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Lufthansa First Class is one of the most refined ways to fly between the U.S. and Europe — at least that travelers can book with points and miles. And one of the best ways to book Lufthansa First Class is through Avianca LifeMiles. In addition to charging lower mileage rates than most other programs, LifeMiles also doesn't pass along fuel surcharges. Even better, LifeMiles is a transfer partner of most major transferrable programs.
The issue? Lufthansa First Class award availability can be really spotty through LifeMiles. Lufthansa awards bookable through other mileage programs — like Aeroplan and United — aren't always available through LifeMiles. And more recently, LifeMiles hasn't shown any Lufthansa award availability, in any cabin.
Thankfully that outage is now over. LifeMiles confirmed to AwardWallet that it's been able to restore Lufthansa award availability. Once again, travelers can take advantage of LifeMiles' excellent rates for booking Lufthansa awards.
Here's what you should know about this sweet spot that's bookable once again.
Finding Lufthansa First Class Award Availability
First, it's important to know that Lufthansa is stringent about releasing award availability to its partners. Lufthansa almost never makes First Class awards available to partner programs more than two weeks before the flight.
If you want to book Lufthansa First Class further in advance, you'll need Miles & More miles — which can be a tough commodity to get. Miles & More isn't a transfer partner of any major U.S. transferrable points program. For Americans, the best way to quickly accumulate a balance is to buy Miles & More miles.
Even once you're within two weeks of departure, Lufthansa First Class award availability isn't guaranteed. The best way to find Lufthansa First Class availability is through a dedicated Seats.Aero page — particularly now that ExpertFlyer killed off Lufthansa award searches.
Seats.Aero Pro members can set up award alerts to get text messages and/or email alerts when Lufthansa First Class opens on a route they want.
Booking Lufthansa First Class Through LifeMiles
LifeMiles is a top choice for booking Lufthansa First Class for three reasons: Affordable mileage rates, no fuel surcharges, and ease of accumulating LifeMiles.
LifeMiles only charges 87,000 LifeMiles each way for Lufthansa First Class between the U.S. and Europe. After a $25 redemption fee, you'll pay just $51.70 out-of-pocket when flying from the U.S. to Germany. Comparatively, Air Canada Aeroplan charges 100,000 points each way for Lufthansa First Class on most routes — although flights under 4,000 miles (e.g. Boston-Munich) cost 90,000 points. And, after several United devaluations, United MileagePlus now charges 121,000 miles each way between the U.S. and Europe.
Once you find award availability, log into your LifeMiles account and start your award search on this page. Enter your route and specify “business or first” awards to improve your search results. You can leave the “Smart Search” option selected or select Lufthansa from the drop-down menu to limit results to only Lufthansa awards.
LifeMiles will highlight dates in blue that have award availability matching your search. Select one of these dates to see your flight options.
If everything worked correctly, you should see Lufthansa First Class award availability on that page. Select the option you want to move forward with the booking process.
How to Easily Get LifeMiles to Book Lufthansa First Awards
Even if you're starting with a zero LifeMiles balance, you may have enough points to book this lucrative award. That's because LifeMiles is a transfer partner of most major transferrable points programs:
You may be able to earn enough points through one sign-up bonus to book Lufthansa First Class awards. Several credit cards currently offer bonuses of at least 100,000 points. For example, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card currently offers new cardholders 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points — which can be transferred to LifeMiles at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
- With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
- Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Member FDIC
- 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
- 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
Travelers also have the option of buying LifeMiles to accumulate enough miles to book LifeMiles sweet spots. It almost never makes sense to buy LifeMiles at the standard rate of 3.3 cents each. However, LifeMiles often offers extraordinary buy LifeMiles promotions.
For example, a recent promotion offered a whopping 160% bonus when buying LifeMiles. That bonus effectively dropped the per-mile purchase price of LifeMiles to just 1.27 cents each. At that purchase rate, it'd only cost $1,105 to buy the 87,000 LifeMiles necessary for a Lufthansa First Class award between the U.S. and Europe.
The absence of Lufthansa awards has been a thorn in the side of the LifeMiles program over the past few months. LifeMiles is arguably the best way to book Lufthansa First Class awards, meaning award travelers have had to overpay to book these awards through alternatives. So, we are really glad to see this award availability restored. Here's hoping it's a permanent fix!
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