The Poorly Kept Secret to Finding Lufthansa First Class Availability with United Miles

For some, Lufthansa First Class is their aspirational goal. Using United miles, there is a (poorly kept) secret for how to get Lufthansa First Class seats: wait until the last week or even the last day!

Lufthansa only releases its first class availability to United right at the wire. For instance, I am sitting in the Lufthansa business lounge in Frankfurt right now, waiting to fly FRA-LHR-LAX on Lufthansa and United business class.

An Answer to the Most Common Question I Get about Free Oneways on United

Reader Martin asks: I am trying to book IAD-CDG, BRU-IAD and trying to add my free oneway from IAD to ?? No mater which destination I choose the page always comes up with no available flights even though I check those flights separately and I can see there is availability. Any ideas?

It seems like I've gotten a similar question almost daily since I broke the news that you can add free oneways onto most United awards.

Award Re-Booking Service

After writing a series of posts on how to add free oneways to your awards on the major legacy carriers, I got a flood of emails from people who had just booked an award and wanted to know whether they should rebook with my award booking service. In some cases, it makes sense, and I'll share one such case.

Brian emailed me saying he had booked a roundtrip award with United miles from San Francisco to Entebbe, Uganda for 160,000 miles in coach because for his preferred dates, there had been no saver award space.

Free Oneways on United Awards with a Foreign Origin

I've written extensively about getting Free Oneways on United Awards. Yesterday I got an email from a foreign reader, asking whether he could get a free oneway on his United awards. Seeing no theoretical reason why not, I looked into it and found you can get free oneways on roundtrip United awards regardless of their origin.

I thought I'd share this because even for US-based flyers, this discovery can have value.

When to Use US Airways Dividend Miles and When to Use United Mileage Plus Miles

US Airways and American Airlines have merged since the publication of this post so it is no longer valid.

US Airways and United are both members of the Star Alliance, so many times you can redeem miles from either carrier for the exact same trip. In those situations, which miles should you use?

I've made a list of some clear situations to favor one mile over the other. The list can also be read as a list of situations to collect US miles versus situations to collect United miles though.

The Five Types of Frequent Flier Miles

There are five basic types of frequent flier miles. I'll detail each, including how best to take advantage of them. Then I'll explain why it's important to diversify across the types (not just across frequent flier programs.)

1) Region-to-region based miles. American, Delta, United, US Airways, etc

Region-to-region miles are the most common type of miles. These miles can be redeemed according to award charts, so a flight from North America to Europe costs a certain amount of miles regardless of where in North America and where in Europe and regardless of the (valid) routing.

Free Oneways on United Awards: The Video

As a companion to the mega-popular Free Oneways on United Awards, I've made this video of me booking such an award.

Book Awards Like a Pro: Routing Ideas

Last week, I was working on a client's award from Portland to Seville, Spain with United miles. He had a tight availability range at the end of this summer, so preliminary searches of proved fruitless: was showing no availability from Portland to Seville in business class on his dates. Luckily I'm smarter than, and you are too. is the best search award search engine of any of the US carriers, but it still has some flaws. It can find obvious routings through its hubs and its partners' hubs.

Three Vacations on Two Awards

Introduction to Free One Ways (this post)
Master Thread: Free Oneways on American Airlines Awards (dead as of April 2014)
Master Thread: Free One Ways on United Awards
Master Thread: Free One Ways on Delta Awards
Master Thread: Free One Ways on US Airways Awards
Three Vacations on Two Awards

Did the title grab your attention? I'm actually underselling and overdelivering, since I'm going to show you how to get 3.5 vacations on two awards!

These free oneways that I've been writing about on United, Delta, and American are incredibly powerful.

Free Oneways are Available on United Awards to Hawaii

Thanks to reader Mulbry, who found some roundtrips to Hawaii incorporating stopovers. I hope everyone is thinking what I thought. Where there are stopovers and open jaws, free oneways can be constructed.

I immediately set about about to find free oneways the same I described on Friday.

And I confirmed my hunch.