Last Aeroplan 62.5k in Lufthansa First Class to Europe – Introduction
Aeroplan opened Lufthansa First Class award space for me!
United Airlines First Class B737 Seattle to Chicago
United Global First Lounge Chicago
Lufthansa First Class B748 Chicago to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class A319 Frankfurt to Kraków
Aeroplan recently announced the devaluation of their (generous) award chart and along with that came a series of mileage requirement changes for some of my favourite awards from Aeroplan. Specifically, in my opinion, the best way to fly Star Alliance First Class (and specifically Lufthansa) was by redeeming 62.5k Aeroplan miles plus ~$400 USD in taxes/fees and fuel surcharges.
United currently charges 110k miles (without fuel surcharges) to fly partner First Class to Europe and this is an insane amount of miles to pay for a one-way First Class ticket.. which is why for the past few years I would usually redeem through Aeroplan for just 62.5k miles (AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer to Aeroplan).
As of today, 15 December, the 62.5k award price for Star Alliance First Class from the U.S. to Europe is now 70k miles… which still isn’t a bad deal.
Round Trip First Class between the U.S. and Europe 1 now costs 140k miles (70k one-way). What kind of sucks about Aeroplan is that they divide Europe into two sections and the mileage requirement for Europe 2 is higher than for Europe 1. Europe 2 includes mostly Eastern European countries. However, Poland moves from Europe 1 to Europe 2 today. F#$k!
I mean seriously? Aeroplan moves Poland from Europe 1 to Europe 2 as of today and this means that not only will I have to pay more miles because of the devaluation – I will also have to add an additional amount of miles because now I will be travelling to Europe 2 instead of Europe 1! Seriously?! Poland isn’t even really considered an Eastern European country!
So, to summarise: before today, I was able to book a Lufthansa First Class award from the United States to Poland for 62.5k Aeroplan miles, now that same award will cost me 80k miles. This is because Poland is now part of Europe 2 which requires 160k miles for a round trip First Class award (or 80k one-way).
Naturally when I read about this a few weeks ago, my first thought was “I am going to fly to Poland for Christmas for 62.5k miles – for the last time ever.”
And so I did (hello from Europe)! I booked Lufthansa First Class on the Boeing 747-8I, this would mean that I am experiencing another Lufthansa First Class on a new aircraft for me. This adds my Lufthansa First Class experience to the following aircraft that I’ve already flown (now all that is left is the A346):
For 62.5k Aeroplan miles (really, American Express Membership Rewards points) and ~$450 USD, I booked the following:
11 December: United 459 Seattle – Chicago, departing at 06:45 arriving at 12:42, First Class
11 December: Lufthansa 431 Chicago – Frankfurt, departing at 16:15 arriving at 07:30, First Class
12 December: Lufthansa 1368 Frankfurt – Kraków, departing at 16:35 arriving at 18:05, Business Class
The tricky part was putting together the entire itinerary because United didn’t release award space until the day before departure, so I had to book something else and then change the flights to the ones above (more on that later).
All in all, I am happy to be able to spend Christmas with my family here in Poland and I’m also happy that I could redeem 62.5k AMEX Points one last time for Lufthansa First Class… It is kind of sad that now I will have to pay 80k for the same award… but as such is life. Lufthansa Miles & More charges 85k for First Class between the U.S. and Europe.. so now Aeroplan and Europe 2 are not that far off.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!