Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 is our go-to frequent flyer program to book Lufthansa first class flights.
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|
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:
Here’s what a successful Lufthansa first class award search looks like on Avianca LifeMiles:
It’s easy to earn LifeMiles because this frequent flyer program is an American Express transfer partner, Citi transfer partner, Capital One transfer partner, Brex transfer partner, and Marriott transfer partner.
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.
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
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
|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|
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:
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.
Chase, Capital One, and Amex transfer instantly at a 1:1 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)
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
Business Owner? Check out our article on the best Chase business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points.
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|
You can book your flight online by following these steps:
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.
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
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.
You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!
Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.
United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.
The United Quest card is a fantastic option for United flyers looking to earn more miles and enhance their flights.
The newest addition to United’s lineup of cards is the United Quest℠ Card. With it, you can bolster your United MileagePlus miles, thanks to the bonus categories, while enjoying the card’s many perks designed to help save you money on each United flight.
The United Gateway card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without paying an annual fee.
The United Gateway℠ Card is a great option for those looking to earn more United miles without wanting to pay a credit card annual fee. Plus, the card offers other solid benefits like a 25% back on United inflight purchases, purchase protection, and rental car insurance.
The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.
From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.
Our third option isn’t the most commonly used method of booking, but Asiana Club provides another great way to book Lufthansa first class.
Here’s the award chart for U.S.-Europe flights aboard Lufthansa:
|Cabin Class||Asiana Miles Cost (One-Way)||Taxes and Fees|
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:
Asiana Airlines will pass on surcharges when booking award tickets, so include that in your calculation.
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
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
Miles & More is the frequent flyer program for several European airlines including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, and Croatia Airlines.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card 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.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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). He runs Straight to the Points, an award-seat alert platform.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.