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This year both the Air France-KLM FlyingBlue program and the Lufthansa Miles & More program are making radical changes that reflect the general trends we’re seeing with airline loyalty programs. We’re seeing the programs move more closely to a revenue based model, both when it comes to earning and redeeming miles.
With the changes to these programs, members will earn four miles for every EUR spent, and then elite members can earn more. This is similar to the changes we saw in the US, though in the case of European programs, I don’t quite understand the logic of these changes in the same way. The problem with US airline frequent flyer programs is that they were awarding a minimum of 100% miles on virtually all economy fares, so there wasn’t much differentiation.
That’s not the case in Europe. In Europe members earn as few as 25% miles for discounted economy tickets, while they earn as many as 300% miles for paid first class tickets. The programs are already indirectly revenue based.
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