How predictable is Lufthansa first class award space?

Lufthansa first class is kind of my baby (or at least I’d like it to be!). If you have a bad experience in their first class I kinda take it personally. šŸ˜‰

Lufthansa_747_First_Class

Over the past couple of years Lufthansa sure has made it tougher to snag first class award space for those redeeming Star Alliance miles. A couple of years back they released a ton of award space, and it wasn’t unusual to see at least four first class award seats per flight.

Nowadays unfortunately they release first class award space to Star Alliance partners at most ~15 days out. When they first instituted that policy they seemed to actually release award space at that point, but nowadays more often than not they’re releasing space even closer to departure, often only a few days out, or at times only a few hours out. Still, I suppose that’s still better than Swiss, which doesn’t release any first class award space to partner airlines, and as of next year will only release first class award space to their own Senator and HON Circle members.

How stingy is Lufthansa sometimes? Take a look at one of tomorrow’s flights from Los Angeles to Frankfurt. All eight first class seats are still for sale:

Lufthansa_First_Class

Meanwhile Lufthansa still hasn’t released any first class award space.

Lufthansa_First_Class1

Admittedly there could be other factors at play. Only six business class seats are left for sale, and it could very well be that the business class cabin is already oversold and they’re continuing to sell them and counting on upgrading people to first class in order to accommodate them. Or that might not be the case. But regardless, it shows you that there are no guarantees that space will be released even if all eight seats are left for sale.

So what’s the “secret” to snagging Lufthansa first class award space:

Step 1: Understand on which routes you actually have a chance

It’s good to go into this knowing on which routes you have the best shot at snagging first class award space. As a general rule of thumb, here are Lufthansa’s US routes and how easy I consider snagging first class award space to be:

Toughest routes for first class award availability:

  • FRA: IAH, LAX, MIA, SFO
  • MUC: LAX, SFO

“Medium” difficulty routes for first class award availability:

  • FRA: BOS, DEN, EWR, IAD, JFK, ORD,
  • MUC: CLT, IAD, JFK, ORD

Easiest routes for first class award availability:

  • DUS: ORD, EWR
  • FRA: DFW, DTW, MCO, SEA, YVR
  • MUC: BOS

Now of course there are other considerations, and I’m sure people will refute some of my “rankings.” Seasonality, aircraft type, etc., can impact how easy it is to snag space. But as a general rule I think the above is fair.

Not surprisingly, the difficulty of the above routes corresponds pretty closely to their desirability. Everyone seems to want to snag Los Angeles to Frankfurt on the 747-8 or Houston to Frankfurt on the A380, and those are also among the toughest routes on which to snag space. Meanwhile almost all of the “easy” routes are operated by aircraft with the old first class product (here’s how to figure out whether a flight has the new or old first class product).

Step 2: ~15 days out (or more, if you’d like) start looking at actual flights loads

Roughly two weeks out I’ll start looking at the actual loads in first class. Lufthansa only has eight first class seats on all their aircraft equipped with a first class cabin, so I check to see how many of those are still for sale. I do this on ExpertFlyer, but you can also do a “dummy” booking online and see how many seats they’ll sell you.

For example, on Monday, September 30, all eight first class seats are still for sale on the Detroit to Frankfurt flight:

Lufthansa_First_Class2

I’d say it’s extremely likely that multiple first class award seats will open up 1-2 weeks before departure.

Meanwhile for the same date here are the loads for the two flights between Los Angeles and Frankfurt:

Lufthansa_First_Class3

As you can see one flight has one first class seat for sale, while the other has zero first class seats for sale. First class award space just isn’t happening on either flight.

So 15 days out I’ll make a list of the routes on which I actually think there’s a chance of award space opening up.

Step 3: Set ExpertFlyer alerts and/or start monitoring for availability every five minutes

One of my favorite things about ExpertFlyer is the ability to set availability alerts (just enter “O” as the class code, since that’s the first class award code). They’ll notify you when award space opens up on the flights you specify. The “catch” is that they pull award space from united.com, and sometimes united.com displays phantom award space. Still, it’s probably accurate ~90% of the time or so.

Lufthansa_First_Class5

My experiment

Two weeks ago I tested this out to see just how well I could predict availability. For the purposes of this I looked at transatlantic award availability for this coming Monday and Tuesday. I actually made this tougher on myself by excluding any route on the old product, which would be almost all of the routes above in the “easy” category.

After looking at loads I decided to set ExpertFlyer alerts for the nine flights that I thought had the best chances of opening. Sure enough, all nine of those flights eventually opened up. So I figured I’d share my “rule of thumb,” with the caveat that there are billions of counter examples and inventory management is so damn complex, so this totally doesn’t apply in many cases.

But as a general rule I feel pretty good about award space opening up on one of the “easier” difficulty flights if the flight is at least “F4” or “F5” (meaning at least four to five seats are left for sale). Meanwhile for the “medium” difficulty flights I look for at least “F6.” For the “tough” difficulty flights I’m always aiming for F7-8.

To be clear, when I say “F4/5/6/7/8,” I’m referring to how many seats are left for sale. “F” is the first class fare bucket, and if a flight is “F8” that means eight first class seats are for sale, if a flight is “F4” that means four first class seats are for sale, etc.

Admittedly it gets a bit tougher when you’re looking for multiple award seats. Generally if there are two passengers you’re best off either:

  • Aiming for one of the “easy” routes
  • Aiming for a route with multiple frequencies and potentially locking in one passenger at a time. It’s risky, but if the flight is wide open and there’s only one award seat you’ll want to snag it before someone else does, or else your chances are further reduced

Conclusion

Lufthansa first class is definitely tougher than ever before to snag. That being said, with a bit of research and patience it’s far from impossible. Like I said in the example above, I was able to predict availability 100% accurately for the routes I expected would open up.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. @ Nick — Whoops, I know it in the past it alternated between two cabin and three cabin, though didn’t realize they finally permanently made the cut. Went ahead and updated the post.

  2. QQ – say you grab 1st out of USA but are going to stay more than 15 days so getting return trip is N/A. No chance to work it to get 1st back with you found 1st out via phone reps?

  3. Word is the days of *A partners ability to book LH O space are numbered. This is going to suck, so fly LH F as much as you can before the hammer drops.

  4. @ Delta Points — Well if you’re booking through Aeroplan or United you can change your return after departure, so you can simply lock in a “dummy” return and then once you commence travel still change it to a more desirable option once it opens up.

  5. @ Golfingboy — Meh, those are just rumors. Not to say it won’t happen, but I don’t think we’ve heard anything credible that suggests it’s actually the case.

    But agree, we should enjoy it while we can. šŸ˜€

  6. “If you have a bad experience in their first class I kinda take it personally.”

    I’m 99.9% sure I’ll never have a bad experience in Lufthansa first class. Or a positive one for that matter. Chasing LH awards is fine for folks who have no specific work schedule and can leave whenever from wherever to wherever for whatever length of time at the drop of a hat.

    For average working saps like me who have to file our vacation schedules months ahead of time these silly last second games relegate LH to the Why Bother List.

    One undeniable benefit that CX and the OneUp Alliance has over the Asterisk Alliance and SkyDream is that you can still book first class seats without jumping through hoops or bending over backwards or hiring anyone to electronically stalk the release schedule.

    Being able to book the tickets within a reasonable time frame like my miles are actually worth something is part of what makes the reward experience enjoyable and easily trumps whatever LH might provide if and when I were to luck out and snag a seat despite their best attempts to discourage it.

    Who wants to play games like this just so you can maybe gain access to an airline that couldn’t care less if you showed up or not? Having to find sneaky ways to invite yourself to the Lufthansa club by stalking them online doesn’t sound that enjoyable to me.

    If LH doesn’t want my miles then I wish they’d just be honest and upfront about it like SQ and LX rather than dangling fake availability in front of me.

  7. Hopefully booking F isn’t impossible. I’m possibly going to Europe in 2-3 years, and I’d love to get at least one of those legs on a 748 in F, but all my miles are with UA. Does LH have a transfer partner that you can rack up miles quicker/easier with (as UA has with Chase UR, DL with Amex MR, and AA with SPG)?

  8. @ MEOW — Are you talking about like the next seven days, or since it’s Sunday the week after? I see quite a bit of space for this coming week.

  9. @ TJ — Lufthansa does partner with Starwood, so you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. The catch is that they charge 85,000 miles one-way in first class and they also impose fuel surcharges, so it can be rather pricey.

  10. @ Dax — Sure, and I totally agree with you on all counts. It’s not realistic for many, though at the same time I do think there’s some merit to booking a placeholder business class award you’re happy with (like Austrian business class, for example), and if first class space opens up within two weeks, great, you can make the swap.

    Or if you really value being able to plan in advance and want to fly Lufthansa there’s always Miles & More.

    But when you really think about going to Europe there aren’t any good value first class products. Air France is prohibitively expensive, British Airways imposes fuel surcharges, and that leaves Lufthansa.

  11. Nothing can be easier than FRA-KIX in F. I was able to snag 3 F at 2 weeks out and they still released more F!

  12. How about 2 flights with LH on December 28 to TYO? My wife is about to start her trip in EWR and I’ll meet her in FRA after one week in GDN. I looked for the seats for the next 2 weeks but right now Lufthansa uses A380 and our flight will be on B747. Also some of the flights are not on the same route at the moment.

  13. @ MEOW — Hmmm, you’re right, that is odd. Several flights are wide open, so I’d expect space will still open up, though possibly only 1-2 days out.

  14. @ Robert — Well December 28 isn’t looking great as of now, as the Frankfurt to Narita flight is F5, so three seats are already sold. That being said, generally that time of year is quite easy to Japan, and I did a similar trip a couple of years ago.

  15. @Lucky, agree that it is odd. It seems to be all of NA, as JFK also has a ton of J availability but nothing in F. I hope CX isn’t getting stingy.

  16. @ Lucky – we’ll see in 3 months. Should F class become unavailable I’d still hope to upgrade to business class. This one is well available yet.

  17. @ lucky – How does that 85k one way charge compare to what UA charges for a one way F to Europe? Also, how bad are those fuel surcharges, and would that be covered by any of the AMEX cards that offer airline fee reimbursement?

  18. I’ve been watching LH space very closely recently. Was able to upgrade ORD-FRA from J to F about 5 days out. Looking at return, the 15 day window has just opened but it seems much fewer Germany to US space is open. Would love direct to SFO or LAX, but those seem to be the holy grail of redemptions.

    How do you find open space within 48 hours of the flight? I can’t figure out how to get the EF alerts to work for that. Do you check ANA every 5 minutes?

  19. You didn’t mention PHL-FRA as to booking first. I’ve never seen award availability in first but it is bookable on Lufthansa’s website. Did you analyze PHL?

  20. @ barelyelite — You’ll want to monitor really closely. I’d say 50/50 as to whether they release another seat or not.

  21. @ TJ — United charges 67,500 miles for first class, by comparison.

    As far as fuel surcharges go, for Los Angeles to Frankfurt, for example, the one-way fuel surcharges would be $428.

  22. @ Larry D — Philadelphia to Frankfurt is actually a route without first class for quite a while now, so nothing to report there.

  23. When I search EF for award availability I’m checking star alliance, since choosing LH pulls from the M&M awards. However, EF won’t show the direct flights. In particular, looking at MUC/FRA-SFO/LAX. Only UA direct flights show up, not any direct LH flights.

    In general thanks SO much for all your posts on how to get awards. The downside of course is now I want to take all these flights!

  24. Why does everyone want to come to LA so bad? I hate that I can never find F space on any of the LH LAX flights in either direction even DAY OF. On a recent flight from MUC-LAX we were booked in Business and checked every day leading up to the flight hoping to snag two F seats and they never materialized. Got ‘stuck’ in old LH biz product…lol … at least it was on the return leg and we didn’t have to sleep! I saw space open up in F to ORD and even SFO but the connections were awful that at that point, I preferred flying biz to go non-stop home. Does that ever happen to you Lucky or will you always choose F no matter the connection (even if it means missing a non stop flight)?

  25. What does the ORD-MUC route fit it?

    Realizing things have changed over the years, but how does early Dec fit in for availability? Is it an easier time to snag seats?

    Thanks for putting this all together. It is perfect timing for a trip I am hoping to pull off soon!!

  26. Here is my short story in snagging LH F, hopefully it will help someone. I wanted to book FRA-DTW (connecting from PEK on CA J) in F. I initially had FRA-IAD-DTW in LH J with something like 1 hr at IAD.

    When I check T-14, nothing for FRA-DTW, but there is now F space for the earlier FRA-IAD in F on 747-8(?), so I snag that in the mean time. Only around T-13 or -12 does United.com show F availability for FRA-DTW, and the two seats I needed.

    When I call in to make the change, call center can only see one seat! I HUACUA, but no, still only one seat! Annoyed but not panicky since I have a doable routing now on a new aircraft. I figure I don’t have anything to lose, so I make a dummy booking with only FRA-DTW for two pax. I hit reserve and enter my CC info.

    I don’t remember the details of what the reservation status in united.com was, but it was something like “requested” not “on hold.” The next day, I missed a call from united, and when I check the reservation, it’s now on hold.

    I call again and ask if they can take the two seats in the dummy reservation and put it in my existing ticketed reservation. They say no, I have to cancel the dummy. So I cancel the dummy and boom, they can now see two seats and I make the change successfully!

  27. I will need to book LH again this winter, this time I’m trying to snag SHE-FRA-DTW, all oh LH. SHE-FRA is two cabin and has the J avail I need. FRA-DTW has only economy so I’m hoping for F to open up T-14.

    The problem is, united call center says they aren’t able to book SHE-FRA in J and FRA-DTW in Y on the same award ticket? I called several times and the same answer. Anyone know how to get around this?

  28. @meow, @lucky – mid autumn festival? Fairly big holiday. Not as big as New Years, but big enough for some.

  29. @ nemme — Thank YOU for reading, I appreciate it! šŸ™‚

    So if you’re just trying to set an availability alert don’t search for an award ticket. Instead pull up the flight under “Flight Availability,” and then push the icon with the exclamation point next to the flight you want, and you can set an alert from there.

  30. @ stacey — If it’s first class with a connection vs. Lufthansa’s old business class I’d always choose first class. It would be a different story if it were the new business class, though.

  31. @ Katie — Whoops, it was supposed to be on the “medium” list, so I went ahead and updated the post.

    Generally speaking early December is a GREAT time for award availability, possibly the best of any time.

  32. @ anon — So it sounds like when you first saw the space on united.com one of the seats was “phantom” space. So sometimes it’ll let you hold it, but the space will show as waitlisted/requested. It sounds like the second seat finally became available, and that’s the point at which it confirmed.

  33. @ Singapore Flyer — True, though flights are wide open still, so I suspect the space will still open up, it may just be much closer to departure.

  34. I think all of Lufthansas classes of service suck..
    The Asian airlines put the European Airlines including Lufthansa to shame.
    I would say some of the Asian airlines Buisness class is better than Lufthansas first class.
    I avoid Lufthansa like the plague.
    On My last Lufthansa flight in Buisness Class, the seat was broken..What a joke Lufthansa is.

  35. I flew the F recently from FRA-MIA and the main stewardess for F sux. Perhaps that’s how she is but I kept getting that “not again?” look half the time. Perhaps language barrier as she seemed to have difficulties understanding my English (but the head stewardess was fine)….
    Also, I had the 1C seat but they just allowed a couple take the front two seats without even checking with me then gave me the “oh btw” request after I stood there for about 2 mins holding my ticket! I would have said “no” but didn’t want to make a scene since the couple had already settled down immediately! The head stewardess was much better.
    Nevertheless, the flight was not bad and I would fly LH F again.

  36. Great post Lucky. Two questions. How much would fuel charges be on a 85k one-way award using LH miles? Do you have a much better chance of getting a seat when booking with LH miles? thx

  37. Thanks lucky. It seems the hold trick would have the system grab the seats for you when they are available, even beating people who have EF watch since that doesn’t auto reserve the seats.

  38. @ Global Hedge — Well availability is considerable better through Miles & More, so definitely a better chance (or for that matter a chance at all) of booking more than 15 days out. From Los Angeles to Frankfurt, for example, the one-way fuel surcharges are $428 for first class.

  39. Thank you for the post, Lucky! I take it LH flies something sub-par out of DFW so wouldn’t be worth it looking at IAH-DFW-FRA instead of IAH-FRA?

    Also, what the best way to check LH & LX F award space for Miles & More members? Don’t have enough miles so online doesn’t work. Is that something that ExpertFlyer can do? Don’t have a paid version.

    P.S. “Predictable” šŸ˜‰

  40. How did MUC:BOS make both the “medium” and “easy” availability lists? šŸ˜‰

    Completed my LH “old J” experience yesterday. Couldn’t identify by sight two of my three lunch items on the intra-Europe portion of the trip. Fortunately, a hint was provided in the form of a menu, hidden under the utensils. (The food actually tasted good.) I suspect Lucky would have liked the pretzel dumpling with mustard sauce–a Bavarian special for Sept.

    Back following you after my travels. So much catching up to do. Did I miss anything? ;-p

  41. @ Ivan Y — Well depends what your goals are. Houston to Frankfurt only very rarely opens up, and at the end of the day Lufthansa old first class is better than no first class, in my opinion.

    You can search Swiss first class award space on ExpertFlyer, though unfortunately the only way I know of to search Lufthansa space is through the Miles & More site, which does require you to have some miles.

  42. @ Lucky – thank you! Just realized that it’s LH main site that doesn’t show award availability. M&M site does let me pick a date & search for awards (have a grand total of 500 miles). Although, it fails at next step when it goes to price an award out (“not enough miles”) which I find very weird. Sure, they have a calculator that supposedly shows how many miles I need but it doesn’t show taxes & fees. Pretty lame. M&M site feels prety outdated.

    P.S. M&M Bargains site has a photo of Kremlin (in Moscow) for all Russian destinations, lol.

    P.P.S. I guess no one flies out of Detroit on LH because all flights bargains are from Detroit…

  43. @ Dave — Well Lufthansa does release a good amount of business and coach award space to partner airlines in advance, so that’s not really an issue.

  44. @Lucky,

    Just a quick update! CX F seems to be back online. Was able to snag the flight I needed for later in the week. Enjoy LH F for the 10000th time.

  45. @Lucky,

    Booking O as a Hon is not all that much easier. MUC-SFO with F=5 still did not clear until 14 days, and even then, only by having HON Services “work on it”.

  46. @ SF Hon – did you book using M&M miles or using UA miles? I don’t have enough M&M miles to figure out what happens after I find an O award and go to check out. But wouldn’t want to transfer a metric ton of points to M&M if I have to jump through hoops to purchase flights more than a week or two in advance.

  47. @ SF Hon – hmm… by “clearing” do you mean there was no O space and you were waiting for it to open up? Or do all O awards get waitlisted and you have to wait?

    TL;DR version – if I search on M&M and it pulls up an O award on LH or LX for, say, November, does this mean I would get that award assuming I had enough points? Or does it get more complicated?

    Thank you!

  48. @ Ivan Y — If you see the “O” space then you can book it with Miles & More flights. That’s straightforward. It’s when there’s not award availability that it gets complicated.

  49. So 1 F award seat opened up late last night, and I called United immediately to try to upgrade my J award. A friend is traveling with me on the same reservation, so I asked them to split it. They said they couldn’t split a record with a partner airline. Hung up and called again. Similar response. Of course this morning, the availability is gone. Anyway, is it true that the record can’t be split? If so, any way to get around this? Also, if this is the case, why would one ever book a trip for multiple people in a single PNR? Thanks, Lucky. I think the odds of 2 seats opening up in F at the same time are extremely low.

  50. @ Louis — I usually use ExpertFlyer, but there are other places to check as well. Cathay Pacific displays space up to F7, so that’s a pretty good indicator when their cabins only have 6-9 seats.

  51. @ barelyelite — So I don’t know WHY this is such an issue for United agents, but it should be possible. If you can’t do it over the phone it should be possible online. Just log into your reservation and click on “change flights.” It will then ask you for which member of the party you’d like to make changes. If you select just one it will split the record.

  52. @ Louis — When using ExpertFlyer don’t search “Awards & Upgrades,” but rather “Flight Availability.” That should show Cathay Pacific space.

  53. My bad. Didn’t know EF’s Airline List referred only to their Awards & Upgrades and not the Flight Availability section.

  54. Is there a time of day that you find LH releases F seats 15 days out? Example: 12AM EST? Do you think it would be possible to find space from FRA to Asia in January?

  55. I just booked a UA award on LH C MUC-ORD towards the end of January. It’s F8 now, but I understand it’s quite early. My question, though, is what do you think my chances are in mid-week at the end of January? Is this low-season?

  56. Thanks, @lucky.

    So, assuming I get lucky, and some award space opens up in F, I’ll just have to call UA and pay the difference in miles (17500), right?

  57. Toughest, medium, easiest routes for first class award availability from FRA, MUC or DUS to Asia Pacific and Africa

  58. @ Xavier — Out of Munich I’d say all routes are actually fairly easy, with NRT and ICN probably being the easiest. Out of Frankfurt I’d say ICN, NRT, and KIX are easiest. HKG, SIN, and BKK are the tougher ones.

  59. Hi Lucky. two questions for ya…

    1. what’s your favorite seat on LH 747-8 first class?
    2. do you prefer the 747-400 or 747-8 first class product?

    thx

  60. Lucky — Does setting an ExperFlyer alert for “O” class still work? Lufthansa by itself doesn’t show up on EF, and I get an error if I try to select “Star Alliance” as the airline. Will EF still just scrape UA for availability?

  61. So then the best (only?) option is to manually check UA’s website? I have a M&M account, but I assume LH’s availability to own members is not the same as offered to partners (I am using UA miles)?

  62. @ LTL — Miles & More members have access to more space, so that wouldn’t be the place to check. The most accurate place is ANA’s website, which shows all availability. United shows some phantom award space.

  63. Are you saying that ANA’s website is best to search for award availability on *A carriers? I can’t seem to find where to search for award availability on their website. All I see is the option to look for revenue tickets. Link?

  64. I’ve booked LH F DXB-FRA-JFK before the United devaluation with the intention of rebooking later this year. Do you think I can book award award seat for each segment separately as availability comes up or will that trigger a reprice? Guess I’m freaking out thinking I can’t get a first class seat out of DXB back to the U.S. in late December 2014.

  65. @ Lucky – Yes, I already canceled the award and they said I could change the date at a later time for a small fee since I don’t have status. After leaving the Maldives, my partner and I will fly to Dubai and spend a couple of days there. After that, we need to get back to the US from there but I want to try to fly first class on LH since that was the award ticket I booked. I’ve set alerts for the segments but don’t know enough to speak intelligently to the United reps.

  66. @ Romer — Well you would need to book something the entire way in order to not trigger a reprice. You could book the first segment in first class and second one in coach or something, and then pay a fee again when space opens up on the second flight. But you can’t book just one segment between different regions, as that would change the award type.

  67. Have learnt a lot from your postings! What would you say the odds are a first class seat will open up on a FRA-SEA flight with slightly less than two weeks before departure and 3 seats sold or the opposite direction with two weeks to go and two seats sold? I would assume (hope) that the chances are good, but as the “magic” two weeks limit is passed, could there still be chance one will open up on the first flight?

  68. @ Per — VERY good chance of space opening up on both flights. Not all space is released at the two week window. LOTS more is usually released as the departure date approaches, so keep monitoring.

  69. The tactic to book an award flight in business and later upgrade it has been mentioned in the comments. Is that always possible (possibly against a fee)? I looked in the Miles and More terms and they specify that only time and date can be rebooked. It sure seems like business is easier to snag and the question is how long I dare to wait for a first ticket to open up before I book an alternative.

  70. @ Per — If you’re trying to book through Miles & More then I believe you’d have to redeposit the award and then rebook again.

  71. How would you classify the YYZ-FRA route? As easy or medium?

    As today, looking at Jun20 that’s how it looks: F7 A6 J9 C9 D9 Z9 P9

    From your own experience, do you believe award space in F will open soon?

    Thanks

  72. I really hope so… But ~15 days before (like tomorrow or the day after) or maybe only 5-7 days in advance? LH is tricking us now

  73. @ Lucas Cabral — Anyone’s guess. I’d guess at least a week out, but could be closer in than that. Good luck!

  74. Just a quick follow up: It opened 2 award spaces on the 18th and I’m already booked on the flight.

    Thanks once more, Ben.

    Lucas

  75. Thanks! As for EF, they used to do alerts for LH before, right?
    That’s now due to the fact United has withdrawn its award inventory from the platform or any other reason?

  76. Hi Lucky: Hope you are still reading the comments. First, I scored two SFO-YYZ-MUC-VEN business class tickets when you broke the news about Lufthansa releasing space on that route. Then I used your guide above to monitor those routes and upgraded (at pre-deval levels) to two first class tickets from SEA-FRA-VEN. And I used your link to confirm it is the new first class. And we have several hours in the FCT. . And ironically, PointPros booked our first LH tickets three years ago–now I’m doing it on my own. Thanks so much for all your help.

  77. I booked 3 F tickets dfw-fra-bkk and back pre deval.
    Fra-bkk was confirmed TG first.
    I was able to upgrade dfw-fra a week before.
    But now for return they cancelled F to dfw and made a 2 class. Bummer.
    I have little flexibility of moving return date by 1-2 days either side but I may not find bkk-fra 3 first. So I need to find alternative fra-USA 2 or 3 first and a connection to dfw.

    1. It is probably personal preference but would you advise adding one or two connections to get to first over business?

    2. What is my best strategy? Checking on ana or ua until 20th which is my travel date.

    3. The challenge may be to find a connection from USA arrival port to dfw. Direct flights are only from YYZ ORD IAD. Another option is to go to IAH and drive from there .

    Any advise for my situation?

    Thanks

  78. @ Sam —

    1) I definitely would add a connection or two first class.
    2) Yes, I’d suggest using the ANA tool, it’s most accurate.

    Good luck!

  79. Hi lucky –

    This is a great reference post, including the comments.

    It’s been over a year since you posted this and a lot has changed. Wondering how you rank the x-Fra routes to the USA now?

    Thanks!

  80. Hey Ben! I realize this post is super old but I’m hoping you’re still monitoring for comments.

    1. Can you still use Expert Flyer to monitor for O class availability on LH? The flight I’m targeting (IAH->FRA) is at F5 with two weeks until departure so I’m guessing I don’t have a shot but I setup an alert anyway.

    2. I booked a trip from AUS to BKK pre-deval with UA to FRA and TG to BKK. Is it still accurate that I can change the UA leg to LH without getting repriced since my origin and regions aren’t changing?

    TIA

  81. Hi Lucky,

    Not sure if you’re still monitoring LH F as closely, but it seems to me that they release 2 seats on MUC-JFK if F=7 (or 8) within 7 days or so these days. Would you say that’s fair to say?

    Also, do you think the loads on the other frequencies matter? So say if the morning flight is F=1 and the afternoon flight is F=8, they won’t release any seats? I don’t think so, but that seems counter-intuitive…

  82. @ acs — Yep, with F7 I’d say your odds are very good. Typically it’s on a per flight basis, so shouldn’t matter too much how full the other flight is.

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