Lufthansa Miles & More vs. United Mileage Plus

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by dildooba44, May 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    Question: I have 17K in Miles & More from one RT last summer and should get the same this summer when I do the same RT this July (DFW-IAD-ZRH-NSI). My travel agent said United is the operator (UA/LH/LX). Now which FF to choose- Mileage Plus or Miles & More? I thought I should do Miles & More because it would get my 17K FF points up to probably over 30K, which I can actually use. But, United might be more helpful for flying elsewhere. Which plan would you choose?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The first thing you should do is look very carefully at your fare codes. While I would expect any UA ticket on a UA operated flight with a UA flight number (no codeshare) to earn 100% mileage credit on UA (more for expensive tickets), some foreign carriers give few or no miles for certain fare codes. Your travel agent said that it's UA operated, but you could nevertheless be booked under a LH (for example) flight number as a codeshare. Similarly, depending on the details of your trip, the travel agent could have written the ticket on stock other than UA, for example CO or LH. You need to ask these questions and get clear unambiguous answers. Also, don't trust the travel agent to know FF program rules.

    If you can earn elite status on a carrier, this is a major consideration in deciding where to credit miles.
     
  3. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    At the bottom of the etkt is shows "LH 220" which leads me to believe it was purchased from LH. I'll ask the agent. He said that I could upgrade but that I'd have to call United to do that. That's another reason I was thinking United controlled the ticket. But maybe not. I'll ask anyways. Thanks for all your help!
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The way I usually tell what ticket stock was used is to look at the ticket number. For example, DL starts with 006, while NW was 012.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You can only upgrade the flights if they have UA flight numbers AND are UA operated. With all the code-share operations out there these days that is far from guaranteed. If is it UA NNN on a UA airplane then you can upgrade by paying cash and UA miles. The 17K miles you have in Miles & More won't help there. If it is a UA number on LH metal or a LH number on UA metal then you cannot upgrade it.

    As for which program to credit, I'd say probably M&M, though I say so with much hesitation. The reason I'd go with M&M is to get yourself to a threshold where you can actually redeem for something; having 17K in each of two accounts is worth less than 34K in M&M but neither is particularly great. Even if some of the segments are in cheaper buckets and you don't earn anything on them having 30K in M&M is better than 17K in each of the two.

    If you are going to be flying a decent amount going forward and think that the 17K will grow appreciably in the coming months or years then simply ignoring the existing 17K in M&M might be the right approach, but if you're only doing a trip a year I'd get to the point that you can actually redeem something and then evaluate the next steps.
    The ticket stock that it is issued on means absolutely nothing with respect to mileage accrual. Booking code and operating carrier are what matter in this case.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    True, but IME things are far more likely to go wrong if some weird ticket stock is used and I try to avoid having a travel agent do this unless it's absolutely necessary. If I'm aware that it isn't my FF program's ticket stock or the ticket stock of the operating/marketing carrier, I always verify at the airport that my FF number has been entered property and I'm careful to keep copies of receipts and all boarding passes. Then I watch my account until the correct miles have been posted for every segment, which sometimes can take a long time. To me, the ticket stock can be a warning that I need to pay careful attention and might not get my miles credited quickly or without my intervention.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    To me it is the boarding of the flight that indicates I need to pay attention. ;)

    Yes, having it on different stock can cause issues with IRROPs, changes and other quirks. But it simply does not matter when it comes to FF credit.
     
  8. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    For some reason I didn't get a notice that you all made these other comments. I thought the whole discussion was over. But I'm glad for the added conversation. I had not ever heard of "ticket stock" before this.

    I did contact M&M and they said I couldn't upgrade the ticket.
     
  9. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    Also, good advice about which program to choose. For now I'll stick with M&M as I think I'll be able to fly LH and LX again.
     

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