Airlines across the world have trimmed down their flights tremendously; with this hiatus on travel, we all know how frustrating it is to worry about your existing ticket, elite status and miles expiry.

Hence, in this post, we have summarised all the things you need to know about the new ticketing and loyalty program policies for key European airlines, namely Air France – KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa Group.

You may also check out the updates of other airlines as well:

Air France – KLM

Ticketing Rules: Updated on 14th April for Air France and 15th April for KLM.
Flying Blue Policy (including award ticket): Updated on 16th April.

Air France – KLM. Photo credit: Air France – KLM

Change Fee Wavier And Travel Voucher Policy For Normal Ticket

Requirements: To be eligible for a change fee waiver or a travel voucher, you have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • If the ticket is purchased before 16th April 2020
  • Your flight is scheduled to depart before 3rd July

Date Change: The new departure date should begin no later than 30th November 2020. Otherwise, you may need to pay for any fare difference. Any change has to be made by 30th September 2020.

Trip Cancellation: Should you choose to cancel your trip, you can request for a travel voucher; valid for use for 1 year on all Air France, KLM, Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways flights.

Where it Can be Done: Date change and travel voucher requests can be done under the “My Booking” section on the airlines’ website, provided that the ticket is purchased directly from KLM, Air France or Air France’s agency; otherwise requests have to be made via the respective travel agents.

Change Fee Waiver And Refund For Award Ticket

Requirements: To be eligible for a change fee waiver, or a refund for your Award ticket, you have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • If the travel date is before 30th June 2020
  • The booking is made before 16th April 2020
  • Request for change or cancellation is made before 30th September 2020

Trip Cancellation: All payment and miles will be credited back to your account.

Date and Destination Change: Should you choose to change your travel date only, here is what is going to happen:

i) For an itinerary containing Air France and KLM flights only, you will be re-booked on the same route, airline and cabin class for travel until 30th November 2020. For travel as of 1st December 2020, you will be re-booked in the same booking class.

ii) For an itinerary containing partner airlines or in combination with Air France and/or KLM flights, you will be re-booked on the same route, airline and cabin class. If Flying Blue is unable to do so, a new ticket will be issued upon your request; you may be subject to any difference in miles and airport tax.

Should you choose to change the destination, the new award ticket will be subject to the value of your original ticket with Air France, KLM, Delta or Virgin Atlantic.

Where it Can be Done: Changes and Refunds of Award Tickets can be done under the “My Bookings” page of the respective airlines’ website.

Elite Status Extension

All elite status expiring between March 2020 and February 2021 will be extended by one year. However, this expiry extension does have some caveats.

Suppose that i) your re-qualification period for Silver status ends between March 2020 and February 2021 and ii) you only have 65 XP (100XP required to maintain Silver Status); Flying Blue will credit 35 XP (to make up 100 XP) and then debit 100 XP from your account to extend your status by 12 months.

The above rule is applicable for all Elite status.

Elite Status Status Validity XP Required to Maintain Status
(To be Earned Within 12 Months)
Silver15 Months100 XP
Gold15 Months 180 XP
Platinium15 Months 300 XP

For Platinum members aiming for Platinum for life, the extension will count towards the 10 consecutive years needed to qualify for lifetime status.

Freezing of Miles Expiry

All miles expiring between now and the end of 2020 will be extended to the end of this year.

By default, miles are valid for life if:
i) You are an Elite or Elite Plus member
ii) There is an eligible flight on Air France, KLM and on partner airlines at least once every two years
iii) There is a purchase made, with an eligible co-branded credit card, at least once every 2 years.

British Airways

British Airways. Photo credit: British Airways

Ticketing Rules: Updated on 16th April.
Executive Club Policy: Updated at the point of writing

Change Fee Wavier And Travel Voucher Policy For Normal Ticket

Requirements: To be eligible for a travel voucher, you must meet either one of the following criteria:

  • Bookings made at any time, for travel between 14th March 2020 and 31st May 2020
  • Bookings made between 3rd March 2020 and 31st May 2020, for travel until 31st December 2020

To be eligible for a change fee waiver, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Bookings made between 3rd March 2020 and 31st May 2020, for travel until 31st December 2020

Date Change: Change fee will be waived, but you may have to pay for any fare difference.

Trip Cancellation: Should you choose to cancel your trip, you can request for a travel voucher. This voucher must be used within 12 months from the departure date of the first flight, in the original booking; the return flight must be completed within that period as well.

Where it Can be Done: Date change or a request for travel voucher must be made before check-in closes. If the ticket is booked via the airline, date changes can be done under the “Manage My Booking” and a travel voucher can be requested here. If the ticket is booked via a travel agent, you will have to contact them directly.

Reduction of Elite Status Qualification Thresholds

Executive Club has lowered their Tier Points threshold by 30%; applicable for all members due for a Tier upgrade or a renewal in April, May and June 2020. All eligible flights requirements, attached to the Tier Points thresholds, will be waived for these members as well.

Elite StatusPrevious RequirementsNew Requirements
Bronze300 tier points + 2 eligible flights
or
25 eligible flights
210 tier points
or
17 eligible flights
Silver600 tier points + 4 eligible flights
or
50 eligible flights
420 tier points
or
35 eligible flights
Gold1500 tier points + 4 Eligible Flights1050 tier points

At the point of writing, there is no extension for elite status or a freezing of Avios points expiry. By default, Avios points will only expire if there is no account activity for at least 3 years.

Extension of Upgrades, Companion Vouchers and Travel Together Tickets

All existing Gold Upgrade Vouchers, Companion Vouchers and Travel Together Tickets, earned via British Airways credit card, will receive a 6 months expiry extension.

Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines

Lufthansa Group Leitwerke (v.l.n.r.: OS, LH, LX, EW) Livery 2019
Lufthansa Group Network Airlines. Photo credit: Lufthansa

Ticketing Rules: Lufthansa | Swiss | Austrian Airlines, updated at the point of writing
Miles and More Membership Policy: updated at the point of writing
Miles and More Award Ticket Policy: updated at the point of writing

Change Fee Wavier And Travel Voucher Policy For Normal Ticket

Requirement: To be eligible for a change fee waiver or a travel voucher, you will have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Ticket is issued on or before 19th April 2020
  • The original date of travel is until 30th April 2021

Date Change: Changes must be done by 31st August 2020, for new travel dates up to 30th April 2021. Although the change fee is waived, you may be subject to any fare difference; a discount of €50 (LH & OS)/CHF 50(LX) will be offered for a new departure on and before 31st December 2020.

Trip Cancellation: Should you choose to cancel your trip, you can request for a travel voucher to be issued. This travel voucher must be redeemed by 31st August 2020, for travel through 31st December 2020. A discount of €50 (LH & OS)/CHF 50(LX) will be also be offered for your future booking.

Where it Can be Done: Date change has to be done via their Service Centre or the respective travel agents. Travel voucher via the airlines’ website.

Change Fee Waiver And Refund Policy For Award Ticket

Requirements: To be eligible for a change fee waiver, you have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Flight is operated by Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Eurowings, Germanwings, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti or Edelweiss Air
  • Award ticket is issued on or before 19th April 2020
  • The original date of travel is until 30th April 2021

Date Change: Change of dates must be done by 31st August 2020, for new travel dates up to 30th April 2021. Change of route is not possible. The change fee will only be waived for the first date change.

Trip Cancellation: You may be able to attain a refund for your award ticket, depending on whether your flight is cancelled by the airline or not.

If your flight is cancelled:

Award Ticket Regular Flight AwardFly & Save Award
Ticket unusedfull refund at a later date
full refund at a later date
Ticket partly used
partial refund at a later datepartial refund at a later date

If your flight is not cancelled:

Award TicketRegular Flight AwardFly & Save Award
Ticket unusedrefund at a later date with a cancellation fee of €50 no refund, but rebooking possible
Ticket partly usedno refund, but rebooking possibleno refund, but rebooking possible

Where it Can Be Done: In case of re-booking or cancellation, Miles and More advise passengers to contact service centre by phone.

Elite Status Extension

On the Miles and More website, it is stated that they will be “retaining status over the course of the year”; with no further clarity given on what the statement means. More details to be released as the newsletter on 21st March states that “over the course of this year, we will offer accommodating solutions for maintaining your status”.

At the point of writing, there is no freezing of award miles expiry. By default, the validity of award miles is 36 months from the date of the activity and, unless they have been used, award miles will expire at the end of the quarter.

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