Caution: Lots Of Phantom Swiss First Class Award Availability

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. 😉


  1. I noticed this earlier and called united why I couldn’t book on the website, and they simply said those seats were not available.

  2. This is especially annoying because it’s clogging up award searches all over Europe. If United thinks you can connect through Zurich, it will show (phantom) availability on that day, no matter where you’re starting from.

  3. The business class seats look like office cubicles. Reminds me of the look and feel of many offices that I have visited. Was that the intent of the design so that business class passengers feel like they are at the office? 🙂

  4. Just booked 2 J tickets and it charged my CC and everything & deducted the miles. However, I received an email saying it was “waitlisted” so I really have no idea if it will ticket.

  5. I see that error message on some itineraries, but not all. Anybody have success booking when no error message is present?

  6. Booked two tickets on LX in J BCN-ZRH and ZRH-LAX via Aeroplan call centre last week, and they both confirmed and ticketed just fine!

  7. If this mystical Swiss first class were easy to book, would you still have this gnawing overdrive to experience it ?
    Is there an ultimate airline experience at the end of the rainbow ?
    There are strong tones of social class distinction in many of these reviews and some hint at a level of narcissism.
    Is this just a first class hamster wheel for many participants ?
    The blog has been notched down on my read list for lack of hard financial details and a over abundance on club house bathing and hot towel rankings and the annoying habit of young men claiming to need so much quiet and rest wherever they are at any moment of the day.

  8. Still a lot of space showing but it cannot be booked. This has been going on for some time now and is very frustrating.

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