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Did Lufthansa bonus offer kills Swiss First Class options?

by on Tue September 3, 2013 • No Comment

Swiss First Class Cabin

Swiss First Class is one of the most coveted ways to fly. You get impeccably precise Swiss cabin crew, an elegant multi-course meal presentation, and a refinement that is unmistakably Swiss.

So when Swiss First Class seats are available with miles, savvy miles and points collectors will go out of their way to fly them.

  • A couple of years ago that was pretty easy – you could use United miles to book Swiss First Class with pretty generous availability. But around that time United switched over to Continental’s easier online award search tool, which made Swiss flights much more transparent to people who wouldn’t otherwise know to look for them.
  • Well, Swiss is quite protective of the integrity of its First Class cabin, to the point of perhaps frowning upon those of us using miles, points (and mistake fares) as less well heeled than its full fare travelers. So Swiss started blocking award seats for partner airline members on flights departing the U.S. More recently, flights out of Europe to Asia and other destinations have become impossible to book.
  • But there was another way in. If you booked with Lufthansa Miles & More miles you still had full access to Swiss First Class. And in May, Barclay’s announced a generous 50,000 mile bonus offer on the Miles & More Lufthansa MasterCard (it ended in June). That means a lot of U.S. based flyers who don’t fly Lufthansa or Swiss much suddenly had extra miles to burn on Swiss First Class.
  • As of 1/1/2014, that ends. Only Lufthansa Miles & More elite HON and Senator level members will be eligible to book Swiss First Class according to a new announcement. You can still book flights until the end of this year, so book now if you have Lufthansa miles to burn.

It’s an unfortunate development, but to be frank Swiss First Class while nice isn’t the best way to fly in a lot of cases. And Swiss is unreasonably sensitive to the integrity of its First Class cabin. Perhaps there have been complaints, perhaps they legitimately need the capacity for paid tickets (which is dubious since their cabins so often fly with empty seats), or perhaps their top elite members were having trouble booking award seats because of all the U.S. based demand.

But there are still plenty of options for global travel comfortably with miles.

Consider Lufthansa first class, which can be booked within 15 days of departure using United miles, or Cathay Pacific with American Airlines miles.


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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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