Lufthansa First Class Award Space: Booked 15 Days in Advance
Hilary Stockton

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

Lufthansa First Class Award Space Booked 15 Days in Advance


Lufthansa usually releases first class award space no more than 14 days in advance, so I was pretty excited to book first class yesterday, November 1, for 15 days in advance, November 16. 

Lufthansa First Class Award Space Booked 15 Days in Advance


Now, I realize that one day more probably doesn't make a difference to most people, but then again, it's good to know when to seriously start looking, since in this case, if I'd only started looking at this flight at the 14 day mark, the space might have already been gone. 

Since I often get questions about Lufthansa First Class, here's a FAQ that will hopefully answer some questions.

Lufthansa First Class Award FAQ

Which Miles Should I Use to Book Lufthansa First Class?

I'd recommend using United miles to book Lufthansa first class--you avoid the higher surcharges that are now charged with Aeroplan awards, you don't face Starnet blocking as you do with US Airways (more about that below) and you use a lot fewer miles than you would with Miles & More miles, although it's true that only Lufthansa's Miles & More members get advance access to first class award space. Plus, if you're booking a roundtrip award using United miles, you can tack on a free United one-way.

When Does Lufthansa Open Up First Class Award Space to Partners?

I used to tell TravelSort readers and clients 14 days, but I now know that it can be up to 15 days in advance, given the award I just booked yesterday for a flight 15 days away. I would advise checking at the 16-17 day mark, just in case. Note that first class award space may continue to be released as it gets closer to the flight, so don't give up after you've checked 14-17 days out.

How Do I Search for Lufthansa First Class Award Space?

While it's easiest to search using given the user-friendly calendar view, the problem is that there's quite a bit of phantom availability. So don't get too excited when you see an EWR-DUS first class flight a couple months out, it's pretty much guaranteed to be phantom. You can double check the availability by searching on ANA. See How to Use ANA to Search for Star Alliance Award Space.

I'm Getting an Error When I Try to Book a Lufthansa First Class Award--Help!

Most likely it's phantom availability as described above, and not actually available to book. Check ANA, and if the space seems to be there and you're still unable to book, you can try calling United, but....

Why Can't the United Phone Representative See the Availability I See?

I tried calling United in order to tack on a segment that I wasn't able to add on, even using the Multiple Destinations option. It turned out to be a waste of time, however, because both agents I spoke with weren't able to even see the particular Lufthansa flight that I was looking at on just wasn't in their database at all. Is it possible that I just got two clueless agents back to back? Perhaps. But it definitely wasn't due to a phantom award space issue, since I not only verified it on ANA, but subsequently was able to book it on So unfortunately, don't count on United phone reps seeing the exact same flights you see on You may want to just bite the bullet and snag the key transatlantic flights, and pay any necessary fees to amend the itinerary (or if you're booking with miles from a United elite's account, you can avoid the fees entirely).

Why Can't I Book Lufthansa First Class with US Airways Miles?

This is one of the reasons I almost never can get excited about the various US Airways promotions--they block Lufthansa first class award space. Now, I have heard of people managing, after many calls, to actually get a Lufthansa first class award ticketed, but why bang your head against a wall when you can use United miles instead? And especially if you can earn a slew of Ultimate Rewards points with great bonuses using AMEX Bluebird + the Ink Bold or Ink Plus for 5X, Chase Freedom 5X category bonuses, Amazon 5X, etc. This month there's 15X available for Kohl's spend via the Ultimate Rewards Mall and Freedom.


What Should I Do If I Want To Fly Lufthansa First Class But Need to Plan Ahead?

This is where having plenty of miles and points can really help. You'll want to book back-up flights, either using United but booking on United or other Star Alliance partners that do offer advance availability (or even Lufthansa Business class awards for the flights you hope to get first class on) OR use American AAdvantage or other miles to book backup flights. Then monitor Lufthansa availability starting 16-17 days out to try to snag Lufthansa first class. United non-elites, make sure to note the United Award Fees or see if a family member or close friend with elite status would be willing to book so you can avoid these fees. 

Related posts

How to Deal with No More Lufthansa Advance First Class Availability

Lufthansa First Class Review

Top 5 Ways to Get First Class Award Tickets to Europe

Lufthansa's New Business Class Rollout and Routes

Airlines and Routes with First and Business Class Award Availability for Europe

10 Best International First Class Seats for Award Travel


Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 150,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book Your Hotel with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred VIP Amenities!

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
  This review of Le Cinq Restaurant at Four Seasons Paris is from a recent stop for a few hours in Paris, after arriving via American Airlines Business Class.    Le Cinq at Four Seasons Paris Location Le Cinq is...
  Here are 6 reasons why I love New Zealand, which we've been fortunate enough to visit over the past week, as part of site inspections for TravelSort Clients. In fact my husband was wistfully saying how he wished we...
Avatar_60_masha Masha G. commented 05 Nov 2012
That all sounds extremely complicated. Is it worth the effort?
Picture?type=large Harley S. commented 06 Dec 2012
I have a question about the return flight - if Lufthansa doesn't release space more than 14 days out at a time, do you book the outbound flight first and then hope to get the return flight later on? Thanks!
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 06 Dec 2012
Harley, yes--unless you have a lot of flexibility, I would book a backup flight either on the Lufthansa flight you hope to get a first class award on or on another airline so you have some way back for your return, although note that unless you're a United top elite there are fees to change class of service, airline, departure date, etc. See You can avoid close-in ticketing fees with the United Club card, but not the other fees.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 06 Dec 2012
@Masha Sorry for the delayed reply, but yes, I think it's worth it--you can read my review of Lufthansa's New First Class and decide for yourself!
Leave a Comment
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
For Cathay Pacific First Class awards should you earn Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles or AAdvantage Miles? TravelSort reader Lei comments on my post How We Earned 1 Million Miles and Points This Year "You mentioned you anticipate an AAdvantage miles...
  How do you upgrade or waitlist a United award for Business Class? TravelSort reader Calvin writes: "I booked an Economy Saver from CDG – SFO on a United Partner connecting flight. 1. Can I waitlist for Business Saver on the United Partner flight?...
Earn 50K AAdvantage Miles for Opening a Citigold Checking Account, if you're a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select cardmember. Here are the offer details: Must have a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select and be targeted for this Citigold offer Open a new...
  Is the 100K British Airways Visa offer worth it? There are currently two British Airways Visa offers, which are both listed on the Best Travel Credit Cards page. Update: there is now only the up to 100K offer, with...
Can you transfer Citi ThankYou points to a family member's frequent flyer account or combine ThankYou points? TravelSort reader Sam writes "I got the Citi Prestige card to earn points that can transfer to Singapore KrisFlyer. When I go to...
  My review of Air Berlin Business Class on the A330 from Berlin TXL to New York JFK is part of a series of trip reports from my family's trip to Berlin and Italy this past summer. For more about...
  This Four Seasons Moscow Hotel Review is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. For the previous posts please see: Review: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom Labstelle Wien Vienna Restaurant Review...
  Sometimes a bit of OCD is useful, when it comes to double checking your award bookings. It's tempting to just book your award flight and forget about it, but there are several reasons you'll want to periodically check them....
  This Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow Hotel Review is part of a trip report including Vienna and luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. For the previous posts please see: Review: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom Labstelle Wien Vienna Restaurant Review...
  Earn Singapore KrisFlyer miles for JetBlue flights Update: JetBlue has updated its dropdown so that it's now possible to enter your KrisFlyer number when booking:   This is great news for anyone frustrated with JetBlue's True Blue program, which...