The Best Ways to Fly to Frankfurt With Points and Miles [Step-by-Step]

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Seat

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While I haven’t seen all of Germany, I had an incredible time last year in Berlin. The city is filled with history and has beautiful architecture, unique food, and of course delicious beer!

In this article, I will cover the best programs you can use to book award flights to Frankfurt, how to book the award flight itself and how to earn enough miles for your next redemption.

Best Programs to Use to Book Flights

Frankfurt airport is one of the largest airports in Europe. That said, U.S. travelers will find it relatively easy to fly nonstop from the U.S to Frankfurt.

Below I’ll dive into the best programs to use, including Asian carrier ANA, U.S. carrier American Airlines, and Middle Eastern carrier Etihad, among others.

Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank

american airlines business class
Use JAL miles to fly American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of shutterstock.com.

The Japan Airlines Mileage Bank program provides value to many destinations in Europe — including Frankfurt — across all cabin classes.

Japan Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which is great because these airlines offer a number of nonstop flights to Europe from the U.S.

The only Oneworld member offering nonstop flights from the U.S. to Frankfurt is American Airlines. Other Oneworld partners like British Airways require a connection.

Book Awards With JAL

japan airlines award chart
Japan Airlines Partner Award Chart

JAL uses a distanced-based award chart and a mileage calculator to determine the amount of miles required. I recommend using Great Circle Mapper to calculate the total mileage of your itinerary and then refer back to the award chart.

Japan Airlines will have a devaluation on November 20, 2018, so the mileage shown in this article will be accurate until that date.

When you are searching for American Airlines business class award availability, I recommend using both the American Airlines and British Airways websites first, and then confirming that same availability on the Japan Airlines website.

If you can’t confirm availability on the Japan Airlines website, call the airline at 800-525-3663 to search for and book the award ticket.

To find American Airlines economy award availability, use the Qantas website and then confirm on the Japan Airlines website. If you are unable to confirm availability on the Japan Airlines website, you can call Japan Airlines.

Hot Tip: I like using the Qantas website to search for Oneworld availability because it has a monthly calendar view. With American Airlines and LATAM, nonstop business class flights will likely not show up on the Qantas website. I recommend using American Airlines or British Airways to search for business class availability. 

JAL determines the mileage required by the using the total distance of your itinerary and the cabin class. Simply use Great Circle Mapper to calculate the total distance, and then reference the award chart to see how many miles are required.

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000-80,000$118
Business100,000-150,000$118

American Airlines flies nonstop from the U.S. to Frankfurt on the following routes:

  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Dallas (DFW)

Need help booking an award flight? Here’s our step-by-step guide to booking American Airlines business class.

Earning JAL Miles

Japan Airlines miles are hard to earn due to 2 factors:

  1. JAL only partners with 1 transferable point program, Marriott
  2. JAL does not offer a credit card with a meaningful sign-up bonus

Japan Airlines does offer a co-branded Mastercard, but I do not recommend it due to its small sign-up bonus.

The main way to earn JAL miles in the U.S. is by transferring points from Marriott, which is good because Marriott points are easy to earn with credit cards like these:

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 

american airlines business class 777
Use Cathay Pacific miles to fly American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of aa.com.

Cathay Pacific experienced a recent devaluation, but there is still value to be found if you know where to look.

The Asia Miles program uses a distance-based award chart when flying Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon or its Oneworld partners.

The best way to use Cathay Pacific miles is for American Airlines business class flights from the East Coast to Frankfurt (FRA). 

Cathay Pacific is a member of the Oneworld alliance, so you can use your miles for flights on Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon or its partner airlines.

Book Awards With Cathay Pacific 

cathay pacific award chart
Cathay Pacific Mileage Calculator

For nonstop flights to Frankfurt, you will use the Asia Miles Calculator. If you decide to fly 2 Oneworld airline partners to Frankfurt (e.g., American Airlines and British Airways), you will use the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart.

After you find award availability, you’ll need to fill out the Flight Award Request Form (scroll to the bottom after your award search).

Hot Tip: The Cathay Pacific Asia Miles website does not show all Oneworld availability. For American Airlines, you will need to find award availability first and then submit the Flight Award Request Form to Cathay Pacific. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000-80000$158
Business100,000-150000$158

Earning Cathay Pacific Miles

Cathay Pacific makes it easy to earn enough airline miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt.

The airline partners with American Express and Citi, and they also offer a co-branded credit card with a nice sign-up bonus.

American Express and Citi offer a number of personal and business credit cards that earn points that can be transferred directly to Cathay Pacific.

Also, if you stay at Marriott, Starwood, or Ritz Carlton hotels, through Marriott’s new centralized loyalty program you can earn Marriott points that can be transferred directly to Cathay Pacific.

Alaska Airlines MileagePlan

american airlines business class
Use Alaska miles to fly American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of shutterstock.com.

Alaska Airlines only provides solid value on certain routes, so it’s important to determine the cents per mile value you are receiving before booking a flight.

The best ways to use Alaska Airlines miles are for American Airlines business class flights from the East Coast to Frankfurt (FRA).

Alaska Airlines is not a member of an airline alliance, but instead has individual partnerships with airlines — including American Airlines, which offers nonstop flights to Frankfurt.

Book Awards With Alaska Airlines 

alaska airlines award chartalaska airlines award chart

Alaska Airlines uses a zone-based award chart for each of its airline partners.

When searching for American Airlines award availability, I recommend using the Alaska Airlines website where you can also book your ticket directly.

Alaska Airlines determines the amount of miles required by the zone you are flying from and the zone you are flying to.

When you use the award chart, the Alaska website will show all of the airlines that offer flights between your travel zones and required mileage for each cabin class.

For American Airlines flights, Alaska Airlines offers off-peak pricing for economy flights. If you are flying from the contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Europe between October 15-May 15, you will use the off-peak economy price.

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy Off-Peak45,000$158
Economy60,000$158
Business115,000$158

Hot Tip: It’s important to note that Alaska Airlines offers off-peak pricing for American Airlines economy flights from North America to Europe between October 15-May 15. 

Earning Alaska Airlines Miles

Alaska Airlines miles are much easier to earn than JAL miles. They can be earned by:

Alaska Airlines offers 2 co-branded Bank of America credit cards that generally have excellent sign-up bonuses.

Another way to earn Alaska miles is by transferring Marriott points to Alaska Airlines. As previously noted in the JAL section, you can earn Marriott points and transfer those points directly to the airline.

Etihad Guest 

american airlines business class
Use Etihad miles to fly American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of shutterstock.com.

Etihad Airways is similar to Alaska Airlines in that the program can be used in niche circumstances for flights to Europe.

The best way to use Etihad miles is for American Airlines business class flights to Frankfurt (FRA). 

Etihad is not a member of an airline alliance, but they do have individual partnerships with airlines like American Airlines, which offers nonstop flights to Frankfurt.

Book Awards With Etihad 

etihad american airlines award chart
Etihad Guest American Airlines Award Chart

Etihad uses a zone-based award chart for each of its airline partners, which includes American Airlines.

When you find award availability, call Etihad Guest at 877-690-0767 to confirm award availability and book the ticket.

Hot Tip: It’s also important to note that Etihad offers off-peak pricing for American Airlines economy flights from North America to Europe. Off-peak pricing is between October 15-May 15.

The Etihad award chart is driven by 3 factors:

  1. The zones you are flying to/from
  2. The cabin class
  3. The date of travel

For American Airlines flights, Etihad offers off-peak economy pricing to Europe.

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

Frankfurt (FRA)
Cabin ClassAmerican AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy Off-Peak40,000$75-$109
Economy60,000$75-$109
Business100,000$75-$109

Earning Etihad Miles

Etihad miles can be earned through its transferable point program partners, American Express and Citi, and through its shopping portal.

Etihad does not offer a co-branded credit card, but they do partner with American Express and Citi, which both offer several credit cards we recommend:

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

Recommended Citi Cards

American Airlines AAdvantage

american airlines business class
If you have American Airlines miles, consider using them to fly in American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of shutterstock.com.

American Airlines is a familiar program to U.S. travelers as one of the big 3 U.S. airlines (along with United Airlines and Delta Air Lines). 

The AAdvantage program uses one award chart when flying on American Airlines and a separate award chart when flying with a partner. 

They don’t rank near the top in terms of value, so the key here is to use your miles when the cost of a revenue flight is high.

American Airlines is also member of the Oneworld alliance, so you can use your miles for flights with many partners.

Book Awards With American Airlines 

american airlines award chart
American Airlines Award Chart. Image courtesy of American Airlines

American uses a zone-based award chart to determine the amount of miles required. The award chart is driven by 3 factors

  1. The zones you are flying to/from
  2. Your cabin class
  3. The dates of your travel

When flying American Airlines’ own flights, its award program offers off-peak pricing in economy to Europe. The off-peak dates are January 10-March 14 and November 1-December 14.

Once you find award availability on the American Airlines website, you can book the ticket directly there.

Hot Tip: The American Airlines website does not show availability for all members of the Oneworld alliance. You will want to familiarize yourself with both the British Airways and Qantas website to search for award availability. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for American Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassAmerican AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy Off-Peak60,000$193
Economy115,000$193
Business170,000$193

Earning American Airlines Miles

American Airlines is another airline that offers a number of ways to earn enough miles for your next trip to Frankfurt:

American Airlines uses both Citi and Barclays for its co-branded credit cards, which earn American Airlines miles directly.

Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Bed
Use Asiana Miles to fly on Lufthansa First Class. Image courtesy of Greg Stone

Asiana Airlines is not a well-known program, but it definitely has an upside if you know how to use it.

The Asiana Club program uses a zone-based award chart (click “Flight Awards Mileage Redemption Table” next to “User Guide”) when flying Asiana Airlines or its partners.

The best way to use Asiana miles is for Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines first class flights to Frankfurt (FRA). 

Asiana Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can also use your miles for flights on partner airlines like Lufthansa or Singapore Airlines. 

Book Awards With Asiana Airlines 

asiana airlines award chart
Asiana Airlines Partner Award Chart

Asiana uses a zone-based award chart to determine the amount of miles required, which depends on the zones you are flying to/from and the cabin class.

When searching for Lufthansa award availability, I recommend using the United Airlines website. After you find availability, call Asiana at 800-227-4262 to confirm and book the ticket.

When searching for Singapore Airlines award availability, try the Singapore Airlines website before calling Asiana to confirm availability and book.

Hot Tip: The Asiana Airlines website does not allow you to search for Star Alliance availability, so use United’s search engine to find availability on a Star Alliance flight. The best way to search for Singapore Airlines first class is to use the Singapore Airlines website. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for both Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

Frankfurt (FRA)
Cabin ClassLufthansaTaxes and FeesSingapore AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy50,000$49750,000$160
Business80,000$1,18380,000$160
First100,000$1,183100,000$160

Earning Asiana Airlines Miles

Asiana offers a few ways to earn enough airline miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt.

Marriott is the 1 transferable point program that partners with Asiana. The airline also has a co-branded credit card with a nice sign-up bonus.

As noted in the JAL section, Marriott has a number of personal and business credit cards that earn points you can transfer directly to Asiana.

Bank of America offers 2 co-branded Asiana Airlines credit cards that earn Asiana miles: the personal credit card has the higher sign-up bonus compared to the business credit card, but both are solid options.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Upgraded Points on Singapore Suites, Flight 1 - Round the World Trip
Use Aeroplan miles to fly Singapore Airlines first class! Image courtesy of Alex Miller / UpgradedPoints.com.

Aeroplan is a unique program that is associated with Air Canada, but it’s not Air Canada’s official frequent flyer program. It uses a zone-based award chart when flying a Star Alliance or Aeroplan partner flight.

The best way to use Aeroplan miles is for Singapore Airlines first class flights to Frankfurt (FRA). 

As a stand-alone program, Aeroplan lets you book flights with members of the Star Alliance such as Lufthansa or Singapore Airlines. 

Book Awards With Aeroplan 

aeroplan award chart

aeroplan award chart

aeroplan award chart

Asiana uses a zone-based award chart to determine the amount of miles required, which depends on your cabin class as well.

When you find Singapore award availability, call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to confirm and book your ticket.

Hot Tip: The Aeroplan website does not list Singapore Airlines award availability. Instead, use the United Airlines or Singapore Airlines website to find award space first, and then call Aeroplan to book the ticket. 

Aeroplan divides Europe into Europe 1 and Europe 2.

  • Europe 1: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain (incl. Balearic Islands; excl. Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.
  • Europe 2: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia (Western), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Singapore Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassSingapore AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy60,000$160
Business100,000$160
First140,000$160

Earning Aeroplan Miles

Aeroplan offers a couple ways to earn enough airline miles for your next award flight to Europe. They partner with Amex if you use transferable points, and they also offer a co-branded credit card.

As noted in other sections of this article, Amex offers a number of personal and business credit cards that earn points you can transfer directly to partner (including Aeroplan).

TD Bank offers a co-branded Aeroplan credit card that earns miles directly; if you are a Canadian resident, Aeroplan offers additional credit card options.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Suites First Class - Couples Dining
Use Singapore miles to fly Singapore Airlines first class! Image courtesy of UpgradedPoints.com.

The KrisFlyer program receives its fair share of attention because of the premium product offered by Singapore Airlines.

KrisFlyer uses a zone-based award chart when pricing its Singapore Airlines/SilkAir or Star Alliance partner flights. Singapore Airlines also has an additional partnership with airlines like Virgin Atlantic that’s worth checking out.

The best way to use Singapore Airlines miles is for Singapore Airlines first class flights to Frankfurt (FRA). 

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your miles for flights on Singapore Airlines/SilkAir or on partner airlines like Lufthansa or United. 

Book Awards With Singapore Airlines 

singapore airlines award chartsingapore airlines award chart

Singapore’s zone-based award chart to determines the amount of miles required based on your cabin class.

Once you find Singapore Airlines award availability, you can book the award ticket directly on the Singapore website.

Hot Tip: First class availability on Singapore Airlines departing from the U.S. is extremely hard to find. Based on a recent search, I did not see many saver level flights, so keep that in mind during your award search. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Singapore Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt:

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassSingapore AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy45,000$160
Business130,000$160
First152,000$160

Earning Singapore Airlines Miles

Singapore Airlines is a program that makes it relatively easy to utilize airline miles for an award flight redemption.

Singapore Airlines partners with all 4 transferable point programs: American Express, Citi, Chase and Marriott. The airline does not have a co-branded credit card but has quite a few travel partners that allow you to earn points when you spend with them.

As noted in previous sections, Amex, Chase, Citi, and Marriott all offer an array of personal and business credit cards. By strategically spending on cards offered by these banks, you will have no problem earning the miles needed for this redemption.

ANA Mileage Club 

Singapore Suites First Class - Morning Coffee and Champagne
Use ANA miles to fly Singapore first class suites! Image courtesy of Alex Miller / UpgradedPoints.com.

ANA is another Asian program that may not be familiar to many U.S. travelers, but it can definitely provide value.

The Mileage Club program uses a zone-based award chart (scroll down to “Step 2: Confirm required mileage”) when flying ANA or on flights with its partner airlines.

The best way to use ANA miles is for Singapore Airlines first class flights to Frankfurt. 

ANA is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your miles for flights on ANA or with its partner airlines, such as Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa.

Book Awards With ANA 

ANA partner award chart
ANA Partner Award Chart

ANA uses a zone-based award chart to determine the amount of miles required, which only differ by cabin class for flights on its partner airlines.

When you are flying ANA’s own product, they use a different award chart driven by 3 factors:

  1. The zones you are flying to/from
  2. Your cabin class
  3. The dates of your travel

When you find Singapore Airlines award availability, call ANA at 800-235-9262 to confirm availability and book the award ticket.

Hot Tip: ANA requires you to book round-trip partner award flights, so you’ll only be able to search that way on ANA’s website. The United Airlines website allows you to search for one-way flights, which can make the award search easier. 

Here are the redemption rates and an estimate of the taxes and fees for Singapore Airlines round-trip nonstop flights to Frankfurt: 

US to Frankfurt (FRA) – Round-Trip
Cabin ClassSingapore AirlinesTaxes and Fees
Economy55,000$160
Business88,000$160
First165,000$160

For Star Alliance flights, ANA groups all of Europe into the same region. What this means is that you can find more value by flying long-haul flights in a premium cabin to Europe.

Earning ANA Miles

ANA offers several ways to earn enough airline miles for your next award flight to Frankfurt.

The airline partners with 2 transferable point programs (American Express and Citi), and they also offer a co-branded credit card with a small sign-up bonus.

Amex and Citi both offer credit cards that earn points you can transfer directly to ANA.

Final Thoughts

Flying to Frankfurt in a premium cabin can be a great way to start off your European vacation. The airport also offers long-haul flights across the world, making this city an ideal jumping off point to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific.

With Lufthansa based in Germany, Singapore Airlines flying nonstop to Frankfurt from New York (even in their Suites class!), and American Airlines flying nonstop from a couple of U.S. cities, you have plenty of ways to find an award flight to Frankfurt!


Image property of Greg Stone. 

FAQ

Which airlines include carrier-imposed surcharges on award flights to Frankfurt?

Lufthansa includes carrier-imposed surcharges on flights. You should see very small surcharges (if any) on American Airlines flights to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number of miles you can use to book an economy class award flight to Frankfurt?

Etihad requires the fewest number of miles to fly American Airlines economy, at 40,000-miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number of miles required to fly business class to Frankfurt?

Asiana requires the fewest number of miles to fly Lufthansa business class, at 80,000-miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

What is the fewest number miles required to fly first class to Frankfurt?

Asiana offers the fewest number of miles to fly Lufthansa first class, at 100,000 miles round-trip to Frankfurt.

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