I’ve been digging into the Lufthansa Miles & More program because of the Barclaycard 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 points, like my mother-in-law, there are better cards for you to apply for like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, American Express Starwood card, Chase Ink Plus, or the other cards on the Hot Deals tab. But if you’ve been doing this for a while, the Barclaycard Miles & More World Elite MasterCard 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
- Part 1 – 17 Ways To Use Lufthansa Miles
- Part 2 – Introduction, Rules, Fees, Mile Expiration etc.
- Part 3 – Calling Lufthansa Service Centers
- Part 4 – Award Pricing
- Part 5 – Segments, Stopovers, & Open Jaws
- Part 6 – How To Find and Book Awards
- Part 7 – Is The Companion Ticket Worth It?
- Part 8 – How to Avoid High Fuel Surcharges
- Part 9 – Hotel and Car Awards
- Part 10 – EXTRA Award Seats on Lufthansa, Swiss, Singapore Airlines & More…
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.
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.
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)!
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
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.
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.