Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will revamp their shared Miles & More frrequent flyer program from 1 January 2021, and are baiting the hook with the lure of lifetime status in the Frequent Traveller and Senator tiers, which respectively equate to Star Alliance Silver and Gold.
To begin with, Miles & More will drop its measurement of status miles for a points-based system which is promised to make "frequent flyer status easy to understand (and) allow more transparency."
"In addition to the award miles for their flight, guests will receive points instead of the current status and HON Circle miles," the airlines said in a statement. "The amount of points that can be earned on a flight will only depend on two criteria: the travel class and whether the flight is continental or intercontinental."
"Points can be earned on flights with many of our airline partners: Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines as well as with Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways, Luxair, Air Dolomiti, and all Star Alliance airlines."
However, Miles & More will also let you earn special "qualifying points" for achieving Frequent Traveller, Senator or HON Circle status. Those qualifying points will be awarded only on flights operated by Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines as well as with Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Adria Airways, Luxair and Air Dolomiti and some LX codeshare flights operated by Edelweiss.
Here's the clincher: travellers will need to earn half of their necessary tally of status points as 'qualifying points'.
"We want to reward loyalty," the airlines said. "In future, we will reward those who mainly fly with us."
From 2021, Frequent Traveller status will come through earning 160 points within a single calendar year; at least 80 of these must be qualifying points.
Senator status will require 480 points within a calendar year, with a minimum of 240 qualifying points.
HON Circle membership will require 1,500 qualifying points per calendar year, although from 2021 these will be granted even in premium economy and economy class, compared to the current 'business and first only' proposition.
And for those who do a lot of flying, lifetime status at the Frequent Traveller tier is up for grabs by earning 7,500 qualifying points across Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Miles & More airline partners.
Hit 10,000 qualifying points and have been a Senator or HON Circle Member "for at least ten full calendar years" and you'll be able to slip a shiny Senator Lifetime card in your pocket or purse.
Miles & More will axe its Status Stars component, but will convert Status Stars points accrued up until 31 December 2020 into qualifying points which will go towards Frequent Traveller Lifetime or Senator Lifetime, with two Status Stars points converting into one qualifying point.
"All frequent flyers with four or five Status Stars will thus be awarded Senator Lifetime at the beginning of 2021," the airlines says. "You will receive Frequent Traveller Lifetime if you have already achieved three Status Stars by the end of 2020."
For more details on these changes and access to a new status points calculator, visit the Miles & More website.