Lufthansa announced today that it has launched a new program dubbed ‘Cash & Miles’ that will allow passengers to use a combination of cash and miles from their Miles & More account balance to book flights on any LH Group airline (as long as the booking is made through Lufthansa.com).
The program is operational as of now, but from what I understand will not be available in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy until early 2017. It is however available in most countries outside of Europe.
If you are a resident in a country where ‘Cash & Miles’ is available, you’ll see the new option when pricing out a new fare (make sure your Miles & More profile is loaded). There will be a sliding scale that you can use when calculating the amount of miles that will be needed based on the amount of cash you want to spend on a ticket. According to the program rules, a minimum of 7,000 miles must be used towards any booking.
Tickets booked under ‘Cash & Miles’ will still qualify for full mileage credit to Miles & More based on the fare class that you are booking.
The program is targeted primarily to those Miles & More members that may not have quite the amount of miles needed for a full ticket redemption and the math confirms that notion.
Here are the numbers for 2 examples: To reduce your fare by $20, you would need to use 7659 miles. To reduce the fare by approximately $100, you would need to use 31,405 miles. As you can see for the 31,405 miles you can book an economy award ticket within USA, or for a few more miles a ticket within Europe. Not to mention the deals you can take advantage of through the Meilenschnappchen program.
However it is a net positive addition to the Miles & More platform because it does allow you to use your miles to offset the cost of a ticket. The value of the program however is based on a case by case basis. For some, this will be a great way to shed miles they normally wouldn’t be able use, while for others it would make sense to keep the miles towards a far better redemption option through Miles & More.