Lufthansa First Class Toolkit - Points Miles and Martinis


Lufthansa First Class is one of my favorite First Class products in the sky. I have found myself enjoying the amazing ride many times because availability for one or two people is actually quite dependable if you know and understand all the pieces of the Lufthansa First Class toolkit.

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What tool to use to search for availability?

While it may be tempting to use United’s more intuitive website to search for Lufthansa First Class award availability, don’t do it! United has made some recent improvements in regards to reducing phantom award availability but it still happens quite frequently which can make any search quite frustrating. ANA shows the award availability to partners accurately and the interface allows you to search in 7 day increments.

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When is First Class award availability released to partners?

Lufthansa First Class award availability opens to partners 15 days in advance at approximately 6PM EST. If you want to know the exact minute the space opens, feel free to read my detailed post which highlights my experiments.

Which routes have the best availability?

Not all Lufthansa routes are created equal. Through years of locating availability for myself and others, I have noticed which routes generally offer more availability. I have grouped the Lufthansa US gateways into three tiers summarizing their availability trends. The top tier represents cities that have the easiest availability. The middle tier represents pretty good availability. The bottom tier is the US cities that I have found to be the most challenging to find First Class availability.

Top Tier – ATL, DFW, DTW, IAD, SEA

Middle Tier – ORD, BOS, MCO, EWR, CLT

Bottom Tier –SFO, LAX, JFK, IAH, MIA, DEN

Is there a way to guess if First Class award availability will release on a specific day?

Though it is not an exact science, I would say yes.  Use a purchase tool like Kayak or ITA to find Top and Middle Tier routes that are currently selling 6-8 First Class seats.  There is a higher chance that one or two seats will open at the 15 day window using this information.

Which route is the easiest to find Lufthansa First Class on the A380?

Frankfurt to Tokyo in both directions is by far the easiest A380 to land one or two First Class seats. I have actually seen up to four First Class seats released on this route on certain days. Most of the other Lufthansa A380 routes, especially the US routes are extremely challenging to land awards.

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How do you know if a given flight features new First Class?

Via Frequently Flying, Lufthansa has released a new web tool that allows you to check if your flight features Lufthansa’s new First Class which is substantially better than the old First Class. I would also double check the information from the Lufthansa tool with this handy Flyertalk thread that has meticulously mapped out the scenarios should the tool ever return false results.

The bottom line

Lufthansa First Class is one of the very best First Class products in the world. While it does require a close in booking, knowledge of the many Lufthansa First Class tools at your disposal will make landing that next dream trip a reality.

  • Joey said,

    Thank you for this! I have a flight to Europe in early August where if I’m lucky hopefully a seat will open up!

  • mdtravel said,

    Perhaps a dumb question…can I use USAir miles to redeem for first class on LH? For some reason, I had thought that one of the two parties had stopped redemptions using dividend miles.

  • alex said,

    @mdtravel – You can no longer use US Airways miles to redeem for Lufthansa First Class.

  • Analyzing Lufthansa First Class award space can make your head spin - Points Miles and Martinis said,

    [...] as partner awards because frankly it is really easy. I put together a Lufthansa First Class toolkit here. People generally shy away from Lufthansa First Class because you cannot lock in a trip before 15 [...]

  • NYBanker said,

    Seems one or two bloggers are still able to book LH F using US points. Hmmm…

  • Adan Pardo said,

    Hi!!!
    I’m planning on booking the FRA-IAD lufthansa flight
    for oct 20 2013.
    Probably a dumb question but for first class will it cost me 67.5k miles and booking fees?
    How much would the booking fees be?
    Also i do this with the phone rep of united?
    When i found the flight i want do i just give the rep the flights 15 days before if there is availability on the shown tools?

    Thank you guys!

  • Lufthansa’s easiest new first class route - Points Miles and Martinis said,

    […] route availability is limited with only 8 seats in each cabin and they only release partner awards within 15 days of departure.  Furthermore, most of the routes that consistently release first class award space like Detroit […]

  • Lufthansa First Class–Why You Shouldn’t “Get Rid” Of 300,000 United Miles - Points Miles and Martinis said,

    […] Lufthansa First Class Toolkit […]

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