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REMINDER: Excellent Lufthansa and SWISS First and Business Class deals from the UK

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Two weeks ago I wrote about the excellent First and Business class flight deals from Lufthansa and SWISS. These depart from UK airports.

At the time, the possibility for long-haul travel this Summer looked bleak. In the last two weeks, the odds are looking a lot better, especially into the Autumn. I am re-running the article today for the benefit of everyone who didn’t have the confidence to book two weeks ago.

The key positives are:

  • the prices are very good
  • the flights start in the UK – you can travel from multiple UK airports including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester (assuming you are flying when Lufthansa or SWISS has resumed services). There is none of the extra risk involved in booking a trip starting outside the UK.
  • these deals are good for travel into February 2022
Swiss Boeing 777

Lufthansa and SWISS have some excellent 2-4-1 deals

Lufthansa and SWISS are running some excellent deals to the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America.

You need to book for 2+ people. You can book for an odd number (3 or 5) but not for a solo traveller.

The booking window is:

  • book by 8th March 2021
  • travel by 7th February 2022

You must book via this special page of the Lufthansa website.

What are the deals?

Here are some price examples. Examples are per person, based on two people travelling, on either SWISS or Lufthansa.

  • Dubai – £900 return in Business, £1400 return in First
  • Amman / Cairo – £500 return in Business (may not be lie flat)
  • Cape Town – £1200 return in Business, £1800 return in First
  • Muscat – £1000 return in Business
  • Singapore – £1200 return in Business, £1800 return in First

How is the seating?

The key thing to remember is that Lufthansa and SWISS have two of the most civilised First Class experiences in the world.

They don’t have the greatest seats, frankly, but the ground operation, the level of service and the food and drink is, well, First Class. Here is a typical Lufthansa First Class cabin:

Pre-pandemic, Lufthansa was the one of the 10 biggest global buyers of caviar. Here is a shot from one of my previous flights:

It’s worth rembering that SWISS First Class is not available as a mileage redemption unless you have top-tier Miles & More status. If you want to try it, this is a great opportunity. Here is the seat:

Swiss First Class sale

Lufthansa is 100% fully flat in long-haul business class. Not everyone is a fan of the current seat layout, I admit, which means that both of you are sharing a footrest, albeit with a divider.  The A350 cabin is pictured below:

Lufthansa A350 business class sale

That said …. as these deals require at least two travellers it is highly likely that your neighbour will be travelling with you.

SWISS is better in this regard as the seats are not angled towards your neighbour.

Flight reviews

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. You are unlikely to see this unless you arrange an overnight break in Frankfurt, however, and it is currently closed.

I last flew SWISS First Class in 2018, although I didn’t review it for the site. It was as impressive as usual, albeit I put it a notch below Lufthansa First Class as the food is not as outstanding.  Here is an older review of SWISS First Class I did.

I flew in SWISS Business Class to Dubai in December 2020 with my family and it was equally good, although the seats are showing their age a bit.  I didn’t review that flight, but here is a 2019 review of SWISS Business Class written by Anika.

How do I earn miles?

The obvious place to credit these flights is Lufthansa’s Miles & More scheme.

In theory you can also credit them to any other Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme. However, you should use to check the underlying fare class you are sold. Some programmes do not offer much for heavily discounted Lufthansa business class fares in ‘P’ class, which is what you may get.

One benefit of crediting to Miles & More, if you have a family, is that you get a 25% discount on redemptions for children under 12.

What are the refund rules?

Before you book, it is important to be familiar with Lufthansa’s refund rules. These are stricter than those put in place by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

You have NO RIGHT to cancel your ticket and request a credit voucher if your flight is operating.

What you can do is change your flight, including changing the destination if you wish. You will need to pay any fare difference. If no heavily discounted tickets are available when you rebook, the fare difference could be steep.

If any leg of your flight is cancelled, you can request a full refund.

You can find out more about Lufthansa’s refund policies here.

How to book and pay

You will be charged in £. 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.

You can book on this page of the Lufthansa website. Remember that you need to book for at least two people to see this pricing.

How to earn American Airlines miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Star Alliance miles from UK credit cards (July 2024)

None of the Star Alliance airlines currently have a UK credit card.

There is, however, still a way to earn Star Alliance miles from a UK credit card

The route is via Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty points convert to over 40 airlines at the rate of 3:1.

The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is via the official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card. It comes with 20,000 points for signing up and 2 points for every £1 you spend. At 2 Bonvoy points per £1, you are earning (at 3:1) 0.66 airline miles per £1 spent on the card.

There is a preferential conversion rate to United Airlines – which is a Star Alliance member – of 2 : 1 if you convert 60,000 Bonvoy points at once.

The Star Alliance members which are Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners are: Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points for signing up and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

Comments (25)

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

  • Andrew MS says:

    I see the Lufthansa website now asks you if you to confirm that you will be taking the flights in the order that they are booked. Is this a threat to those on an ex – EU ticket who might be thinking of baling out on the last leg ?!

    • ChrisC says:

      I think it may be more related to a German court ruling that allowed a passenger to skip the first leg yet still have the rest of the trip protected.

      So they would be trying to stop people based in Germany booking these likely cheaper flights and rocking up in Munich without doing the UK to MUC flights and expecting to be accommodated.

    • John says:

      Yes ChrisC is correct, this message has been there for years… And the majority of Lufty tickets are “ex-EU” and flown by people who live in or are going to the EU

      No repercussions from skipping the last leg once or twice, or at all if you don’t credit to m&m.

  • Littlefish says:

    Too high a risk of getting drawn into a large fare difference payment, if intended travel becomes unviable. Lufty t&cs too restrictive still, for me. Presumably Swiss policies the same?

  • Peter says:

    I have tried to book from Manchester and Birmingham to a range of destinations without success. Only London has any companion fares under this offer, so far as I can ascertain. Are you sure this is a UK offer or just a London offer? Alternatively, is it just that there is very limited availability from elsewhere?

    • Aston100 says:

      Yes I noticed this when the original article was posted. Nothing (at the companion fare prices) from BHX, but same destinations and dates worked at the special fare prices from LHR.

    • Doc says:

      Peter, there were pretty much no flights from Manchester at all on the potential routes I was interested in and looked at multiple destinations over multiple months certainly over end of 2021 and early 2022. So very London-centric. However the prices are pretty good even taking into account the cost and time of driving/taking a train to London from Manchester, IF we are allowed to travel!!!

  • Sharon Croome says:

    Interesting they’re still flogging this.
    I had booked two trips at the end of 2020 in the last sale they had. Pushed my trips right out to the end of the sale period they had then, which was October/November.
    Had emails for both trips saying they’d cancelled the connecting legs from the U.K. to Frankfurt and Zurich respectively. However, because they popped me on other flights that were inside the two hour compensation window, no full refund.
    I have however double checked with them and the tickets do fall under their flexible rebooking policy which means I can move those flights out to next summer if I want to

    • Sharon Croome says:

      Update on my flights…..
      LH flights to JNB which I had already rebooked once to late August, no refund for cancellation of the connecting leg because it’s within a two hour window, but can rebook without any fee later.
      Swiss have come up trumps though. Cancellation of connecting leg, could either rebook or get a full refund. Unlikely that Singapore will welcome us later without quarantine and don’t want to take the chance so took the full refund.
      Both tickets were on the 2-4-1 deals they did end of 2020

  • Paul says:

    This is a painful experience. The LHR and Swiss booking pages are painful to use. After 10 separate attempts nothing is available but what s frustrating is there is no clue to when flights are available, you just get rejected including dates of travel class or offered LHR BKK at £15K.

    Any hints tips or clues on how to get this to work?

    • marcw says:

      Use google flights to look for fares.

      • Aston100 says:

        Are you sure Google Flights brings up the companion fare prices? I couldn’t get it to do so. Seems there might be a promo code applied automatically on the LH website.

    • Paul says:

      Ignore above have now found the calendar. There is almost nothing to BKK in F and J fares end on 12 Dec. There is no return availability till 12th Jan.

      • Delbert says:

        That’s assuming LOS will be accepting tourists without the quarantine routine by the end of this year and it’s fifteen days worth of rigid quarantine.

      • hypuk says:

        Where have you found availability calendar? I keep getting “There are no flights or fares available for the dates you have selected” error

    • Littlefish says:

      This sounds like the same experience I had last year (or was it two years back), with the sale software plug that they’d designed being useless. I was trying to sort out some options for my elderly parents to then consider.
      I think the reality was and is, is the number of companion fares per flight and per route combos and per date is highly limited.
      If your dates and routes happen to hit the jackpot, well & good. But highly likely not. Simply a different marketing method.
      In that regard BA were far better and transparent when they ran similar offers, though who knows if they will again later this year.

  • Paul says:

    Still some great prices available, caveat emptor obviously, but £2344 JNB in January pretty attractive…

  • Sam says:

    A perhaps a little bit too optimistic to think we can travel freely before Feb 2022. If they want us to contribute some cash flow to them they would have to be more sincere with their refund policies. Anyone who’s sensible would not even think about buying any future tickets at this time, not to mention an almost non-refundable policy here at LH.

    • Aston100 says:

      Hi Sam, what makes you think travel will still be a problem a year from now?

      • Numpty says:

        Depends on destination. As an example, Malaysia won’t have 70% of population vaccinated until next year, and that’s their cut off % for allowing wider intra state travel. So allowing foreign tourists in, or even wanting to go, could still be a problem. There’s a lot still to be worked out.

      • PM says:

        Cases are still raising in a lot of countries (Italy for instance). New Zealand just had an unexplained community transmission and is going into a local lockdown. Isle of Man had today two unexplained community cases and closed down temporarily.

        The speed of vaccination is fast only in a few countries. We tend to look at things from UK perspective but even here majority of people only get the first dose and some countries might consider a traveller vaccinated after two. There is no fixed date for second doses and more importantly there is no system of proving you have been vaccinated.

        There are a lot of ideas around vaccination passports but it will take months before they are substantiated. Track and trace app disaster is an example of how challenging it is.

        Very costly testing requirements on both departure and arrival plus aggressive quarantine regimes backed up by life changing fine amounts would prevent international travel from reaching critical mass needed by airlines to increase capacity.

        The fact that we count covid cases continuously rather than resetting the count for a new winter season as with a seasonal flu, makes people more anxious and less likely to travel. We are here in our little travel bubble but there are people out there who would report you to the police for even contemplating “holidaying during the world pandemic”.

        Add to it the anti-vaxxers, the hesitant, those wanting to wait until it is clear vaccines are safe, a few new strains, mutations – and we are already looking at 2022.

  • Rick says:

    As mentioned, these fares only seem to be available from London. There are actually some good fares to Dubai in June / July that are showing from Manchester – £1000 on Lufthansa or Swiss. Available for one person also.

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