In early April I wrote about how Lufthansa was releasing virtually no transatlantic business class award space to partner airlines more than six months in advance. At the time of the posting, there wasn’t a single transatlantic route with business class award availability on Lufthansa past September.
Even the routes that were previously “sure bets” for award availability, like Atlanta and Detroit to Frankfurt, didn’t have business class award space. It seems that this continues to be the case, as there’s now business class award space through November, but for the most part no transatlantic business class award space beyond that.
For example, taking a look at Detroit to Frankfurt, which is historically the easiest transatlantic route for business class award space. The dates marked in yellow have economy class award space, while the dates marked in green have business class and economy class award space:
So as you can see, they’re continuing to release business class award space no more than six months in advance.
This brings me to a new route which Lufthansa just loaded into their schedule. Lufthansa will be resuming their Miami to Munich flight this winter, which will be operated 5x per week (every day except Mondays and Fridays).
It’s loaded through the winter schedule, which goes from December 2, 2014, through April 30, 2015 (it’s unclear whether the route will be extended beyond that).
The flight will be operated by a three cabin Airbus A330-300 (featuring first class, business class, and economy class) with the following schedule:
LH460 Munich to Miami departing 11:45AM arriving 5:15PM
LH461 Miami to Munich departing 6:55PM arriving 10:25AM (+1 day)
So why do I mention this? Because a vast majority of dates through the end of the schedule have at least four business class award seats available. So while no other transatlantic routes have Lufthansa business class award space past November, this route has space most days.
For example, pulling up availability for four people in business class from Miami to Munich, here’s what space looks like (the dates in blue have business class space):
And then from Munich to Miami, here’s what space looks like:
Best Star Alliance miles to redeem for Lufthansa business class
Since US Airways has left the Star Alliance and United has devalued their award chart, the most practical ways to redeem for Lufthansa transatlantic business class award space are as follows (one-way):
- 45,000 Aeroplan miles (plus ~$400 in fuel surcharges)
- 52,500 Avianca LifeMiles (no surcharges)
- 70,000 United MileagePlus miles (no surcharges)
So there aren’t really any amazing values, but if you’re looking to redeem for Star Alliance transatlantic business class space, it’s tough to compete with the number of seats available here.
If you want to book transatlantic business class award space on Lufthansa past November using miles from partner airlines, this is your only option. And it’s a damn good one, given that they have at least four business class award seats on over 80% of the flights. I doubt this will last. Furthermore, all of the Munich based Airbus A330s feature Lufthansa’s new business class, so there’s no chance you’ll get stuck in their crappy angled flat seat.