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Old Aug 11, 12, 11:55 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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SFO -> MUC Business/First Award

I'm looking to travel from SFO-MUC sometime in mid-late October. Currently, there are an abundance of economy saver awards available but only 1 day in the month (10/31) has first/business saver awards available. My question is- is it likely for first/business saver awards to open up as the date becomes closer? I've heard that Lufthansa tends to release those awards ~3 weeks out (this seems to make sense as August has quite a few dates w/ business/first saver awards available).

I'm a little nervous about waiting too long to book a flight as it could get pricey, especially around Oktoberfest. However I'm willing to risk it if seems likely for awards to be released.

Any help is appreciated!
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Old Aug 12, 12, 12:01 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmw5430 View Post
I'm looking to travel from SFO-MUC sometime in mid-late October. Currently, there are an abundance of economy saver awards available but only 1 day in the month (10/31) has first/business saver awards available. My question is- is it likely for first/business saver awards to open up as the date becomes closer? I've heard that Lufthansa tends to release those awards ~3 weeks out (this seems to make sense as August has quite a few dates w/ business/first saver awards available).

I'm a little nervous about waiting too long to book a flight as it could get pricey, especially around Oktoberfest. However I'm willing to risk it if seems likely for awards to be released.

Any help is appreciated!
Yes. As the travel date approaches, revenue/inventory management can be more confident about the number of seats which will go unsold (and can release more as awards). That said, it is not a certainty that more award seats (or any!) will be available on any particular flight. If you absolutely must travel, you need to be prepared to accept the consequences if award space doesn't open up (e.g., flying in coach on an award, booking a revenue ticket, etc.)
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Old Aug 12, 12, 1:06 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmw5430 View Post
I'm looking to travel from SFO-MUC sometime in mid-late October. Currently, there are an abundance of economy saver awards available but only 1 day in the month (10/31) has first/business saver awards available. My question is- is it likely for first/business saver awards to open up as the date becomes closer? I've heard that Lufthansa tends to release those awards ~3 weeks out (this seems to make sense as August has quite a few dates w/ business/first saver awards available).

I'm a little nervous about waiting too long to book a flight as it could get pricey, especially around Oktoberfest. However I'm willing to risk it if seems likely for awards to be released.

Any help is appreciated!
Yes, although having some flexibility helps. Mid-week your chances are usually very good. If you have status and can change dates and routings in the event something does not open up, you should be in good shape. I've switched to SFO-MUC in F two days out a couple of times.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 4:24 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by jmw5430 View Post
...
I'm a little nervous about waiting too long to book a flight as it could get pricey, especially around Oktoberfest. However I'm willing to risk it if seems likely for awards to be released....
Welcome to Flyertalk. I see you've done some homework and vetted the near-term August availability, I think you have a good indication of how things may unravel in October - on short notice. As an aside, you can take Octoberfest out of the mix since it is over 7 October 2012. It would be more properly called Septemberfest
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Old Aug 12, 12, 8:01 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmw5430 View Post
I'm looking to travel from SFO-MUC sometime in mid-late October. Currently, there are an abundance of economy saver awards available but only 1 day in the month (10/31) has first/business saver awards available. My question is- is it likely for first/business saver awards to open up as the date becomes closer? I've heard that Lufthansa tends to release those awards ~3 weeks out (this seems to make sense as August has quite a few dates w/ business/first saver awards available).

I'm a little nervous about waiting too long to book a flight as it could get pricey, especially around Oktoberfest. However I'm willing to risk it if seems likely for awards to be released.

Any help is appreciated!
Oktoberfest is primarily in September and will be over by early Oct. shouldn't have any impact on your dates, but yes...LH new policy seems to be to open seats late...you don't want to fly LH J though.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 8:39 am   #6
 
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I checked a few dates in October and there's definitely more than one day with F availability from SFO to MUC. Don't believe the colours on the little calendar, you have to check individual days. I didn't find any availability on the direct LH SFO-MUC but I did find, on three out of four days, availability on SFO-CLT-MUC. First leg on US F, second leg on LH F.

I'd book something like that and maybe change to the LH nonstop if it becomes available later.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 9:07 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Oktoberfest is primarily in September and will be over by early Oct. shouldn't have any impact on your dates, but yes...LH new policy seems to be to open seats late...you don't want to fly LH J though.
Huh? I'll take LH over UA's hit-miss service any day.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 9:11 am   #8
 
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the fee for that flight is ua about $50, lh, about $1000. very little available going through fra-muc for all of oct on ua/lh, also, hotel spaces and deals in germany, italy, and france are not abundant oct.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 11:05 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
the fee for that flight is ua about $50, lh, about $1000. very little available going through fra-muc for all of oct on ua/lh, also, hotel spaces and deals in germany, italy, and france are not abundant oct.
We're not talking about British Airways here. I cannot fathom a LH-operated flight (on a UA award) having $1000 in "fees" and a comparable UA-operated flight (on a UA award) having a mere $50 in fees. Could you provide an example of this?
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