something like that for my miles.
Something just doesn't add up here...
 
ElPistolero
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:27 am

Apologies - my browser appears to be malfunctioing.

I just read section 4.4 of the terms and conditions. Does it not protect LH in this case?
 
LXa332
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:12 am

I just got an email with my current M&M account balance. Maybe they were forced to do this because of the ruling?
 
VC10er
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:22 am

What does it take to make HON Circle? A friend of mine who is a Lufty Loyalist does 2 Asia flights a month in Biz or First (paid) and TATL. Along with a once a month paid biz class within the EU- and he didn't make HON. Again, that's over 24 full fare long haul and very long haul flights with about 20 short hauls.

What more can a human do? Commute to Bangkok from FRA 50 weeks a year?
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
Unflug
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:27 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
Well, to be honest Lufthansa's Miles&More program can be quite annoying in this respect, so I kind of sympathize with the person. The award ticket prices on LH are higher than on most other airlines, and they have gone up several times in the recent past. Plus the miles are not worth as much to begin with, as you still have to pay massive taxes and fees and fuel surcharge and what not, amounting to about half of the ticket price.
I recently booked a transpacific on AA, and I paid about $50 in addition to the miles.
On LH, a transatlantic one way comes at more than 200 EUR on top of the miles you shell out.

True - just paid 1.600 € in taxes and fees for 4 tickets to the US, a ripoff...

Quoting VC10er (Reply 13):
What does it take to make HON Circle? A friend of mine who is a Lufty Loyalist does 2 Asia flights a month in Biz or First (paid) and TATL. Along with a once a month paid biz class within the EU- and he didn't make HON. Again, that's over 24 full fare long haul and very long haul flights with about 20 short hauls.

He needs 600k miles in 2 years. If he was flying LH as much as you say he would be HON after 2 years.
 
wdleiser
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:09 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 13):

2 years of 250000 miles a year I believe
 
iainbhx
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:08 am

Quoting LXa332 (Reply 12):
I just got an email with my current M&M account balance. Maybe they were forced to do this because of the ruling?

No, that was roughly on schedule.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 13):
What does it take to make HON Circle?

300k status miles a year on LH group airlines only for two years.
iainbhx
 
vfw614
Topic Author
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:02 am

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 11):
I just read section 4.4 of the terms and conditions. Does it not protect LH in this case?

The ruling has not been published yet, but I guess the point is that the t&c are unlawful. What airlines put into their t&c is not necessarily lawful. Most customers, however, believe it is akin to an act of parliament...

Quoting VC10er (Reply 13):
What does it take to make HON Circle? A friend of mine who is a Lufty Loyalist does 2 Asia flights a month in Biz or First (paid) and TATL. Along with a once a month paid biz class within the EU- and he didn't make HON. Again, that's over 24 full fare long haul and very long haul flights with about 20 short hauls.

Which pretty much proves Lufthansa's point - why is he still travelling with them? If he has no other options / like the product no matter whatm why should they waste money on him making hom HIM?
 
hanuise
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:13 am

I am afraid that there is a general trend in FF program to decrease their value and interest for most users. AF/KL is not better than LH in that respect.
As an example, I recently searched for a flight from southern France (MRS or NCE) to Germany (CGN or DUS). What I found for direct flights is instructing. The choice is between lower miles and higher taxes or higher miles and lower taxes. It can even be cheaper to buy a ticket than use miles.
MRS-DUS (AF):
20 000 miles + 130 € taxes or ticket at 99 €
NCE-CGN (4U)
30 000 miles + 47 € taxes or ticket at 164 €

[Edited 2012-03-17 03:32:41]

[Edited 2012-03-17 03:33:39]
 
r2rho
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:25 am

Devaluating miles is a general tendency at least in the EU, not just with LH. Although I have to say that I really struggle to get any flight with LH whereas I can still manage to get something from AF/KL every now and then. With airlines slapping the ever-increasing fuel surcharge along with many others into the "fees" section, the "fare" part of the ticket, which is what you save with FF miles, becomes increasingly insignificant. And yes, I have had several cases where buying a ticket with another airline was cheaper than using my miles. FF programs nowadays are a joke, which is why I always choose my flights by convenience, not loyalty, and consider any miles I get as icing on the cake.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:15 pm

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 17):
The ruling has not been published yet, but I guess the point is that the t&c are unlawful. What airlines put into their t&c is not necessarily lawful. Most customers, however, believe it is akin to an act of parliament...

I don't think it is an act of parliament, but by accepting the T and C, the customer is entering into an agreement with LH on the terms that LH has set. Once they've entered the agreement, it raises questions about how much they can claim they have been mislead when everything has been put out very clearly in the agreement.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Simple rule is, miles are value for money only if used on business class long distance flights, or on short notice European flights which sell in the region of almost € 1000, in that case spending miles makes sense.

If 99€ tickets are available, better, if tickets under €250,00 are available better pay the regular fare.
powered by Eierlikör
 
runzel
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:00 pm

I'll not bother relating my direct experiences - other posters have more than covered all that is necessary. At the root of the pronlem rests the enormous number of FF miles ever-looming on the LH horizon. Which LH has known about and internally talked about for years. I can't blame LH for trying to weasel out of honouring them.

Referring to Speedbird (Post 9) and VC10ER (Post 13) specifically, think about the following if you please... .

It is a long-established fact that the LH M&M programme is a poor programme for the FF. See this thread and other historical comment.

Providing that the individual traveller can meet any intrinsic requirement i.e., a handfull of sectors/maybe 10K miles per year, to qualify for full benefits with another carrier, this can be alleviated. No matter the country of residence there is no restriction of which I have heard precluding one from joining - we are talking about LH - another Star Alliance carrier's FF programme. Miles can be earned on LH and other Star member carriers. Igf as it seems apparent that redemption seats on LH are a near impossibility, for vacations and non-time-critical travel awards are probably more easily on the other Star carriers that service German and other ports.

I live in Australia and since the murder of AN have been faced with poor choices of local programmes. QF & NZ are not good, DJ (by any name remains unspeakable). Ergo I have for the last 10+ years maintained membership of a North American based carrier member of Star Alliance.

Ha! More than one way to skin a cat.

runzel
 
vfw614
Topic Author
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:12 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 20):
don't think it is an act of parliament, but by accepting the T and C, the customer is entering into an agreement with LH on the terms that LH has set. Once they've entered the agreement, it raises questions about how much they can claim they have been mislead when everything has been put out very clearly in the agreement.

That's not the state of the law in Europe. There are laws about unfair terms in contracts which have not been individually negotiated, but are standard business terms ( = all contract terms pre-formulated for more than two contracts which one party to the contract (the user) presents to the other party upon the entering into of the contract).

The relevant section in the German civil code is, for example:

"(1)Provisions in standard business terms are ineffective if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, they unreasonably disadvantage the other party to the contract with the user. An unreasonable disadvantage may also arise from the provision not being clear and comprehensible.
(2) An unreasonable disadvantage is, in case of doubt, to be assumed to exist if a provision
1. is not compatible with essential principles of the statutory provision from which it deviates, or
2. limits essential rights or duties inherent in the nature of the contract to such an extent that attainment of the purpose of the contract is jeopardised."


A provision that allows Lufthansa to devalue frequent flyer miles that you have earned as part of a purchase disadvantages the other party to the contract (the passenger) with the user (Lufthansa).
 
5MillionMiler
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:27 am

Quoting LOWS (Reply 6):
I was looking at using miles for an upcoming trip to AMS. LH wanted 250€ (or another 15k Miles) for the taxes! I eventually just ended up paying 180€ and not using miles.

Absolutely! Miles + cash can add up to be crazy. Taxes and fees are a trap, especially in a lot of EU countries (taxes). Also, never buy anything from the miles store for cash and points, as most loyalty programs are designed to cover their costs for merchandise with the cash and then deplete your points... miles are not worth as much in buying retail.

As someone mentioned above, miles are best value for longhaul premium flights which would cost a fortune in cash.

And also...

Quoting Runzel (Reply 21):
I live in Australia and since the murder of AN have been faced with poor choices of local programmes. QF & NZ are not good, DJ (by any name remains unspeakable). Ergo I have for the last 10+ years maintained membership of a North American based carrier member of Star Alliance.

Haha YES! me too. Live in Sydney but am 1K on UA and my United miles are worth nearly twice what NZ or LH miles are worth in their programs, and I can usually book ff miles in premium on either using UA points easily, with enough notice, for a fraction of the M&M or AP miles required. Same goes for AA points worth much more than QF points for same metal on same routes.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:56 am

Exactly right about the only value of miles being long haul premium, and surprisingly, for magazine subscriptions. Used this way a mile can be worth 5-10 cents US, or close to 10% return of money from miles credit card purchases (when additional bonuses are accounted for). Why anyone would use miles in a way that makes them worth 1cent or less is beyond me.

Recently used CO miles of 117,500 for LAX-LHR-ZRH in F/J on UA/LX and returning VCE-MUC-LAX in J w under $150 in total taxes. Which would go for just about $11,750 plus same taxes.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
VC10er
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:29 am

Quoting iainbhx (Reply 15):

So if you spend the majority of you life for 2 years on LH to make HON, then what does one get beyond Global Services? And to stay HON must you maintain 250k or 300k per year I assume? Will it open award seats in a snap for you? Access to the First Class lounges no matter what?

It seems as if it is the single most difficult elite club to get into? Or does Singapore or BA have even more difficult requirements? I am Global Services on UA, and I would say that given the size of UA, I can almost always get a seat on UA or anyone in *A fairly easy. I like Lufthansa a lot but it's not the ultimate way to fly!
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
5MillionMiler
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
I am Global Services on UA

What does that take? I have been 1K for a while and and platinum on Qantas and Virgin Australis, gold on Emirates so top tier on four but not sure what criteria/benefits are for GS on UA? Cheers
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:55 am

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 22):
There are laws about unfair terms in contracts which have not been individually negotiated, but are standard business terms ( = all contract terms pre-formulated for more than two contracts which one party to the contract (the user) presents to the other party upon the entering into of the contract).

The same applies in common law jurisdictions as well. I don't know what the law is in Canada (for ElPistolero) but as a general rule if one party presents a standard-form contract to another other party which has no way of negotiating, then special provisions kick in to protect the second party from the effect of any unfair terms.

Of course this does not apply to a standard bilateral contract in which there has been 'meeting of the minds'.

Quoting 5MillionMiler (Reply 23):
Haha YES! me too. Live in Sydney but am 1K on UA

My mother is also UA 1K (previously CO Platinum) living in Australia, but does most of her flying on SQ. She considers OnePass (and now MileagePlus) to both be far superior to KrisFlyer.

Quoting 5MillionMiler (Reply 26):
What does that take?

Invitation only. There aren't any specific 'criteria' as such, but if you're not spending a minimum of $150,000 a year on UA metal your not even in the running.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
ogepma
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:10 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
So if you spend the majority of you life for 2 years on LH to make HON, then what does one get beyond Global Services? And to stay HON must you maintain 250k or 300k per year I assume? Will it open award seats in a snap for you? Access to the First Class lounges no matter what?

Yes, you get access to the First Class lounge and First class terminal no matter what. You also get a 24 hour booking guarantee. It is supposed to open awards seats for you in a snap as well. There are lots of extra goodies as a HON Circle member. The problem LH is having now is that there are a lot more HON members than was originally anticipated. So I think the devaluation of miles is being done to reduce that number. They are probably loosing money by having too many HONs. Just my 2 cents. Though I agree 1 month is not enough notice.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:24 pm

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
And to stay HON must you maintain 250k or 300k per year I assume?

HON Circle status is valid for 2 years. If you earn 600,000 status miles during the 2 year validity period your status is extended for a further 2 years.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
Access to the First Class lounges no matter what?

Yes. More details here.
http://www.miles-and-more-promotion....om/honcircle.com/tour/index_e.html
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:25 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 27):
Invitation only. There aren't any specific 'criteria' as such, but if you're not spending a minimum of $150,000 a year on UA metal your not even in the running.

It's well documented on other sites that about $50K a year of full-fare tickets will do it.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 25):
And to stay HON must you maintain 250k or 300k per year I assume?

On LH you get credited at 2x for Business and at 3x for First, so you could make and maintain HON by flying 150K per year in paid Business or 100K per year in paid First, but they have to be on core LH group flights, plus LO, I believe. You can't just fly partners and qualify for HON.
International Homo of Mystery
 
Unflug
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:46 am

Quoting ogepma (Reply 28):
So I think the devaluation of miles is being done to reduce that number. They are probably loosing money by having too many HONs. Just my 2 cents. Though I agree 1 month is not enough notice.

The miles were devaluated, not reduced. This has no influence on the number of HONs.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:14 am

Quoting vfw614 (Thread starter):
A German court has ruled that it is unlawful for an airline to increase the amount of miles needed for a reward flight at short notice as this effectively devaluates a frequent flyer's miles.

OMG....A German court got involved in this? Let's look at the big picture......a customer VOLUNTARILY flies LH while LH VOLUNTARILY offers non-monetized "points" for possible future travel, and the court system gets involved? It's nonsense like this that turn people into libertarians. This should have been thrown out of court as frivolous. LH should now ban him from flying on LH. LH does not need customers like this. Let him fly Ryanair or Air Berlin.

Quoting Sulley (Reply 3):
Elites and FF programs are getting out of control. The airlines created a monster.

Agreed. It seemed like a good idea at the time. AA was brilliant in devising the first FFP as a marketing/revenue tool.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
thuegin
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:07 am

Hi to all,

I have been watching this with interest. You make a decision when buying an airline ticket and the points and their value maybe a part of your decision - though for sure this does not apply for everybody. Then to devalue these points afterwards without proper prior notice is in my opinion an unfair move. That a court sees this and shows Lufthansa that there is a limit makes sense to me - the T&C as a standardised contract have to be somehow balanced and cannot include "surprises". The ff programs in general have lost much of their attraction already.

If it is worth to fight for these points at court is a different issue. If you have bean counters ruling an airline - you shouldn´t be too surprised to have bean counters as clients. But at least in the future hopefully there will be at least more time to avoid a similar case. Though I am pretty sure that LHs legal department is already studying how to limit it to the minimum level. Most probably you would only gain something from this ruling if you sue LH yourself - so I doubt that it will have a big effect on LHs balance sheet. Let´s wait and see what effect it will have.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:20 am

Quoting thuegin (Reply 33):
Then to devalue these points afterwards without proper prior notice is in my opinion an unfair move.

It is unfair, but you can choose to not fly LH anymore. That is the better option and message to LH. But to continue flying LH while also suing them makes no sense (it's contradictory) and it ties up the courts with a frivolous law suit.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
5MillionMiler
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RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:26 pm

Worst case of mistiming I had redeeming FF miles was years ago when BA charged 175K miles for a Concorde ticket from JFK to LHR then first class to Sydney and back again (round trip) -- so pretty much premium around the workd and back for 175K. I called one day and wanted to book my flight and they told me they had just put new rules into effect (there had been plenty of warning... I had just been overseas and not reading my ff mail) and that I was a week late... and not that trip was 475K (175 + 150 + 150) as it was three separate roundtrips under the new scheme! Really wished I had booked earlier. Was space available but I did not have 475 at the time either, so no Concorde.
 
Unflug
Posts: 692
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:25 pm

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:45 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 34):
It is unfair, but you can choose to not fly LH anymore. That is the better option and message to LH.

That doesn't bring back the lost value.

Honestly I'm much more interested in the correct balance on my bank account than in attempting to "educate" the bank (or LH in this case) by walking away...
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 32):

Can't agree.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 34):
It is unfair, but you can choose to not fly LH anymore.

That's fine for future transactions, but that doesn't mitigate the fraud or bait and switch that already occurred. Considering how airline programs and their partners sell their products as "a free ticket" at various mileage levels, to then go and change that mileage level after the fact is bait and switch. The terms in your program must be very specific to be able to devalue awards, and I suppose the judge found that, according to german law, LH didn't meet that standard.

Again, AA ran into this problem in the 80s, and have since changed their contract and don't face it again when they revamp award levels.

This was AA's award schedule (edited 2 decades ago to remove awards I didn't have enough miles for). There were not blackouts back then, and you got a free rental car in many instances and hotel discounts, but ultimately, if you can get a saver award these days, it's at a lower award level, though the upgrades these days are more expensive. Roundtrip upgrade on SQ Y->J for 20k? Sign me up!

* AWARD CODE means domestic travel only

10,000 Miles
10A* Upgrade for domestic flights with no advanced purchase requirement (not available to/from Hawaii) on AA

20,000 Miles
20A* 25% discount on any ticket on AA
20B Upgrade to Concorde Class from First Class on British Airways (if avail.)
20C Upgrade Economy to Business on Singapore Airlines (if. avail.)
20D Upgrade Economy to Business on Qantas Airways
20G Upgrade Economy to Business between US and Tokyo on AA

30,000 Miles
30A* Two upgrades from Coach to First on AA
30B* 50% discount on AA

35,000 Miles
35A* Free Coach on American

40,000 Miles
40A* 75% discount on an AA ticket
40B Free companion Economy class on AA to Europe
40C Free companion Economy on BA between US and England
40E Upgrade Economy to Business on AA to Europe
40F Upgrade Ecomony to Club® on BA non-stop to England
40H Upgrade Business to First on Singapore Airlines
40I Upgrade Business to First on Qantas Airways
40M Upgrade Business to First on US to Tokyo flights on AA

50,000 Miles
50A* Two free Economy tickets on AA
50B Free First ticket plus free upgrade Economy to First on AA for same trip
50C Free companion Economy on Singapore Airlines with the purchse of a full-fare Economy ticket
50D Free Companion Economy ticket on Qantas
50J Free companion Economy ticket on AA between the US and Tokyo

60,000 Miles
The following awards are available from October 1 to April 30 inclusive
60I Two free Economy tickets on AA to Europe with free connecting travel between home airport and the applicable gateway
60J Two free Economy tickets on BA between US and England or some other cities
60S Two free Economy tickets to Europe on AA plus two free Ecomony tickets on BA within Europe
60,000 Miles
Valid for travel any time
60M Two Economy tickets to Caracas on AA

70,000 Miles
70A Free Business companion ticket on Singapore
70B Free Busniess companion tickets on Qantas
70D Free Business companion ticket on AA between US and Tokyo

75,000 Miles
75A* Two First tickets on AA

80,000 Miles
80A Free companion First ticket on Singapore
80B Free companion First ticket on Qantas
80D Free companion First ticket on AA between US and Tokyo
80E Free companion First ticket on AA between US and Caracas

90,000 Miles
90B Free companion First ticket on AA between the US and Europe
90C Free companion First ticket on BA nonstop from US to England
90G Two free Economy tickets on AA to Europe with free connecting travel between home airport and the applicable gateway
90H Two free Economy tickets on BA between US and England or selected European destination
90J Free Business ticket on AA from US to Europe
90K Free Club® ticket on BA nonstop or single-plane service to England
90Q Two free Economy tickets to Europe on AA plus two free Ecomony tickets on BA within Europe
plus 35% off on IC, WY, or SH hotels or 50% off on SH European Resorts
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Glareskin
Posts: 1001
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:35 pm

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting 5MillionMiler (Reply 23):
Haha YES! me too. Live in Sydney but am 1K on UA and my United miles are worth nearly twice what NZ or LH miles are worth in their programs

And I live in The Netherlands and I am 1K for several years now. But the advantages we used to have with UA are dissapearing rapidly. Here are a few of my recent experiences. In the beginning of the year I had almost a million miles on my UA account. I planned to have two US trips with my wife and 2 kids for 2012. Since September last year my secretary was busy in finding flights. It is almost impossible to get 4 award seats. And if you do (we have finally succeeded with 4 seats on one trip and 3 on another) you get impossible itineraries and never get special awards. 80,000 miles for you return ticket and for instance for a flight to Florida AMS - IAH with 5 hours layover!! From the beginning of this year you should fly at least 4 flights (trips) with United itself before qualifying for Elite status at all. In a year with less USA trips this might be hard if Star Alliance partners who you can use in other parts of the globe are not counting They changed the mileage plus account number from the beginning of this year and send the new card first last week. As a result flights don't show up in the account. The new website is harder to use than the old one. All and all no improvements in the new United. I don't like them so much anymore since CO is there to destroy not only the classy style United used to have. This will push away customers and I might become one of them.
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:01 pm

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 38):
Since September last year my secretary was busy in finding flights. It is almost impossible to get 4 award seats. And if you do (we have finally succeeded with 4 seats on one trip and 3 on another) you get impossible itineraries and never get special awards. 80,000 miles for you return ticket and for instance for a flight to Florida AMS - IAH with 5 hours layover!!

The closer to the time of the trip, the more options that will open up. If you are 1K, you can change for free up until the last minute, so take advantage of that. Sadly, planning far in advance is not compatible with getting 4 seats on one flight...

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 38):
From the beginning of this year you should fly at least 4 flights (trips) with United itself before qualifying for Elite status at all.

I see no problem with this. Many airlines have done this, because "customers" would earn status without ever flying on UA or AA etc. They would fly enough on LH to earn status, then start using UA FF program instead on LH flights to earn status, etc. I don't see a problem with being required to fly 4 segments. That's typically one RT with connections per year...

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 38):
They changed the mileage plus account number from the beginning of this year and send the new card first last week. As a result flights don't show up in the account.

They will. And you can still find them if you have your receipts and manually force them to appear.

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 38):
I don't like them so much anymore since CO is there to destroy not only the classy style United used to have. This will push away customers and I might become one of them.

There are few that feel the integration of CO's better policies and friendlier staff will drive away customers. There will be bumps in the road over the next few months, but ultimately it will be better.

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 38):
The new website is harder to use than the old one. All and all no improvements in the new United.

It is different, but hardly harder to use. Especially for looking for award trips, it's far EASIER. If this is your complaint from above, you need to realize this.

I recently transferred UA miles to CO simply to book award seats back on UA because it was far, far easier to find the awards. This was before the website merger of course.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18859
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:45 pm

Quoting Unflug (Reply 36):
Honestly I'm much more interested in the correct balance on my bank account than in attempting to "educate" the bank (or LH in this case) by walking away...

But the small print in your banking agreement probably doesn't have wording to say that they can close your account without notice with no future liability for lost benefits etc. Every FFP or similar loyalty program (hotels etc.) I've seen has some wording that permits the airline/hotel company etc. to change conditions or even shut down the program without notice.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:55 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 40):
But the small print in your banking agreement probably doesn't have wording to say that they can close your account without notice with no future liability for lost benefits etc. Every FFP or similar loyalty program (hotels etc.) I've seen has some wording that permits the airline/hotel company etc. to change conditions or even shut down the program without notice.

Too different things there. Closing your account without notice? FF programs can't do that. Ending the program? That's different, but even then, members would likely sue and win to force the program to exist for X amount of time, enough for customers to use their miles.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Glareskin
Posts: 1001
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:35 pm

RE: Thou Shalt Not Devalutate Your FF Miles, Lufthansa

Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:03 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
I don't see a problem with being required to fly 4 segments. That's typically one RT

Me neither but are you sure it is only 4 segments?

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 39):
There are few that feel the integration of CO's better policies and friendlier staff will drive away customers. There will be bumps in the road over the next few months, but ultimately it will be better.

I hope so, I am still there.....
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...

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