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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Middle East Airlines Cedar Miles


6.72
(12 ratings)

6.86

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in August 2007. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Middle East Airlines (MEA), Lebanon's national carrier, was established in 1945 offering flights from Beirut to neighboring cities and destinations in the Gulf. In 1963, the airline merged with Air Liban and added destinations in the Middle East, Europe and West Africa. During Lebanon's civil war between 1975 and 1990, Beirut International Airport was closed, but MEA survived by leasing its aircraft and loaning staff to international airline companies. The airline has endured huge annual losses such as 1997's 87 million dollar loss, but by 2003 the airline achieved a net profit of 22 million dollars. In 2004, MEA introduced its Cedar Miles frequent flyer program.


EARNING ABILITY:

6.75
Our
Rating:

8.00
Members earn actual miles flown on MEA flights with a 500-mile minimum posted to your account. If you fly in Cedar Class on MEA or MEA codeshare flights, you earn double the actual miles flown and if you purchase full-fare coach tickets (Y or K class), you will earn a 25 percent mileage bonus and a 100 percent bonus if you fly in business class. Members can earn 3,000 bonus miles when they travel within six months of joining the program, 5,000 miles for online enrollment and various limited-time bonus promotions are also offered. Miles can also be earned with airline partners, including class-of-service bonuses; a co-branded credit card, hotel stays and car rentals.

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AWARD CHOICES:

6.75
Our
Rating:

7.00
Cedar Miles members can claim award flights on MEA to destinations in Europe, the Gulf, Middle East and Africa such as Paris, London, Rome, Jeddah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Abidjan and Lagos, among others. You can choose from Milli-Miles awards that are off-peak awards at lower mileage redemption levels or Maxi-Miles awards for flights during peak travel times. Maxi-Miles awards are also less restrictive and are not subject to fixed award quotas - award seats are available at this level as long as any seat is available in the requested cabin.

Roundtrip Milli-Miles award flights between Beirut and the Middle East are 15,000 in coach, 30,000 in Cedar Class; flights to Athens or Istanbul are 20,000 miles in coach, 40,000 in Cedar Class; destinations within the Gulf are 30,000 in coach, 60,000 in Cedar; destinations within Europe are 35,000 in coach, 70,000 in Cedar Class and between Beirut and destinations within West and Central Africa, the awards are 70,000 in coach and 140,000 miles in Cedar Class.

Cedar Miles offers Maxi-Miles awards in the Middle East at 24,000 miles for coach and 48,000 miles in Cedar Class; 32,000/64,000 to Athens and Istanbul; 48,000/96,000 within the Gulf; 56,000/112,000 to Europe and 112,000/224,000 for award flights between Beirut and West and Central Africa. Extra 15kg luggage allowance awards are also available starting at 5,000 miles. Awards are also available between destinations outside Lebanon and one-way award tickets are available at rates above half the amount for a roundtrip ticket; on point-to-point MEA sectors only.

Flight awards on partner airlines are also available, opening up award destinations to Asia, South America, North America and more European destinations. Other types of awards, such as hotel stays and car rentals are not offered.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

6.91
Our
Rating:

6.00
MEA partners with Air France, KLM and Qatar Airways and members earn a 200 percent bonus when flying first class with Air France and Qatar Airways and a 100 percent bonus when flying business class with all three partner airlines. These bonus miles do not count toward elite status in the Cedar Miles program.

In January 2007, Middle East Airlines took the first steps toward joining the SkyTeam alliance when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Air France, which will serve as MEA's sponsor.

Members can earn one mile per $1.5 spent with a Silver Card Bank Audi Cedar Miles credit card, or one mile per $1 spent with a Gold Card. Rotana Hotels, Suites and Resorts is the sole hotel partner and members earn between 250-500 miles per qualifying stay. Hertz is the sole car rental partner and members can earn 500 miles per qualifying rental. Members also receive a 10 percent discount with Hertz rentals.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

6.25
Our
Rating:

7.50
MEA offers two elite levels: Prestige status at 20,000 qualifying miles or 15 segments a year and Elite status at 40,000 qualifying miles or 30 segments a year. Both levels offer members such bonuses as a 24/7 dedicated service desk and telephone/fax numbers’ preferred seat/meal selection and baggage handling; priority boarding, waitlist and standby; Cedar Class check-in; extra baggage allowance; lounge access; complimentary luggage tags; upgrades and more. Elite offers additional benefits such as a guaranteed seat in coach up to 48 hours before departure; members’ MEA seat will be protected at the check-in counter up to one hour before departure; four upgrade vouchers valid for a one-way upgrade to Cedar Class that you can give to family members and a threshold bonus of 3,000 bonus miles for every five Cedar Class one-way flights taken after Elite qualification. There is no “lifetime” membership level.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

6.66
Our
Rating:

6.00
Miles are valid for five years; for example, miles earned April 3, 2004 will expire on Dec. 31, 2009. Membership is offered to individuals who are 12 and older and may be terminated if a member fails to earn miles within 36 months. Miles cannot be combined between members’ accounts and awards can be issued to member's immediate family members only. Any award request involving miles that expire on Dec. 31 of a given year must reach MEA at the latest Dec. 15; and all award requests must reach MEA at least 14 days before first travel date. Award seats are subject to restrictions and blackout dates and miles cannot be purchased.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

7.25
Our
Rating:

7.50
Customer support is available for all members via telephone, e-mail and through the Web site listed under "Have Your Say." Our e-mail was promptly and correctly answered.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

6.5
Our
Rating:

6.00
The MEA Web site is offered in Arabic, English and French. You can join Cedar Miles online for an instant membership number and can choose at that time to receive your account statement and newsletter via e-mail. You cannot book award flights online but you can check your mileage balance and view Cedar Miles bonus miles offers and download the Cedar Miles newsletter. The Web site also features travel information for Lebanon including recipes of several Lebanese dishes – worth the trip to the Web site even if you aren't a Cedar Miles member. The site also features a mileage calculator for MEA and partner flights.

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PLUS FEATURES:
Although Cedar Miles does not have a great number of partnerships, it has a sampling of most partner categories and its partnership with Air France has opened the door not only to more earning and burning opportunities but also to the first step toward belonging to a worldwide airline alliance. Milli-Miles awards are a welcome feature where members can claim awards for fewer miles and the class of service mileage bonuses are very generous. It is also relatively easy to earn the 20,000 miles needed to become an elite-level member.

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MINUS FEATURES:
As with several other airlines in the Middle East, MEA does not allow members to claim awards for anyone of their choice – immediate family only. Members also do not have a lot of choices when it comes to earning miles; you can’t even earn miles for onboard shopping, and with only one hotel and one car rental partner, members' mileage earning choices are limited. We suspect that there are quite a few very frequent travelers who wish that a third elite tier existed to reward their continued loyalty.

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INFORMATION:
Program Information:
(961-1) 629999
cedarmiles@mea.com.lb

Cedar Miles
MEA Head Office
PO Box 11-206
Airport Road
Code 0111
Beirut, Lebanon

www.mea.com.lb

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
8.00 7.00 6.00 7.50 6.00 7.50 6.00 6.86
Member
Rating:
6.75 6.75 6.91 6.25 6.66 7.25 6.5 6.72

(12 ratings)

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