Swiss First Class Bookable Using United Miles

For the past month Swiss first class awards have been bookable using Lufthansa’s Miles & More miles for anyone in the program, no elite status required. The general rule since 2013 has been that this space is only available to Miles & More elite members.

However the space has only been bookable on a connecting basis. Chicago – Zurich – Munich works. Frankfurt – Zurich – Dubai works. Frankfurt – Zurich – Tokyo works. But Chicago – Zurich and Zurich – Dubai alone does not.

Back in August, Swiss first class awards were briefly bookable at the last minute by United MileagePlus members. Now there’s a new loosening, whether intentional or not and whether it’ll last or not, for United members looking for book Swiss first class.

As noted by Live and Let’s Fly, connecting space within 2-3 days of travel can be booked in Swiss first using United miles.

Since late December 2022, SWISS first class awards have been bookable once again, though only as married segments and only with United MileagePlus or Lufthansa Miles & More, not any other Star Alliance currencies.

For example, I have not seen Los Angeles – Zurich alone available, but I have seen Los Angeles – Zurich – Frankfurt with the LAX-ZRH segment booking into SWISS First (“O” class).

I’ve ticketed several reservations, so this is not phantom space. Space generally opens 2-3 days before travel.

Occasionally we’ve seen Swiss first class bookable more broadly than official policy.

  • Swiss first class became bookable with partner miles briefly in 2016
  • And in early 2017
  • However later in 2017 when this happened again Swiss cancelled Aeroplan-issued tickets as a mistake
  • But they do make partner first class awards available on their fifth freedom São Paulo – Buenos Aires route.

Hopefully Swiss is loosening its restrictions on this award space, at least a little bit, though I’d like it more if they made a public declaration since they’ve opened the space before and sometimes honored it, sometimes reneged.

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