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Lufthansa First Class is one of the nicest ways to travel between the United States and Europe. Plus if you fly out of Frankfurt in Lufthansa First Class, you get to access the First Class Terminal, one of the nicest lounges in the world.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal from Outside

The problem is that for a few years you have usually only been able to book Lufthansa First Class award space up to 15 days before departure with partner airline miles like United miles.

Inside the Cigar Lounge of the FCT

This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule though. Lufthansa is phasing out First Class on its Denver to Frankfurt route in early April 2015. In anticipation of that move, it has released 2+ First Class award seats to partners on many of its flights between now and then in both directions.

Lufthansa First Class Bed on the 747-8

Unfortunately since February 2014, United has charged a ridiculous 110,000 miles one way in Lufthansa First Class between the United States and Europe. Luckily some Lufthansa partners charge much more reasonable prices to book Lufthansa First Class.

  • Which First Class is on the Denver to Frankfurt route? (It’s awesome!)
  • What is the award space picture?
  • What if you don’t live in Denver or don’t want to visit Frankfurt?
  • Which miles book this space cheapest?

Denver <-> Frankfurt

Denver to Frankfurt is served by a 747-400. All refurbished 747-400s feature a 8 First Class Seats, each with a separate bed next to the seat, on the upper deck. Here is a trip report on this plane on this route.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.55.02 AMThere are still two unfurbished 747-400s that ply the Denver route occasionally. Check the seat map to make sure you aren’t getting one, though I believe that First Class on those planes is not being sold as First Class any more.

Award Space

Days listed with FRA-DEN below have 2+ award seats in First Class from Frankfurt to Denver. I searched from January 12 to March 29, 2015, and there is award space several days per week, especially in March.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 4.16.49 AM Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 4.16.58 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 4.29.01 AM

Denver to Frankfurt shows a similar pattern, but flying out of Frankfurt is more fun to enjoy the First Class Terminal.

My ride from the FCT to the plane with my ride to Washington DC in the background

Booking the Space

You can book this Lufthansa First Class space with almost any Star Alliance miles, though unfortunately Avianca LifeMiles cannot book Lufthansa First Class. The prices vary dramatically depending on which miles you use to book:

  • United: 110,000 miles each way + taxes (no fuel surcharges)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 62,500 miles each way + taxes + fuel surcharges (transfer partner of Membership Rewards and SPG)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 80,000 miles each way + taxes + fuel surcharges (transfer partner of Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, ThankYou Points, and SPG)
  • All Nippon Airways Mileage Club: 120,000 miles roundtrip between Denver and Frankfurt + taxes + fuel surcharges (transfer partner of Membership Rewards and SPG)

Fuel surcharges are $428 on the flight from Denver to Frankfurt and 230 euros ($293) from Frankfurt to Denver.

Rubber ducky by the bath tub at the FCT

Despite the steep fuel surcharge, I would rather pay them than 110,000 United miles, so I think the best option is Aeroplan for a one way award and ANA for a roundtrip.

Pay the taxes and fuel surcharges with your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® and redeem Arrival miles for a statement credit equal to the out-of-pocket cost of the award.


United has a major hub in Denver, and Lufthansa has its biggest hub in Frankfurt. You can get from anywhere in the United States to anywhere in Europe or beyond using this flight.

Butter on board

All of the award prices listed in the last section are the same whether you start in Denver or somewhere else in the continental United States and whether you end up in Frankfurt or somewhere else in western Europe with the exception of the ANA award price, which is distance-based.

I might book myself a date on this route in March in First Class with Aeroplan miles because I have always loved the fact that each seat has a separate bed next to it. Will you book yourself some of this Lufthansa First Class award space?

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