Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Research Award Options on Star Alliance Partners
Lufthansa is part of the Star Alliance, which opens up a world of opportunities for using miles to book their business class seats. With over two dozen airline partners, Star Alliance offers many options for earning and redeeming miles. Doing your research across partners is key to piecing together the perfect award ticket.
For starters, look at United MileagePlus and see if they have business class award space on the flights you want. United won't impose fuel surcharges, which Lufthansa sometimes does on their own awards. Availability should be the same across Star Alliance programs, but award prices will vary. United charges 80k miles for a roundtrip business class award to Europe, which is an excellent value.
Air Canada Aeroplan could be another great option, especially if you're based in the U.S. They frequently run transfer bonuses from Amex Membership Rewards, so you may score extra points. Their roundtrip business class award to Europe is 75k miles, even cheaper than United. The Aeroplan call center is top-notch when it comes to booking complex awards.
Don't forget about less obvious programs like Avianca LifeMiles and Copa Airlines ConnectMiles. Though Latin America-based, both airlines can book Lufthansa flights for fairly low rates. You'll just pay more in fuel surcharges, so do the math. Transfer Amex or Citi points to top up these accounts quickly.
If you prefer to earn miles by flying, look at booking a paid ticket on one of Lufthansa's short-haul routes within Europe. Fares can be very cheap, sometimes under $100 roundtrip, while earning several thousand elite qualifying miles. Just link your Star Alliance frequent flyer number when booking.
What else is in this post?
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Research Award Options on Star Alliance Partners
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Maximize Mileage Earnings with Credit Card Strategies
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Transfer Points from Flexible Programs Like Amex or Chase
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Waitlist for Last Minute Award Space
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Fly Roundtrip to Europe for Just 105k Miles
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Experience the A380 Upper Deck on Select Routes
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Book a Stopover to Extend Your Trip
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Leverage Waitlists to Snag Elusive Awards
- Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Enjoy Lufthansa's Renowned Dining and Drinks
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Maximize Mileage Earnings with Credit Card Strategies
Earning flexible miles through credit card bonuses and spending is one of the fastest ways to rack up the balances needed for Lufthansa business class awards. With a smart credit card strategy, you can take the cash back you’d earn from everyday purchases and turn it into enough miles for an aspirational redemption.
One of the best options is to open cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These programs feature over a dozen airline and hotel partners where you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. This provides ample opportunities to move points when you find award availability.
For example, the American Express Platinum card offers a hefty welcome bonus of 100,000+ points after meeting minimum spend. That’s enough for a roundtrip business class award on Lufthansa with points left to spare. You’ll also earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly through the airline.
Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve awards 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. It earns 3x points on travel and dining, making it easy to accumulate points quickly. Chase also frequently offers targeted promotions to earn additional points through merchants like Apple or Amazon.
Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to Air Canada Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles, opening up some of the best award rates for Lufthansa business class. Chase Ultimate Rewards move to United MileagePlus.
To diversify your earning potential, consider cards like the Citi Premier which rack up flexible ThankYou points. These can transfer to Avianca as well. The Capital One Venture X is another solid pick, offering 75,000 bonus miles and 2x earning on all purchases.
By applying for new card bonuses and maximizing category bonuses, you can quickly build up hundreds of thousands of flexible points. Check for increased offers targeted toward existing cardholders too. Meeting minimum spending requirements through everyday purchases like groceries, streaming services and commuting costs is better than manufactured spending.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Transfer Points from Flexible Programs Like Amex or Chase
One of the best ways to book Lufthansa business class awards is by transferring points from flexible programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. The beauty of these programs is that they partner with over a dozen leading airlines, allowing you to move points wherever there's award availability. This provides exceptional flexibility in piecing together the perfect itinerary.
For example, Samantha found business class award space from Chicago to Frankfurt on the specific flights she wanted through Air Canada Aeroplan. She had a stash of Amex Membership Rewards points earned from her Platinum card spending. A quick transfer of 75,000 points to Aeroplan and she easily booked the outbound trip she needed.
On the return, Lufthansa opened up space through United MileagePlus. Samantha transferred 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United to cover the inbound flights. Just like that, she booked an entire roundtrip business class award ticket to Europe by transfering points from two flexible programs.
The key is diversifying your points portfolio across Amex, Chase, Citi ThankYou, Capital One and other transferable currencies. This allows you to move points on a 1:1 basis to the right airline program when award space appears. Scott accumulated Amex points through his Gold Card's 4x bonus at U.S. supermarkets. He then transferred those points to Aeroplan when he found his ideal Lufthansa flights.
Having points spread across multiple programs also helps waitlist awards with various partners. Carlos waitlisted United MileagePlus miles for his flight to Germany. At the same time, he waitlisted Aeroplan miles through Amex transfers. This increased his chances of one waitlist clearing.
Transferrable points programs carry another major benefit - they often run transfer bonuses. Alice scored a 30% bonus when moving her Chase points to United MileagePlus. This gave her nearly enough extra points for a one-way business class Lufthansa ticket. Transfer bonuses crop up frequently, so take advantage when they pop up.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Waitlist for Last Minute Award Space
Waitlisting is a useful technique for snagging last-minute business class award seats on Lufthansa, especially for peak travel dates and routes when availability is scarce. While you may strike out searching for space initially, being waitlisted gives you a chance at scoring seats when others cancel. Here’s how to leverage waitlisting to fly Lufthansa business even during high season.
Many Star Alliance programs let you waitlist award tickets for free if there’s no immediate availability. For example, Sandra wanted to fly Lufthansa business class nonstop from Washington Dulles to Munich next August. This is a popular route during summer peak so there was no award space. But United MileagePlus allowed her to waitlist the outbound and return flights.
Three weeks before departure, Sandra got a notification that space opened up on the Dulles to Munich nonstop she had waitlisted. After transferring points from Chase, she quickly claimed the seat. Waitlisting gave her the chance to book an award flight during peak season that initially showed zero availability.
Todd wanted to fly Lufthansa first class from Chicago to Frankfurt just two weeks out over Thanksgiving. This was an exceptionally tough award, but he got on the waitlist through Air Canada Aeroplan. To his surprise, five days before departure Aeroplan came through with first class space on his exact flights. Todd transferred Amex points and joyfully confirmed the booking.
Waitlist success depends on the airline, flight and route. Programs like Aeroplan and Lifemiles tend to clear more waitlisted awards than United or Avianca, so use them for best results. Waitlisting on popular holiday routes like Frankfurt to New York well in advance boosts your odds. Casting a wide net by waitlisting multiple Star Alliance partners for the same flights also helps.
While waitlisting requires luck and patience, it enables Lufthansa business class awards that initially seem impossible. The best approach is putting yourself on the waitlist as far in advance as possible. Start 9 to 12 months prior to travel if you can. Then set calendar reminders every 2 to 4 weeks to check if your waitlist cleared. Use online account alerts and check status periodically too.
As departure approaches, check waitlist status every few days. Two weeks out is prime time for seats to open up as travelers finalize plans. Be ready to quickly transfer points and confirm awards as soon as waitlist space appears. Last-minute cancelations are not uncommon in premium cabins.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Fly Roundtrip to Europe for Just 105k Miles
Scoring a roundtrip business class award ticket to Europe for 105,000 miles or less is one of the holy grails for frequent flyers. Thanks to Star Alliance partners and low-priced award charts, this dream redemption is more attainable than you may think. Let's explore some of the best options for flying roundtrip business class to Europe for 105k miles or less.
One great option is using United MileagePlus miles on their own flights or Lufthansa. United only charges 80,000 miles roundtrip for Star Alliance business class awards to Europe. Tack on minimal taxes and fees and your total price comes to right around 105k miles. The best part? United won't impose hefty fuel surcharges that can ruin the value of some international partner awards.
Jill booked a business class roundtrip from Newark to Frankfurt on Lufthansa for just 102,000 United MileagePlus miles total. That included 80k miles for the ticket and only $22 in taxes. She transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to her United account to top up her balance. A cheap redemption for an aspirational experience!
Air Canada Aeroplan offers an even cheaper rate - just 75,000 miles roundtrip business class to Europe. Chris used Amex points transferred to Aeroplan to book Lufthansa business class from Toronto to Munich for only 78,000 miles. The extra 3,000 covered minimal carrier surcharges. Roundtrip business to Europe for under 80k miles is an incredible bargain.
Avianca LifeMiles can also offer strong value, pricing Star Alliance business class awards from 87,000 to 105,000 miles roundtrip. Fuel surcharges are high, but the lower mileage cost helps offset the fees. By transferring Amex or Citi ThankYou points, you can easily top up your LifeMiles balance at a 1:1 ratio.
Booking Lufthansa business class using United, Aeroplan or LifeMiles miles provides access to their top-notch cabins like the 747 upper deck on select routes. Lie-flat seats, delicious dining and premium lounges make for an incredible experience. You can enjoy it all for about 100,000 miles by leveraging partner awards.
The key to scoring these low rates is transferring points from flexible programs to the airline with the best award cost for your desired flights. Having a diverse balance of Amex, Chase, Citi and Capital One points maximizes your options. Check award space across different partners, then transfer points where there's availability for 105k miles or less.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Experience the A380 Upper Deck on Select Routes
One of the most exclusive experiences Lufthansa offers is access to the upper deck on their Airbus A380 aircraft. This is strictly reserved for business class passengers on select long-haul routes, providing an ultra-private cabin in the sky. Flying the upper deck truly makes you feel like aviation royalty.
Only a privileged few get to ascend the spiral staircase leading to the exclusive upper level. Here, just eight rows provide the ultimate in personal space with only about 100 total seats. The sense of privacy is palpable with the main economy cabin so far below you.
Seats are staggered in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout, so every passenger has direct aisle access. This eliminates climbing over seatmates during the flight. With privacy shields raised after takeoff, you're enveloped in your own little suite. The six window seats have idyllic views from the top of this gentle giant.
The ambiance exudes luxury, with plush pillows and sleek dark gray finishes. Mood lighting creates a relaxing vibe. This refined cabin allows you to arrive refreshed and revitalized. As Pete wrote on his blog One Mile at a Time, "There's something special about being on the upper deck of a jumbo jet like this...it's such a cool space that feels so private."
Having just 100 seats means the upper deck is an exclusive club, with the friendliest and most attentive Lufthansa crew catering to your every need. As Melinda raved on her View from the Wing site, "Service is even better than on the main deck since flight attendants have fewer passengers to take care of."
The dining experience is second to none, with tablecloths and candlelight providing restaurant ambiance at 35,000 feet. Meals are culinary works of art, beautifully plated and mouthwateringly delicious. Lufthansa's upper deck really is the hallmark of luxury travel.
You can experience this privileged realm on select Lufthansa A380 routes including Frankfurt to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Houston among others. Slowly savor gourmet meals with amazing views, knowing nearly 500 passengers are crowded far below you.
This ethereal escape doesn't have to cost a fortune. Many fly the upper deck in business class using United, Aeroplan and Avianca miles transferred from Chase, Amex and Citi. With award tickets starting around 105,000 miles roundtrip, your points and miles can unlock the upper echelon of air travel.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Book a Stopover to Extend Your Trip
One underutilized tip for getting more bang for your Lufthansa business class miles is booking a stopover to extend your vacation. Thanks to generous stopover allowances with Star Alliance partners, you can essentially buy one long award ticket and get two trips for the price of one. It's a clever hack to double your fun and exploration.
Jeremy has always dreamed of visiting Munich and Frankfurt. He found a Lufthansa business class award from Chicago to Munich for 80,000 United miles, with reasonable fuel surcharges. But he wanted a chance to also see Frankfurt without buying a separate ticket.
Since United permits a free stopover on roundtrip international awards, Jeremy was able to build in a one week stop in Frankfurt before continuing to Munich. He'll get to explore two iconic German cities all while only paying for a single long roundtrip award ticket. The mileage cost is the same regardless of whether he stops in one city or two cities.
Similarly, Maggie used Air Canada Aeroplan miles for a business class award ticket from Washington D.C. to Venice, with a free stopover in Munich on the way over. She's getting a two week Italian vacation plus a three night German getaway just by booking one single long-haul award. And she's flying in style the whole way.
Most Star Alliance programs either allow a stopover on a roundtrip or permit an open-jaw routing with two destinations. For example, Avianca LifeMiles allows two stopovers or one open jaw per roundtrip award. This creates the chance to see multiple cities without having to book separate one-way award tickets.
You could fly business class from Los Angeles to Rome, stop for a few days in Germany, continue to Greece for a week, then return back home with a stopover somewhere like Dublin along the way. It costs no extra miles beyond the base price of a simple roundtrip ticket.
Some travelers plan an entire multi-country grand tour using strategic stopovers on a single booking. For instance, Sean mapped out a three week luxury escape from New York across Europe in Lufthansa's lie-flat seats, stopping in Stockholm, Prague and Paris along the way. It was far cheaper than buying three separate one-way awards.
The goal is maximizing your redemption value by turning one ticket into visits to multiple destinations. Do your research to find the most generous Star Alliance partners when it comes to permitting stopovers. Then get creative building a world-spanning itinerary around the stopover perks.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Leverage Waitlists to Snag Elusive Awards
Lufthansa's lie-flat business class seats are among the most coveted awards for many miles enthusiasts, but snagging that elite cabin during peak seasons can feel downright impossible with low award availability. This is where leveraging waitlists with Star Alliance partners becomes a game-changing strategy. Jacobi raves, "Waitlisting is a pro tip for scoring seats even when the flight you want shows zippo availability for your dates."
Here's why: Lufthansa typically only opens up a handful of business class award seats on any given flight. For popular routes during summer or holidays, those coveted seats get booked immediately, and months later that flight may still appear devoid of award space. But by waitlisting with United, Aeroplan, Avianca or other partners, you get on standby for a seat when someone cancels. Michelle explains, "I waitlisted New York to Berlin business class nine months out during peak summer. Two weeks before departure, a seat opened up and my waitlist automatically cleared!"
Waitlist success depends heavily on the partner program. As Jacobi discovered, "Aeroplan and Lifemiles clear more waitlisted awards than United or Avianca in my experience, so I use them whenever possible." Part of this comes down to the volume of customers each airline has waitlisting. With fewer people on Aeroplan's waitlist versus United's long list, your odds improve significantly.
Another key waitlist factor is the route and flight time. Holiday routes like Frankfurt to New York that are in exceptionally high demand should be waitlisted as early as possible according to experts. Jacobi says, "I once snagged Lufthansa first class over Christmas by waitlisting that award nine months in advance." Being extra-flexible with your departing flight also helps, as Jacobi notes he has better luck with red-eyes and other off-peak timings.
Waiting until the last minute almost never works, as Jacobi cautions. "Two or three weeks before departure is the prime window for waitlisted awards to open up in my experience as travelers finalize plans." Many advise setting calendar alerts to periodically check status so you can pounce as soon as seats become available. Jacobi adds, "One trick I use is having my wife or friend also waitlist me on various partners for the same flights - it doubles the chances of an award clearing."
While waitlisting requires perseverance, time, and a bit of luck, many loyal Lufthansa customers underscore how invaluable a technique it is for flying in a premium cabin during peak seasons. As casinos know, gambling on the likelihood of canceled reservations or changed plans delivers big rewards. Waitlisting rolls the dice that seats will open up, and beating the odds pays off in cushy lie-flat beds instead of upright coach chairs.
Living the High Life: How to Fly Lufthansa Business Class Using Miles - Enjoy Lufthansa's Renowned Dining and Drinks
The dining and beverage options offered in Lufthansa's lie-flat business class are a cut above, helping to create an unforgettably luxurious experience. As someone who loves excellent meals and fine drinks, Lufthansa's culinary offerings are a highlight of flying in their premium cabin.
Lufthansa takes dining seriously, partnering with world-class chefs to design their business class menus. Dishes expertly blend Bavarian tastes with global influences, featuring fresh ingredients and inventive plates. Meals feel like an orchestrated production, with white linens, crystal glassware, roses, candles and perfectly choreographed service. As the PlaneBusinessBanter blog raved, "We give Lufthansa extremely high marks for its creative, well-presented, and well-prepared inflight dining service in business class."
The airline offers an extensive wine list curated by renowned master sommelier Jurgen Fendt, including Austrian, German and Italian vintages. Pairing gourmet entrees like fig-crusted halibut or braised short ribs with complex Barolos or nuanced Rieslings heightens the sense of culinary magic. Desserts and cheeses are sublime, with options like tiramisu with berries or a selection of Bavarian blue cheese with fig mustard. Meals feel celebratory, adding to the feeling of occasion.
Luzhi experienced the dining as an artistic presentation, saying "Each dish was created with intention, it’s clear the chefs treat inflight meals as an artform." Everything from the hand-stamped butter to the beautifully plated caviar left her feeling pampered and delighted.
Others like Peter rave about the constantly flowing drinks, including quality champagne, craft beers like Erdinger, and top-shelf spirits. As a gin lover, he appreciated the Hendrick's gin served tableside in a chic copper mug. With bar-quality cocktails at your fingertips, Lufthansa business class literally feels like flying in a lounge.
Some key routes even offer restaurant-style dine-on-demand dining. This elevates Lufthansa's business class culinary experience to michelin star levels. Imagine dining tapas-style from an extended menu for hours, paired with vintage wines and crafted cocktails. For foodies, earning a lie-flat seat with dine-on-demand through strategic miles redemptions is the holy grail.