The Trick To Redeeming LifeMiles For Lufthansa First Class

As I wrote about earlier today, LifeMiles is offering an increased bonus on purchased miles. While they’ve been running a promotion all month, there’s now a way to get a 140% bonus on purchased LifeMiles, which is an opportunity to pick up miles for ~1.375 cents each.

The issue is that LifeMiles doesn’t seem to have access to all Star Alliance award availability. For over a year LifeMiles didn’t have access to any Lufthansa first class award space, though that finally changed late last year, which was a big boost to the value of LifeMiles.

However, over time it seems like LifeMiles doesn’t have access to all Lufthansa first class award availability, which is rather frustrating. However, there’s a workaround to accessing Lufthansa first class award space, as pointed out by Hiro in the comments section of a recent post.

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How you’d usually search Lufthansa award space

Let’s use a Lufthansa flight with first class award availability between Washington and Munich as an example. Both the Aeroplan and United websites show first class award availability on this flight.


However, when you go to the LifeMiles website you’re asked to enter the origin, destination, departure date, class of service, and number of passengers. Historically you also get the best results when you enter your preferred airline, so you’d enter Lufthansa as the airline.


However, when you search for availability you’ll see that it will only return availability in business class, and not in first class.


This is frustrating, because subsequently when you look at the calendar mode you’ll see that it shows you options in business class rather than first class, as I explained in my previous post.

Fortunately there’s a workaround.

How you should search Lufthansa award space

The key to finding Lufthansa first class award space through LifeMiles is super simple. Just don’t specify your preferred carrier, and let it just do the “Smart Search.”

Let’s search for the same flight, except this time we won’t enter the airline.


As you’ll see, this time you should see the option to book Lufthansa first class awards.


This trick should help you secure Lufthansa first class award availability using LifeMiles in a vast majority of instances.

Hopefully this helps some of you redeem your LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class.


  1. I don’t know. I have definitely NEVER chosen LH from the dropdown and I always let it default to smart search and I have still run into the same issue in the past where LM doesn’t show availability that should be there. I’m not sure selecting LH from the dropdown is the cause, not at least 100% of the time. Haven’t tried it in a few months though so maybe it’s been fixed.

  2. Was this the real trick? It seems like choosing Smart Search or Star Alliance Airlines provides the same results (and I always used S.A.A.), but still I dind´t find it a real solution. I.E. 27/09 FRA-GRU there is F space on ANA and United sites, but not on Lifemiles. 03/10 FRA-PEK is the same.
    I don´t know if the problem was not finding space at all, but Lifemiles still doesn´t show the Lufthansa inventory correctly.

  3. Worst “secret” ever. Lifemiles website took a turn for the worst after the most recent update. LH F availability was plentiful before the update, now getting forced into J. LM appears to be blocking a lot of routes. Total scam.

  4. Just did a quick test, unfortunately it does not work. There is zero availability between NYC and FRA in first class. Plus your search is flawed. You used 25 September, which is very typically availible with LifeMiles.

  5. Lucky is close but that is not the trick that I had in mind. There is a way to show the seat but a bit more work is involved. A real hack is needed to show the space and make it bookable.

  6. Whew. Came here thinking he was about to expose the actual trick.

    Can’t speak for this “tip” but if it actually works consistently and reliably then I’ve been wasting a lot of time with my method.

  7. I would not consider as “trick” as Smart Search is set by default. My frustration is about the Search Capability. When I need to change the Origin or Date of my search, use the back button, the search does not know I had typed/input previously.

  8. This is not exactly a trick. I think it is one of LifeMiles infuriating little quirks. Having said that, I always try all 3 options to find a desired seat; firstly SmartSearch, then StarAllianceAirlines, then specific airline. If no result, take a break, even until the next day and try again. I have had 100% success using this process.

  9. Hi Nasakoto

    Please share the love! You’ve mentioned this hack in the last two articles by lucky on this but not revealed what it is.

    Pretty Please!

  10. Hi everyone
    So how much would that roundtrip FRA>Washington and back to Germany would cost me if I were purchasing Lifemiles?


  11. @Eugene – I tried FRA – EWR, JFK-FRA, in every combination of OW & RT first class for many months. I had success twice – once they advertised LH and it was actually a crappy UA flight, and another time it bumped me into J class at the F price. Useless. I have come to think that award FRA on LH to the east coast just plain does not exist. Tried it on the UA site. Nothing. Either LH simply does not make them available or there is no way to find it that I have found.

  12. The question is, if F availability is showing on Aeroplan , ANA and UA sites for a given day why is it not on LM? Either LH has not given those F seats to LM, or the search engine is failing to find them. Would a phone call to LM do the trick? Could do, if you get someone on the ball, but it may be her day off.

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