Swiss is one of the most restrictive airlines when it comes to making first class award seats available. Only elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for Swiss first class. Unfortunately non-elite Miles & More members, and elite members in other programs, can’t redeem miles for the product.
At least that’s usually the case. Last June there was a glitch where Swiss first class award space was temporarily bookable using partner airline miles, and it’s an opportunity that many of us took advantage of. I decided to fly from Zurich to Los Angeles in November in Swiss first class, and had a great flight (though I’m not sure Swiss is so exceptional as to warrant how protective they are of the product).
As noted by View from the Wing and several OMAAT readers, at the moment there’s a lot of Swiss first class award availability showing through United’s website. I know this probably got some people excited, given what a rare opportunity this is.
However, unfortunately this appears to entirely be phantom award space. We’ve tried all kinds of dates and routes, and they all return error messages. So I wouldn’t get too excited, and certainly wouldn’t recommend transferring any points for the purposes of booking one of these awards.
There’s even quite a bit of Swiss business class phantom award availability. So be sure you check multiple Star Alliance websites for Swiss business class award availability before even assuming that it’s bookable.
Of course if anyone does find Swiss first class award availability that’s bookable, please do report back. 😉