Hurry: Redeem Miles For Lufthansa First Class Between The US & Europe In Advance

A few days ago I wrote about how Lufthansa seems to be making first class award space available to partner airlines in advance. This typically doesn’t happen, because historically Lufthansa has only made first class award seats available to partner airlines at most 15 days out, leaving award availability further out than that for Miles & More members.

I’m not sure if this is a glitch or intentional, though the space continues to be available. In the post I noted that award space seemed available to Asia, the Middle East, and South America, though there didn’t seem to be any first class award seats available to the US. This was based on searching quite a few routes.

As it turns out, that’s not the case. Readers Andy and djibouti note one route on which Lufthansa first class award space is available to partner programs in advance.

There’s tons of Lufthansa first class award availability in advance between San Francisco and Munich using partner airline miles. There’s not availability every day, but I see maybe an average of two days per week with award space between this summer and the end of the schedule.

This is especially cool for a couple of reasons:

  • Lufthansa is flying the A380 between San Francisco and Munich for much of the year (over the summer it’s the A340-600, which is still very nice)
  • Typically getting Lufthansa first class award seats from the West Coast is especially tough, so being able to confirm seats in advance is a special treat

If you do want to travel in Lufthansa first class between the West Coast and Europe, this is an incredible opportunity.

Do note that Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus don’t have access to this space. My guess is that this is because they’ve added restrictions on their end that prevent that space from being shown further out. However, other programs, including Avianca LifeMiles, Singapore KrisFlyer, Aegean Miles+Bonus, and more, do have access to Lufthansa first class award space further out.

This is a heck of a use of LifeMiles, as they charge 87,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe in first class.

Some dates even have two first class award seats available, so you can travel with someone.

I’ve searched other US routes and didn’t see any with first class award space in advance, though there’s a chance I may have missed some routes. If anyone sees other US routes with Lufthansa first class award space in advance, please do let us know.

Happy booking — I hope that by the end of the day I don’t see any more first class award space on Lufthansa between SFO and MUC. 😉

Comments

  1. Can you use Asiana miles to pay 40k Starpoints > 50k miles for LH F on this route? (Assuming you already moved the miles to Asiana, of course…)

  2. @ Ethan G. — That should be possible. I’d recommend calling Asiana to make sure they can see the space, though I see no reason they wouldn’t.

  3. Isnt it a couple day transfer time from UR to SQ? In laws would love this option, for preplanned trip SFO to MUC but not sure I want to take the chance and transfer if it’ll be gone by the time the points show up. Any advice?

  4. The biggest deterrent has been the fuel surcharge. I Tried doing this exact route and previouslyy i actually found a date available past the 15 days with Singpaore….. but would have cost $1000+ in fuel surcharge. Kinda negates the whole concept of flying cheap 🙂 ..just my opinion. But if im missing something please let me know.

  5. @JoePro The SQ agent in my case created the booking which essentially held the seat. She did make it clear that she couldn’t guarantee LH wouldn’t pull the award, but it worked out for me. It took about 30 hours from Citi TY points to transfer.

    @Lucky I see FRA-ORD, FRA-BOS, and MUC-JFK in June, as well. I found the LifeMiles website the be incredibly easy to use to searching.

  6. @Shady Mickhail My total fees were 737 SGD (one way), so not cheap, but not quite $1000+. 503.20 SGD was YQ.

  7. Eh, maybe I’m missing something anyway. Just checked 2 full weeks end of Sept using SQ App/Website and got nothing (Just TK and Scandinavian)
    Searched F SFO-MUC 1 PAX.
    Is LifeMiles availability different maybe?

  8. @JoePro I was able to see the same on Singapore’s site as LifeMiles. But LifeMiles is WAY easier to search with. I don’t see anything in late September on that route, either. There’s ORD-FRA on 9/17, 9/19, 9/22 (for 3)… I stopped looking at that point. Searching from a smaller city like DEN helps find different connection points, although you might theoretically miss one if there are no United domestic awards that work to position.

  9. If booking this ex-USA, I think Avianca Lifemiles is the best option. Citi TYP transfer instantaneously to Lifemiles (1:1). Plus, Avianca Lifemiles then lets you purchase ~half the miles needed for 1.5 cents each. Lifemiles doesn’t charge YQ, and the YQ is expensive ex-USA, ~$500 for a one-way ticket.

    However, the Avianca website is pretty horrible. I made a reservation and tried to pay for it, but it didn’t work. Supposedly Lifemiles is “working” on the payment, but I’m sure I will have to call in to finalize the payment. But I’m treating this like a free hold for the moment.

  10. I think I sorta screwed up my strategy. Booked MEX – DBV with LifeMiles using TY points; had just enough and transfer was instant. LifeMiles shows avail for return, but need to use AMEX or UR points. ANA requires roundtrip, SQ doesn’t show the availability. Any options?

  11. Thinking about booking a couple seats with a baby using Avianca Miles. Does anyone know what kind of fee I’ll be looking at/if it’s super difficult to book the baby ticket?

  12. Thanks but this article (and all future articles) would be much more helpful if you layed out what points can be used (MR, UR, partner points, etc) and how to find and book the flights. We aren’t all experts on non-US carriers

  13. Awesome that I didn’t get any credit despite posting about the SFO-MUC space literally 3 days before djibouti, in fact my comment is right above his. Gotta love that!

  14. @Andy Yup.

    @Jack I noticed SQ matched LifeMiles. Is it possible the LifeMiles was showing a mixed award ticket with a segment in coach? If so, you may need to call Singapore airlines to book that with their miles, and in my experience they don’t show mixed premium/coach award online (but I’m not 100% on that)

  15. @ Andy — My sincere apologies for the oversight on my part. I see comments in the WordPress dashboard as they come in, and I saw the comment posted today. I should have gone back and checked if there were any other comments saying the same. My apologies, and I’ve updated the post to credit you as well. Appreciate you letting us know.

  16. @djibouti, I think you’re right. DBV-MUC is J and MUC-MEX is F. Website says no mixed class bookings. Does call center allow mixed class awards?

  17. Is anyone seeing an avail on SQ from FRA/MUN to anywhere in the US in mid-August? Nothing showing up at all

  18. @Ben ok, thank you, sorry if the sarcastic comment was a bit mean, but it’s a little frustrating when you don’t get the credit for something you did you know? I understand you why didn’t see the comment though, since I assume you get hundreds of comments a day, sorry.

  19. @Jack it’s definitely worth a try. I booked mine on the phone, and didn’t even look to see if the European connection in J would show up on the website.

    @Cory I found FRA-ORD 8/28. Hope that helps.

  20. I apologize in advance if this is a silly question. I just booked 2 * LH F from FRa to HND for 115,000 lifemiles each.

    I was comparing the two routes : FRa-HND and SFO-MUC. Both routes span around 11 hours and distances are very comparable.

    Why the Lifemiles difference ? 115K vs 87K? Is it due to the redemption zone difference? Thanks!

  21. What’s the best website to look for LH first class award availability?

    I also tried looking for the thread of the F availability on FT boy couldn’t find anything. Can anyone provide the link?

  22. For the first time ever I’ve been able to secure LH J on the A380 from HKG-MUC-BHX through my LifeMiles. Ok it’s not F but this is the first time I’ve been able to see let alone book a long haul LH flight 355 days out! This is great….hope they start to make more available

  23. @djibouti – thanks, see that one too. Looking for 2 seats unfortunately (trying to be a begger and a chooser).

  24. I was able to book IAH-FRA in F using SQ. The flight is in late May. Saw it available on SQ’s website, but when I called in to confirm the Krisflyer rep said she couldn’t see it and it was probably phantom availability. Was able to book it online myself and called them again to add a segment continuing from FRA. They were able to add it, but it actually resulted in SQ owing me a 5k Krisflyer mile refund, but they cautioned that if they canceled the online booking to refund me the 5k Krisflyer miles I’d lose the F seat from IAH-FRA. TL;DR, SQ doesn’t seem to be able to access the F availability themselves for some reason.

  25. I’m seeing lot’s of J (Not F) availability on LH via UA Miles that wasn’t there just a day or two ago. I don’t normally see this kind of availability, but maybe that’s just me? Or maybe they’re reconfiguring?!?!?!?

  26. Success after the most stressful award booking ever! Called SQ last Friday, rep quoted me two awards from DBV – MEX because DBV – MUC was in J and MUC – MEX in F…just like the website does. Pushed a little harder, she went away and came back with good news – it could be booked as a single F award. Bad news, she couldn’t hold a LH award, only SQ flights. Off I go to AMEX, transfer my MR rewards, and wait…and wait…and wait. In the past, MR to SQ has taken only a few hours; this time, it took days and multiple calls to AMEX got me no sympathy or help. Points *finally* posted to SQ this morning after 5 days. Jumped on the phone to SQ and booking complete…but five days is a long time hitting refresh hoping for those miles, and checking re-checking LifeMiles to see if the seats were still there. Happy ending, though.

    PS, thanks @djibouti for the pointers!

  27. thanks for this! I just booked EZE-DME to go watch the World Cup in July (super high season). I paid just a bit more for LH F than my friend for economy flights.
    I also booked the Porsche Excitement during my layover in FRA, because why not

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