Booking Lufthansa First Class using Miles & More miles is the only way you can book Lufthansa First Class more than around two weeks in advance. Lufthansa restricts their First Class award space to partner Star Alliance airlines and typically releases award space to those airlines about 14 days in advance.
Reader Patrick asked the following question on my post, Flying the A380 in Lufthansa First Class:
Can you elaborate a little more or maybe create a new post? What’s the best way to get points into Miles and More? (besides actually flying on LH) And about how far out can you book F using M&M. And last question… are the miles requirements less than what UA charges?
I flew F once and REALLY want to do that again. I’m hooked!
Great question! Hopefully this post will answer it!
Since Miles & More is Lufthansa’s (and many other airlines’) frequent flyer programme, Lufthansa First Class is bookable using Miles & More miles when the calendar opens up for flights ~11 months in advance.. now of course this is assuming Lufthansa releases availability to Miles & More members. When Lufthansa had First Class service between Frankfurt and Seattle, I would book the award often months in advance simply because I could and it was available to me.
Passengers who hold status with Miles & More (Frequent Traveller (Star Silver), Senator and HON Circle Member (Star Gold)) generally have access to more first class award space.. this is particularly true for Senators and HON Circle Members. Also, SWISS First Class is only bookable using Miles & More miles and IF you are a Miles & More Senator or HON Circle Member.
If you need/want to book Lufthansa First Class more than two weeks before departure, you will need to book using Miles & More… there isn’t another option if you want to book in advance (more than ~14 days out). If you can wait, I suggest reading my previous post on how to redeem miles for Lufthansa First Class; usually the best way is by using Air Canada Aeroplan due to the low mileage requirement (which will change in December 2015), though keep in mind they charge fuel surcharges – but they are transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.
If you’re still reading, I assume you want to book Lufthansa First Class using Miles & More. That brings us to the question: how can I earn Miles & More miles quickly?
Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Credit Cards (U.S.)
Starwood Preferred Guest is the only major flexible points programme from which you can transfer your points to Miles & More, Chase and AMEX are out of the question since they don’t partner with Lufthansa. How many miles could I earn from credit cards?
Miles & More® Premier World Mastercard® – 20k miles sign-up bonus (frequently 50k miles)
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express – 25k SPG points
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card – 25k SPG points
SPG points transfer to Miles & More at a 1:1 ratio, therefore if you sign up for the three cards above and complete the minimum spend requirements you could receive 110k+ Miles & More miles… which is enough for a First Class flight between North America and Europe. How?
50k Miles from the Miles & More® Premier World Mastercard® (it is worth waiting for the 50k offer)
Assuming you earn 50k Starpoints from both AMEX SPG Cards, for every 20k SPG points you transfer, you will receive 5k bonus miles, so:
40k SPG points –> 50k Miles & More miles
10k SPG points –> 10k Miles & More miles
Total: 110k Miles & More miles (this doesn’t account for the minimum spend of $3k – $5k on each card, depending on the offer – you could easily earn up to 120k (!!!) Miles & More miles)
Here is a link to the award chart for Miles & More.
North America to Europe costs 85.000 Miles & More miles + ~$400 USD in fuel surcharges and taxes/fees. You can’t change an award, but you can cancel it for just EUR 50.
Besides those Credit Cards and SPG there aren’t any other “really” good ways to earn Miles & More miles. Sometimes there are promotions (though most of them are only for European members) that you can take advantage of and earn miles. For example, last year I subscribed to The Economist for $160 USD and earned 10k Miles & More miles. That was a great deal for me since Miles & More miles are very valuable to me (for the reason of this post) and otherwise Miles & More miles are somewhat challenging to earn.
All in all, Lufthansa First Class is truly amazing (just read some of my reports here and here). While Miles & More charges more than Aeroplan at the moment, you can book almost 11 months in advance if there is award space. Award Space for Miles & More members (and specifically those who have status) is much better than it is for partner Star Alliance airlines.
For me personally if I’m planning a larger trip around the Lufthansa First Class flight and I need to book in advance, I will do so using Miles & More. However having said that, if the flight I am booking in Lufthansa First Class isn’t related to something else and I could potentially *not* fly right away, I will usually wait until two weeks before departure and try to book through Aeroplan since I can transfer both SPG and AMEX Membership Rewards to Aeroplan and the mileage requirement isn’t as high.
Hopefully this post explained the best ways to earn Miles & More miles: by signing up for the three credit cards mentioned! Happy flying!