Lufthansa ordinarily doesn’t make first class award space available to partner airlines more than 15 days out. Miles & More members can redeem miles for first class travel prior to that, so the restriction is specific to those booking through partner programs.
Lufthansa’s A340 first class
While that policy is strict, it’s not nearly as strict as Swiss’ policy, as they only let Miles & More elite members redeem miles for their first class, regardless of whether you’re booking 10 months or one day prior to departure.
Swiss’ 777 first class
Anyway, at the moment it looks like several Star Alliance partner airlines have access to Lufthansa first class award availability more than 15 days prior to departure. It looks like Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus don’t have access to this space. My guess is that this is because they’ve added restrictions on their end that prevent that space from being shown further out.
However, other programs, including Avianca LifeMiles, do have access to Lufthansa first class award space further out. Unfortunately I don’t see any first class award availability to/from the US, though I do see plenty of availability to Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa. Availability isn’t amazing, though with a bit of flexibility there should be plenty of options.
One of the best ways to book this is through Avianca’s LifeMiles program, given that they frequently sell miles at a discount, and are also transfer partners with Citi ThankYou. When doing an award search, just select Lufthansa as your preferred airline, and the space should show up.
For example, doing a random search I see availability from Frankfurt to Beijing:
And from Sao Paulo to Frankfurt:
And from Mexico City to Frankfurt:
There are plenty of other city pairs with availability as well.
This doesn’t seem to be phantom space, but should actually be bookable (at least the space I tried).
While I’m happy booking Lufthansa within a couple of weeks of departure, obviously that’s not ideal for most people with set schedules. Hopefully some of you can take advantage of this excellent award availability. I imagine this won’t last, so if you’re interested I’d recommend booking ASAP.
Does anyone plan on snagging a Lufthansa first class award ticket in advance?