Very interesting comments. I think there’s been an easing and more Lufthansa space is bookable with US Airways miles, but certainly not all as the original article and post title suggest.
US Airways is no longer blocking Lufthansa award space as far as I can tell. This is huge news!
Starting several weeks ago, if you called US Airways and fed the agent award space on Lufthansa flights that you had found on united.com, the agent would say there was no space on that flight.
I explained how to solve that problem in Anatomy of an Award: Booking Lufthansa Flights with US Airways Miles. You instructed the agent to do a “long sell” and she would find the space, which was then bookable.
Soon after that post, US Airways sent a memo, telling all agents that they were not allowed to long sell award seats under any circumstance. At that moment, in my mind, this went from a glitch with a workaround to US Airways intentionally blocking Lufthansa award space.
I was in the middle of writing a post just now with a similar title to How United is Cheating Its Frequent Flyers, and I decided that I better give some concrete examples. So I searched united.com and found some Lufthansa space.
I found economy award space from Newark to Frankfurt roundtrip in February. I called US Airways and requested the space… And she saw it!
I asked, “Did you just do a long sell?”
She said, “We aren’t allowed to do long sells. It’s just available.”
I asked about surrounding dates, and they were all available. I hung up and looked up more routes.
Frankfurt to Johannesburg in business class another agent saw.
Munich to Frankfurt in economy another agent saw.
And on and on. Every route I tested, US Airways saw the same space as united.com. I tried different days of the week, different continents, and different cabins. (I didn’t try First Class because US Airways miles can’t be used for Lufthansa First Class according to the US Airways award chart.)
I believe US Airways has fixed the glitch and Lufthansa flights are now bookable again with US Airways miles.
Test it out for yourself on your US Airways awards and let me know in the comments if you see something else.
This is great news since the US Airways/American Airlines merger got the green light, and US Airways will soon leave the Star Alliance. (Your best play on the merger by the way.) This may be our last chance to use US Airways miles on Lufthansa; let’s take advantage.
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