Miles&More has always been a complicated frequent flyer program with all sorts of restrictions. This isn’t always bad (there are a few sweet spots), but it can get frustrating quickly. One of these restrictions: Anyone who has booked a “cheap” ticket in booking classes K, L, T (Economy), or N (Premium Economy) was not permitted to upgrade his flight with upgrade vouchers or miles.
This restriction is now a thing of the past. As Miles&More informs on its website, all long-haul routes with Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian & Brussels Airlines can now be upgraded:
From 1.11.2021, upgrades are possible from all booking classes on flights with Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS. This means that you can also upgrade from Economy Class booking classes K, L and T to Premium Economy and Business Class, as well as from Premium Economy Class booking class N to Business Class.Miles&More website
That sounds good at first and is definitely a step in the right direction. At a second glance, it is noticeable that the change is not entirely unselfish. Upgrades from the above booking classes require additional miles or eVouchers. Below is an overview.
Upgrade With eVouchers
Miles&More frequent flyers with Senator status receive 2 upgrade vouchers (eVouchers) with each status renewal. HON Circle members even get 6 vouchers. Additional eVouchers can be selected as part of the Select Benefits, but require a few additional miles.
In this respect, it is a bit surprising that an upgrade from a cheap economy ticket to business class requires a whopping 3 eVouchers – in each direction. That is one more voucher than from the other economy booking classes. You also need two vouchers instead of one to upgrade from premium economy (N) to business class.
Unfortunately, these conditions are not communicated on the website. We have verified the following conditions via the Senator hotline:
- Upgrade to premium economy:
- Economy (K, L, T) → premium economy: 2 eVouchers *new*
- Economy (other) → premium economy: 1 eVoucher
- Upgrade to business class:
- Economy (K, L, T) → business class: 3 eVouchers *new*
- Economy (other) → business class: 2 eVouchers
- Premium economy (N) → business class: 2 eVouchers *new*
- Premium economy (other) → business class: 1 eVoucher
- Upgrade to first class:
- Business class (all) → first class: 2 eVouchers
These values are also based on a one-way flight. The upgrade options marked in bold (i.e. new) only apply to flights with Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines.
Upgrade With Miles
Miles upgrades are comparatively transparent at Miles&More. There is an online upgrade table that clearly lists the number of miles required for all airlines and combinations. We are interested in the table for flights from & to Europe.
This mileage table was updated on November 1st (sadly, only in German). All economy and premium economy class booking classes are now listed there. Please note in the following tables that the prices are for one-way flights:
Upgrades From Economy Class
For an upgrade from economy to business class, 45,000 to 85,000 miles are required, depending on the destination. 30,000 to 50,000 miles are sufficient for an upgrade to premium economy.
Upgrades From Premium Economy Class
The miles required for an upgrade from premium economy (N) → business class are identical to those from economy (K, L, T) to premium economy. So you also need 30,000 to 50,000 miles here, depending on the destination:
The fact that Lufthansa is now enabling upgrades from all booking classes is a good and overdue step.
However, this headline should not ignore the fact that the new upgrade options are very expensive. A miles upgrade from the inexpensive economy class costs almost the same as an award flight, so it is only worthwhile in exceptional cases. Using three eVouchers for the same upgrade is also no easy task.
Cover Picture: © Lufthansa / Photographer: Jens Görlich - CGI: MO CGI