Lufthansa plans to overhaul its Miles & More frequent flyer program in the new year as the airline works to trim costs and boost profits.
The scope of the 'transformation' could extend to Miles & More being spun out into a standalone business or even being sold off in part or whole, similar to what's being mooted for the Qantas Frequent Flyer program as the Flying Kangaroo faces record losses in the current financial year.
With over 25 million customers on its books, Miles & More delivered an estimated €700 million (A$1.06 billion) in profit to the Lufthansa Group in 2012.
However, a spokesman for Lufthansa reportedly told Air Transport World "we don’t want to sell our loyalty program like Air Berlin or Air Canada did."
“We are looking through all [options] for our Miles & More program like we do for every part of the group regarding our reorganisation. The program should become more efficient and should get more independence as well as responsibility to be able to create more value."
Even if Miles & More remains in Lufthansa's hands – albeit possibly outsourced to a specialist loyalty firm which can wring maximum revenue from every member – there are understandable concerns that changes will lead to the dreaded 'enhancements' which so many frequent flyers dread.
These can include a higher cost of redeeming points on seats, increased charges on top of 'free' seats and even changing the threshold for each status tier in the program.
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