This diamond (club) is not forever

The writing has been on the wall for bmi’s loyalty scheme Diamond Club since Lufthansa bought out the remaining share of the company around a year ago. The program is different from Lufthansa’s Miles + More – many say better than M+M – and Lufthansa is generally not a fan of having variety in their subsidiary carriers where efficiencies can be realized. Their CEO once noted (roughly paraphrasing here – see below for video of the actual quote) that you might get chips on bmi, spaetzel on Austrian and kartoffel klöße on Lufthansa but they would all come from the same order of tons of potatoes back at the kitchen. And while many loyal users of the Diamond Club program hoped that their inclusion in the Lufthansa family would be different, it appears that is not going to happen.

Musings of The Global Traveller notes that a recent Lufthansa investor presentation has outlined the timeline under which the parent company expects the program to no longer have an impact on its financial performance (note pages 11 and 15). In other words, the date by which the program will be dead. And the answer is relatively soon. Under the bullet heading “Restructuring will show full effect in 2011 and 2012, examples…” is a line that reads “LH integration will be completed, e.g. sales, M&M…” Quite simply, they expect the integration to start soon and to be completed in either 2011 or 2012.

For folks who have accrued large piles of Diamond Club points the day of reckoning is rapidly approaching. The points are not going to disappear, but moving them into M+M raises a number of potential devaluation scenarios. I’m sitting on a rather large pile of points and I won’t be wasting any time looking for reward redemption opportunities in a hurry.

Watch Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber talk about potatoes in the kitchen at Lufthansa during Star Mega Do 2009 in Frankfurt, November 2009:

Watch Thierry Antinori, Lufthansa’s Executive Vice President Marketing & Sales and Member of the Executive Board discuss bmi and Miles+More versus Diamond Club during Star Mega Do 2009 in Frankfurt, November 2009:

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


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