ACT FAST! Lufthansa First Class Awards Available All Summer

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Via Don’t Call The AirlineLufthansa first class awards are currently available to Munich from several cities in the US and Canada. 

This is wonderful news for me, and anyone else who has been looking at traveling to Europe this summer using miles.

Why do we care?

Which cities are in play?

I haven’t dug that deeply, but thus far it seems there is space for 2+ passengers on routes to/from Munich and the following cities:

  • Washington DC
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Chicago
  • Vancouver (yay West Coast!)
  • Mexico City (relatively easy for West Coast peeps using Avios)

How do I find space?

These flights are displaying on United.com, so I would likely start there.

Lufthansa-First-Space-01

lufthansa-first-space-03

The space doesn’t seem to be phantom, as it’s also available on the ANA tool:

Lufthansa-ANA

Which miles should I use?

There are three main options here, depending on which mileage currency you have (these are all one-way prices):

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 62,500 miles
    • transfer from Membership Rewards or SPG
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 80,000 miles
    • transfer from Citi ThankYou, Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, or SPG
  • United MileagePlus: 110,000 miles
    • transfer from Ultimate Rewards

As a reminder, these are the best cards for earning flexible points:

Flexible CurrencyEarn Miles With
American Express Membership RewardsPremier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
American Express EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
Starwood Preferred GuestStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express
Chase Ultimate RewardsChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card
Citi ThankYouCiti Prestige® Card
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

With Aeroplan and KrisFlyer, you will pay fuel surcharges. These aren’t cheap for Lufthansa flights, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. The mileage cost with United is outrageous, but you’ll only pay minor taxes and fees.

With any of these programs, you can add your connecting flights for no additional miles. So I could fly San Diego > Chicago > Munich > Rome for 62,500 Aeroplan miles.

If you do book this through Aeroplan, and don’t need a stopover, I’d recommend booking as two one-ways, versus a round-trip. This will save you about $200 in fees.

Will my plane have new First or old First?

Yeah, I’m not Ben. I have lots of things memorized, but aircraft configurations for a certain German airline ain’t one of them.

However, the answer is “most likely new,” given that Munich seems to have mostly refurbished planes. Lufthansa also has a handy tracker that will tell you if your flight is scheduled to operate with the new product.

Bottom line

No one loves Lufthansa first class as much as Ben, and no matter how much I heckle him it really is a fun experience. Availability isn’t wide open, but there are plenty of seats out there, which is a big deal over the peak summer travel season.

If you’re thinking of booking travel to Europe this summer, I would absolutely see if you can make these flights work. I don’t expect this to last long.

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Comments

  1. Rather ridiculous they even have the old first class still flying around. The hard product is inferior to even the better business class products out there.

  2. I agree with posters on the original blog, this is most likely intentional from Lufthansa, it’s not like they sell many F seats on their old product to Charlotte… On a Tuesday.
    Good move regardless.

  3. @ Todd — Nope, business class is available at any point (but is best avoided unless you’re guaranteed the new product).

  4. @ LTL — There aren’t rules against backtracking, per se, but there are rules about city pairs. That routing is significantly over the IATA MPM, so my guess is that it wouldn’t price even though Aeroplan doesn’t technically follow MPM nowadays.

  5. hello tiffany! would it be better to redeem through ANA or AeroPlan? I have quite a bit in both programs. thanks in advance!

  6. @ Wesley C — Definitely Aeroplan. ANA charges 165,000 miles in first for the roundtrip between US and Europe, and still levies fuel surcharges.

  7. Nice – but with UA mileage level at 220,000 for a RT to Europe from the USA – it is not worth it. I have done 3 RTs on the LH 748 out of IAD to Europe at the previous level of 135,000.

    Most here likely have UA miles. Combine the 220K with the reduced earnings on UA revenue based charts – the cost is high to travel LH F. To Europe from USA, and particularly the East coast, J is fine.

    Plus more heavy FFers that travel to earn miles and rewards are switching to AA. I guess less people are redeeming LH F rewards now – so maybe the reason for the early release.

  8. Looks like flights went away before I had a chance to book. Can you tell if seats were filled or people just booked them? Wondering whether I should have hope that will open up 2 weeks before.

  9. It is things like this that make me twitch while trying to show restraint – I want to jump on it, but can’t! I do have LH F coming up (thank you, Miles and More) so I can’t be too sad about it. 🙂

  10. @ Paul — Can’t tell, but either we were amazing thorough or the inventory has been pulled. 🙁

  11. Wish this would happen with LX J sometime, I’d love to be able to book that in advance, especially from LAX. 90k MR and no YQ please and thank you.

  12. I did think about it, but I bought Swiss air business ORD-ATH next week for around $2600. Cheapest biz I’ve seen to Athens since the $2100 price early May.

  13. If any of you has success with award space within the second half of September –> Oktoberfest here in MUC:-)

  14. You are referring to Krisflyer, 80.000 miles. I can’t find anything on their website, only the normal chart where you need a lot more miles. I called Krisflyer and they didn’t know what I was talking about.
    Can tell someone in detail where to find this offer on their website and what will be the total taxes to pay ? Many thanks.

  15. What are the fuel surcharges on KrisFlyer for LH F like?
    I know it’s hard to give an exact amount, but do you have an estimated range (or even numbers for previous bookings) for the total cash co-payments for any of the segments between the city pairs listed?

  16. @ Kangol — The fuel surcharges for Lufthansa should be about the same whether you book through Aeroplan or KrisFlyer. You can use ITA Matrix to price the specific flights you’re interested in, but I would estimate ~$500 total in fees/taxes each way.

  17. @ Kangol — You can price out a flight on matrix.itasoftware.com, and it will show you the fare breakdown. Whatever the fuel surcharges are is what you should expect to pay on a KrisFlyer award. For a transatlantic first class flight it’s roughly $350 each way.

  18. @ Tiffany @ Lucky
    Thanks, I’ve just priced MUC-ORD which gives me this:

    Fare 1: Carrier LH F77OW MUC to CHI (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, ONE-WAY-ONLY fare, booking code F
    Covers MUC-ORD (First)

    €8,144.00
    USDA APHIS Fee (XA)

    €4.47
    US Immigration Fee (XY)

    €6.25
    US Customs Fee (YC)

    €4.91
    Germany DE (DE)

    €5.82
    German Passenger Service Charge (RA)

    €20.44
    German Air Transport Tax (OY)

    €42.18
    LH YQ surcharge (YQ)

    €191.00
    US International Arrival Tax (US)

    €15.81

    I’m guessing all the surcharges except the base fare (XA -> US) are payable? With YQ of €191 being the main one..

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