One of the subscription services I use to make my travel life easier is ExpertFlyer, which costs ~$100 per year.
I use it to look at fare class availability, seatmaps, published fares, minimum connection times, maximum permitted mileage between city pairs, etc.
One of the other cool features is that you can set availability alerts, whereby ExpertFlyer emails and texts you when availability opens up in the fare class you’re requesting.
Unfortunately you can only set award availability alerts for a limited number of airlines, so it’s not possible for airlines like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, etc.
In the past it wasn’t possible to set availability alerts for Lufthansa, though a few days ago I noticed that ExpertFlyer has started displaying “O” and “I” class availability for Lufthansa, which means it’s now possible to set alerts for Lufthansa award space. These are the award ticket fare codes for first and business on Lufthansa, respectively.
For example, take a look at the below flight from Newark to Frankfurt. You’ll see that the “O” and “I” fare classes are listed. So if you want to set an availability alert, just press the exclamation point next to the available classes, and you can enter the desired fare code.
Then if/when availability opens up, you’ll be emailed.
Unfortunately this comes at a time where booking Lufthansa first class awards is less useful than ever before, given that LifeMiles blocks Lufthansa first class award availability and United’s new partner award chart is prohibitively expensive. But there are still some decent ways to redeem for Lufthansa first class.
(Tip of the hat to Ryan)