Call it a small victory for United Airlines customers. As Lufthansa continues to shift much of their domestic and intra-Europe flying to their Germanwings operations those flights are – as of 27 October 2013 – eligible for earning and redemption in the MileagePlus program. Germanwings is still not a Star Alliance member so things like lounge access, free baggage and other benefits won’t apply. Also, the earning will be only for award miles, not towards elite status. Still, better than nothing. Here’s the earnings chart:
From what I can see awards will book in to the P or U bucket. I’m seeing those buckets show up in my inventory search tool so I should be able to get an award search built for them reasonably easily. The United website doesn’t show them yet based on a couple quick searches I did. Also, the United computers do not appear to be updated yet to show the Germanwings flights as options for phone reservations either. I actually got to explain the airline code to an agent and show her where on the website it says they’re a partner because none of the internal systems seem to show it properly yet.
Nice to see that there is going to be at least a bit of earning opportunity here. And that theoretically the redemption will happen, too, though the details on that are a bit less clear. Still sucks that so many routes are no longer going to be fully associated with Star Alliance benefits, but this is better than nothing.
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