Lufthansa Adds Airbus A380 Service to Miami, No More First Class Award Seats to be Found…

Lufthansa’s Miami-Frankfurt flight has been annoucned to go Airbus A380 beginning June 10. I’m a bit surprised, actually. While there’s surprisingly little transatlantic service out of Miami, that’s also presumably because it isn’t a market with the loads to handle an A380. But perhaps if Lufthansa was otherwise considering a second flight this is more economical.

Whenever a new A380 flight is annoucned, the first thing I think is “award seats!” Several airlines restrict premium cabin award redemption on their Airbus A380 aircraft. Singapore doesn’t make the seats available to partners (intentionally) at all, and to their own members they don’t even allow double points redemptions into “suites class” in fact I have seen their offers go as high as nearly 1 million points roundtrip. Lufthansa restricts A380 first class awards to Miles & More elite members.

Now, some airlines are a bit more open with these seats, like Emirates (not great availability from most markets, but I have certainly seen a couple of first class seats JFK – Dubai and it’s regularly available Auckland-Sydney and Hong Kong – Bangkok) and also Qantas.

But in general many folks have gotten A380 first class seats by booking a flight that they thought might get changed to an A380, and getting lucky when they add the aircraft to the schedule. That’s the most common way that it has happened with Singapore.

And certainly when Lufthansa’s Beijing and San Francisco routes were announced some folks were pouncing on previously available award space, before the inventory management folks caught up with the press relations people making a hoopla over the introduction of the aircraft.

Naturally my first instinct was to check for first class award space on Miami – Frankfurt. I’ve searched partner first class availability from June 10 through August 17 and am coming up empty, unfortunately. I booked someone on the flight just this past weekend, looks like they’ll luck out. But availability I had seen on Tuesday during the day for this summer is apparently now gone. Probably must quicker on the trigger this time, those Lufthansa folks!

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, 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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  1. You said Miami does not have much european service?! That could not be anymore wrong.
    European Airlines and Destinations from MIA:
    Air Berlin to Berlin-Tegel and Dusseldorf
    Air Europa to Madrid
    Iberia to Madrid and Barcelona
    American to London Heathrow, Madrid 2 daily and Paris CDG
    British has 2 daily to LHR.
    Virgin goes to Heathrow Daily
    Air France goes to Paris CDG daily
    LU goes to FRA daily of course and Dusseldorf
    Transaero goes to Moscow twice a week
    KLM goes to AMS 5X a week
    Swiss to Zurich daily
    Alitalia to Milan and Rome
    Arkefly to Amsterdam
    Corsairfly to Paris Orly
    Delta daily to Heathrow
    and TAP Portugal to Lisbon

    Yea not much service? MIA actually has the 2nd largest amount of European airlines after JFK in the US and is I think the 3rd most popular European destination in the US. LU sending the A380 to Miami makes perfect sense it is a big destination for them and they having been flying across the Atlantic to MIA for over 30 years!

  2. @Flyer92 that is totally fair. What I *meant* to say and obviously didn’t when I wrote that is that I am surprised by the limited amount of alliance-based transatlantic service.

    Sure, Air Berlin is joining oneworld but it hasn’t yet. But what I had in mind was the lesser carriers like Corsai and LUT seemed to have a disproportionate amount of service.

    Besides, Iberia service to Barcelona is what, like 3x weekly? American flies to London but they fly to tons of European destinations from JFK, Chicago, Dallas… And I mean, KLM’s Amsterdam flight isn’t daily. There’s no Copenhagen flight.. no Vienna.. You mention Alitalia’s Rome and Milan service, but neither flight is daily.

    And how about lesser airports like Manchester and Birmingham? How about Helsinki? Istanbul? Cairo? Where’s Miami-Brussels?

    My point wasn’t that there isn’t transatlantic service, but that a surprising amount comes from the non-major carriers, and that there’s less than I’d expect from an airport the size of MIA. And I think THAT point is actually correct.

  3. Surprisingly little non-stop service between Miami and Europe??? Are you kidding me? Do you even check your facts? Miami is one of e biggest U.S.-Europe markets and more European airlines fly to MIA than any other U.S. airport save for JFK.

  4. American serves only four European destinations from Dallas, and three from Miami. Not a big difference. Almost every major network carrier from Europe – Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Swiss, TAP, Alitalia, KLM, Air Berlin – flies to Miami. Alitalia’s Rome service is indeed daily, as are most routes from the airport. Check your facts again, because they are very wrong and the article loses all credibility with such an idiotic statement. Very little of the service comes from non-major carriers. Only three of the European airlines at MIA are “non major,” and Tranasero, Arkefly and combine for only seven flights a week. You also apparently don’t realize Air Berlin is huge, and the fourth largest European airline. And maybe you didn’t get the memo that LTU no longer exists. Oh, and that Finnair flies to Miami winter rmonths.

  5. @Alberto Alitalia’s Rome flight is six times a week, their MIlan flight is 3 times a week. Iberia’s Barcelona flight is 3 times a week. My point about Air Berlin is that they weren’t yet part of an alliance, though they’ll be joining. They don’t yet count in the alliance flying yet. KLM’s Amsterdam flight isn’t daily either. I’ve checked my facts.. Sorry that’s set you off!

  6. @Simon again my point was about alliance flying, and many of the flights cited aren’t even daily service. Further, limited destinations. And it’s not that there’s not alot, it’s that there’s not a lot considering Miami’s stature overall. I.e. there’s less than at least I would have expected there to be.

  7. For AA DFW only has +1 European destination which is FRA.

    European airlines rely primarily on European-originating passengers, and Miami is the second largest O&D point in the U.S. for European passengers.

    MIA is not a domestic hub so connections in MIA from Europe are somewhat limited compared to ORD, PHL EWR. MIA is not a huge hub like EWR for CO to Europe or US at PHL with 752s going to smaller markets to connect around the US.
    I would not call 128 weekly flights to Europe as little service. MIA will be served by 14 European airlines this coming summer – second only to JFK And rumors are there are more to come, with Turkish all but sealed, Austrian thrice weekly to Vienna looking increasingly likely.

    Miami service to Europe is mostly because of demand between the two cities not connections like Atlanta or Philly and just about every other airport which may have more service on one airline to Europe. The large amount of airlines shows just how much demand there is. LU will be filling the A380s with people staying in Miami not Delta filling a 777 with people going all over the country flying into ATL first.

  8. Also I did not know the info about the award seats. I am looking at saving my AA miles to get enough for an A380 to SYD from LAX. Do you know if QF blocks off too? If so I just do Cathay to HKG.

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