Lufthansa First Class Award Space: Booked 15 Days in Advance
Rewards Credit Cards
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

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 Four Seasons Preferred Partner, VirtuosoPeninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, Langham CoutureRitz-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!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
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 United.com 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 United.com, 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 United.com--it 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 United.com. So unfortunately, don't count on United phone reps seeing the exact same flights you see on United.com. 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
Comments
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 http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/travel/ticketing.aspx 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! http://travelsort.com/blog/lufthansa-new-first-class-review
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Rewards Credit Cards
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_shangri-la_luxury_circle_benefits
1/7/2017
UPDATE: Due to high demand, we are only accepting Luxury Circle Reservations of 2 nights or more from New TravelSort Clients. As usual, quotes are only available after submitting a completed and signed TravelSort New Client Form. Note the $50...
Square_75k_amex_platinum_bonus_offer
1/24/2017
  75K AMEX Platinum and 75K AMEX Business Gold Rewards bonus offers are available to many, using private browsing (Safari) or an Incognito browser window (Google Chrome). To maximize your chances of seeing the offers, be sure to clear your...
Square_200_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-2017
1/14/2017
  The $200 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credit isn't as easy for most people to use as the $250 Citi Prestige airfare credit or the $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit, for a couple reasons: It's restricted to one airline,...
Square_2017_and_travel_credits-which_credit_cards
1/3/2017
  It's 2017, which means a new round of airline and travel credits from credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, AMEX Platinum, and more. Here's a rundown of the main cards that offer an airline or...
Square_which_travel_credit_cards_i'm_using_most_and_why
2/10/2017
  Which credit cards should you use for which spend? TravelSort reader Ann writes "I've read many of your previous travel credit card posts, but I'm curious about which credit cards you're using most now, and why. My husband and...
Square_10000_alaska_miles_bonus_for_virgin_america_elevate_members
1/9/2017
  10,000 bonus Alaska miles is a nice present today for Virgin America Elevate members who are also Alaska Mileage Plan members. Log into your Alaska Mileage Plan account, and you may see a 10K bonus similar to the following:...
Square_review-british_airways_first_class_747-seat_2a
1/18/2017
  British Airways First Class is often panned in blogger reviews, compared to other international first class products. But the fact remains that British Airways has the most first class flights and seats between Europe and the U.S., by virtue...
Square_brussels_airlines_business_class_booked_using_etihad_miles
12/29/2016
  Brussels Airlines Business Class is a great way to get to Europe, especially if you can book Brussels Airlines Business Class with Etihad miles. That's because it's just 36,620 miles + ~$100 per person roundtrip. Compare that to some of...
Square_100k_chase_sapphire_reserve_offer_to_end_january_11_2017
1/3/2017
  The 100K Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus offer will end January 11, so just 1 week more to apply if you've been on the fence about the card. I'm assuming that the new offer, for applications on January 12 and...
Square_10000_amex_bonus_points-enroll_in_extended_payment_option
12/26/2016
  Earn 10,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points by enrolling in Extended Payment "Pay Over Time" option, if you're targeted. This has been an ongoing AMEX targeted offer, which will appear in a green banner as below when you log into...