The Best Ways To Book Lufthansa First Class Using Points [Step-by-Step]

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin - Cherag Dubash

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Without a doubt, the most famous first class experience from Europe is the Lufthansa first class cabin. The service inflight is tough to match, and the lounge experience in Frankfurt is simply stunning!

Carriers from the Middle East and Asia continue to provide amazing first class experiences, but the Lufthansa first class cabin remains one of the best experiences in the sky.

Let’s look at what you’ll get when you book Lufthansa first class, and then dive into booking this amazing experience using points.

A Look Inside Lufthansa First Class

Let’s say you’re flying out of Lufthansa’s hub in Frankfurt, Germany. When you arrive at the First Class Terminal, you will be greeted by a personal assistant and a valet parking service.

If you arrive in your own car, the valet parking service will take care of parking it for you. Have a rental car? It will be returned to the agency on your behalf. Your personal assistant will then be with you through check-in and security.

With these formalities complete, you can start enjoying the amazing First Class Terminal experience. Many airlines provide great first class lounges, but Lufthansa takes it to another level!

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Lounges
Sit back and relax in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. Image Credit: Greg Stone

The Wining & Dining area is complete with food from expert chefs and your choice of beer, wine, and liquor. Cigar aficionados can also enjoy a fine smoke with their drink in a dedicated cigar lounge.

If you’d like to relax before your flight, you can choose from one of the famous Relax chairs or a quiet room with a daybed. Perhaps you’d prefer to relax by taking a bath? Well, you’re in luck! One of the 4 shower rooms also has a bathtub for you to enjoy (as well as a first class rubber duck).

Hot Tip: See our review of the Lufthansa First Class Lounge and Terminal, as well as a look at first class aboard the A380 from FRA to SIN and aboard the Boeing 747-8 from BOS to FRA in our detailed reviews. 

As you can see, Lufthansa goes out of its way to ensure you have a fantastic experience upon arriving at the airport. Now, let’s talk about the flight.

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin - Cherag Dubash
Enjoy an amazing lie-flat seat with direct aisle access in Lufthansa first class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

For maximum comfort, each first class suite includes a lie-flat seat with direct aisle access. If traveling with a companion, the middle section has a divider that can be raised when you need some quiet or lowered when you’d like to have a chat.

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Champagne - Cherag Dubash
Enjoy some Champagne on your Lufthansa first class flight. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Onboard, the amazing Lufthansa service only continues in first class. From fine wine and Champagne to high-end scotch like Johnnie Walker Blue to more amazing cuisine, you won’t be disappointed. Just ask your flight attendant for whatever you need!

From start to finish, the Lufthansa first class cabin makes flying fun and relaxing.

How To Book Lufthansa First Class With Points and Miles

Now that you’ve had a taste of what to expect from this amazing cabin, let’s talk about how you can book this flight and try it yourself!

Lufthansa is a member of Star Alliance, which is the largest airline alliance in the world. This provides plenty of options for booking Lufthansa first class, but we’re going to focus on the options in these next sections.

Hot Tip: Note that Lufthansa normally levies fuel surcharges of $800 or more in each direction for its first class flights.

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is our go-to frequent flyer program to book Lufthansa first class flights.

That’s because, in addition to the absence of any fuel surcharges being passed on, LifeMiles has fantastic redemption rates and an abundance of ways to rack up these miles.

Let’s get the drawbacks out of the way first — LifeMiles has an imperfect online search engine that doesn’t always have access to all award space, especially on Lufthansa first class.

Additionally, LifeMiles’ call center is a huge pain to deal with. So if you plan on using LifeMiles, see award space on United, and can’t replicate it on the LifeMiles website, you’re out of luck.

Here’s the award chart for flights between the U.S. and Europe:

Cabin Class Avianca LifeMiles Cost (One-Way) Taxes and Fees
Economy 30,000 ~$53
Business 63,000 ~$53
First 87,000 ~$53

The fact that you’re saving almost $800 on one-way award flights is a huge selling point of LifeMiles — being responsible for $1,700+ in taxes and fees on a round-trip award ticket can feel like highway robbery.

Follow these steps to book your Lufthansa first class flight using LifeMiles:

  1. Visit LifeMiles’ homepage.
  2. Change the language from Spanish to English by clicking the flag icon in the top-right corner and then English.
  3. Log into your LifeMiles account on the new LifeMiles site.
  4. On the homepage’s top banner after logging in, click Fly.
  5. Click the drop-down menu that says Smart Search and choose Lufthansa.
  6. Choose one-way or round-trip, fill in your trip details, and click Find Flights.
  7. Choose your travel dates.
  8. Finish the booking by redeeming LifeMiles and paying for taxes and fees with a credit card.

Here’s what a successful Lufthansa first class award search looks like on Avianca LifeMiles:

Lufthansa first class search result on Avianca LifeMiles
Image Credit: Avianca LifeMiles

Earning Avianca LifeMiles

It’s easy to earn LifeMiles because this frequent flyer program has transfer partnerships with American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Miles, Brex Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.

All of these programs except Marriott Bonvoy transfer at a 1:1 ratio instantly. Marriott Bonvoy transfers in 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 LifeMiles after you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Also, there are frequent transfer bonuses, particularly from Amex and Citi, of anywhere from 15% to 30% — a bonus could cut down an 87,000-LifeMiles flight to just 67,000 LifeMiles, which is incredible for a $10,000+ plane ticket!

Recommended Amex Cards

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is another great option to book first class awards on Lufthansa. You’ll be charged according to a distance-based award chart:

Distance (Miles) Economy Business First
0 to 4,000 35,000 60,000 90,000
4,001 to 6,000 40,000 70,000 100,000
6,001 to 8,000 55,000 85,000 120,000
8,001+ 70,000 100,000 130,000

And if you want to add a stopover, you’ll pay just 5,000 additional points!

The booking process is simple and can be done online. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Visit Aeroplan’s site.
  2. Log into your Aeroplan account (you’ll need your account number).
  3. On the homepage, you’ll see a search box. Toggle the slider that says Points.
  4. Select your travel dates, cities, and number of passengers.
  5. Select your flight and complete your booking.

Hot Tip: Check out our Aeroplan region definition guide to make it easy to find out how many points you need to book your award.

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Points

Air Canada Aeroplan maintains transfer partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Chase and Amex transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio. Capital One miles transfer instantly at a 2:1.5 ratio.

Marriott Bonvoy transfers in 5 business days at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 points after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Air Canada Aeroplan.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.

United MileagePlus

United MileagePlus has long been the go-to method for many people in the U.S. when booking Lufthansa first class.

United does not pass on the carrier-imposed surcharges on award bookings, just like Avianca LifeMiles.

It 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 around 121,000 miles for a Saver award. Here’s the award chart:

Cabin Class United Miles Cost (One-Way) Taxes and Fees
Economy From 33,000 ~$6
Business From 77,000 ~$6
First From 121,000 ~$6

You can book your flight online by following these steps:

  1. Visit United’s website.
  2. Sign in to your account.
  3. Select Search for award travel.
  4. Select your travel dates and your desired route.
  5. Select your cabin of choice.
  6. Select your flight (make sure it is operated by Lufthansa!).
  7. Review your flight choice.

When you search on United’s site, confirm award availability before you transfer any Chase Ultimate Rewards. Once you have selected your flights, you will be able to review your choice.

Hot Tip: Occasionally, United will show phantom space — this means that the flight will show as an option, but after selecting it you will be notified that space no longer exists.

Earning United MileagePlus Miles

United MileagePlus is a Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy transfer partner.

Chase transfers almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott Bonvoy transfers at a 3:1.1 ratio with a bonus of 5,500 miles after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to United MileagePlus.

In addition, there are co-branded United MileagePlus credit cards that can help you earn miles directly, too.

Recommended United Cards

Asiana Club

Our third option isn’t the most commonly used method of booking, but Asiana Club provides another great way to book Lufthansa first class.

Asiana-Airlines-Award-Chart
If you want to fly in the first class cabin for the fewest miles, the best pricing is on Asiana Club. Image Credit: Asiana Airlines

Here’s the award chart for U.S.-Europe flights aboard Lufthansa:

Cabin Class Asiana Miles Cost (One-Way) Taxes and Fees
Economy 25,000 ~$280
Business 40,000 ~$780
First 50,000 ~$780

You will be required to call Asiana to book the award, as it does not allow partner bookings online.

Also, 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:

  1. Search for availability using United’s site (see above for the steps).
  2. Call Asiana at 800-227-4262.
    • The U.S. call center is open between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PST (Monday to Friday).
  3. Tell the phone representative you’d like to book an award with Star Alliance partner Lufthansa.
  4. Provide your travel dates and flight numbers.
  5. Once you confirm space, you will be prompted to give your credit card for any necessary taxes and fees.

Asiana Airlines will pass on surcharges when booking award tickets, so include that in your calculation.

Earning Asiana Club Miles

Asiana Club is transfer partners with Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Asiana at a 3:1 ratio with a bonus of 5,000 miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Asiana.

Transfers from Marriott Bonvoy to Asiana take approximately 4 business days.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

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  • Earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
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Miles & More

Miles & More is the frequent flyer program for several European airlines including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Croatia Airlines.

Miles & More Award Chart
Miles & More award chart. Image Credit: Miles & More

You will need 7,000 miles in your Miles & More account to search for award availability online. If you don’t have the required miles to search online, call Lufthansa’s U.S. customer service 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.

The main benefit of this method is that you will have access to first class award availability more than 15 days in advance.

Partner bookings typically will only receive award inventory in first class around ~2 weeks before departure, making planning in advance difficult.

With Lufthansa’s own Miles & More frequent flyer program, you will be able to book first class up to 355 to 359 days before departure!

To complete a booking online, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Miles & More.
  2. Log into your Miles & More account.
  3. Select your desired travel dates and route.
  4. Select First as your class of service.
  5. Select your desired flight.
    • Make sure you select a Lufthansa flight, as the search results will show other Miles & More partners.

You will be required to pay the carrier-imposed surcharges on award tickets when booking with Miles & More. The fees can be steep, but they are lower on flights from Europe rather than the U.S.

If you want to book a round-trip itinerary, search for both round-trip tickets and one-way tickets. Booking 2 one-way tickets might have lower combined surcharges than the round-trip option.

Hot Tip: We’ve got an entire post dedicated to the best ways to utilize your Miles & More miles for max value if you need more ideas.

Earning Miles & More Miles

Miles & More doesn’t have any transfer partnerships with the major flexible rewards currencies.

In the past, Miles & More was transfer partners with Marriott Bonvoy, but this has since been terminated.

Nowadays, the best way to earn Miles & More miles besides booking eligible revenue flights is with the co-branded Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards issued by Barclays.

Other Options for Booking First Class

Several other Star Alliance partners you might want to consider when booking Lufthansa first class are Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus, ANA Mileage Club, and EVA Air Infinity MileageLands.

Great Lufthansa First Class Redemptions

Lufthansa B747-8 First Class Cabin - Cherag Dubash
Enjoy a comfortable flight in your amazing Lufthansa first class seat! Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

If you’re looking for the cheapest mileage cost, Asiana Club might be your best bet. While you’ll still have to pay the surcharges, a one-way first class flight on Lufthansa is only 50,000 Asiana miles.

Avianca LifeMiles offers first class awards for 87,000 miles one-way between the U.S. and Europe. To sweeten the deal more, there are frequent transfer bonuses of 15% to 30%, primarily from Amex and Citi.

Air Canada Aeroplan is another great opportunity at 90,000 to 100,000 miles one-way, as there are more ways to earn Aeroplan points, particularly with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Also, you can add stopovers on one-way tickets for 5,000 miles extra.

On a one-way award from the U.S., you can expect $500+ in taxes and fees, while a one-way from Germany to the U.S. will be roughly $400. Depending on your origin in Europe, the taxes and fees will vary.

To fly between Europe and the U.S., you can also use 121,000 United miles for a one-way flight without carrier-imposed surcharges.

And if you absolutely need to plan far in advance, the only way to book Lufthansa first class more than 15 days before departure is using Miles & More miles.

Here’s a table summarizing all of the mileage programs and associated costs:

Route (Round-Trip) Avianca LifeMiles Cost Air Canada Aeroplan Points Cost United Miles Cost Asiana Club Miles Cost Lufthansa Miles & More Miles Cost
U.S. to Germany 174,000 + ~$104 180,000 to 200,000 + ~$82 242,000 + ~$11 100,000 + ~$1,700 182,000 + ~$1,700

As you can tell, Asiana miles has the lowest cost by a long shot; but remember, Asiana has just 1 transfer partner in Marriott Bonvoy, making Asiana miles very difficult to earn.

If you’re redeeming points for Lufthansa first class and don’t need to book a stopover, Avianca LifeMiles is one of the best ways to go.

If you’re redeeming points for Lufthansa first class and would like to book a stopover or have lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Air Canada Aeroplan is an excellent program to use.

United MileagePlus has acceptable redemption rates, but you’d generally only want to use it if you already have a large balance of United miles.

Lufthansa Miles & More doesn’t have any transfer partners, but the ability to redeem points for Lufthansa first class without having to wait until 15 days before departure is a unique perk worth mentioning.

How To Earn Enough Miles for Lufthansa First Class

There are plenty of ways to earn enough miles to book Lufthansa first class.

Because Lufthansa is a Star Alliance airline, you can book these tickets using many different frequent flyer programs.

At first glance, Asiana miles seems to be the best deal, requiring just 50,000 miles — but upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that shelling out $800 extra for a one-way flight can be painful.

That, along with the fact that Avianca LifeMiles often enjoys transfer bonuses from Amex and Citi of anywhere from 15% to 30%, can make you realize that other frequent flyer programs are more practical.

Here is a summary of the transferable currencies you can use to book Lufthansa first class using points:

  • Amex Membership Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Brex Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers to Air Canada Aeroplan and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
  • Capital One Miles transfers to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly and Air Canada Aeroplan at a 2:1.5 ratio almost instantly.
  • Marriott Bonvoy transfers to Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Asiana Club at a 3:1 ratio. United MileagePlus has a slightly better ratio of 3:1.1. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred, you’ll get an additional bonus of 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to your airline. Transfers to Avianca LifeMiles, Aeroplan, United MileagePlus, and Asiana Club take 1 business day, 5 business days, 3 business days, and 4 business days, respectively.

When Should You Search for Award Space?

28-Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class
If you use Miles & More, you can book much earlier than when booking via a partner airline. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Unlike Lufthansa business class award space, Lufthansa restricts first class award availability to its own Miles & More members until roughly 2 weeks before departure.

If you need to make sure you are booked on a flight ahead of time, the Miles & More program is your best bet. If you are more flexible and using a partner program to book, start looking for Lufthansa first class award space 15 days prior to your departure.

What Do You Get With Lufthansa First Class?

Lufthansa provides a luxury first class cabin experience that you won’t want to miss. With amazing service, a great lie-flat seat, and a wonderful lounge experience, there’s no doubt you will love flying on Lufthansa.

Lufthansa and Star Alliance First Class Lounges

As part of Star Alliance (the largest airline alliance), you will have access to many first class lounges across the globe when flying Lufthansa first class.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal

Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. Image Credit: Greg Stone

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal is an experience like few others. Travelers from around the world love this lounge so much, it has almost become a destination in and of itself.

This lounge does all the little things right: hot pretzels, dining from Michelin star-rated chefs, numerous beverage options, and much more. During your visit, you will have access to 130 types of whiskey!

Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt

Lufthansa-Welcome-Lounge-Shower
Start your vacation or business trip with a shower in the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge at the Frankfurt airport. Image Credit: Lufthansa

If you are flying into Frankfurt, check out the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge, where you can take care of a little work or have a nice meal before heading into the city. If you need to freshen up after a long flight, you can have a quick shower to prepare for the day.

Final Thoughts

If there is a bucket list for out-of-this-world flight experiences, Lufthansa first class is definitely on it!

From the moment you arrive at the airport, you will be blown away by the service Lufthansa provides. A Porsche or Mercedes ride to your flight, plus Champagne and amazing meals in the lounge and on the plane…what more could you want?

If you didn’t already stop reading this article to go book your Lufthansa first class flight — what are you waiting for? Get to it!


The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
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 For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What’s the best way to book Lufthansa first class?

The best way to book Lufthansa first class depends on your current points and cash situation.

If you want the cheapest cost in miles, Asiana Club is a great option. If you’d like to book Lufthansa first class without the carrier-imposed surcharges, Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, and United MileagePlus are excellent choices.

If you have a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy points, Asiana Club has the cheapest redemption rate.

And if you need to book more than 2 weeks in advance, the only way to do so is with Miles & More miles.

What credit cards can help me earn miles to fly Lufthansa first class?

To earn Miles & More miles, use the Lufthansa card from Barclays.

You can also use Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards to get more Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan points.

To earn United miles, use cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards or Chase’s co-branded United cards.

Lastly, Marriott Bonvoy credit cards earn points that can be transferred to Asiana Club.

What do I get when I fly Lufthansa first class?

Lufthansa first class has a great lie-flat seat with direct aisle access. You can enjoy Champagne throughout the flight, caviar as an appetizer, and a couple of great meals.

Additionally, you will have access to the famous First Class Terminal if you are flying out of Frankfurt Airport.

Throughout your experience, you can expect top-notch service in the lounge and during your flight.

What is the difference between business class and first class on Lufthansa?

Business class on Lufthansa, while comfortable, is nowhere near as luxurious as first class.

To start off, there are just 10 first class seats in the entire plane, all of which have direct aisle access, tons of space, and plenty of privacy.

Also, the food, drinks, amenities, service, and pretty much everything else is much better than in business class!

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

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