Lufthansa First Class Award Space Wide Open!

Lufthansa first class awards used to be a gimme. But as the economy improved, the airline cut back the number of first class seats on many planes, and even the number of routes offering first class, award space dried up.

In fact, Lufthansa generally only opens first class awards within 15 days of travel. And even that isn’t as guaranteed as it once was.

Occasionally, though, either through a glitch or because they’ve given up on first class for a particular route, they open award space — wide.

Here’s The Route Where Lufthansa First Class Award Space is Wide Open

Denver – Frankfurt is going 2-cabin on April 10. It’s not a route where they’ve been able to make first class work and sell the cabin.

One of the readers at One Mile at a Time noticed that for the first three months of next year Lufthansa is making 2 first class award seats available on a ton of dates.

I do not see any space April 1 through 9 before the flight goes two-cabin.

This is the First Class Product You Can Expect

The flight is operated by a 747-400. I believe Lufthansa has 17 of these, all based in Frankfurt. 15 of them have been reconfigured with the new first class.

That takes up the full upper deck of the 747 for just 8 seats. First class is configured one and one, with each passenger getting a seat and a separate bed.

But You Might Get…

There remain 2 747s with the old first class, and I don’t believe those will be reconfigured with the new first. So there’s a chance you get the old seats, which frankly I’d want to avoid. They definitely had their day, but I don’t find them nearly so comfortable anymore.

Either way, of course, when flying Frankfurt – Denver .. and if connecting from Frankfurt to other destinations in Europe .. you can access the famed First Class Terminal.

Who Should Book This.. and How?

This Denver flight is especially useful for anyone starting on the West Coast or even in the midwest. It won’t be very useful to most folks based on the East Coast.

If you want to book these flights without paying fuel surcharges, you’ll spend United miles (you can transfer into United from Chase Ultimate Rewards). United charges 110,000 miles each way for first class on partners between the US and Europe.

Spending fewer miles, you can transfer American Express points to Aeroplan (instantly). Aeroplan charges 62,500 miles each way for first class between the US and nearer Europe… albeit with fuel surcharges.

American Express points also transfer to ANA, whose award prices are based on distance traveled. Points can take 48 hours to show up.

Chase, American Express, Citibank, and Starwood points all transfer to Singapore and Singapore Airlines charges 80,000 miles each way plus fuel surcharges. You have to call to book this, Singapore doesn’t offer online booking of partner awards. Points often take about 36 hours to post.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I am not the expert but based on readings on flyertalk it doesn’t look like Lufthansa is selling the old configuration as First class. They are selling them as business class seats and then offering people the option to buy up to an F seat with C service or giving them as an option for free to their elites.

  2. I just flew this route in business class on Saturday. There was zero first class availability even two weeks out. I wonder, if they haven’t been selling the seats, if they have been letting them go empty.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up Ben! Already had a AP Asia 1 booking for next February with a placeholder SFO-FRA flight on UA F that Iw as going to fix 15 days out. Now I don’t even have to worry about it.

  4. I shouldn’t advetise this but can’t help myself. With the advice of a close friend we set out to book this flight to Frankfurt as we live in Colorado. Mind you, our first experience booking overseas ff ticket after a decade of saving miles. We got the DEN to FRA via Aeroplan and Amex miles with a fuel surcharge two weeks out. Then we get to DIA last Thursday and when we went to gate our names were called over PA system. A nice Lufthansa employee then escorted us past all the waiting business class passengers and to the upper deck. We were the ONLY ones in First Class. Was better than flying private. Probably best flight experience we will ever have. Spent fours hours in FC terminal complete with bubble bath before heading to London.

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