Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Excellent 2-4-1 First and Business Class flights deals from the UK with Lufthansa and SWISS

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SWISS and Lufthansa have launched some EXCELLENT First Class and Business Class ‘2-4-1’ deals.  Unlike some fare deals we write about, these are for departures from the UK so you don’t need to position yourself somewhere in Europe first.

Availability is very good and you can travel until the end of March 2020 – although this misses the Easter weekend as Good Friday 2020 is 10th April.

Even better for those who live outside London, you can also book these deals from UK regional airports.

Swiss Boeing 777

This offer ran last year and was hugely popular with HfP readers.  You won’t earn Avios or BA tier points but you WILL get a very classy travel experience at a fantastic price.  You will also earn a pile of Miles & More or other Star Alliance miles which can be a handy alternative to Avios.

If you have Avios tickets booked to any of these destinations, you should do the maths on whether you should cancel (£35 per person fee, all Avios and cash returned) and book one of these deals instead.

Business Class deals

Here are the Business Class deals.  These are return prices per person from London BUT based on two people travelling.

Some deals are even cheaper than £999 but these are not always operated on long-haul aircraft.

Lufthansa 2-4-1 UK sale

With Lufthansa, you can depart from London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Manchester with a transfer in Germany.  You can book these deals here.

Remember that you need to search for TWO people to see these fares.

  • Abuja £999
  • Addis Ababa £999
  • Almaty £999
  • Amman £499
  • Astana £999
  • Baku £749
  • Beijing £1,499 (£1,349 from Manchester)
  • Beirut £499
  • Bengaluru £999
  • Bogota £1,250
  • Buenos Aires £1,499
  • Chennai £999
  • Delhi £999
  • Dubai £999
  • Hong Kong £999
  • Jeddah £999
  • Johannesburg £1,499
  • Kuwait £999
  • Lagos £999
  • Mumbai £999
  • Nanjing £1,349
  • Port Harcourt £999
  • Rio de Janeiro £1,250
  • Riyadh £999
  • Sao Paulo £1,500
  • Seoul £1,250
  • Shanghai £1,350
  • Tehran £749

Lufthansa is 100% fully flat in long-haul business class, although not everyone is a fan of the current seat layout which means that both of you are sharing a footrest, albeit with a divider.  The A350 cabin is pictured above.  SWISS is better in this regard as the seats are not angled towards your neighbour.

That said …. as these are 2-4-1 deals it is highly likely that your neighbour will be your companion.

Here are your options flying in SWISS Business Class, photo above.  You can see an availability calendar here from London on the SWISS website and availability is very good.  All flights require a transfer in Zurich or Geneva.

  • Bangkok £1,250
  • Beijing £1,500
  • Buenos Aires £1,500
  • Dar es Salaam £999
  • Delhi £999
  • Dubai £999
  • Hong Kong £999
  • Johannesburg £1,499
  • Mumbai £999
  • Nairobi £999
  • Sao Paulo £1,499
  • Shanghai £1,350

First Class deals

Lufthansa’s First Class seat may not look so special, but it is a genuinely special experience, especially for lovers of premium lounges, chauffeur driven plane transfers and caviar.

These are the Lufthansa First Class deals per person, based on two travelling – you can check availability online here:

  • Beijing £1,999 (£1,750 from Manchester)
  • Bogota £2,499
  • Buenos Aires £2,499
  • Bengalaru £1,499
  • Delhi £1,499
  • Dubai £1,499
  • Hong Kong £2,499
  • Johannesburg £2,499
  • Nanjing £1,749
  • Sao Paulo £2,500
  • Shanghai £1,749

Here are the SWISS First Class deals – see London departures on the SWISS website here:

  • Bangkok £2,999
  • Beijing £1,999
  • Buenos Aires £2,499
  • Dar es Salaam £1,499
  • Delhi £1,499
  • Dubai £1,499
  • Hong Kong £2,499
  • Johannesburg £2,499
  • Mumbai £1,499
  • Nairobi £1,499
  • Sao Paulo £2,499
  • Shanghai £1,749

Here are the rules:

  • Book by 19th May via the special links
  • Two people must travel together
  • Travel at ANY point – subject to availability – from 1st June 2019 until 30th March 2020 (until 14th February 2020 for China)
  • Must stay for six days, including a Saturday night, and the maximum stay is three months

Lufthansa is, perhaps, the most civilised First Class experience there is.   Here is the review of my Lufthansa First Class flight from 2017.  And, of course, the First Class Terminal – yes, a whole terminal – in Frankfurt where you get driven to the steps of your plane is something everyone should try once.

SWISS offers an excellent First Class and Business Class service.   We are NOT talking Emirates or Etihad style private suites, by any means, but you get a good quality seat, good food and drink and a very attentive crew.  It is a very civilised experience.

I flew SWISS First Class again last year, although I didn’t review it for the site, and it was as impressive as usual, albeit I put it a notch below Lufthansa First Class as the food is not as outstanding.  I also flew in SWISS Business Class to Dubai last October with my family and it was similarly good, although the seats are showing their age a bit.  Here is an older review of SWISS First Class I did.

SWISS and Lufthansa are both part of Lufthansa’s Miles & More loyalty scheme, although you can of course credit your flight to any other Star Alliance programme.

How to book

For SWISS, you can book here.

For Lufthansa:

all of the Business Class deals for London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester can be found here

and all of the First Class deals are here

If you are looking for the best credit card to pay with, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold offers double points on airline spend.  This means that you would earn 2 Membership Rewards points per £1 spent.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

There are some genuinely excellent deals here especially if you live outside London and especially because of the long travel period.  Take a serious look.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (157)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Anna says:

    Presumably these aren’t direct flights, even though they start in the UK?

    • BlueHorizonuk says:

      No, you have to connect in FRA/MUC/ZRH or GVA

      • Lady London says:

        Always choose MUC over FRA to change in if you can, even if it costs a tiny bit more.
        You will find that anything changing out of MUC will fill up much faster too.

        I’m happy with MUC or ZRH both of which are amongst my favourite airports.

        • BJ says:

          Never been to MUC, how is it for transit? I’m guessing it must be easy because I’ve seen sone very tight connections offered out of GLA. The website highlights the connections as short but presumably still tickets them.

        • Lady London says:

          MUC is generally really easy, well signposted, well organised. Nice airport. Good variety of places to eat/coffee (for an airport). Various Lufty lounges. They might have built a new satellite or something that could possibly make some gates longer than before to reach, not sure. But a really efficient airport.

          Frankfurt is a different experience.
          I’ve noticed over the years that to the US the connections and flights via MUC seem to fill up much faster (and often command a small price premium) compared to stuff that goes via FRA.

          FRA has excellent rail transport connecting all sorts of places. The older terminal is… well, old.. They’ve not done bad with it but it reminds me a bit of some of the older US airports, claustrophobic, low ceilings etc. Newer parts of the airport are not bad. the place is huge though and it’s easy to land a connection that is a huge distance away between the planes (not really the case in MUC). So the best thing for me about FRA is the ease of getting into (and mainly out) of it. I’m not up to date though and have always avoided it. Others on here may love it and recommend it.

          if MUC wasn’t available out of Germany I’d always check ZRH first before I consideered anywhere else especially FRA.

        • Lady London says:

          It;s not in this offer but I’ve always got a soft spot for Brussels airport so far as Star Alliance flights are concerned – I really like the main Star Alliance lounge there. It’s superbly run, kind of like a mini SQ airlines lounge, that well run. Not luxurious but very decent and nicer than many Star Alliance lounges in Europe. Has different parts to it.

          I think that airport and lounge may be a bit like Marmite – not sure everyone will agree with me. I always pick up tobacco – actual tobacco – when I go through.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks, I’ve been through FRA several times and BRU just twice. Layover in FRA are long for me unless I risk the 1hr(ish) connection. If I’m going to risk that anyway I figure I might as well give MUC a try. I will have a look at the flight stats to check I-mtime arrivals.

    • Polly says:

      Anna, QR have a good 2 pax sale, but you need 3 seats?

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Polly, just mentally filing all this away for when we’re in a position to jump on offers like this!

        • Lady London says:

          And we’re all being a little bit careful because QR was making noises about leaving OneWorld?

          Doesn’t matter if you booked a flight when an airline is in an alliance, if that airline is no longer in that alliance when you fly, you cannot credit your miles to another airline within that alliance anymore. You would sitll be able to credit QR flights, of course, to QR, but their program standalone does not seem to suit everyone.

          Jus’ sayin’

          • Rob says:

            It would be impossible not to earn Avios and TPs on London-Doha on Qatar, even if they left oneworld, given that BA has a revenue sharing JV with Qatar on that route.

        • Michael C says:

          Very often the Qatar offers (and indeed the Lufthansa one today) happily include 3 seats at the lower price!

  • Polly says:

    Cancelling our 241 in F, next Jan, hopefully going to get HKG on either one of them. Was waiting for the return part of our 241 anyway, so might as well use some avios on CX J and MAS J to and from the islands. Just not worth using the avios, even on a 241, and such high fees on BA with these prices.

    • BJ says:

      Hoping to do the same but have not checked dates yet. I’m looking to grow my M&M balalance so that would be the icing on the cake.

      • Yan says:

        not sure thats the best option with M&M being revenue-based on LH group ticket stocks

        • BJ says:

          Got 30k plus 63k to come from Marriott. Need to get another 27k as I think F to seAsia is now around 120k.

        • RussellH says:

          Agreed. When we booked this last year we found that we would get only around 6.5K M+M total each for GLA-FRA-HKG return because the fare is cheap – and this was in business out and first back.Outward ticketed in P for both legs, return in A HKG to FRA, then J to Glasgow.
          Instead we credited to United, and got about 28K miles each, though that was boosted because FRA-HKG was cancelled, got rerouted via SIN and upgraded from P to J. SIN-HKG was in C

        • Lady London says:

          Go partner, is the thing for that
          Well, right now, anyway

      • Lady London says:

        I’ve “had it” with M&M. Too many miles stolen by them over the years. Hgh values needed to redeem now. Expiry policy draconian. Having to deal with unfriendly agents a bit too often.

        However 2 things – if you are serious about M&M there are in fact a LOT of collection opportunities. Hotels, especially cars. very very freqent. but not mailed out. just keep looking back at the M&M site and you’ll see them. That will be the Germany version of the site. But the offers seem to work anyway for us if conditions are met.. Some of them really really good for car hire. Also magainze subscriptions pop up regularly including for women’s manazines. Far better than the newspaper/Economist subscription versions (more bang/miles per buck and a magazine free too). Just keep watching there.

        2nd thing the Star Alliance business program, which is called Partner(ship) Plus Benefits, is considerably better than the Oneworld ones. Take a look. Rob did an article a while back. Basically it’s dominated by Lufthansa (as is much of the Star Aliance itself). If you can, do it as well as the standard stuff.

        I’m out of both of those now but the business one is the one I miss.

    • CV3V says:

      Agreed, looks like i will be doing the same – cancel 241, then use the avios (hopefully) for short haul in Asia (failing that Air Asia).

      • Polly says:

        Yes think best fly to either hkg or hkt use mas to get to dps and back. Or cx from hkg and back ..decisions decisions, can’t leave it too long. Swiss or lufty..haven’t flown either before but in for a treat, l gather.

        Lady L, tnx for the lufty tip re muc too.

        • Lady London says:

          Do First if you can, Polly. There’s the odd ‘lumpy’ report about J on these 2 airlines here and there.

          Don;t forget the First Class Terminal in DE and allow time for it. It’s in FRA, can;t remember is there one in MUC as well?

  • Darren says:

    MAN to Thai beaches for £2200ish for x2 in Feb 2020 on an A380. Very good price.

  • Lady London says:

    EZE, Tehran…. I wish I wasn’t single right now. Really, really good deals on the best First and Business there is. Swiss has been getting progressively more competitive over the past quite a few years now. But I’ve never seen anything like this.

    Basically First for the price of Business (or less) and on superb European airlines. Love it.
    Just wish I could use it.

    • dgsupersonic says:

      Billy no mates? 😛
      Got my F ticket to Delhi for £1500. Excellent price!

      • Lady London says:


      • Robert says:

        dgsupersonic which airport are you flying out of, which part of the year and is it with Luft or Swiss please? Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, struggling to find any flights at the promo rates thanks.

  • Russ says:

    Look good! Star Alliance, is this the outfit Virgin may join?

    • Lady London says:

      No that’s Flying Blue. Flying Blue has a list of interesting promotions that change quite regularly. But quite high numbers of miles required normally to get anything. Virgin tie-up rumoured to be quite soon-ish.

      • Russ says:

        Thank you Lady London plus many thanks for your later comment detailing what to consider when looking at another schemes. Very helpful.

  • Lady London says:

    Just to help newbies (and to prove occasionally I am not just having a rant) if anyone is interested in looking into getting Star Alliance status you could

    – look on the site when booking. You need the fare class which I’m pretty sure Swiss (not sure about Lufthansa) shows you on the website, I think before booking?

    – go to wheretocredit dot com. this will tell you how many miles you will get for each leg of your trip in the fare class you found above, at what rate on which airlines. First is likely to get you a huge amount of miles on at least some of the Star Alliance airlines. Business won’t be too shabby at least on a few, for miles crediting either.

    – Not all airlines require tier points as well as miles flown for status. If the miles you would get look good if you credit them to a particular airline, you might need to look at its program to check if your status would be instant. For some routes, it will be I think. Star Alliance status is worth having. (nicer lounges overall than Oneworld, extra luggage, etc.) however you need Gold not Silver to have all those benefits transfer to a different airline in Star Alliance when you fly. Silver gets you not much and mostly only privileges on your “home” airline. To get privileges across the Star Alliance you do need Gold, or its equivalent, as a minimum.

    – Aegean, Turkish could be looked at to see if they suit you. There’s another but it’s having financial difficulties so not mentioning. Any membership, including “lifetime” lasts only as long as the airline and program.

    – Alaskan also worth a look as not in any of the major alliances, but a bit like Virgin has some interesting tie-ups.

    So, so jealous of those of you who travel in two’s and can use this offer.

    • Polly says:

      L London tnx for tips and guidance for us newbies to Swiss and Lufty. It’s worth it for sure.
      I will request status match to them in the next week or so.
      Alaska useful for our future! Hawaii trip. Tho we will have lounges fast track etc., probably no need, but to get extra miles.
      Sorry you miss out this time. Mean of them actually to double up.
      Mind you, one time a single friend of ours got a cheap ticket so worth checking on skyscanner maybe.

      • Lady London says:

        I am sure you know this Polly but just for others, there is statusmatcher dot com.

        Two things –
        – bear in mind that lots of people who might give you a status match (Cue: for example to something you have from American Express) have a rule they will only do it once per lifetime for you. Some say lifetime but, you might get it again in, say, 5 years. You can think about what that means and how you would proceed in future…

        – please share your success/what did not work, back on the site as a ‘payback’ to help others as you were helped

        • Polly says:

          Have gone for Swiss via Zurich to HKG. 999 pp. end of Jan into Feb, so will try to place those miles somewhere useful. On 777 from Zur to HKG both ways. Centre pair of seats, so no climbing over anyone. Not an easy website to navigate either.
          Will feel really really strange flying non OW . But will be cancelling an 1st part of a 241 F tkt to HKG for jan 26th tomorrow if anyone wants it.

          • Lady London says:

            Nice. Lounges in ZRH for LX very OK too esp First.

            Switzerland is the land that understands “First Class”. Their banks hold all the world’s money. Their hotels were the first to be really “First Class”. Switzerland really understands and provides high end. They were doing it long before the re-emergence of Asia and the luxe being offered there now. And the Middle East luxe (Dubai etc.) is even newer. So Swiss does “First Class” still very nicely. Quality is still a thing at most levels, in CH even though they are not quite immune to world trends of cheap and nastier and the bottom end.

    • John says:

      *G is basically similar to BA Silver/OW Sapphire though, most airlines have a further status that only has benefits on that airline.

      *S is largely worthless, only minor benefits mainly on the awarding airline, similar to BA Bronze/OW Ruby

      • Lady London says:

        Perhaps I wasn;t clear enough.

        In OneWorld, for example, Silver gets you access to all OneWorld lounges including those of other OneWorld airlines. Not just the OneWorld airline your Silver belongs to.

        In Star Alliance your Silver will only get you whatever your own airline that gave you the Silver, will get you. So you only get into your own airline’s lounges. In Star Alliance, you would need GOLD, i.e. equivalent OneWorld Emerald status, not just Silver (OneWorld Sapphire status) to get access to other Star Alliance lounges that are not those of your ‘home’ Star Alliance airline that issued your Silver Card. If you’re Gold with any Star Alliance airline, you get access to Star Alliance lounges of other airlines. This is not like OneWorld where any OneWorld Silver will do this.

        Situation is complicated by the fact that even sometimes within the Star Alliance lounges, more often than with OneWorld lounges, there is a different nicer lounge or “lounge witin a lounge” part of lounge for Gold only. Rest being Silver (i.e. the Star Alliance airline’s oiwn Silver members, not anyone else’s).

        Situation also complicated by the fact that if your Silver is issued by Lufthansa, you do get some privileges on a few of the other airlines that ae particularly close to Lufthansa or within the Lufthansa group. This includes LOT Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines (not sure if fully shared). Other airlines like Aegean in Star Alliance do kind of seem to shadow Lufthansa on some things, like eventually getting around to making the same restrictions on mileage accrual for low cost ticket classes as Lufthansa does, but they don’t share lounges and other privileges at Silver level. only Gold.

        So trust me Silver is a waste of time unless you spend all your time on Lufthansa or some very closely allied airlines, Gold gets you privileges across the Star Alliance like lounge access and extra luggage.

        And lastlly some of the Star Alliance airlines, just like some of the OneWorld airlines, do have higher tiers that get even more privileges than Gold. But generally speaking Gold is what you need on Star Alliance whereas until a devaluation coming soon, Silver will get you decent privileges in OneWorld across the OneWorld alliance.

        • Polly says:

          Tn x for that in-depth explanation LL. guess l have to aim for Gold with Swiss, when l go to status match? Or is their silver status the same as ow silver status? Won’t need it for lounges, but for mile accrual.

          • Lady London says:

            I think you need to credit the miles that you will earn on Swiss to a different Gold airline.
            I can’t recall ever seeing Swiss match status – not that it’s something I’ve been watching.

            Basically you need to compare the ticket class you’ve bought for each leg on Swiss, on wheretocredit dot com to see which airlines will give you what number of miles for your flight on Swiss.

            Then you need to check the airline programs on Star Alliance for how many miles you have to earn to get the desired Gold-Emerald equivalent on that airline, and whether you also have to do a certain number of flights on that airline or earn “tier points” as well. Refreshingly, for most of them you don’t have to. Note that sometimes Asian airlines will call their equivalent of Silver status “Gold … “. Look carefuly, it will be easy to recognise. You want whatever status on that airline (usually the 3rd one up) gets you privileges across the Star Alliance not just with your own airline.

            As in my other post and as confirmed by another poster I’d suggest to save time you take a quick look at Aegan and Turkish. Of the two, I’d go with Aegean even though you have to earn more if you’re not doing 4 flights. Look at the conditions, you’ll see what I mean.

            Crediting Swiss flights to Miles & More is unlikely to earn you enough quick enough and the requirements to continue at Gold on airlines in that scheme are very high. Unless you are sure you can maintain the Senator level (it’s slightly easier once you are there but still very very high requirement. to maintain). So up to you but I’d look at the requirement to get, and also to maintain (separate issue) status elsewhere using what you can credit to the other Star Alliance program you choose from these flights.


          • Lady London says:

            Haven’t looked at statusmatcher dot com recently but very doubtful you’ll see much, if anything that can match into LX or LH. Same as into BA, really.

  • Bootlace says:

    no Sky team….Delta, KLM, Air France Kenya Airways, etc

  • Richard says:

    Does anyone know if these fares can work open jaw (e.g. out to PEK, rtn from PVG)?

    • BlueHorizonuk says:

      I did this when they ran the sale last time. You might need to use a travel agent (have one if you need it) and they can help build in longer stopovers too on the way out if you want to overnight in MUC/FRA/ZRH or GVA.

      • Richard says:

        Thanks for the tip. Presumably if a travel agent can do it, so can LH themselves (over the phone)?

        • BlueHorizonuk says:


        • Lady London says:

          Travel agent every time for this kind of thing. A good specialist one, that is. worth every penny even if they do charge a fee extra.
          Try Propeller. Rob might even have a link somewhere.

      • Polly says:

        Lots did open jaw last time this came round.

        Plus on the last qr sale people returned to London for around 100£ more.

      • John says:

        The fares rules, at least for some LX tickets, don’t permit stopovers – which is to say that you can only stay in ZRH for 24 hours or less, so no APD saving possible. I tried pricing this on ITA Matrix and it wouldn’t show the discounted fare with minconnect > 1441. Open jaw is permitted though.

        (ps: I thought that a stopover of exactly 24 hours would qualify for short-haul APD, but the booking engines seem to disagree)

        • Lady London says:

          As you found @John booking engines are sadly very precise:

          A gap between landing time incoming and departure time outdoing of 23 hours and 59 minutes is not a ‘stopover’ so far as airline ticket rule are concerned.

          1 minute more than that in the gap between the flights, and it’s a ‘stopover’. Which may mean ticket costs more. And WILL mean that if you’re leaving the UK on the outgoing flight, APD will be chargeable meaning up to not much short of £200 on a long haul business class ticket and your ticket price generally would increase by at least that much as their airline DOES have to pay APD over to the UK government (unlike pretty much all of the rest of whatever the airline says is the “taxes and charges” on that flight).

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