Lufthansa has just released its list of December Mileage Bargains, allowing you to redeem your Miles&More miles for Lufthansa redemption flights at half price (or almost half price, or sometimes better than half price).
Mileage Bargains, or meilenschnaeppchen, as the Germans call it (a word that can only properly be said with a thick German accent, in a slightly aggressive manner) are an excellent way to use your accumulated Miles&More points (as explained in further detail below). While the Lufthansa website can also often be a bit clunky, the Mileage Bargains operation is relatively slick and user-friendly. You pick your starting point (although it should geolocate to wherever you’re searching from), and the list of available destinations and the mileage price will pop up instantly – you then just click through to book (see our walk-through of the process below).
Given the enormous range of departure points and destinations, it’s quite hard to give comprehensive examples of available bargains, but some stand-out offers currently available from the UK and USA (and bear in mind you can choose global departure points) include:
55,000 (was 105,000) miles return in Business Class from Aberdeen/Birmingham/Edinburgh/London (City and Heathrow)/Manchester to:
- Mexico City
70,000 (was 135,000) miles return in Business Class from Aberdeen/Birmingham/Edinburgh/London (City and Heathrow)/Manchester to:
- Hong Kong
55,000 (was 105,000) miles return in Business Class from Chicago/Philadelphia to:
- London (City and Heathrow)
But this really is just a selection – have a look at the full range for yourself.
Importantly, you need to book by 31 December 2014 and fly between 7 and 30 April 2015. Don’t stress too much about booking something before 31 December 2014 however – rest assured further Mileage Bargains will be along when this one finishes.
Booking a Mileage Bargains redemption
The booking process is as follows:
Select your starting point on the Mileage Bargains home page:
If you’re not already logged in, you’ll need to do so now:
You then need to enter your flight details in. Crucially, this must (obviously) tally with the Mileage Bargain destination/dates available, so in this example we’ve gone from London to Bangkok, in Business Class, in April 2015 (note that sometimes the recognition of the airports you type in here can be very poor – e.g. “LHR” is not recognised, but “LON” will be (eventually) – just keep trying until it works – it will):
Once your details are entered, click “search flights”. (Yes, you could probably work that out yourself, but indulge us in some spoon-feeding):
You will see the availability of the heavily discounted Mileage Bargain redemptions. In this case note they are down from 135,000 miles to 70,000 miles return: making Business Class cheaper than an Economy redemption:
Your full mileage and tax spend requirement will then be listed. Expect the tax to be heavy, but bear in mind this is a long haul Business Class flight, with a mileage spend of only 70,000:
So there you have it – a return Business Class flight from London to Bangkok at 70,000 miles plus €740. Certainly very competitive compared to a standard Economy redemption of 80,000 miles plus €500 in tax.
My thoughts on Lufthansa’s Miles&More, Mileage Bargains etc
I have something of a love-hate relationship with Lufthansa’s Miles&More frequent flyer programme.
On the one hand, they can be extremely difficult to collect outside of simply flying, and even when I do collect Miles&More points when I fly, the points awarded can be pitiful (I once flew on a return flight to Turkey with Turkish Airlines, and credited the miles to my Lufthansa Miles&More account. I ended up earning more Miles&More miles for the review of my Istanbul hotel than I did for the entire return flight). Taxes are also sometimes comical, meaning anything other than a long-haul Business or First Class redemption flight can often offer you staggeringly poor value for your miles.
However, the flip side is that the Lufthansa premium product (Business Class and First Class) is superb, while even Economy is run in the organised and efficient manner that you’d expect from Germany’s main carrier, making it an entirely tolerable experience. Plus there are the regular opportunities to redeem your miles at a substantial discount, through the Mileage Bargains. Get a decent long-haul Mileage Bargains redemption in Business Class, and you have almost certainly got yourself a good deal, even when factoring in the eye-watering tax that will be applied.
Rule number 1 of spending miles is that you will almost certainly get better value in Business Class. Never is this more apparent than with Lufthansa – so think very seriously about making the most of the Mileage Bargain route when it comes along.