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?

Lufthansa flies a 747-8, its newest jumbo jet daily between Washington-Dulles and Frankfurt and Chicago and Frankfurt.

Bill reviewed the plane’s fully flat business class space recently and was impressed.

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There is incredible award space on both routes this summer for two passengers in business class.

Washington to Frankfurt

This calendar shows the award availability for two passengers between Washington-Dulles and Frankfurt this summer. Green and blue days have Saver award space.

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Both United and Lufthansa fly the route, so the above calendar doesn’t prove that the space is in Lufthansa Business Class. I re-ran the search, ticking the option to show only United space on the direct route. The calendar below shows that there are no days in July or August with United Business Class space from Washington-Dulles to Frankfurt, so the premium award space on the calendar above is all in Lufthansa Business Class.

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I called US Airways at 800-622-1015 to see if an agent could use US Airways miles to book the Lufthansa space. I asked her if there was direct business class space from Washington-Dulles to Frankfurt the week of July 13-19, all days on which Lufthansa has released business class space to partners.

She said there was space on July 16, 17, and 19 but not July 13, 14, 15, and 18. That means that US Airways was not blocking space on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday but was blocking space Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

I repeated my experiment on a different route.

Chicago to Frankfurt

Chicago to Frankfurt also has one daily Lufthansa 747-8 service. There is a ton of space in business class on Mondays through Wednesdays this July and August for two passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

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Again, re-running the search but asking the calendar to display only United flights makes almost all the premium cabin space disappear, so we can be sure the first calendar was displaying Lufthansa Business Class.

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Again I tested seven dates on which Lufthansa had released business class seats to see if US Airways could book them. The agent could see space on July 22, 23, 29, and 30 but not on July 14, 21, or 28.

On this route the space on Mondays is blocked, but the space on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is bookable.

From the two routes, we can see that US Airways is not blocking the same days on all routes and that you should test several days of the week when trying to book Lufthansa award space with US Airways miles. Wednesdays look like your best bet.

By The Way

By the way, some of the days this summer, Lufthansa has released a ton of award space in business class. Look at all the days in August when six people can book Saver award space in Lufthansa Business Class from Chicago to Frankfurt.

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Recap

Lufthansa Business Class on its 747-8 is flat bed paradise from Chicago and Washington to Frankfurt with connections throughout Europe. US Airways leaves the Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 and ends its partnership with Lufthansa the same day.

You can book Lufthansa Business Class for travel through February 2015 with your US Airways miles for the next two days.

Summer 2014 business class space is plentiful on Lufthansa’s 747-8s, but US Airways is blocking much of the space, seemingly based on the date of the week of the flight.

 

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