The award-winning Swiss TravelClub is to be merged to Miles & More, Europe’s largest frequent flyer program, on April 1, 2006. SWISS claims the arrangement will offer SWISS members an wider range of airlines and partners companies with whom to earn and redeem miles. TravelClub mileage balances will be transferred one-for-one to Miles & More, and TravelClub Silver and Gold status will be recognized in the new program.
The move marks a further step in the growing collaboration between SWISS and Lufthansa on the frequent flyer front. That collaboration started in July 2005, when the members of both programs were offered mileage earning and redemption opportunities on both partner carriers, along with reciprocal privileges for any elite status held.
TravelClub members should have received an invitation in October to join Miles & More. Once they have agreed to do so, all their TravelClub miles will be transferred one-for-one to Miles & More on April 1. TravelClub Silver members will become Miles & More Frequent Travellers, while TravelClub Gold customers will be granted Miles & More Senator status. All the miles transferred will be valid for a further three years, and any status awarded will remain valid for a two-year period.
SWISS will represent Miles & More in Switzerland, and will be responsible for the care of all the program’s Swiss-based members and partners. New customer cards will be issued to members in the first quarter of 2006, enabling the transfer to be effected with the start of the 2006 summer schedules. TravelClub members can continue to collect and spend TravelClub miles until March 31, 2006.
In adopting Miles & More as its new program, SWISS is taking a further step towards membership in the Star Alliance.
Member reaction has been mixed, with hard-core TravelClub members bemoaning the loss of the various promotions that have made TravelClub a Freddie Award winning program. Others have suggested that the Miles & More offering is much better than that proposed by British Airways, which tried unsuccessfully to purchase the Swiss carrier last year.