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Air Malta

ABOUT KMILES

Introduction

The principal “frequent flyer” points available to travellers coming in and out of Malta, Flypass (through its points system, KMiles) provides an opportunity for free flights and upgrades with Air Malta (and also now Lufthansa).

Air Malta Flypass contact details:

email: flypass.airmalta@airmalta.com

tel: (+356) 2299 9660

Earning KMiles

Earning KMiles is a relatively straightforward process with, unsurprisingly, the principal method of earning points being through Air Malta flights.

The application for Flypass membership is available here. (You can upgrade your existing Flypass membership so you have online access to your account by clicking here.)

However, Flypass is getting better and better at offering alternative methods of earning KMiles, and any new method will of course be featured in a new blog post.

Redeeming KMiles

Full details on redeeming KMiles can be found on the Redemption page

Tier status

Tier status with Flypass is fairly straightforward. You begin on temporary status: the key is to get to “Permanent” status, and then you’re a properly recognised member.

You need to earn 10000 KMiles (excluding Bonus KMiles) in 12 calendar months (January – December) through flying to gain Permanent status.

The “premium” level is the Diamond tier level.

Full details of tier status and benefits are available here

Comments

Flypass has come in for a lot of criticism over the years, much of it entirely justified. The website has for a long time been clunky and poorly set out in its content, and redemption methods have been old-fashioned, unclear and often very restrictive.

In direct correspondence, the CEO of Air Malta, the very likeable Peter Davies, has stated to me that it is in dire need of an overhaul. This is largely true, although to write it off completely would be doing it (and of course you) a substantial disservice.

Ignoring the lack of any obvious alliance (with the exception of the slightly ad-hoc Lufthansa, Czech and Swiss tie-ups), perhaps the biggest criticism of Flypass is it’s painfully laboured approach to the redemption of KMiles. Everything needs to be done by email or telephone, rather than a simple online redemption option.

The confusion around which flights can be upgraded to business class, and the official position here (i.e. not the cheap ones) is also disappointing. This is discussed in more detail here.

However, Air Malta is changing and becoming a more responsive, more efficient business. Flypass is undoubtedly on its radar as an area that requires overhaul. Tentative steps in the right direction have been made (the tie up with Lufthansa, small improvements to the website) and it is the firm belief of Maltapoints that Flypass will continue to improve, hopefully to become a globally competitive frequent flyer scheme.

We shall certainly be watching and keeping you updated.

EARNING KMILES

Introduction

In addition to the obvious route of collecting KMiles on flights, there are a few options for “easy” or sometimes effectively “free” collection of KMiles.

This page will be updated to include a consolidated record of all the offers identified in the blog posts.

You should note in particular that restaurants and supermarkets are a good additional points collection option, as you can essentially “double dip” on points if you pay with a KMiles-earning credit card.

Partner airlines

Flypass partner airlines are Lufthansa, Swiss and Czech, with mileage accrual awards listed here.

Credit cards

Note that if you wish to earn frequent traveller points in Malta, the credit card Maltapoints principally recommends is the BOV Amex card, which gives you access to the Membership Rewards programme. More details can be found here.

HSBC

Premier Card (subject to HSBC Premier eligibility requirements): The HSBC Premier credit card gives you 1 KMile for every €1 you spend.

HSBC Advance (€7 per month): The HSBC Advance credit card gives 1 KMile for every €2 spent, so represents substantially worse value than the Premier or Banif options.

Banif

Banif Gold Card holders earn 1 KMile for every €1 spent on the card. Points are awarded on both purchases and cash advances.

This credit card also comes with free travel insurance.

Supermarkets

You can earn Flypass KMiles at the Carrefour franchise supermarkets in Malta, by exchanging your GS loyalty card points for KMiles.

Carrefour franchise supermarkets are as follows:

– GS Superstore, Naxxar

– Lasco Supermarket, Zejtun

– Shoppers Discount Supermarket, Mellieha

– Shopwise Discount Store, Qormi

– Park Towers Supermarket, St Julians

– Tower Supermarket, Sliema

– Park Towers Supermarket, Sta Venera

– Trolees Supermarket, Qawra

You earn 1 GS loyalty point for each €1 spent in supermarkets, with a bonus of 700 points if you spend over €100 in any one transaction.

GS loyalty points can then be exchanged for KMiles, at a rate of 1 KMiles for every two GS loyalty points. Please note that GS point conversion to KMiles must be done through GS customer care, not Flypass. You can convert by calling them on 21345586. You will need your loyalty point card number (on the back, next to the barcode), and your Flypass membership number.

Car Hire

I am always extremely sceptical of car hire as a means of earning airline points: you’re usually far better off searching for the best deal than going to where you earn points.

However, should you end up renting a car with Sixt (link here), make sure you earn KMiles on the rental. You get 500 KMiles per Sixt rental, plus these benefits/discounts.