Good News: Lufthansa Miles & More will Allow Family Pooling of Miles Starting May 2018, per Ben. Lufthansa Miles & More miles are difficult to earn if you don't do a lot of paid flying with Lufthansa or another Star Alliance airline, crediting the miles to Lufthansa, or put a lot of spend on the Miles & More credit card.
Here's the info from the press release:
“In May, Miles & More launches mileage pooling…an offering that caters especially to families: Up to two adults and up to five children have the opportunity to bundle their award miles and thus reach the desired bonus faster. Miles collected together can be redeemed by both adults on an equal basis for all bonuses available in the Miles & More program, for example for flights…”
Note that only award miles are pooled, status miles earned by Lufthansa elite frequent flyers are not pooled.
Pros of Lufthansa Miles & More
If you want to fly Lufthansa First Class, you can only book in advance using Miles & More miles, because Lufthansa generally only releases first class award space to Star Alliance partners 15 days prior to the departure date. Lufthansa First Class from the U.S. to Europe is 85,000 miles, less expensive than the 110,000 miles United MileagePlus charges.
Cons of Lufthansa Miles & More
Lufthansa Miles & More awards, particularly from the U.S. to Europe, incur hefty taxes: about $500 on this one way Lufthansa First Class award from JFK to Munich. Also, if you're willing to pay these taxes and book within 15 days of departure, you could be paying fewer miles by booking via Aeroplan, which is 70,000 miles one way for Lufthansa First Class between the U.S. and Europe.
Also, even when using Lufthansa Miles & More, it's challenging to find Lufthansa First Class award availability, especially for more than one person on the same flight. In fact, looking at October 2018 for San Francisco SFO to Munich MUC, I only found three days that offered Lufthansa First Class on the nonstop flight SFO-MUC. And October is over 6 months away.
And as mentioned above, it's harder for most people to earn Lufthansa miles without flying paid flights, since of the various transferable points currencies, only SPG Starpoints transfer to Lufthansa Miles & More.
It's good to see Lufthansa Miles & More add family pooling, which British Airways and JetBlue TrueBlue also offer, since it means that spouses can more easily redeem for an award with existing Miles & More miles, perhaps reducing the number of SPG Starpoints they have to transfer in.
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