One of the best ways to fly between Europe and North America is with Lufthansa in First Class. The German flag carrier has an amazing First Class experience both on the ground and in the air. Start your journey at a luxurious lounge in Frankfurt or Munich and be driven to your aircraft in a fancy car – once on the aircraft, relax in a luxurious suite full of amenities.
Lufthansa First Class is becoming increasingly harder to book if you aren’t using their own Miles & More frequent flyer program (which often has more award availability). Thankfully, there’s still a few good ways to book this wonderful First Class experience.
Book Lufthansa First Class for 50k Miles
Asiana Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance network which means you can redeem Asiana Club miles for travel on Lufthansa. Asiana Club only requires 50k miles for a one-way First Class ticket between Europe and North America. Some things to note:
- fuel surcharges must be paid
- you can have 3 segments on a one-way booking
- Lufthansa only releases First Class award seats to partner airlines at most two weeks prior to departure
- you must call Asiana and make the booking over the phone (sometimes they allow holds for a few days)
- you can mix other Star Alliance airlines on the same ticket and have connections of up to 23h59m for no additional miles
Booking Lufthansa First Class with Asiana Club
You’ll need to find Lufthansa First Class award availability before calling Asiana Club. You’ll want to search close to departure and usually you’ll find the award space on Aeroplan, United, or other Star Alliance partners – make a note of the flight details.
You can add on connecting flights before and after your First Class flight – as long as there’s only 3 flights and the connections are under 23h59m, it should price properly. This means that you could fly something like Athens – Frankfurt – San Francisco – Seattle, with the long-haul in First Class, for just 50k miles.
You’ll need to find availability on all of your flights and then call Asiana Club to book, by providing each flight separately.
How to Earn Asiana Club Miles
You can earn Asiana Airlines Asiana Club miles through the typical activities – like flying Star Alliance, etc.
The only transfer partner to Asiana Club is Marriott Bonvoy: 3 Marriott points equal 1 Asiana Club mile, with a 25% transfer bonus for every 60k Marriott points transferred. Therefore:
- 60k Marriott Bonvoy points = 25k Asiana Club miles
Sadly there’s no other good way to transfer in miles into Asiana Club. Marriott transfers aren’t instant, and in my experience take around a week to transfer to Asiana Airlines. The good news is that Asiana will sometimes let you hold a booking for a few days, but the bad news is that Lufthansa only releases First Class awards really close to departure. Your best bet is to pre-transfer points and hope award space opens up – you’ll want to have lots of backup options if it doesn’t.
All in All
Flying First to Europe is very limited because the number of airlines offering First Class keeps declining – and on top of that, the airlines that are offering First Class frequently change up routes and aircraft, so it can be hard to keep track and book a First Class ticket.
If you’re flexible, you can definitely book a First Class ticket to Europe – but this is the key, flexibility. You have to constantly check award availability and you’ll likely need to book close to departure as that’s when seats are usually released. Keep in mind the First Class cabin is relatively small so lots of award seats aren’t going to be released – and if the cabin is close to full, award space might not become available.
Booking a First Class ticket for 50k miles to Europe is an incredible deal – just keep in mind the rules of Asiana Club mentioned above and that you’ll likely need to have miles well prior to departure in your Asiana Club account. The good news is that Asiana agents are quite competent so there should be no issues booking your desired flights over the phone as long as you’re within the rules of the program.