I like sharing specific details about acquiring Lufthansa First Class award seats 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 days out. That being said, you can almost guarantee you will find something within the two week window to get you from the US to Europe and beyond. I have no qualms scheduling vacation with no tickets in hand and seeing what Lufthansa deals out. For the third time this year, I got exactly what I wanted, two seats on the Denver 747 flight, by waiting up until the last minute to book.
In the Lufthansa First Class toolkit, I shared a bit how you can predict what flight will open up seats. Generally speaking, you want to look for flights selling a lot of seats on non-premium routes. As I have learned this week from helping a friend get seats out of DC this week, you can’t always count on this method as the logic can make your head spin.
I was monitoring Kayak to see which Thursday and Friday flights out of DC this week may open up a seat or two. The two flights that interested me are IAD-MUC on a A330 guaranteed to have new first class and IAD-FRA on the 747-8i also guaranteed to have the new cabin. They wanted the 747-8i because it is awesome but I let them know the A330 route is really good and more likely to open up as I have taken it three times and this flight almost always releases space when there is a lot of unsold inventory. The 747-8i route on the other hand is the more premium route and generally releases very little space if any leaving the US so don’t hold your breath.
My kayak results showed 7 out of 8 open seats on the less premium IAD- MUC route.
The more premium IAD-FRA showed 6 out of 8 open seats.
From this prediction I would anticipate 2 seats would open on the IAD-MUC route and 0 or maybe 1 would show up on the IAD-FRA route. I told my friends to be ready to leave Thursday night.
As we are within two days of both flights I took a look at the last minute availability. I was quite shocked to find 0 seats on the less premium IAD-MUC route with 7 unsold seats.
Even more perplexing was that there were 3 award seats available on the more premium IAD-FRA route. 747-8i it is!
The key takeaway
There is definitely a pattern to which seats Lufthansa releases but the formula is surely complex and does not always follow simple logic. I would suggest readers who want that Lufthansa First Class experience to take a look at the inventory levels to predict which flights will open but stay flexible because the analysis may make your head spin.