It’s 6:00a here in Philadelphia and I still haven’t gone to bed yet–I’ve spent the last three hours on the phone with British Midland International’s Diamond Club award redemption center. My goal: burn my remaining miles in a cost-effective manner. So far, so good.
But that’s not the point of this post. I’ve confirmed now with three Diamond Club agents in the UK that today is the last day to burn miles for any Lufthansa group carrier using bmi miles, but NOT the last day to redeem on other Star Alliance carriers. An announcement will go out on 20 April detailing how long we will have to redeem on other Star carriers, but it is looking like 31 May, the day bmi fully divests itself from Star Alliance, will be the last day for Star redemptions.
For those looking to redeem bmi points on Lufthansa or its group of carriers, though, today is the day to do it. The Lufthansa group includes:
- Lufthansa Cityline (and all contractors)
- Adria Airways
- Air Dolomiti
- Austrian Airlines Group
- Brussels Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Swiss International Air Lines
But for the rest of the alliance, it appears you still have some time left. Let’s hope we find out soon how these Diamond Club points will transfer into British Airway’s Executive Club program.
The Diamond Club call center is open from 8am to 8pm UK time (+5 from east coast), so don’t wait to call. There is no toll free number–you must call +44 (0)845 608 7788 to reach the call center. I did not wait more than five minutes for an agent to pick up and bmi has got a lot of UK-based folks to back-up the Pune call center, so hopefully your wait will not be too long. Just be prepared to wait once you reach an agent–issuing tickets with bmi is an extremely slow process. Thank goodness for Skype and Google Voice…
I spent the better part of 10 hours on the phone with them between Saturday and Sunday trying to burn down my stash of miles. Even though they seem to have better availability than other *A carrier on SQ, many of my attempts to ticket were thwarted by phantom availability (agent said it was available but was unable to get SQ to confirm the segment when building up the record).
In the end, 150k miles burned and ticketed. For those of you new to the BD redemption process, make sure you keep an eye on your PNRs for actual ticket numbers. BD often drags their feet with ticketing causing partners to auto-cancel unticketed segments. Checkmytrip.com can be used to monitor the flights.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that their hold queue likes to drop the call at around the 18 minute, 20 second mark? I had this happen no fewer than five times this weekend using Google voice to call in.