Award Success: United Mileage Plus Booking For Lufthansa First Class From Frankfurt To Delhi, India

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In our series Award Success we have another very decent result to add as I was just able to redeem a great mileage ticket for a friend flying from Hanover via Frankfurt to Delhi, India in Lufthansa First Class.

I was asked in January what would be the best way to book a flexible ticket to India and I suggested to buy United miles and book a ticket on Lufthansa and Swiss.

At the time of booking both airlines were available in Business Class and it suited my friends preference so we decided to purchase United Mileage Plus points during the sale.

Back then I already hinted at the possibility that Lufthansa First Class might open up a week or two before the departure date and the difference on the United award chart is only 10,000 Miles to upgrade to First Class.

Here is an example for a flight from Germany to India booked via Mileage Plus:

So we initially booked Business Class and sure enough last week First Class opened up. My friend has never experienced the new Lufthansa First Class on the A380 before and also never visited the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt so I suggested it’s worth the extra 320 EUR to purchase another 10,000 Miles and the US$25 rebooking fee (my account that we used currently has Premier Gold Status so the fees are low).

The miles were almost immediately available in the account despite the warning that it could take up to 48 hours (I wouldn’t count on this being the case every time though).

I then initiated the change from Business to First Class on the HAJ-FRA-DEL sector and the new ticket arrived in the email within minutes.

One thing you always have to remember when reissuing a United Airlines Mileage Plus award is that this will kick out all your seat reservations as well meal preferences and you have to place them again.

Conclusion

A 10,000 miles difference between Business and First Class is really nothing, certainly worth much more than the $400 invested this time. Especially for someone who rarely flies First Class and takes this as a one time special trip.

Even in total, 65,000 Mileage Plus miles per way in First Class is a pretty good award. Since my friend required a flexible ticket the currently decent offers for Business Class revenue tickets on the market weren’t really an option as they were all non-flex.

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