Normally Lufthansa only makes first class award space available much in advance to its own Miles & More members. Star Alliance partner frequent flyer programs can only book that space within 2 weeks of departure.
Right now though some frequent flyer programs have access to Lufthansa first class space through the entire calendar. United and Aeroplan do not seem to have access to this space, however via You Have Been Upgraded Avianca LifeMiles does.
Many readers will have LifeMiles because of their frequent mileage sales, or because they are a Citi transfer partner. Some will even purchase miles now for this.
I’m not seeing availability for Lufthansa first between the US and Europe, though I am for many other routes. For instance you can fly from Mexico City to Frankfurt pretty easily in first.
And there’s availability between Europe and Asia, too. So putting together North America – Asia via Europe is pretty doable.
Now Swiss doesn’t make their first class awards available to anyone but Miles & More elites, except when they occasionally do. And Swiss always honored those bookings – until late last year when they didn’t – so it’s possible I suppose that Lufthansa could renege on this too. But even though Swiss is owned by Lufthansa my guess is that they’ll be more reasonable.