When you think about air travel to and from Europe, there’s a good chance Lufthansa comes to mind. That’s no accident! Lufthansa has long been considered one of the best ways to fly there.
Even with increased competition from carriers in the Middle East and Asia, Lufthansa has continued to shine with its first class product. However, we need to be realistic about Lufthansa business class.
It’s a comfortable flight that provides Lufthansa business class lounge access and quality service, but it lags behind other business class ticket options.
Let’s dig into the pros and cons and discuss how you can book this product with points.
A Look Inside the Lufthansa Business Class Cabin
A Lufthansa business class seat might be just what you’re looking for on a flight, but you should get a clear picture of what to expect before you book.
It doesn’t have an inflight bar like Emirates business class or the privacy of Delta One Suites, but the seats are comfortable and you will enjoy your flight. Additionally, all seats are fully lie-flat to ensure you can sleep soundly on your international long-haul flights.
If you’re looking for the best business class seat on Lufthansa, choose a seat in the middle section. While these seats might not provide great privacy, each one does have direct aisle access. You won’t have to climb over someone when you need to stretch your legs, and the flight attendant won’t have to reach over someone to hand you drinks and meal service like they do with the window section passengers.
Whether you’re traveling for work or for fun, a business class lounge can play an important part in your travel experience. With buffet dining and beverage options ranging from coffee and tea to beer, wine, and spirits, you will surely enjoy yourself.
How To Book Lufthansa Business Class
Now that you know what to expect from your experience, let’s dive into booking your flight. As a Star Alliance member, Lufthansa has plenty of frequent flyer programs you can use to book its business class product.
We’re going to review 6 options here: Air Canada Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club, Asiana Club, Avianca LifeMiles, Miles & More, and United MileagePlus.
Hot Tip: Where can you fly Lufthansa nonstop from in the U.S. to Frankfurt (FRA)? View our definitive guide to Lufthansa’s direct routes from the U.S., including plane types and seat options.
Air Canada Aeroplan
One of our favorite options to book business class award tickets on Lufthansa is through Air Canada’s Aeroplan program.
For flights between the U.S. and Germany, Aeroplan will charge you based on your itinerary’s total flight distance. On a one-way business class ticket, the amount will range from 60,000 to 70,000 Aeroplan points.
|0 to 4,000
|4,001 to 6,000
|6,001 to 8,000
It’s easy to search for and book award flights online. Here’s the simple booking process:
- Visit the Air Canada website.
- In the top-right area of the homepage, hover over the button that says Sign in. Click Sign in.
- Enter your Air Canada Aeroplan login details and click Sign in.
- You’ll see a search box on the homepage. First, toggle the slider that says Points.
- Choose Round-trip or One-way. Enter your trip details and click Find.
- Find your Lufthansa business class option, use your Aeroplan points, and provide your credit card information to pay for taxes and fees.
- If you’re planning on booking a stopover for 5,000 miles extra, you must find availability for each segment and then call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to book your ticket.
Hot Tip: Check out our Aeroplan region definition guide to make it easy to find out how many miles you need to book your award.
Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points
If you need Aeroplan points, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy has a 3:1 transfer ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Air Canada Aeroplan. Marriott Bonvoy transfers take 5 business days.
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
ANA Mileage Club
Normally, ANA Mileage Club would always be at the #1 position in our list, but there’s an additional layer that complicates the decision of which frequent flyer program to use: fuel surcharges.
Lufthansa and almost all of its portfolio airlines impose gigantic fuel surcharges in excess of $1,000 per round-trip ticket, which can really bring the cost of your award redemption up.
So even though ANA offers the best redemption rates of a 1:1 transferable currency (Amex), you’ll need to think about whether it’s worth it to save your points and pay higher taxes and fees or redeem more points and pay lower taxes and fees.
Here’s how much you’ll pay for a round-trip business class flight between the U.S. and Europe:
||ANA Miles Cost (Round-Trip)
||Taxes and Fees
We recommend following these steps to first find availability on United’s website and then book the ticket on ANA’s website:
- Use United’s website to search for award availability.
- Go to ANA’s U.S. homepage once you’ve located availability on United’s website.
- On the left-hand box, click Flight Awards.
- Log into your ANA Mileage Club account.
- Enter your ANA Mileage Club login credentials.
- Choose Round trip or Multiple Cities/Mixed Classes.
- Enter your flight information and click Search.
- Select your flights and pay for taxes and fees with a credit card.
Here’s what a successful award search for Lufthansa business class would look like on ANA Mileage Club’s website:
Earning ANA Mileage Club Miles
You can earn ANA miles through transfer partnerships with Amex (1:1) or Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points).
Amex and Marriott Bonvoy transfers take 3 and 4 business days, respectively.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Amex business cards that earn Membership Rewards.
Our next option isn’t as well known as the others, but don’t count it out! Asiana Airlines’ frequent flyer program, Asiana Club, offers some incredible mileage prices, assuming you are able to actually accrue these elusive miles.
These miles provide one of the best options for booking a Lufthansa business class ticket.
Here’s how much it’d cost to book a Lufthansa business class ticket between the U.S. and Europe using Asiana miles:
||Asiana Miles Cost (One-Way)
||Taxes and Fees
Unlike the previous options, this one requires a phone call to Asiana Club.
You must reserve and have your ticket issued 3 days prior to departure, which prevents snagging last-minute awards.
Here’s what you need to know to book your Lufthansa business class flight using Asiana miles:
- Search for availability using United’s site (see steps above).
- Call Asiana at 800-227-4262.
- The U.S. ticketing department is open between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. PST (Monday to Friday, except for public holidays).
- Tell the phone representative you’d like to book an award with Star Alliance partner Lufthansa.
- Provide your travel dates and flight numbers.
- Once you confirm space, you will be prompted to give your credit card to cover any necessary taxes and fees.
Asiana Airlines will pass on all carrier-imposed surcharges, so be aware of that going into the process.
Earning Asiana Club Miles
Asiana Airlines’ only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which comes at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to Asiana. That means if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana, you’ll wind up with 25,000 Asiana miles.
Marriott Bonvoy takes around 4 business days to transfer points to Asiana.
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Avianca’s LifeMiles frequent flyer program offers excellent redemption rates on Lufthansa business class, especially when you consider that it doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges.
On top of that, you’ll find that there are many ways to earn LifeMiles!
And while the LifeMiles search engine gets a lot of flak in the context of booking Lufthansa first class, there are fewer issues when booking Lufthansa business class.
Here’s the award chart for U.S.-Europe itineraries:
||Avianca LifeMiles Cost (One-Way)
||Taxes and Fees
Importantly, you’ll see that your total taxes and fees charged will be in the ballpark of $40, making this a great deal.
Here’s how to book your Lufthansa business class flight with LifeMiles:
- Go to the LifeMiles website.
- The site should display in Spanish. Change the language to English by clicking on the flag icon in the top-right corner and clicking English.
- After getting sent to the English site, log into your LifeMiles account.
- Click Fly on the homepage’s top banner after logging in.
- On the flight search page, click on the drop-down menu that says Smart Search and change it to Lufthansa.
- Fill in the search box, choose one-way or round-trip, and click Find Flights.
- Select your travel dates.
- Complete the booking by redeeming your LifeMiles and using a credit card for taxes and fees.
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
Currently, LifeMiles is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, Brex Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
All of these except Marriott Bonvoy transfer at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly. With Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll transfer at a 3:1 ratio and transfers take around 1 business day.
If you combine these redemption prices with a transfer ratio (usually 15% to 30%) and/or an award discount sale (usually 10% to 20%), you could significantly reduce your points outlay.
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Miles & More
The Miles & More program is actually the loyalty program for several airlines owned by the Lufthansa Group. In addition to Lufthansa, this includes Austrian Airlines, SWISS Air, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Croatia Airlines.
To search for award availability online, you must have at least 7,000 miles in your Miles & More account. Otherwise, you will need to contact the U.S. Lufthansa call center at 800-581-6400.
Hot Tip: Child tickets for flights on Adria Airways, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair, and SWISS can be booked at a 25% mileage discount.
If you have the required miles to search online, follow these simple steps to book:
- Go to Miles & More’s website.
- Log into your Miles & More account.
- Select your travel dates and route.
- Select Business as your class of service.
- Select your desired flight.
- Miles & More will show award availability for all Miles & More airlines, so make sure you select a Lufthansa flight as opposed to a Brussels Airlines flight, for example.
Miles & More requires you to pay all carrier-imposed surcharges on award tickets, and they can be pretty steep on Lufthansa. Note that the fees are lower when booking a flight from Europe to the U.S. rather than from the U.S. to Europe.
Hot Tip: If you are booking a round-trip journey, check to see if 2 one-way bookings will require lower fees than a round-trip booking.
Earning Miles & More Miles
Due to the lack of transfer partners, the best way to earn Miles & More miles (other than booking an eligible revenue flight) is with the co-branded Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards from Barclays.
Probably the most well-known option in the U.S., United MileagePlus has been the go-to method for many people when booking business class awards on Lufthansa. Fortunately, United award bookings do not incur the high carrier-imposed surcharges, saving you upwards of $700 in each direction.
The program does, however, charge more miles for flying on a partner airline than United metal, so you’ll pay a bit more when booking on Lufthansa.
United got rid of its award chart and now relies on a dynamic pricing schedule, but you can expect to pay the following prices for a Saver award:
||United Miles Cost (One-Way)
||Taxes and Fees
As you can see, no fuel surcharges are passed on!
You can book Lufthansa business class with United by following these steps:
- Visit United’s website.
- Sign in to your account.
- Select Book with miles.
- Select your travel dates and your route.
- Select your cabin of choice (business).
- Select your flight (make sure it is operated by Lufthansa (LH)).
- Review your flight choice and confirm your reservation by redeeming your miles and paying for taxes and fees.
Earning United MileagePlus Miles
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio or Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1.1 ratio with a 5,500-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
Transfers from Chase are instant, while Marriott Bonvoy takes approximately 3 business days to transfer points.
There’s also the option to earn United miles directly with a co-branded United credit card by Chase.
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Other Options for Booking Lufthansa
There are several other Star Alliance partners that can provide decent award redemptions. Some other programs you might want to check out are Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Great Lufthansa Business Class Redemptions
Miles & More sometimes runs award sales called Mileage Bargains. These deals are some of the best ways to use Miles & More to book a Lufthansa business class ticket on transatlantic flights.
Rather than the standard 112,000 miles required, you can potentially fly round-trip in business class for just 56,000 miles!
If you’re getting creative with your travel and are looking for fun ways to use your Miles & More miles, you can book business class from Germany to Africa or the Caribbean using Mileage Bargains for an utterly massive discount.
We’re talking about redeeming 18,000 to 32,000 miles instead of 70,000 to 127,000 miles, literally up to 80% off!
Just bear in mind that you will still be on the hook for carrier-imposed surcharges.
But let’s assume you’re booking a simple, nonstop round-trip flight between the U.S. and Germany in business class. Here’s the table comparing all of the mileage costs:
||ANA Miles Cost
||Lufthansa Miles and More Cost
||Avianca LifeMiles Cost
||Air Canada Aeroplan Points Cost
||Asiana Club Miles Cost
||United Miles Cost
|U.S. to Germany
||88,000 + $1,581
||112,000 + $1,581
||126,000 + $77
||120,000 to 140,000 + $81
||80,000 + $1,581
||From 154,000 + $11
A one-way award from the U.S. will include roughly $750 in taxes and fees while a one-way from Germany to the U.S. will be around $450. Depending on your origin in Europe, the taxes and fees will vary.
As you can tell, the best round-trip deal is Asiana Club (with Marriott Bonvoy points) or ANA miles (with Amex points), though both come with huge fuel surcharges.
If you have a pile of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it’s a no-brainer to transfer them to Air Canada Aeroplan. Don’t forget you can add a stopover for 5,000 miles extra.
With Citi ThankYou Rewards, the best transfer partner is Avianca LifeMiles. The same is true if you have Capital One miles since LifeMiles has a much-improved 1:1 transfer ratio.
Here are each frequent flyer programs’ stopover and open-jaw regulations:
- ANA Mileage Club allows 1 complimentary open-jaw and 1 stopover on all award bookings
- Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t allow stopovers at all
- Air Canada Aeroplan allows 1 complimentary stopover for an extra 5,000 miles, even on one-way bookings
- Miles & More may allow stopovers and open-jaws, but you must contact your local Miles & More service team to get information about its policies
- Asiana Club offers has complicated stopover rules for its partner airlines that would generally only apply for longer itineraries (you may end up paying more in miles)
- United MileagePlus has the Excursionist Perk, which allows a stopover on select itineraries
Here are some fantastic redemptions you can make from the U.S. to Germany:
- Boston (BOS) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Dusseldorf (DUS) one-way in Lufthansa business class with a stopover in Frankfurt for 60,000 Aeroplan points + ~$41 in taxes and fees
- Chicago (ORD) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa business class for 56,000 Miles & More miles + $750 in taxes and fees
- Denver (DEN) – Munich (MUC) one-way in Lufthansa business class for 40,000 Asiana miles + $750 in taxes and fees
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Munich (MUC) – Berlin (BER) round-trip in Lufthansa business class with a stopover in Munich for 88,000 ANA miles + $1,581 in taxes and fees
- Miami (MIA) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa business class for 63,000 LifeMiles + $38 in taxes and fees
- San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA) one-way in Lufthansa business class from 77,000 United miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees
How To Earn Enough Miles for Lufthansa Business Class
If you want to book Lufthansa business class, there’s an almost overwhelming number of ways you can go about this.
And it’s also complicated by the fact that Lufthansa levies humongous fuel surcharges, forcing you to think about the trade-offs of redeeming more points versus spending more on taxes and fees.
If you’re looking for the absolute best deal with Amex points, you’ll redeem just 88,000 points for round-trip business class, though that comes with a total taxes and fees of $1,581.
If you want to avoid fuel surcharges, both Air Canada Aeroplan and Avianca LifeMiles will help you achieve this. Aeroplan is the best option to use for all itineraries under 4,000 miles in total flight distance, costing 60,000 points one-way; Avianca LifeMiles is the best option for all other itineraries, coming in at 63,000 LifeMiles one-way.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are best transferred to Aeroplan or United MileagePlus, though we recommend Aeroplan to redeem fewer points.
Capital One Miles or Citi ThankYou Rewards loyalists should use LifeMiles due to the 1:1 ratio.
Now, let’s spell out all of the possible transfer partners:
- American Express transfers to ANA Mileage Club (3 business days), Avianca LifeMiles (instantly), and Air Canada Aeroplan (instantly) at a 1:1 ratio.
- Brex Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to both Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
- Capital One Miles transfers almost instantly to Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
- Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Avianca LifeMiles (1 day), Air Canada Aeroplan (5 days), ANA Mileage Club (4 days), and Asiana Club (4 days) at a 3:1 ratio and to United (3 days) at a slightly better 3:1.1 ratio.
It’s also important to note that Amex, Brex, and Citi have all offered transfer bonuses of 15% to 30% to LifeMiles in the past.
Aeroplan transfer bonuses have been offered by Amex, though these are a bit rarer. You can almost never count on a transfer bonus to ANA Mileage Club or United MileagePlus.
Unfortunately, there is no way to transfer points to Lufthansa Miles & More, though there is a co-branded credit card issued by Barclays.
When Should You Search for Award Space?
Once you have determined when you want to travel, start your award search. Availability with Miles & More (as well as Lufthansa’s partners) is generally pretty good, though it’s not usually possible to plan extremely far out in advance.
Unlike Lufthansa first class award space, which is only released to partners about 2 weeks prior to departure, business class is available long before that, typically around 2 months in advance.
What Do You Get With Lufthansa Business Class?
While the business class cabin doesn’t have the same amazing reputation as Lufthansa first class, it does provide a comfortable long-haul option.
Lufthansa and Star Alliance Business Class Lounges
Star Alliance is the largest airline alliance in the world, which means you will have a wide selection of business class lounges to enjoy across the globe. These lounges are often quite spacious with plenty of room to work or just relax.
Lufthansa Business Class Wine and Champagne
Even though you’re just in business class, Lufthansa still provides Champagne and a nice selection of wine to make your flight a little bit more enjoyable.
Lufthansa has also unveiled new German-inspired menus for short- and medium-haul routes.
Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt
If you are flying into Frankfurt, Germany, you will have access to the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge. Here you can enjoy a meal, some quiet time, or even do a little work before starting your day in Frankfurt.
Perhaps the best perk of the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge is the showers. After a long flight, a shower can be just what you need to freshen up before a meeting or a German adventure!
Let’s be clear: this business class cabin is not at the same level as Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, or Singapore Airlines. That being said, if you are looking for a comfortable seat on a long-haul flight (and maybe some Champagne!), Lufthansa business class will suit you just fine.
For more ideas on how you can maximize your Miles & More miles, check out our piece on the absolute best ways to redeem them.
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