The best way to fly to/from Europe in First Class is with Lufthansa due to a number of factors – award availability, the number of flights being operated, being able to redeem any Star Alliance miles, and of course, Lufthansa First Class is an incredible and fantastic way to fly.
While Lufthansa First Class may not be the world’s best flying experience, it is one that is easily attainable using miles and points – that is, if you are booking close to departure as Lufthansa only releases award seats to partner airlines in First Class max two weeks prior to departure. Should you wish to redeem in advance, you can do so using Lufthansa’s Miles & More frequent flyer program, pending availability.
There are other First Class flights to/from Europe such as those on Air France, British Airways, SWISS International Air Lines, etc., however either there’s no good way to book it using miles (AF or LX) or the First Class product is not of amazing quality (BA).
Lufthansa First Class using Miles & Points
- seats are released to partner airlines max two weeks prior to departure
- east coast and Mexico City have the most First Class availability
- depending on the frequent flyer program you are using, you may have to pay fuel surcharges
- you can redeem Miles & More miles without the two-weeks-before-departure restriction if there is award availability (and there is often more for Lufthansa’s own members)
- you can add on connections in Europe and the U.S. if there is award availability, subject to the rules of the program you are using to book the ticket
- award tickets don’t change the experience in any way (still the same First Class lounge access, ground benefits, and in-flight experience)
Lufthansa First Class Routes
Lufthansa frequently changes where they fly aircraft with First Class to, and there is often more First Class service to the U.S. in the summer months rather than the winter months. Lufthansa’s only aircraft featuring a First Class cabin currently include:
- Airbus A340-600 (A346)
- Airbus A380-800 (A388)
- Boeing 747-8i (B748)
Lufthansa has several Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s on order and some might feature a First Class cabin in the future. The Boeing 777-9 will eventually be Lufthansa’s flagship aircraft and should also feature First Class.
Lufthansa First Class is currently available on the following North American routes:
- Frankfurt <-> Chicago (ORD)
- Frankfurt <-> Los Angeles (LAX)
- Frankfurt <-> Mexico City (MEX)
- Frankfurt <-> Miami (MIA)
- Frankfurt <-> San Francisco (SFO)
- Frankfurt <-> Washington D.C. (IAD)
- Munich <-> Boston (BOS)
- Munich <-> Miami (MIA)
- Munich <-> New York (JFK)
Redeeming Miles for Lufthansa First Class
Lufthansa is a Star Alliance member airline, which means you can redeem any Star Alliance miles for a First Class flight on Lufthansa, if there is award availability, at the following rates to/from Frankfurt/Munich (one-way):
- Air Canada Aeroplan: between 90k – 100k+ points (depends on the distance flown)
- Asiana Airlines Asiana Club: 50k miles
- Avianca LifeMiles: 87k miles
- Lufthansa Group Miles & More: 91k miles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 121k miles
- United Airlines MileagePlus: around 120k miles (could vary since United’s pricing is dynamic)
Note that this isn’t the full list of programs/airlines which you can use to redeem miles from – just the best programs to use. As you can see above, redeeming Asiana Airlines miles for a one-way flight at just 50k miles is a phenomenal value; the catch is that you can only transfer from Marriott Bonvoy to Asiana Club and the transfers take up to a week, and sometimes even longer.
All in All
Lufthansa First Class is an excellent way to fly to/from Europe – from the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and First Class Lounges in Frankfurt and Munich, the private tarmac car transfer to your aircraft, to the incredible in-flight experience featuring world-class dining and a comfortable seat which turns into a fully flat bed, this is one of the greatest ways to fly.
Redeeming miles for Lufthansa First Class can be difficult, but not impossible. Usually Lufthansa will release award seats just a few days before departure, depending on how full the cabin is – if there are a few unsold seats left, the airline will probably release at least one as an award; if the cabin is almost full, chances are the given flight won’t open up for mileage redemption. If you need to fly somewhere and don’t want to risk First Class not opening up, you could always book another flight itinerary and then later last minute change to Lufthansa First Class, should it open up.