I normally don’t speculate on rumors but one caught my attention today thanks to FlyerTalk’s ‘NewbieRunner’, who pointed out a thread written by a ‘HON Circle’ member suggesting that Lufthansa may be set to relax their upgrade rules as far as moving to First Class is concerned.
Back in 2012, Lufthansa stopped the practice of allowing Miles & More members to use their E-Vouchers to upgrade from discount ‘Z’ Business Class fares to First Class seats on long haul flights. Passengers could only upgrade to first if they had booked full fare business class tickets. This was also the time that Lufthansa unveiled ‘P’ fares, that were ‘deep discount’ business class fares. They too were ineligible for upgrades.
Interestingly enough, SWISS, the only other LH Group airline that offers long haul First Class seats has always allowed discounted Business Class fares to be upgradeable to First.
Now it appears that the policy may be revised to once again allow discount Lufthansa Business Class fares to be eligible for upgrades to First. According the aforementioned thread, it may be that a Lufthansa staffer inadvertently told this ‘HON’ that this change is coming.
The timing of this ‘leak’ may be reasonable since Miles & More is set to announce wide ranging changes to the terms of the program, including a likely shift to a revenue based model as far as earning status is concerned. This widely expected shift would simply be in line with what the rest of the industry has already done, or is in the process of transitioning to.
If this comes to pass it will be a very positive development. My only concern is what will be taken away or changed that will make this positive development seem trivial. Lately, most program changes have taken away more than they have given as far as benefits are concerned.
Expect an announcement from Miles & More in the coming weeks regarding program changes for 2018.
Over the past few hours, the USA and Turkey have banned the issuance of travel visas that effectively bans American citizens from entering Turkey, and vice versa. Turkey issued their ban hours ago after the USA instituted the ban earlier on Monday (October 9).
This comes as part of the American protest over the arrest of a Turkish citizen who worked for the US Embassy in Ankara. The Turks claim the employee has links to Fethullah Gulen, an individual that Turkey believes is behind terrorist attacks within their borders.
Typically, Americans traveling to Turkey simply buy their Visas at the airport in Istanbul or other points of entry and proceed to enter the country with no problem. However, as a result of this suspension this is no longer possible and Americans traveling to Turkey in the near term will not be allowed to enter the country. This ban applies to the online Turkish E-Visa system as well.
Turkish Airline flights between the USA and Turkey have not been impacted thus far. No US based carrier flies to Turkey.
The situation is quite fluid so expect more updates.
While away for the last 2 weeks, Lufthansa released information concerning their Winter 2017/18 timetable. Their updates reflect the resumption of 2 routes to the USA as well as 1 to Asia.
Perhaps the most important announcement involved the resumption of service between Berlin (Tegel) and New York (JFK) as a result of Lufthansa’s takeover of certain Air Berlin routes. Beginning November 8, LH will fly between TXL and JFK 5 times per week (Daily except for Friday and Sunday). The last time that LH flew this route was back in 2001.
Flight LH406 will depart Berlin Tegel at 5:35p, arriving in JFK at 8:35p while flight LH407 will depart JFK at 10:20p, arriving in Berlin at 12:15p the next day.
In addition, LH has also announced the following resumptions of service between Dusseldorf and Miami. Beginning November 8, 2017 LH will fly the route 3x/week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Turning to Asia, Lufthansa announced that it will resume flights between Frankfurt and Shenyang, China effective March 26, 2018. The route will be flown 3x/week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays from Frankfurt.