Expert interview: travel mindfully with Miles & More
How can we find a better balance between flying and sustainability? This is the job of our colleague, Ulrich Meurer. As strategic project manager, he is something of an expert when it comes to carbon offsetting, the offsetting feature “mindfulflyer” and the new Green Fare.
"Start offsetting your carbon emissions to become a Climate Supporter. Offset your flights, and become a mindfulflyer."
Miles& More editor: mindfulflyer combines flying and sustainable action in a more targeted way. How does that work?
Ulrich: Although dealing with the topic of sustainability as a loyalty and frequent flyer programme is not entirely free of contradictions, we at Miles & More GmbH want to increasingly fulfil our social responsibility while encouraging and actively promoting sustainable action. That’s why we integrated mindfulflyer into the Miles & More app in 2020, to offer our members the option of offsetting their flight-based carbon footprint quickly and easily with their award miles. This creates transparency about members’ personal flight-based carbon footprint, and brings awareness of this issue more closely into focus.
Miles & More editor: Which offsetting options are available to members?
Ulrich: Members have two options for offsetting their carbon emissions: by promoting the use of synthetic kerosene (SAF) or by investing in climate projects. They can also “combine” the two options. Of course, you can also use your miles to directly offset your carbon emissions. There is a challenge in our app every quarter as an incentive for everyone to join in, and we also have an annual challenge. Members are awarded digital badges to thank them for their offsetting efforts once they have offset their carbon emissions for all flights within a quarter or year. They
receive the Climate Supporter badge the first time they offset a flight. They are then awarded our mindfulflyer badge when they successfully offset all their flights in one year. You can also motivate others to join in by sharing your badges on your social media. This has also proven popular among our members. As part of the annual challenge for 2021, for example, we awarded 2,000 extra status miles for every offset flight. As a result, 16 times more members offset their flights than in the previous year’s challenge. That’s a pretty good result, I think. On top of that, 10,000 status and HON Circle miles were credited for a maximum of five offset flights. Besides significantly increasing the number of offset flights, the promotion also enabled us to reach out to a huge number of members who had never offset a flight before and encourage them to take part. We are very happy with the results.
Miles & More editor: Does offsetting only work in the app?
Ulrich: The option of offsetting your carbon emissions has been part of the booking process on lufthansa.com since late April, and on swiss.com, austrian.com and brusselsairlines.com since May. Members can simply click on one of the three offsetting options offered to add the amount to be offset to their shopping basket. It’s now also possible to offset your flight directly during the booking process on eurowings.com by supporting certified climate protection projects.
Miles & More editor: These are all great options, of course, but there are more, right?
Ulrich: I presume you’re referring to the “Green Fare”? Yes, this is currently being tested in Scandinavia for flights operated by Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines. The Green Fare is a new fare that already includes the complete offsetting of carbon emissions in the price. Customers who book flights from Denmark, Sweden or Norway directly via the airlines’ websites are credited 20% more award miles and 20% more status miles. The aim here is to increase the incentive to offset flight-based emissions even further. Because sustainable and socially responsible corporate action is an integral part of the corporate strategy of the Lufthansa Group, and therefore also of Miles & More.