On Thursday I shared the news that Lufthansa seemed to be releasing first class award space on their new Toronto to Munich route to partner airlines for virtually every single day in both business and first class. Every day that offered space had at least eight business class and four first class award seats.
As anyone familiar with Lufthansa’s award policies knows, they don’t ordinarily release first class award seats to partner airlines more than 15 days out.
Of course the timing of this couldn’t have been much better, since just last week United announced a huge devaluation to their award chart, in particular for travel on partner airlines. So to many this represented the last chance at an amazing redemption.
Lufthansa actually just announced the new Toronto to Munich route a few days ago, so the flight literally just opened for bookings. I did some quick research as to how many first class seats were sold on the flights prior to posting about the opportunity to redeem miles on the route, and the results are pretty interesting.
Lufthansa first class always has eight seats, so all I had to do was look at the “load” for each day in ExpertFlyer:
- If a flight was “F8″ that meant all eight first class seats were for sale.
- If a flight was “F6″ that meant six first class seats were for sale, and that two had been sold.
I quickly looked at space between June 5 and October 10, 2014 both Toronto > Munich, and Munich > Toronto. That’s a little bit over four months, a total of 127 days if I’m not mistaken.
Bear with my math, because this is where the fun starts.
Of those dates, there were a total of three first class seats taken from Toronto to Munich, and a total of four first class seats taken from Munich to Toronto.
- Lufthansa has eight first class seats per flight, which means there are 16 first class seats per day (eight between Munich and Toronto and eight between Toronto and Munich).
- Multiply that by 127 and you have 2,032 seats total available seats between the time the route launched and the end of the schedule.
So, how many of those 2,032 seats were taken when I once again reviewed flight loads last night?
~53% of the entire first class capacity
Even subtracting the seven previously booked seats doesn’t change the percentage significantly, and that bears repeating:
53% of Lufthansa’s first class capacity between Toronto and Munich has been booked using United MileagePlus miles in 30 hours.
And that doesn’t even account for the business class seats that were also booked.
Let’s assume the average passenger spent 67,500 MileagePlus miles per direction (as that’s the minimum number of miles you can redeem for first class between the US and Europe through MileagePlus).
If that’s accurate, then the bookings made in the past day represent approximately 73,000,000 (yes, million) redeemed miles.
I’d say Lufthansa must be quite pleased with the premium cabin demand on this new route.
Well done, team!