Lufthansa has most valuable FFP tier, study finds
Frequent flyers who want to keep up with the most exclusive of the Joneses should set their sights on the top tier of Lufthansa's Miles & More frequent flyer programme, according to Bruce Conradie of South African research firm Razor's Edge.
Miles & More's super-exclusive Hon Circle, which was recently recognised as the "Most Valuable Frequent-Flyer Elite Tier" by Razor's Edge in its Value in Rewards Programmes 2007 survey, offers more than the benefits that are typical of frequent flyer elite tiers. Apart from access to airport lounges regardless of the passenger's class of ticket, and priority check-ins and limousine services, the programme also offers many other features that attract frequent flyers who enjoy extra perks and privileges.
Extreme value - in Frankfurt Among the benefits that won the award are access to First Class departure lounges and access to the First Class terminal in Frankfurt. The top tier offers a valet service to return rental cars to the rental company, and a personal assistant to take care of check-in and other airport formalities. Passengers are then driven directly to the aircraft in either a Mercedes or a Porsche.
Of course the benefits of the top tier are incredibly attractive, but they are understandably not within easy reach. According to Bruce Conradie, managing director for Razor's Edge, "To achieve Hon Circle status, passengers from South Africa would need to make 28 economy-class returns flights from Johannesburg to Frankfurt each year - and they must do that for two years in a row. But if they fly business class only 14 return flights per year would be needed, or 10 flights in First Class." Whichever class is chosen, the overall cost per year would be about R600,000 (approx. US$87,100).
Top tier rewards In summary, programme members who have Hon Circle status are entitled to all the benefits of the Senator tier (the third elite tier of Miles & More), along with:
- Access to the Lufthansa First Class terminal in Frankfurt
- Access to the First Class lounges in Frankfurt
- Transfer service for shorter connecting times in Frankfurt and Munich
- Limousine service in Munich if the aircraft is parked on the apron
- A Senator card for their spouse or partner
- A booking guarantee in certain classes, and up to 24 hours before departure in Business Class
- Highest wait-list priority
- Extended flight award availability, including a guarantee in Economy and Business Class that the Hon Circle member and three companions can get award seats (as long as seats are still being sold in the compartment)
- Free membership of the Avis President's Club programme
- Double Avis award miles for car rentals
- A two-year free subscription to the Mercedes Benz magazine
- A free annual subscription to the Porsche magazine
- Double award miles and Hyatt Gold Passport membership at Hyatt hotels
- Free membership of the Kempinski Private Concierge programme and double award miles for stays at Kempinski hotels
- A free Sixt Diamond Card and double award miles for car rentals with Sixt.
The South African Value in Rewards Programmes report can be purchased directly from Razor's Edge.