Malaysia Airlines has announced yet another major devaluation of its Enrich frequent flyer program. The changes, which come into effect on 10 June, remove almost all of the remaining value in the program.
Enrich mile redemptions will become more expensive, with the price of award tickets and upgrades both increasing. It will also become more difficult to upgrade using Enrich miles. But there is some good news, with Malaysia Airlines removing fuel surcharges from award bookings.
The big news is that flight redemptions on Malaysia Airlines will move to a dynamic, fare-based system (similar to Qantas’ Points+Pay). It will now be possible to redeem Enrich miles on any Malaysia Airlines flight with seats available for sale, but the number of miles paid will depend on the airfare. The higher the fare, the more miles needed. In most cases, customers are likely to end up paying much more for an award seat – especially as the cheapest Economy fares will not be bookable using miles.
Moving from an award chart system to dynamic redemption is fascinating, mainly because there’s increased opportunity for all loyalty program members (albeit at a higher rate)
The number of miles required for Oneworld and partner airline redemptions (including Emirates Economy and Business class awards) will continue to be based on an award chart. But rates are increasing substantially. The distance-based award zones are also changing. As an example of the changes, a one-way Business class ticket from Australia to Europe on Emirates or another Oneworld airline would currently cost 72,000 Enrich miles. The same redemption will cost 165,000 Enrich miles – more than double – from 10 June.
The number of miles required to upgrade a Malaysia Airlines flight is also increasing. Furthermore, only “Smart” and “Flex” fares can be upgraded at all. Companion awards – which could be redeemed in conjunction with a paid airfare – are being discontinued.
Possibly the only good news to come from the changes is the removal of fuel surcharges from award bookings, as these will now be included in the fare. However, fuel surcharges will still be levied on flights between Kuala Lumpur and London (Malaysia Airlines’ only remaining destination in Europe). It is not yet clear whether Malaysia Airlines award flights redeemed through a partner airline (e.g. Qantas) will continue to attract fuel surcharges.
The Malaysia Airlines Enrich program is a transfer partner for several Australian credit cards. It was once a competitive, popular choice for Australian frequent flyers. Unfortunately, much of the value was stripped from the program during the last round of devaluations in February 2015. Then, in August last year, the 15% online booking discount was removed. What little value remained is now all but gone. Other Oneworld frequent flyer programs, such as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, now offer substantially better value.
Interesting. sounds like MH Enrich don’t really want to be in business anymore (at least for OW partners). Or they are just really after the “dumb” money – i.e. people who don’t know better and are just crediting / redeeming MH Enrich?
If you currently have Enrich miles in your account, you may wish to redeem them before they lose their value on 10 June.
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