About Changes in Frequent Flyer Miles Accrual Charts
One reality all frequent flyer members face is that airlines can change point accrual rules at any given time. Sometimes companies even do so with little to no prior notice. This applies to any airline regardless of alliance affiliations.
Unfortunately, accrual chart changes often means decreased miles earned on flights that have already been booked. We can see this as part of the risk when booking flights speculatively, especially itineraries that are further ahead in the future. This more often applies to mileage runners.
So there are a few things to keep in mind.
Booking Itineraries with Flexibility
When you book flights with an airline or travel agent, make sure that the reservation allows you to change or cancel, even for a fee. The cheapest tickets are almost always non-refundable, but these fares also usually don’t award miles anyway.
If you find (probably promotional) low fares, see what how much miles they’ll award and whether you can change or cancel at a later date. If a frequent flyer program suddenly updates its charts to give fewer or no miles, you can then decide whether to refund the flight or upgrade to better terms.
(Re-)Checking Miles Accrual Charts
Even a few weeks or days before your actual flight, confirm your flight itinerary against the then-current accrual chart of your target program.
If the chart remains the same (or perhaps had improved), then you’re all set. If otherwise you end up with fewer miles than planned, you can contact whichever agency’s sales office applies to you. Explore alternatives, including buying into a better fare class or cabin altogether.
You should always weigh your options; proceeding with your flight as originally planned might even be the best course of action.
Alternative Programs to Deposit Miles in
A benefit of flying alliance airlines is you have multiple programs to choose to deposit your miles into. Star Alliance, for example, has 28 airline members to date, and flying with one means you can credit miles to any of their members’ loyalty programs. Depending on the airline you fly with and your itinerary booking code however, each program will give varying miles. But remember to credit as much miles to the fewest (read: one) frequent flyer programs as possible.
Even outside alliances, however, an airline can also have strategic partnerships elsewhere as well. Alaska Airlines and Cathay Pacific, for example, has earning and/or redemption partnerships with other carriers, such as Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, respectively.
Notes and Takeaways
Now we have written in articles before how you could’ve earned double or triple miles from Singapore Airlines premium economy flights. While it seems individual partner carriers take a while to update their charts, it seems like a matter of time.
On the new Asiana website, for example, Asiana Club has updated their Singapore Airlines partner accrual charts; booking code R (formerly first, now premium economy) now awards 100% miles (instead of 200%), while P (also premium economy) will soon award the same amount.
The Lufthansa Miles & More website, on the other hand, still shows Singapore Airlines R as first and gives 300% miles flown. We’re not optimistic this will remain for long.
As such, we’ve updated recent articles from the past few months to note these changes. We at Asian Miler hope our readers continue to enjoy the best tips and news.