Lifemiles is one of my favourite frequent flyer programs, and while I’d like to think that they are, it seems that they continue to deteriorate the value of their miles.
Changes in the Star Alliance Award Chart
Effective October 15, Lifemiles is modifying their award chart for regions including Europe, South America, and North America.
Those changes are partially posted on their website, but the fact that they don’t disclose exactly what will happen concerns me.
As for changes in air ticket redemption with Star Alliance member airlines, these include increases up to 13.000 miles in Economy Class and up to 26.000 miles in Business Class. Both cases apply for roundtrip flights from North America.
For roundtrip flights from Mexico, there will be reductions up to 15.000 miles and increases up to 14.000 miles in Economy Class, also reductions up to 20.000 miles and increases up to 28.000 miles in Business class.
Current rates on Lifemiles for travel to Europe from North America on Star Alliance partners are 60,000 miles and 105,000 miles roundtrip, in economy and business respectively. The devaluations raises the price slightly. I really don’t like that they’re not disclosing any changes to any other regions, such as North Asia, and for first class redemptions as well.
The best redemptions on Lifemiles are long-haul international first class routes, as well as heavily discounted routes (although that’s another story). If Lifemiles isn’t disclosing the changes those charts (if any), that means there could be a significant devaluation to those redemptions.
Lifemiles Blocking Lufthansa First Class
Recently I’ve noticed that Lifemiles has been blocking Lufthansa First Class redemptions on their website. I’m hoping it’s a temporary issue, but at this point nobody really knows what’s happening. Up to this point, Lifemiles was one of the cheapest ways to fly Lufthansa First, and a 1.5 cents per mile during the transfer promotion and purchase promotions, that made a first class ticket only ~$1200-1300.
I suspect that this happened because there was a trick that was available for Lufthansa First Class that allowed you to fly it for under 20,000 miles per segment, which many people (including myself) took advantage of. In fact, I can count six bloggers who flew it and kept it a secret. 😉 Given how many bloggers have flown it, I can only imagine how many FTers and other people have.
Strangely enough, some routes involving connections with Lufthansa First Class is still available, although it’s nothing I’d want to fly alone. Ironically you’d still get fairly significant discounts on those routes too.
Lifemiles Tricks and Strategies
I still have a fair amount of Lifemiles in my account, which I can’t do anything with, because most of the good redemptions are gone. However, if you’re not aware, there are still options to fly to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East for only 25,000 Lifemiles. As well, there are other one-way redemptions which reduce the cost normally required for the miles.
Still, Lifemiles for the most part has lower award redemption costs than United, and no fuel surcharges on all airlines unlike Aeroplan. If you don’t have much of the either, buying Lifemiles at 1.5 cents (and soon to go up) may still be a good value, although you’d want to redeem immediately given the changes that have occurred and will occur.