Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Exceptional Lufthansa and SWISS companion fares on flights from Italy

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

SWISS and Lufthansa have launched some fantastic First and business class fares from Italy. Unfortunately, these are companion fares which require two people to travel – bad luck if you are a solo traveller.

From Milan, the best fares in business class are (per person):

Singapore €1090
Hong Kong €1180
Bangkok €1180
Seoul €1250
Delhi €945
Sao Paolo €1200
Johannesburg €1300

Flights from Europe to Singapore for less than £1000 in business class are, frankly, a steal. The caveat is that these fares are from Italian starting points, so you must position yourself there first. You will also be connecting in Switzerland or Germany, so it will be a long day.

(The full list of starting points is Ancona, Bologna, Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Rome, Florence, Genoa, Milan (Linate & Malpensa), Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Pisa, Rimini, Lamezia Terme, Turin, Trieste, Venice and Verona.)

Exceptional Lufthansa / SWISS companion fares from Italy

These fares are widely available. You can virtually take your pick from dates between May and August 2020, and in theory they are available from 21st October 2019.

First Class is on offer as well. You’ll find (per person):

Bangkok €2150
Shanghai €2170
Singapore €2470
Seoul €2670
Hong Kong €2780

There is slightly less availability on these First Class fares, although you can find them from May until August 2020.

You must book by 3rd November and stay for at least six nights.  You can see our review of SWISS business class here, Lufthansa business class review here and our review of First Class on Lufthansa as well as a review of SWISS First Class, too.

Rob recommends Lufthansa First Class over SWISS – because of the excellent food and service (the seat is nothing special) and because of the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt where you get driven to your plane.  For business class he leans towards SWISS although, as these are companion fares, the main problem with Lufthsansa – having to play footsie with your neighbour on the shared footrest – is less of a concern!

You can’t earn Avios from these flights as both airlines are in Star Alliance, not oneworld.  Our article from yesterday on how to earn Star Alliance miles from credit cards will give you a few tips on topping up what you will earn.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

You must book from this page of the Italian Lufthansa site (or its SWISS equivalent) – it doesn’t work from the UK or German site.

Comments (79)

  • Roger* says:

    ON Topic (What??!!)

    I’m trying to find the SWISS offer to Johannesburg ideally from Milan. Can’t find anything that shows the €1,300 price. Grateful for your help.

    • Rhys says:

      There’s very good availability on Johannesburg, even in December and January (peak). Make sure you are staying at least 6 nights, are searching for 2 people in business, otherwise the fares won’t show.

      • Roger* says:

        Thanks, Rhys, for your quick response.

        Yes, I did all that. The article showed a LH link and mentioned an LX link. Do you have it up your sleeve, please?

        • Rhys says:

          It’s on the swiss home page – https://www.swiss.com/it/en – but you should be able to find all the same fares as on the Lufthansa page – https://www.lufthansa.com/it/en/companion-business – since they belong to the same group.

          • Roger* says:

            Thanks, Rhys. I think it may be in part an availabilty issue.

            For info, I can’t find a dedicated LX page, On the LH website, LX flights are offered on some dates and ‘sold out’ on others. The best I can find at the moment for Feb/March 2020 are about €6,145 for two. I’ll try later to look for the €1,300 p.p. fares.

            Why SWISS? Simply because we could get an unbudgeted extra family visit in Zurich.

  • Boi says:

    OT:
    Does anyone know which rate Amex use for forex? I stayed at a Marriott (Germany) just this weekend gone. At the time the rate would have been £201. The £ has strengthened and now it’s below £200. I am gutted coz I can’t see the charge on my card yet )and it’s now Tuesday). Will Amex use today’s rate or Saturday/Sunday rate?
    And if I am like £2 short can I go to a participating Marriott and buy a drink? Would that be charged as Marriott or restaurant?
    Ordinarily I would be happy with £ gain but this time it might cost us £100 (my sister also used the deal).

    • SimonW says:

      Have you added the 2.99% FX charge ??

    • PaulC says:

      You can check how much AMEX will charge under Benefits & Help>Check Foreign Transactions Exchange Rates.
      They will take the date the transaction took place and always posts a few days later I got told on Chat.
      I booked Hilton Conrad Hong Kong and Macao on Sunday and its still not shoing in Pending yet but I know how much I will be charged in fees etc.

  • Kevin says:

    OT – If I make an advanced purchase room rate booking does my card get charged straight away, or when I complete my stay? Also, with regards to the Marriott £50 off £200 offer on AMEXs, is the foreign transaction fee included in the minimum spend? Or does it need to hit £200 before the foreign transaction fee?

    • Charlieface says:

      Depends on the individual hotel. You need to call them directly.
      Sometimes it’s immediate, sometimes a couple weeks before, sometimes at check in, rarely at check out

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    OT – Marriott’s autumn offer is now available. I didn’t get an email but it was in my promotions section when I logged into their website.

    My offer is 2K points after two stays and then a “new surprise offer” after I complete that…

  • Harry T says:

    OT:
    Couple of Post Offices near me have insisted Monese top ups must be with cash. Just an FYI. One of the branches previously wasn’t aware of this, though it was a different staff member this time.

  • Munch says:

    OT Any one had any luck receiving the 15% back from a Brook + Wilde offer on Amex? I’ve just finished my spend target on a Platinum and was looking to cancel my card. If I know I was definitely going to receive the statement credit I will probably wait. I understand the T&C’s say up to 90 days – anyone received the credit quicker?

  • Bach says:

    OT – I have 800 odd flying blue miles expiring, anything to do with them?

    • BJ says:

      Sign up for Opinion Points (or whatever it’s called) on the Flying Blue partner page to bag 300 points. Link an Accor account to Flying Blue and transfer the miles into hotel credit.