Category Archives: Lufthansa

Two Days Until US Airways Leaves Star Alliance and Loses Incredible Summer Award Availability to Europe

US Airways leaves the Star Alliance Sunday (3/30/14) and enters the oneworld alliance Monday (3/31/14) as part of its ongoing integration with American Airlines.

Overall, this news is mixed because some awards are more easily booked with Star Alliance partners and other awards are more easily booked with oneworld partners.

Here are the awards that are easier to book in the next two days and the awards that are easier to book next week with US Airways miles.

One partner that US Airways loses on Sunday is Lufthansa, the German flag carrier, which is currently offering incredible summer award space between the US and Europe on an awesome fully flat business class product.

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This space can be booked now for travel through February 2015 for only 100k US Airways miles roundtrip. Next week 100k US Airways miles will not be nearly as useful to Europe.

Unfortunately things aren’t as simple as just searching united.com for Lufthansa award space and calling US Airways to book it. US Airways is blocking a lot of the Lufthansa award space that Lufthansa is releasing to all Star Alliance partners. The good news is that the Lufthansa award space US Airways will let you book has a pattern to it.

On what routes is Lufthansa releasing massive amounts of flat bed business class space? On what days of the week is US Airways not blocking that space?

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Around the World in Cathay, Singapore, and Lufthansa First: United Flat Bed First Class from Honolulu to Newark

United flies two flights from Honolulu to the east coast on internationally-configured two-cabin planes. What is sold as First Class on these planes–and BusinessFirst if you fly internationally–is a fully flat bed in a 2-1-2 configuration across the cabin.

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Flat bed first class on United flights between Honolulu and Newark and Washington-Dulles

This First Class is far superior to most domestic First Class, which is served by a recliner seat with only seven more inches of legroom than coach.

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First Class Seat on a Hawaii to East Coast Flight. It converts to a fully flat bed.

United charges 40k miles each way for two-cabin first class between Hawaii and the mainland. But some of its partners charge fewer miles and have access to all the same United Saver award space. The cheapest access is with Singapore miles–a Membership Rewards transfer partner–at only 30k miles each way. Next cheapest is Lufthansa Miles & More miles at only 35k miles each way.

I used 35,000 Lufthansa miles and $2.50 to book myself from Honolulu to Newark since I had a ton lying around from getting the 50k mile bonus (now dead) on the Lufthansa Miles & More MasterCard. I detailed the award booking here.

On the day of departure, I had my brother drop me off a few hours early at the airport to fit his schedule.

I breezed through security in the priority line (because of my first class ticket), which was uncharacteristically crowded for HNL.

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After security, I headed straight for the American Airlines Admirals Club.

I got in for free with Priority Pass Select that I got from my Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.

 

Find out more about the benefits of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN in How to Get the Most out of Your Platinum Card.

The Admirals Club at HNL is one of my favorites because during the day it has a nice view of the courtyard outside. Plus the lounge is shared with JAL business class passengers, so it has a tiny food selection including soup and Famous Amos cookies and a slightly better drink selection than a normal Admirals Club.

I had a bowl of soup and some cookies while I worked on the free wifi. I didn’t want to have too much though because I was looking forward to the dinner onboard.

The lounge isn’t incredible by any means, but it is a little better than a normal US-based airline lounge, and the price is right. After a few hours, I headed to my departure gate at about 9 PM to board the flight.

United 14
Honolulu (HNL) – Newark (EWR)
Depart: 9:25 PM on Sunday, February 16
Arrive: 12:03 PM on Monday, February 17
Duration: 9hr38min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER
Seat: 1D (First Class)

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How was the seat, bed, food, and service? Is United First the way to get to Hawaii?

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Around the World in Cathay, Singapore, and Lufthansa First: Introduction

I haven’t been home since February 16 when I boarded a plane from Honolulu for Newark. I have loved the I’m on trip because I finally got to play poker in Asia, see Angkor Wat, catch up with friends in Europe, see more of the Balkans, and experience the curiosities that are Macau and Singapore.

The trip took me to:

  • New York
  • Macau, China
  • Singapore
  • Cambodia
  • London
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Frankfurt
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia

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Along the way, I’ve flown and stayed at:

  • Cathay Pacific First Class
  • Singapore Airlines First Class
  • Lufthansa First Class (and First Class Terminal)
  • Wizz Air and Jetstar Asia (low cost carriers)
  • Radisson Martinique on Broadway
  • Grand Hyatt Macau
  • Le Meridien Angkor Wat
  • The May Fair in London
  • A Holiday Inn Express in Frankfurt
  • hostels in Cambodia, Singapore, and Ljubljana
  • a motel in Greensboro
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Lufthansa First Class, Hair Style by Nap

Booking Process

What was the booking process, how much time did I spend in each place, and what would I have done differently?

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I Changed a United Award to Lufthansa First Last Week at the Old Price

United massively devalued its award chart on February 1, 2014, in particular for First Class awards on partner airlines.

Lufthansa First Class from the US to Europe went from 67,500 United miles each way to 110,000 miles each way.

Exacerbating that enormous price increase is the fact that Lufthansa First Class awards are generally only bookable two weeks before departure with United miles because that’s when Lufthansa finally releases First Class award space to partners.

While conventional wisdom was that Lufthansa First Class would only be bookable at its old 67,500-mile price for flights through early March 2014, I suggested in a post that you could lock in the old price for Lufthansa First Class through February 2015 by booking Lufthansa First Class at the old rate before the devaluation and later using the cancel-and-rebook-later trick.

What is the cancel-and-rebook-later trick? How was I able to change my award to Lufthansa First Class at the old price last week?

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Buy Lufthansa Miles for 1.6 Cents & Get The Economist Subscription

Lufthansa is currently offering a whopping 10,000 Miles & More miles for a one-year print + digital subscription to The Economist. The offer details and sign-up page can be found here.

Economist

A one-year print & digital subscription to The Economist is $160 through the Lufthansa portal. That cost is exactly the same as what you would be charged on The Economist site without the bonus miles.

Is buying 10k Lufthansa miles for $160 a good deal? What are the best redemption options? How do you avoid fuel surcharges? What’s the best way to earn more Lufthansa miles?

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Burn United Miles: How to Book Lufthansa First Class for 67,500 Miles During All of 2014!

United announced a massive devaluation of its miles on October 31, 2013 to take effect for awards booked February 1, 2014 or later. Until January 31, 2014, I’ll be running posts about the best ways to burn United miles.

Facts about the upcoming United devaluation:

  1. You can book United awards on January 31, 2014 (the last day before the devaluation) for travel as far out as the first days of 2015 since united.com allows awards to be booked up to 337 days in advance.
  2. United has said that–even post-devaluation–mere date changes on awards booked pre-devaluation will not incur a miles price increase. For example if you book Chicago to London one way in United business class today for an October 2014 departure for 50k miles and decide next month to push the trip back by a week, you will not have to pay the new price of 57,500 miles. You will just have to pay the normal change fee of $75.
  3. All travel on award tickets must be completed within one year of the original booking date. No amount of award changes can change this fact. If you ticket an award on January 31, 2014, you can push back the travel date of the award as far as January 31, 2015, but no farther.

Starting February 1st, Lufthansa First Class bookings go from only 67,500 miles each way from the US to Europe to 110,000 miles each way! (See full comparison charts of the increases.)

Add to these facts the fact that Lufthansa only releases its First Class seats to United about two weeks before departure, and it looked like our last chance to fly reasonably priced Lufthansa First Class would be next month.

In fact, with one simple trick, you can book Lufthansa First Class flights at their current miles price for flights until January 2015 for only a $100 (or less) fee!

How can you lock in current Lufthansa First Class prices for all of 2014?

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Trip Report: Lufthansa Business Class Frankfurt to Washington DC on the 747-8

This review is a continuation of my huge US Airways redemption that I wrote about back in this post. I reviewed Swiss Business Class: Boston to ZurichThai First Class: Paris to Bangkok on an A380, the Thai Royal Orchid Spa in Bangkok, and Asiana First Class: Seoul to Frankfurt already.

What aircraft is newer than the 787 Dreamliner and A380?

The all new 747-8I, which Lufthansa has only been flying for a year and a half.

This technological marvel retains the look and beauty of a 747 while integrating modern fuel efficiency and onboard technology. I was very excited to fly one from Frankfurt to Washington DC recently in Lufthansa Business Class.

I had an overnight layover in Frankfurt after coming in from Seoul. My initial plan was to hit the ground running and explore Frankfurt to maximize my 19 hours in the city. Unfortunately, delays in Seoul and poor weather in Frankfurt scuttled my plan, and I ended up booking a quick night at the Hilton Garden Inn using 40,000 HHonors points. This property is adjacent to the Hilton Frankfurt Airport and is located close to the actual terminal and the high-speed train station via an enclosed pedestrian walkway.

The room itself was small, but the hotel had everything that suited my needs: walkable to the terminal, comfortable bed, extensive breakfast spread, fast wi-fi, and decent views of inbound aircraft.

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I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to get on the upper deck of a 747-8 for the first time in my life!

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How was the seat, bed, food, service, and entertainment Lufthansa’s recently updated Business Class? How does the new seat stack up against its competitors?

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3x Miles on Lufthansa Card Purchases at Grocery Stores (& More Barclaycard Category Bonuses!)

I just got an email from Barclaycard with the subject “Earn bonus award miles in three easy ways!”

The email gave me three new 3x category bonuses for my Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard® for January 1 – March 31, 2014.

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What are the category bonuses? What similar offers has Barclaycard offered on the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases and US Airways Premier World MasterCard? Will I be participating?

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Hurry: Last Chance to Get the 50k Mile Lufthansa Offer

Update 3/14/14: The 50k mile offer is dead. All links in this post go to the following offer:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Complimentary Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard has one of the best sign up bonuses on the market right now: 50,000 bonus Miles & More miles after spending $5k in the first three months.

That’s enough miles for:

  • two domestic roundtrips
  • one roundtrip to Europe
  • one roundtrip to Hawaii, Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean with one direction in First Class

This is your last chance to get the 50k Lufthansa offer at least for a while! Don’t miss out because the standard offer is only 20k miles.

Full offer details:

Application Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®

To fully explain the 50k mile offer and the entire Miles & More program, I’ve written 10 posts.

1. Miles & More Primer & Six Great Uses (and Two Bad Ones) of the Lufthansa Card’s 50k Sign Up Bonus: This post is an introduction to the ins-and-outs of the Miles & More program and discusses some great uses of the miles including Mileage Bargains–30k miles roundtrip to Europe or 55k roundtrip in business class.

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See posts 2 – 10 including how to use the card to get your family to Hawaii or Europe and how to use it to get into Lufthansa First Class or Singapore Business Class.

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Anatomy of an Award: Burn United Miles for Flat Bed Lufthansa Business Class Before the Devaluation

United announced a massive devaluation of its miles on Halloween to take effect for awards booked February 1, 2014 or later. Until January 31, 2014, I’ll be running posts about the best ways to burn United miles at the current rates. Previously: Get in Bed on a United Dreamliner for Cheap!

I just booked myself a one way award from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Greensboro, NC including a fully flat bed on a Lufthansa 747-8 for the long segment for only 50,000 United miles + $85 in taxes.

My award with the flat bed in Lufthansa Business Class from Frankfurt to Dulles in blue.

My award with the flat bed in Lufthansa Business Class from Frankfurt to Dulles in blue.

If I had waited until February 1, 2014 to book the same flights, I would pay 70,000 United miles for the privilege, a 40% increase!

This Anatomy of an Award will discuss:

  • Booking US to Europe with United miles before the HUGE devaluation
  • A chart comparing pre- and post-devaluation prices to Europe
  • Which Lufthansa award space you want to avoid and which you want to book
  • The award space picture for 2014 to Europe
  • Ultimate Rewards transfers and how to rack up United miles

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Hurry, Lufthansa 50,000 Mile Card Offer Ends This Week

Update 3/14/14: The 50k mile offer is dead. All links in this post go to the following offer:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Complimentary Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®‘s incredible 50,000 bonus mile sign up bonus ends this Sunday, December 15, 2013 or possibly even Friday!

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See my Miles & More Program Primer for more information on the Lufthansa frequent flyer program and six great uses for the mega sign up bonus.

The cliff notes? Lufthansa is a major member of the Star Alliance, which also includes United, US Airways, and Air Canada. Lufthansa Miles & More miles can be used on any Star Alliance partner.

55,000 Lufthansa miles–the sign up bonus plus normal spending needed to unlock it–will get you:

  • Two domestic roundtrips on US Airways or United
  • One roundtrip to Hawaii with one direction in a flat bed in First Class
  • A roundtrip to Europe
  • One way to Europe in flat bed Business Class
  • Transfer in Starpoints to get to 85,000 Lufthansa miles to book one way from the US to Europe in First Class on Lufthansa or Swiss

How can you use your Lufthansa miles? When does the 50,000 mile offer end? Who is this offer right for?

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Free Giveaway Friday #2: Free Award Booking for Lufthansa Miles

Update 3/14/14: The 50k mile offer is dead. All links in this post go to the following offer:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Complimentary Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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In honor of today being one of the last days to get 50k bonus miles on the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard, for one lucky winner, I will book an award for up to two people with their Lufthansa miles!

I know a lot of us have 55k+ Lufthansa miles sitting in our Miles & More accounts from getting the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard during its current 50k mile sign up bonus for spending $5k in the first three months.

If you haven’t yet gotten the card, the 50k bonus mile offer’s stated expiration is nine days from now, December 15, 2013!

I’ve written some Anatomy of an Award posts to explain for everyone’s benefit the exact process of converting Lufthansa miles to dream trips:

For the winner I’ll do even more. I’ll personally give you the full MileValue Award Booking Service treatment for a booking with your Lufthansa miles. (If your trip is for more than two passengers or is several awards, I’ll give you a $250 discount on the price of the award booking.)

Entry is open to anyone with Lufthansa miles or who expects to have some in the next few months. Having The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard is not a requirement for entry. There are two ways to enter:

  1. Comment on this post with what trip you have in mind. Here are some great uses of Lufthansa miles if you’re unsure. (Are you one of the people who receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts? Click the post title in the email and comment on the blog instead of replying to the email.)
  2. Retweet this tweet:

https://twitter.com/MileValue/status/408862874300186626

You can enter both ways.

I’ll pick a winner early Monday morning, email the winner, and get started booking your dream trip.

If you don’t win, we’re still standing by at the Award Booking Service, ready to book your award with Lufthansa miles.

Full offer details on the expiring 50k The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard® offer:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • With 50,000 award miles you can redeem for a round-trip award flight to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean!
  • Cardholders receive a Companion Ticket annually
  • Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases and 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • No mileage expiration with monthly qualifying purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Application Link: The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®

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Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more chances to win. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!



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Excellent Award Space in 2014 on Transcontinental Flat Bed Flights for Only 17k Miles

Update 12/17/13: The 50k mile offer is dead. All Lufthansa card links in this post go to the following offer:

  • Earn up to 35,000 award miles with qualifying transactions
  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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United operates routes from New York-JFK to San Francisco and Los Angeles with two-cabin planes that feature fully flat beds in business class.

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I’ve never flown these “p.s.” services as United calls them, but I have flown flat beds in United business class and given my very positive impressions here: London to Los Angeles in United Business.

This week I’ve been looking at my friend’s options to get from New York to LAX one way in February. I narrowed in on the United p.s. flight in business class because it’s direct and a comfortable bed to pass six hours.

I found that award space is incredible in 2014 on the route, and that there are seven major ways to access the award space with miles from different Star Alliance carriers, with wildly varying miles prices. So if you want to fly on a transcontinental flat bed, make sure you are using the right miles.

The Options

For all options, you can search for award availability on united.com. All partners have equal access to all space with a blue button in the Saver column.

1. 17k Lufthansa Miles & More Miles each way + $2.50 in tax

The cheapest way to fly the p.s. routes is with Miles & More miles. Lufthansa’s chart has a quirk that all domestic flights in all countries (except mainland U.S. to Hawaii) cost only 35k miles roundtrip in business class, which makes a six-hour flight like New York to Los Angeles on a flat bed way underpriced.

If you book a one way award, the price is only 17k Lufthansa miles + $2.50 in tax because of another quirk that Lufthansa rounds down the miles price to the nearest thousand miles. (So consider booking roundtrips as two one way awards to save 1k miles.)

Until the special offer expires December 15, 2013, The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard is offering 50,000 bonus Miles & More miles after spending $5k in the first three months. Meeting the minimum spending requirement would give you enough miles for three one way awards in flat bed business class.

To book Lufthansa awards, call 800-581-6400. I have two Anatomy of an Award posts on booking awards with Lufthansa miles you can check out for a step-by-step guide to the process:

See options #2 – #7. Which Membership Rewards partner charges only 20k miles each way? And which partner has a current transfer bonus?

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Anatomy of an Award: Booking Incredible Singapore Business Class to Europe with Lufthansa Miles

Update 3/14/14: The 50k mile offer is dead. All links in this post go to the following offer:

  • Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer
  • Earn up to 15,000 award miles with balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) within 30 days of account opening
  • Earn 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Annual Complimentary Companion Ticket after first purchase, then annually thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Redeem miles for flight awards and upgrades on Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, SWISS, Star Alliance airlines and other partners
  • $79 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

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I just (almost) booked myself an award from Moscow, Russia to Greensboro, NC with 13 hours in Singapore Business Class for 52k Lufthansa miles + $240.

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The 50,000 mile sign up bonus on The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard ends December 15, 2013. I want to give another example of a great way to use the sign up bonus for the many people who’ve emailed me to tell me they’ve gotten the card.

I’ve already discussed:

This Anatomy of an Award will illustrate:

  • How to book a ticket with Lufthansa Miles & More miles
  • How to search for Singapore Business Class bed award space
  • How to add on segments within the US (and the solution to the problem you face with adding domestic space)

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How to Combine Miles from Many Star Alliance Partner Accounts to Book a Large Family an Award Trip to Europe

United, Lufthansa, US Airways, Air Canada, ANA, Singapore, and TACA/Avianca are all members of the Star Alliance.

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With few exceptions, all of their miles can be used with equal access to any Star Alliance carrier’s Saver award space.

You cannot transfer one type of miles to another. For instance, you cannot transfer your Lufthansa miles to your United account.

But you can combine the power of your miles by using miles from several different accounts to book awards on the same flight. For instance, if there are six economy Saver award seats on a roundtrip from Newark to Paris on a United flight, you can book one seat from each of your United, Lufthansa, US Airways, Air Canada, ANA, and Singapore accounts. (And you can select six seats together by calling the operating carrier of each flight.)

This ability to combine the power of partner miles is paramount for families or other large traveling groups. It’s fairly difficult to amass 360,000 United miles, the number you’d need for six roundtrip awards to Europe. But it’s not so hard to earn the number of miles you need for one roundtrip in each of several programs.

How do you plan a trip for six? What routes have good award space? How do you book many seats from many different accounts?

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