This is entirely minor and insignificant, though it keeps me up at night. And you know what that means — I want it to keep you up at night too.
As I’ve written about before, Lufthansa only releases first class award space to Star Alliance partner airlines ~14 days prior to departure. While it’s an extremely frustrating policy, if you’re flexible like me it’s not all that bad, since you can just lock in the flights you want within a couple of weeks of departure (though I realize it’s not as practical for those that have vacation days they have to request in advance).
Well, I wasn’t being totally accurate when I said Lufthansa doesn’t release any first class award space more than ~14 days out. They do have a tag flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur on which they release first class award space far in advance, as they used to for most flights.
I suspect this is simply because they don’t care about the flight — it’s a short two hour flight, and I doubt they’re concerned about “devaluing” the premium cabins too much.
But here’s where it gets interesting, at least from a theoretical standpoint. For quite a while now US Airways has been blocking all Lufthansa first class award availability. I suspect they started doing this years ago because Lufthansa released so much first class award space and it was costing US Airways a ton to have their members redeem miles for those seats. While Lufthansa is not releasing as much space as they used to, I suspect US Airways saw no reason to change their policy, which is why it’s still in place.
I’m not an IT guy, but I suspect the way they did it is by setting up some script that blocks all “O” space (first class award code) on “LH” (Lufthansa’s airline code) from automatically appearing.
But here’s what’s bizarre — US Airways agents can see first class award availability on that Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur flight, while they can’t on any other route.
So to those of you better with IT than me, any clue how they could be blocking all the other space but not the space on that flight? Could it be that they’re just blocking all Lufthansa first class award space within 14 days of departure, knowing that’s when Lufthansa releases space? If so, Lufthansa has recently been opening up some first class award space 15 days out, so would that make some of that space bookable? I did a quick test and I didn’t have any luck, though I’m still not sure.
Some IT whiz enlighten me, please!