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Air Malta Flypass set to join Miles&More

We have received reports from a number of sources that Air Malta’s Flypass scheme is to join Lufthansa’s Miles&More frequent flyer scheme at some point in 2013.

While coming from reliable sources, these reports have not been officially confirmed. In addition, it is understood that the move to Miles&More was approved by the previous Maltese government and is therefore subject to the approval of the new administration.

Maltapoints will of course keep you updated on developments here, and will likewise seek official confirmation as soon as possible. In the meantime however, we try and answer some potential questions below:

What does this mean? Is Air Malta merging with Lufthansa?

This simply means that the frequent flyer scheme of Air Malta will now be Miles&More. It does not mean that Air Malta is in any way merging with Lufthansa or re-branding itself as Lufthansa. In fact, a number of airlines currently use Miles&More as their frequent flyer programme, including Austrian, LOT (Polish) and Swiss. Air Malta will therefore enter into this pool of airlines using Miles&More.

Is this good news?

At Maltapoints, we largely welcome this news. Miles&More is a well run frequent flyer scheme, with numerous points-earning opportunities outside of flights, and impressive redemption opportunities (including heavily discounted ones).

In addition, the online interface for Miles&More is comprehensive (allowing easy bookings, redemptions, queries etc). While it served a purpose, Flypass has never been a leading frequent flyer programme, and certainly not a technologically advanced one, and so this move is a step up in class.

It remains to be seen how many points-earning opportunities there will be specific to the local Malta market, but hopefully some credible ones will emerge, and the existing credit card options, for example, will be maintained.

How will this affect me? What will happen to my Flypass account?

The method by which Flypass accounts will be converted to M&M accounts remains to be seen. However, it can be reasonably predicted that all Flypass members will be given an opportunity to set up a new M&M account, and Flypass points will be converted over to this at a 1:1 rate. I am also hoping that existing members of Flypass who have an M&M account will be able to direct Flypass to transfer their points into this account.

Upon successful conversion of all accounts, we would then expect Flypass to disappear and all Air Malta frequent travellers to simply carry an M&M card, and use the existing M&M website for log in, administration etc.

If you are not already a member, you can join M&M here.

What about my status tier with Flypass?

This is an interesting question as M&M has different status levels to Flypass.

Without going into too much detail on this, as it is largely speculation, I would expect the following status matches:

  • Miles&More status – Flypass temporary status
  • Miles&More Frequent Traveller status – Flypass permanent status
  • Miles&More senator status – Flypass diamond status
  • Miles&More HON circle status – Flypass diamond status, with particularly high end mileage.

Does this mean Air Malta will be part of the Star Alliance network?

In short, no. It makes it more likely that this will happen in the future, but this is far from guaranteed.

Will I be able to use my Air Malta points on Lufthansa flights?

Yes. You can actually do this already though. What this helpfully means is that you’ll have a fully automated, online booking system available to you which will enable you to use your (Air Malta) M&M points to book reward flights with Air Malta, Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, LOT and all other members of the M&M programme.

Remember that this website already heavily features earning opportunities for M&M points. Needless to say we will continue to do so.

Please note: Maltapoints is an independent website that is in no way affiliated to or run by Air Malta. As such, this news has not been confirmed by Air Malta and/or Lufthansa. As noted above, we also understand that it is subject to any change in direction mandated by the new government.


6 Comments

  1. Charles Sant says:

    I’m not entirely surprised by this. Ever since Flypass stopped taking new members and started their re-vamp I’ve thought that it would be better if they threw in the towel and joined a proper scheme.

    I wonder if they are going to keep their ultra high redemption rates. I hope not.At least all of the effort of earning miles on KM flights will pay off by yielding a reasonable transferable currency: Miles and More points.

    • maltapoints says:

      Agreed Charles, we felt this one was coming for quite some time.

      I think it would be ill-advised of the new government to u-turn on this one, and see no obvious reason why they should. Perhaps the loss of a “national” frequent flyer points scheme? That strikes me as misguided. Air Malta will remain Air Malta, it’s only their frequent flyer scheme that will become a little more “Lufthansa”…

      Hopefully it will progress without hitch and redemption rates, opportunities, bonuses etc etc all become more attractive.

  2. andrew says:

    Any update on where they might be at with this?

    In addition, would it ean that members of other Star Alliance airlines could earn miles by flying Air Malta?

    • Maltapoints says:

      The changes to Flypass were originally scheduled to complete in Summer 2013, but I don’t think many people expected this to actually happen. There have been no further announcements, and frankly current progress is very uncertain. I would be amazed if there were any significant developments in 2013.

      As things stand, if Air Malta joined Miles&More, that does not mean you could earn points for other Star Alliance airlines. However, joining M&M may be a first step towards Air Malta joining Star Alliance – but one step at a time. It’s also worth remembering that, even now, you can earn Miles&More points (rather than KMiles) on Air Malta flights (through an arrangement Air Malta has with Lufthansa).

  3. kanor says:

    I guess this didnt happen, any current news?

    • maltapoints says:

      We wait, and we wait, and we wait.

      Air Malta was supposed to relaunch Flypass in summer 2013. Clearly that’s not happened, and there’s no visible sign of any tangible developments. The recent focus groups were interesting to attend, but merely confirmed that nothing has seemingly been decided.

      As such, joining Miles&More remains one of a number of possibilities for Air Malta, but based on what I have heard it seems substantially less likely than it was a year or two ago. Needless to say we are very closely monitoring this, and will report in detail on any further news as soon as it is available.

      The good news is that Air Malta is certainly doing something about the stagnant Flypass. Exactly what that is and when it will happen is the current mystery.

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