Using Lufthansa Miles: Part 3 – Calling Lufthansa Service Centers

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[Disclosure:  Emily and I get a commission if you're approved using the link to the Barclays Lufthansa 50,000 mile card in this post.  You don't have to use our links, but thanks for your support!]

I’ve been digging into the Lufthansa Miles & More program because of the Barclays 50,000 mile credit card. This offer ends on June 30, 2014.

I could not find much information on the program, so I’ve spent lots of time studying how to avoid the high fuel surcharges, discounted award flights, stopover rules, extra award seats and other quirks of the Lufthansa frequent flyer program.  This will be the most comprehensive guide to using Lufthansa miles in English.

If you’re new to miles and pointslike my mother-in-law, there are better cards for you to apply for like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, American Express Starwood cardChase Ink Plus, or the other cards on the Hot Deals tab.  But if you’ve been doing this for a while, theBarclays Lufthansa card could make sense for you – especially if you can use their miles for travel within the US and save your more valuable miles.  But make sure you know the quirks of the program BEFORE you apply.

There is another offer for 50,000 miles, with a lower minimum spending requirement, but you may get fewer miles if you’re approved for a lower card with that offer.

“Using Lufthansa Miles” Series Index

Telephone Booking Fee:

There is NO fee for booking flights over the phone with the Lufthansa Miles & More service center.  In contrast, most US airlines charge $25 for a phone booking.

This is great because you *have* to call the service center to book certain awards. Remember that only airlines which are part of the Miles and More program (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian etc.) can be booked online.  Other airlines like United, Thai, Air New Zealand, etc. must be booked over the phone.

You also have to call if you want to take advantage of the generous open jaw (fly into one city and fly back from another city) and stop-over (have a break or layover in your journey) policy.

Miles & More Contact

1.   US Service Center:

Lufthansa has a great US call center which has low hold times for ordinary non-elite members and very competent agents.  Dial 800-581-6400, press “2”, and then press “1″ to redeem miles for an air award.

But the center is only open from 8 am to 8 pm (US Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.

Miles and More Contact

Miles & More US Service Center

2.   Singapore Service Center:

But what do you do if you want to call in after 8:00 pm Eastern Time?

I called the Singapore service center to see if they would be able to help.  The reps spoke fluent English and were able to help.  This is especially helpful as they are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Singapore time) which is 10:00 pm to 6:00 am (US Eastern Time), Monday Through Friday.

Miles and More Contact

Singapore Contact Center

You can cheaply call the Singapore office (+65-6245-5600) by using Skype or Rebtel (my referral link).

3.   Australia Service Center

But what if you want to call on Saturday or Sunday?

The Australian service center is open, 7 days a week, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (AEST) in the summer and from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm in winter and they sorta speak English in Australia (I kid, I kid)!

Miles and More Contact

Australia Contact Center

This means that you can call the Australian center (+61-1300-655 727) over the weekend in the US from:

  • 5:00 pm to 6:00 am (US Eastern Time) in the summer and from
  • 4:00 pm to 6:00 am (US Eastern Time) in the winter

The Australian service center was able to cancel a ticket which I had originally booked from the US service center.

The Hong Kong service center is also open on Saturday and Sunday, but they weren’t able to cancel a ticket which I had booked in the US.

4.   German Service Center

Surprisingly, the German service center (+49 69-209-777-777) is open only 6 days a week (Monday to Saturday) open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm (German Time) or 1:00 am to 4:00 pm (US Eastern Time)

Miles and More Contact

German Service Center

There were no English prompts on the phone, but I waited until an agent came on the line.  She spoke English fluently and helped cancel a ticket very quickly.

You can also hit “5” and then “1” and ask for an English speaking rep.

Bottom Line

You have to call the Lufthansa service center to book award flights on airlines which are not part of the Miles and More program (Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss etc.)

They have a very competent center, but it isn’t open 24 hours.  However, you can easily call their service centers in Germany, Singapore and Australia with Skype or Rebtel if you need to speak with someone when the US service center is closed.

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These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

48 Responses to Using Lufthansa Miles: Part 3 – Calling Lufthansa Service Centers

  1. Oliver2002

    Just call the US 1-800 number, it will redirect to CPT/MEL/IST if YPQ is closed… :rolleyes:

  2. Oliver2002 – I called the US 1-800 (Miles & More) number many times, after hours and on the weekend, and was told to call back when the office was open. Perhaps it redirects to the other centers only if you are a Lufthansa elite member?

    I also find it amusing that a “Senior Moderator” of the Lufthansa Miles & More and External Miles & Points Resources on FlyerTalk finds the need to “:rolleyes:” on a blog and perpetuate the (often) unfortunate stereotype of FlyerTalk members as rude, arrogant, and snarky.

    Or were you setting the “tone at the top?” :) That’s an emotional response, because I know the other moderators are more professional.

  3. Really?

    I mean, really??

  4. Oliver2002

    Well, in the many years I’m an M&M member I always called the same number in Germany and/or the US and always someone picked up the line. I only updated my contacts numbers earlier this year when they went from premium 01803 to regular landline 069 numbers in Germany. Maybe you were out of luck in your 80+ hours of research :) I’m pretty certain the overflow and after hours service goes to IST and CPT, because of the names of the agents who pick up the line.
    As far as :rolleyes: is concerned, I think I can express my opinion about a particular blog entry that in my humble opinion is a waste of space in the blogosphere. This particular aspect of M&M could have been covered in about 2-3 lines and if someone would have visited FT and asked about in our newbie thread s/he would have received an answer within minutes.

  5. “This particular aspect of M&M could have been covered in about 2-3 lines and if someone would have visited FT and asked about in our newbie thread s/he would have received an answer within minutes.”

    I presume 1 line for the phone number and 1 line for all the affiliate links that are completely unrelated to Lufthansa?

  6. @Oliver2002 – I’ll ignore your snark again. But I did call the regular US number after 8:00 pm and on the weekend, and as a NON-ELITE member I was told to call back during normal business hours. Perhaps your experience is different because you are a Lufthansa elite member and Lufthansa may have decided that it is okay to have non-elite members call back, but affords better treatment to elites.

    Perhaps you would have got an answer on FlyerTalk, but since you as a “Senior Moderator” of the Lufthansa forum seem to not be aware of what happens when you call the US call center as a non-elite member, I’m not sure the answer within minutes would be of any value (see, I can do snark too!)

    Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, but since you also have a leadership position at FlyerTalk, one would also hope for a bit more circumspection, instead of reinforcing stereotypes.

    @ProfessionalismLMAO – I warned you repeatedly that I will add to the spam list, comments with fake usernames and whose comments are repeatedly disruptive. Goodbye Mick and the other screenames which you’ve used…

  7. long time reader… pretty much from day 1.

    Can you just put this to bed once and for all – did you research and write this series, or did someone else? it matters to some people, and i’d think i’d fall under the Mother-in-Law rule – if she asked you this question – wouldn’t you answer it?

  8. And boom goes the dynamite…

  9. @Jay. Do the google search I suggested and look at the first link that shows up

    It’s not exactly ambiguous

  10. MMS, if you had perused the M&M section in FT as part of your research two things would have been evident rather quickly:
    – the M&M section is the last place you will find snark, the two mods and our ambassador spend considerable time preparing guides and answering every question that comes up. IMHO one of the reasons I climbed the mod ranks to become one of the four senior (super duper über-)mods is that I tend to help anyone ;)
    – the number to call is the 1-800 LH number that shows to have 24h service for all. Its very easy to find. Just ask!

  11. @Jay – I emailed you. I refuse to be intimidated by [edit for clarification: other commentators] with a history of fake names, mean, and viscous comments.

    @Oliver2002 - That’s all you had to write the first time! I’ll try that number tonight and on the weekend and see if they let me make a miles and more reservation (not a paid ticket reservation). I did notice that your Lufthansa forum had a lot less snark than elsewhere on FlyerTalk and is very helpful, which is why I was surprised to read your initial comment.

  12. +1 to @Jays question

    Darius, was this post written by you?

  13. Hi daraius,

    I’ve “lurked” here a while. I am one of those like Rob pointed out who signed up for this card with you link because of all the research you seemed to have done.

    Did Drew write this series or any of the posts? I want to make sure I’m clicking where credit is due. Thanks!

  14. LOULOUBELLE

    Daraius:

    Seems to me that “Trolls” Invation is in the making. To me, I don’t even care care if you copy and paste these from someone else, because the way you explalin it is plain a simple and very easy to understand to someone like me that is just starting. Thanks to your blog, I was able to make a trip to Europe in less than three months of churning. I started October 23rd, 2012 and flew to England, December 28th, First and Business via BA, four people, got the massage and dinner wth my husband at the Concorde Lounge, then join my kids on theirs , December 28th, 2013. Visit Paris, and stayed @ Hyatt Park Vendome and Marriott Champs Elysse. Then flew to Barcelona on the 31st and took a cruise to, Barcelona, Marseille, Tunisia, Genoa, Rome, and back to Barcelona again, where we stayed one more day to see the city. After our return, I went to my daughters friend, first baseball game on Mayors league, and stayed at the Presidential suite @ Philladelphias, Hyatt Regency room 2110 (just in case you want to check), then went to New York for the next REDS, game and stay and eat for free at Sheraton and and Hilton. All this just for reading his blog. I asked three of the “Big Dogs” for help to achieve my Europe vacations, also wrote emails to two of the bloggers that book trips for a fee, and all of them told me it was impossible to do in such a short time. But I did it. There was not one time that I asked D. a questions and I did not got a response from him. He could just dumped me after I requested the cards through his links, but he did not. For this and for all your help, THANKS DARAIUS!! My family and I will always be thankfull and will keep reading your page. Keep up the GREAT work. And ctrl C ctrl V all you want, if is to help someone, they do it too!!!!!!! Lol!

  15. “I don’t even care care if you copy and paste these from someone else, because the way you explalin it is plain a simple and very easy to understand”

    Well someone explained it in a way that is simple and very easy to understand

    What I’m still waiting for a response on is if that person was Darius or Drew

  16. THEFRUGALMOMPOINTSMILESHACKINGNEWBTRAVELER

    DEAR Wacko, What is going on here? Go bother someone else, like Bill O’Reilly who turns out a book of hate every 2 weeks. Take all your names and go away, jackass.

  17. THEFRUGALMOMPOINTSMILESHACKINGNEWBTRAVELER

    D, it’s time to start deleting comments and blocking them. For the good of the site, you do not deserve this B.S.

  18. Are Americans ( or your readers) so stupid that you have to circle phone numbers? Seriously? this was over the top!

  19. Darius-

    I think your series on Lufthansa is quite useful. I would not have found this info on flyertalk, because there is not enough time in my life to read all posts on all individual forum threads, though obviously, like you, I spend a great deal of time researching miles ideas. If my readers find something useful in flyertalk or anywhere else, I expect them to tell me about it, politely – and they do. So thanks much for the research you did on this and for sharing it with us. I couldn’t care less where you found the info.

    The garbage a (very) few of your readers post in your comments section is why I don’t have such a section on my website. Those of my kind readers who have something to say to me say it only to me via email. Thus I receive almost no impolite comments from them, as they don’t go public unless I chose to quote them. I would have no objection to your refusing to publish any comment that is less than polite.

  20. Hello Darius,

    Thanks for your hard work and the useful post on Lufthansa, but on a lighter note.

    You wrote that you were surprised that the German call center is open only 6 days a week and not even 24 hrs a day. But since I lived in Germany twenty something years and go over twice a year I am surprised they are open as long as they are.

  21. StartInSanDiego

    Wow, it has been quite a while since I visited your site and read the comments.

    Quite frankly, I appreciate Darius for being one of two blogs that got me deep into the FF world. Now I spend more time over at FT, but dropped by for a quick visit here to find a quick, simple answer to a BB question, without having to wade through page after page at FT. I just completed my very first BB funding and need to know what to do next, I knew I could find it here (well, the search button is a bit hard to find, but I know I’ll get there sometime!)

    I am really surprised to see the comments have deteriorated to one snark after another. Sad.

  22. @Oliver2002

    “Why reinvent the wheel?”

    Uh, different readers? People like me do not plow through every airline thread on Flyertalk. There would not be time in my life for my doing anything else. Darius’s posts might motivate some people to acquire Miles and More who would otherwise not done so, either because they did not previously realize how useful the mile are or because they fear trying to use miles from a foreign airline. These are the very people we are trying to recruit into traveling. Telling them how easy this is removes a block for them actually doing it. Disrespecting those who help beginners who certainly would not think to look at the appropriate flyertalk threads, let alone plow through them, is exactly contrary to the purpose of flyertalk, which I believe is to encourage people to travel.

    So what concerns you about Darius’s posts? The inconvenience of a large number of electrons?

  23. MilesHunter

    Darius,

    I started my points journey with you quite awhile ago, and even used your SW airlines credit card link back when there used to be no spend threshold, but I have since learned that to take steps forward you have to do your homework. It has taken time to weed through threads at FT, but I have. I’ve learned so much and done the hard work and put the time in to learn as much as I can. I won’t stop reading your blog, but I would truly appreciate some clarity as to the author of this article because integrity does matter to me and I consider you a person of strong ethical value. Thanks.

  24. Daraius, why not just say whether or not Drew wrote the series? It’s okay to have guest posts, a lot of other bloggers like the FTG and TPG have additional writers on their blogs and it hasn’t hurt them any.

  25. @LOULOUBELLE – THanks for sharing your experience and glad I could help!

    @THEFRUGALMOMPOINTSMILESHACKINGNEWBTRAVELER @Gary Steiger – FreeFrequentFlyerMiles - I haven’t deleted many comments, but it is time to revisit my comments policy.

    @longroller – I was surprised because Lufthansa is a German airline and I’d expect their home country telephone line to be 24/7, and not expect them to have 24/7 service in another country instead! But things are different in Europe.

    @Steve/Rob – I warned you!

    @MilesHunter @Jack – Email me for more details.

  26. Oliver2002 – you are completely missing the points that large numbers of people don’t have the time and energy for FT. While your M&M section may be welcoming, most of the rest is not, and besides it takes time to find the right info. This is exactly what the blogs cater to. And frankly in some places like the blog-bashing forum External Miles and Resources it is downright unfriendly. And you moderators can hide behind your BS wall of no moderator critique. Well here that does not apply so another reason to move this away from FT!!!

    Take a look here for a more typical “friendly” and “useful” FT post where the moderators pile in to support each other in suppressing debate, then come back here to continue ranting about how there is no need for anything but FT

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkboard-topics/1468207-what-good-milesbuzz-if-legacy-card-threads-moved-credit-card-programs.html

    @MMS – now seriously, WTF is all the secrecy around who wrote this? No need to send the details by email. Why not just put it out there? I just find this odd. I mean using guest writers is perfectly acceptable, and it seems clear you did, so why not just say so?

    But at least (I hope) I can make and continue to make this critique here. I’d say continue to be strong with comments and let it fly. It ultimately raises you above others, as I point out above.

  27. There are too many intentionally misleading posts on Flyertalk, trying to steer newbies away from taking advantage of deals. There are too many posts that pretend a deal doesn’t work, falsely warn of accounts getting flagged or shut down, and sending people to the wrong websites to make bookings so that they can’t… all meant to make it appear deals don’t exist, so that they can be kept alive longer for the ‘chosen few’.

    So no one can credibly claim that people looking for simple, clear answers should just go to Flyertalk. Even if it’s possible to wade through all of the Megathreads in hours and hours of reading and pull out the answers, get through the jargon, etc. When you do that there’s still false and misleading info intentionally posted.

    Maybe that’s not the case in the Lufthansa forum, but how is someone to even know that? If they don’t know what’s true and what isn’t going in, there’s no way to know just by reading.

    So we come to blogs like this one that share their experiences. And though some don’t like all of the pictures and arrows, they at least show step-by-step what’s real and that’s very helpful.

    A senior moderator of Flyertalk telling people not to write simple guides to things, to go to Flyertalk instead, is really quite self-interested and spamm-ish. :(

  28. Why, thank you for the praise :)
    FFPs evolve. M&M itself changed some significant sections twice over the past one year. A blogger spending 80+ hours once to sum it up might mislead people a month later into thinking that this is it. If you review my advice carefully you may notice I asked people to go to the website of M&M first.

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  33. I totally agree with Oliver… your 6 posts are a pretty huge waste of time…

  34. @MilesAbound – This wasn’t a guest post! All comments are welcome except those from individuals who continually change names and disrupt the comment section (so far I’ve only banned two people from commenting and would like to keep it that way).

    @Oliver2002 – I wasn’t able to call the Lufthansa sales number or the elite number and make an award booking.

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  40. I just got back from the phone with miles and more Germany for booking an award seat for myself and here is what I found out:

    N.A. one way award: no stopover possible, layover is possible up to 24hours (which I just wanted to get confirmed)

    Change of an award ticket is possible, but only for a fee of 50€, even when doing it within 24hours.
    Cancellation only when due to illness (proof needed)

    Name change is not allowed.
    Change of route is not allowed.

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  46. FWIW, here’s my experience: I got 50K M&M miles because of this blog’s heads-up. I read this blog’s info on booking United award flights using M&M miles and within 60 minutes went from zero knowledge of the M&M system to successfully booking a RT from BHM to LAX over Thanxgiving weekend, all on UA using M&M thru the North American call center. You can’t do that using Flyertalk, full stop. Well done, MMS.

  47. @Ken Blakely – Thanks for your kind words!

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