Tips and Tricks: How to Book Lufthansa First Class Tickets Like a Pro

Lufthansa first class is one of my favorite cabins in the sky. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to book with points. Here are a few tricks that will vastly simplify the process of predicting, finding, and booking first class tickets.

What program to use to book Lufthansa First Class

Use Avianca’s LifeMiles. Unless you’re drowning in another Star Alliance award program’s miles, to me this is a no-brainer. A few reasons why:

  • The LifeMiles program charges 87,000 miles one-way between the US and Europe or vice versa. This is cheaper than most other Star Alliance partners’ programs such as Air Canada’s Aeroplan or United’s MileagePlus.
  • LifeMiles is a transfer partner with Amex, Brex, Capital One, and Citi. If you’re short on miles, you can buy them directly from LifeMiles, and Avianca frequently has good discounts on these sales.
  • Cash fees tend to be lower than on other programs. For example, Lifemiles currently charges just $26.70 for US to Europe flights and just $151.14 for Europe to the US ones.

Bottom line: unless you’re booking a complex itinerary and want to use a program like Aeroplan to add a stopover, LifeMiles is probably your best yet. There are many other programs you can use to book Lufthansa first, such Air Canada’s Aeroplan, United’s MileagePlus, ANA’s Mileage Club, Aegean’s Miles+Bonus, or Asiana Club, but these redemptions are either more expensive or these programs’ miles are harder to earn.

Predicting award availability

Lufthansa generally makes first class award seats available to partners within 15 days of departure. There were reports last year that this had been changed to 30 days before departure but, as far as I’ve seen, you’ll rarely see first class awards opening up 15 days before, let alone 30.

The best way to figure out whether a seat on your preferred route will open is to use Google Flights to find how many first class seats are left on your flight. For example, I found that 5 first class seats are available for sale on January 10 from Frankfurt to Chicago.

a screenshot of a computer
Five tickets are available for sale on January in first class from FRA-ORD

I know that there are only 5 because when I increased the number of tickets to 6, I’m shown that no flights are available.

a screenshot of a search engine
When I search for six tickets, I’m told there are no flights available, so I know there are only five.

Okay, so we know that there are 5 seats available for a January 10th flight and its currently January 5th. How likely is it that at least one seat on that flight will become available on partners like LifeMiles?  Based on a lot of monitoring, my unscientific rules of thumb for the likelihood that a first class Lufthansa award seat becomes available, based on how many seats are unsold and days from departure, are as follows. Note that despite there being eight seats in their first class cabins, I’m only including scenarios where at most 6 seats are available, because in reality there are hardly ever more than that available within 15 days of departure.

a table of information with text

As you can see, as we get closer to the date of departure, the probability of bagging an award ticket rises. For example, with 4 available tickets 15 days out, our likelihood of getting a Lufthansa first class award ticket is only ~20%. However, once we’re 48 hours out from departure, that skyrockets to 60%. Obviously, take these probabilities with a grain of salt. They’re highly anecdotal, but I’ve found them to generally hold true.

Finding availability

How do we know whether an award seat is available? We could of course search the LifeMiles website or any other Star Alliance partner’s award site, though this tends to be somewhat slow. A far better tool (and there are several similar ones like this out there) is Here’s how to use it, simply go to and search your preferred routing in the search box (e.g., ORD FRA). If your flight has any first class award availability, a green badge reading “First Available” will show up. It’s that simple!

a screenshot of a computer

As can be seen in the above GIF, I was quickly able to see that the only available first class ticket from ORD to FRA is on January 7. The really powerful thing about this tool is the ability to see all first class availability. For example, if I’m traveling from the US to Europe, but don’t mind taking positioning flights, I can see all first class availability from anywhere in the US to anywhere in Europe! In the GIF below, I can immediately see that there are three  flights with first class availability from the US to Europe currently available, two from IAD to FRA, and one from ORD to FRA.

a screenshot of a computer

If you have your heart set on a specific date, you can always use ExpertFlyer to set up a notification when a ticket opens up, but you’ll have to pay $99.99 per year for the service.

Forcing first class tickets to show up so you can book them

Lifemiles’ superior value for booking first class tickets comes at a price; namely, having to use their heinous website that is, even at the best of times, astoundingly buggy. The biggest issue is that, often, first class seats simply don’t show up when searched for, even when there are plenty of availability.

To find availability that isn’t showing up, I use a Chrome script to force it to appear. You can find an explanation of how to do that in this FlyerTalk post. For convenience’s sake, I’ll outline the steps here:

  1. Make sure you are using Google Chrome.
  2. Visit; make sure you log out and log back in to ensure your session didn’t expire.
  3. Right click anywhere on the page and click “Inspect”. Go into the “Console” tab and paste the following, then make sure you hit enter.
var open_prototype =,
intercept_response = function(urlpattern, callback) { = function() {
arguments['1'].match(urlpattern) && this.addEventListener('readystatechange', function(event) {
if ( this.readyState === 4 ) {
var response = callback(;
Object.defineProperty(this, 'response', {writable: true});
Object.defineProperty(this, 'responseText', {writable: true});
this.response = this.responseText = response;
return open_prototype.apply(this, arguments);

intercept_response(/air-redemption-find-flight/i, function(response) {
var new_response = response.replace('"firstClass":false', '"firstClass":true');
return new_response;

Below is a GIF that shows how simple the entire process is. I did the whole thing in literally 15 seconds. Notice that when I first search for availability from FRA to LAX, only business class is available. After I reload the page and input the script, magically, first class seats show up.

First class availability script


Lufthansa first class remains one of the most accessible first class products to book with points as well as one of the most luxurious. With the right tricks, booking them is relatively easy. I won’t pretend like these tips will guarantee you get your preferred travel date and route 100% of the time, but they will increase your chances.

  1. That was one of the most usefull posts I have read this year across all the points sites I read. Thanks very much

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