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Without a doubt Lufthansa has one of the world’s best First Class products (if not the best?), now of course with such a great hard and soft product, over the past couple of years it is becoming much more difficult to book using miles. I recently was lucky enough to book Lufthansa First Class a couple of months in advance using miles and I figured I would make a post summarising the best ways to book it. Lufthansa First Class travel is one of the most difficult award tickets to book since they release award seats to other partner Star Alliance airlines mostly around 2 weeks (if not less) before departure.

Below is a table of the best ways you can redeem your miles for travel in Lufthansa First Class. The rates below are for travel between North America and Europe.

Booking before departureProgrammeMileage Cost (One Way)Fuel Surcharges/Taxes & Fees (One Way)
AnytimeLufthansa Miles & More85.000 miles~$400 USD
Less than ~14 daysUnited Airlines MileagePlus110.000 milesJust taxes (and a $75 USD close-in booking fee)
Less than ~14 daysAir Canada Aeroplan62.500 miles or 72.500 miles (depends where in Europe)~$400 USD
Less than ~14 daysSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer80.000 miles~$400 USD

A couple of notes about which way to book:

Miles&More

  • Only way to book if you are planning in advance.
  • Overall I would say the mileage requirement is high, considering it isn’t easy to earn Miles&More miles without flying (and crediting to them), and the only worthy transfer partner is Starwood Preferred Guest.
  • There are credit cards in a few countries that earn Miles&More miles but the bonuses on them aren’t quite high most of the time.
  • The fuel surcharges and taxes/fees are high, so in general if you can risk it, wait, and use another programme.

Aeroplan

  • Best way to book Lufthansa First Class (in my opinion).
  • Can only book ~2 weeks before departure.
  • Lowest mileage requirement.
  • There are fuel surcharges and taxes/fees, but since the mileage requirement is the lowest out of all, it is worth booking through Aeroplan.
  • Transfer partners: American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.

MileagePlus

  • If you have tons of miles but hate paying cash, this is the option for you!
  • Highest mileage requirement.
  • NO fuel surcharges, although there is a $75 USD fee for booking close to departure.
  • Transfer partners: Chase Ultimate Rewards.

KrisFlyer

  • KrisFlyer is honestly the last way I would book Lufthansa First Class because:
  • Mileage requirement is high.
  • There are fuel surcharges and taxes/fees.
  • In my experience, booking and changing tickets with them is a pain. I’ve had itineraries messed up before.
  • I guess it could make sense since the transfer partners are: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

So to sum it up…

  • If you want to book in advance, use Miles&More
  • If you don’t want to use cash and have lots of miles, use MileagePlus
  • If you have a ton of points spread throughout different banks, use KrisFlyer
  • If you want to get the best value, use Aeroplan 🙂

Ultimately it really does depend on how you stand with your mileage balances and if you want to give up some money for fuel surcharges. Be happy when you do book Lufthansa First Class since it is becoming harder and harder to secure an award as many mileage programmes are devaluating and Lufthansa is also cutting First Class on some routes which means less award space in general.


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.