EXPLAINED: UL FlySmiles Classic




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FlySmiles Classic is one of four elite tiers that make up SriLankan Airlines’ frequent flyer membership program with Classic being the lowest elite status tier that can be achieved – after Classic status.

As SriLankan Airlines is part of the Oneworld Alliance, Classic status is equivalent to Oneworld Ruby, meaning (at least to a degree) it will offer similar benefits when travelling with other Oneworld member airlines.


About SriLankan & FlySmiLes

Since launching in 1979, and entering the Oneworld Alliance in 2014, SriLankan Airlines aims to exceed expectations by providing their customers with a world-class travel experience in and around the Indian subcontinent.

SriLankan’s first frequent-flyer programme was called Serendib Miles and was abandoned in early 2000 when Emirates became a major shareholder. When the partnership ended SriLankan subsequently launched FlySmiLes, modifying it slightly when it joined Oneworld.

Oneworld & FlySmiLes

As with everyone Oneworld member airline, there are two different types of collectable currencies which members accrue simultaneously. Status Points (SP) and Reward Currency (RC) which can be exchanged for airline benefits and rewards.

How To Collect Elite Miles

When you travel with SriLankan, any Oneworld partner airline, its subsidiaries, or in some specific cases non-Oneworld member airlines you can earn Tier Miles. It is important to highlight that Tier miles are only given on revenue tickets (paid with money) and never with award tickets (purchased with miles).

Every member starts at FlySmiLes Blue which is the airline’s entry-level tier. It is the most basic and is available to everyone as it does not come with any benefits except the ability to earn Status Points and Reward Currencies. Classic, Gold, Platinum status on the other hand are earned and come with a varying degree of benefits.

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Unique to SriLankan is Silver status which is only offered with co-branded credit cards.

As a reminder, Tier Miles can only be earnt by actually flying, not by signing up to credit card deals. There is no other use for Tier Miles other than setting your elite status – they cannot be spent. As you can expect, moving up the ladder within FlySmiLes is completely dependent on the number of Tier Miles accrued within a given year, and like FlySmiLes Miles, expire after a set time – in this case, Tier Miles expire at the end of your membership year.

The general rule is that Tier miles are usually earned based on the distance of the flight and the fare class that you travel in.

SriLankan FlySmiLes program works a little differently than to other Oneworld members. Some differences include:

  • Zone-Based Calculations – SriLankan is a mileage-based program like its counterpart Royal Air Maroc. This contrasts with the zone-based model operated by British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways and the revenue-based model used by American Airlines
  • Fewer Miles On Renewal – Like Royal Jordanian or Royal Air Maroc, members require the fewer qualifying status points to re-qualify in the following year. This is in contrast to Japan Airlines which requires the same number of Miles year-on-year.
  • No Mid-Tier Bonus – Unlike its alliance counterpart Cathay Pacific, SriLankan does not offer mid-tier status target perks to its members.
  • Lifetime Status – Unlike American Airlines, British Airways and Finnair, SriLankan does not offer lifetime status to its members.
  • Only 12 Months – When you reach a higher elite status tier your accrued Tier Miles reset and you begin a new – similar to how Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo program operates. This is in contrast to programs like British airways where you have your newly reached tier for the remainder of your current membership year plus the membership year you have qualified for.
  • Soft Landing – If you do not reach the required Tier Miles required to re-qualify in the following year you will soft-land into the tier below rather than to the very bottom.

Benefits Of FlySmiLes Classic

There are multiple Benefits to FlySmiLes Classic including:

  • Priority Check-inClassic members, unfortunately, do not have access to Business class check-in desks when flying on SriLankan but can use them when flying internationally or domestically on any other Oneworld member airline irrespective of class of travel. When Flying on SriLankan, Classic members have access to FlySmiLes dedicated check-in counters.
  • Extra Luggage AllowanceWith Classic status, you are entitled to an extra 5kg on top of your standard allowance when on flights marked and operated by SriLankan only.

Routes To Earn FlySmiLes Classic Status

1. With Miles

One way to reach FlySmiLes Classic is to fly with SriLankan a Oneworld partner airline, its subsidiaries, or in some specific cases a non-Oneworld member airline and accrue Tier Miles.

To achieve FlySmiLes Classic status with miles you will need 20,000 Tier miles with a minimum having taken at least 1 flight with SriLankan in the course of the membership year

To renew you will need 15,000 Tier Miles with 1 flight marked and operated by SriLankan in the membership year

2. With Sectors

Alternatively, another way to reach FlySmiLes Classic is to fly a lot. SriLankan offers a route to Classic status for those who travel exceptionally frequently with the airline.

To achieve FlySmiLes Classic status with sectors alone you will need a total of 20 Sectors with at least 1 sectors on SriLankan exclusively

To renew you will need 15 sectors with at least 1 sector on SriLankan.

Calculating The Number Of Tier Miles Earned

SriLankan calculates the Tier Miles accrued based on the distance (in miles) from the departure and arrival destination and assigning a percentage multiplier based on the class of travel. However, the class multiplier changes slightly when travelling with Oneworld Alliance members meaning the total Tier Miles earned is dependent on 3 factors: the route, the carrier you have flown with, and the class of travel.

There are some specific exceptions to the rules which are worth considering, for example:

  • SriLankan does not differentiate American Airlines 2 class and 3 class domestic flights opting to have both classes accrue the same rate – a massive negative for first-class fliers earning on SriLankan. Interestingly, it does define Japan Airlines domestic and international offering.
  • When flying on Royal Jordanian or Qatar Airways you earn at a slightly reduced rate compared to other partner carriers in that you are unable to earn 100% miles when flying in full-fare economy for instance.

Members may submit a retroactive claim within 12 months of the date of the booking provided that you have the ticket and boarding pass. However, any transactions made more than three months prior to the your enrollment date in the program are not eligible.

The simplest and best tool for finding out how many Tier Miles you’ll earn on any flight is to use SriLankan Tier Miles Calculator.

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Travelling on Points is the brainchild of a person who loves to travel and reap the benefits of doing so. Dan enjoys sharing the knowledge of travel as he believes that the more people travel the less narrow-minded, and more tolerant, people will be of each other.

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