A first class Lufthansa award ticket between North America and Europe is only 50,000 Asiana Club miles, an excellent value. But be warned, booking is not a straightforward process.
Asiana Club is a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner, meaning that 40K Starwood points translates to 50K Asiana Club miles. That’s enough for a one-way first class ticket from Europe to North America.
But booking is not as easy as logging into the a website, choosing the flight, and clicking purchase. Star Alliance award reservations must be booked via telephone and reaching an agent is no easy process.
Yesterday was certainly not the first time I had booked a partner award with Asiana, but was a reminder of the annoyance that booking with Asiana always involves.
The call center is open Monday thru Friday from 8:30a to 12:00p and from 1:00p to 5:30p.
After dialing the Asiana Club number (+1 213 365-4528) and waiting on hold for 12 minutes, a lady answered. When I asked for assistance booking a partner award, she told me she had to transfer me and placed me on hold again.
I ended up waiting over 55 minutes for an agent to pick-up.
Good News: The 72-Hour Advance Ticketing Rule is Not Strictly Enforced
The ticket I wanted to book departed in three days, but we were under the 72-hour advance booking window that is typically imposed for Star Alliance awards. I actually don’t see this rule published anywhere, but the consensus is that this booking limit is strictly imposed.
I was about 55 hours from departure when I booked and the agent had no trouble confirming the space. While the agent was slow in searching for space and building the award, she was courteous. I fed her the flights I wanted (two segments) and she placed me on hold while building the reservation, but seemed to have no trouble finding the space.
Until she quoted me a price of 25K. I knew that was economy class and told her I wanted first class instead. She rebooked the segments and asked for credit card information. The taxes/fees are identical to what you would pay on ANA or Aeroplan. Lastly, she informed me the ticket would be issued in 1-2 hours. She provided an Asiana reference number (which, like Korean Air, is your telephone number), but was unable to provide a Lufthansa reference number.
Booking Asiana awards is an annoyance, but arguably worthwhile to save 20K miles per one-way ticket over Aeroplan or 60K miles per one-way ticket over United. While Star Alliance bookings can be made on Asiana’s Korean website, a Korean-issued credit card is necessary to complete booking. At least until fall, you’ll need to call up to book.
> Read More: Star Alliance Rolling Out Extremely Useful New Services
Do they have the same issue booking LH F that Aeroplan does (that all segments have to be individually available as well)? Or can they book married segments award like United does?
How long did it take to issue the ticket? Did you eventually get an LH locator??
Ticket issued in two hours. I had to call Lufthansa for the locator.
At AwardExpert if I request (2) close-in LH F tix ORD-MUC or FRA is your first stop checking with Asiana to save my SPG points? Or because its not as easy as Aeroplan do you charge more? I’m not being sarcastic but generally curious if you go for the least cost points option first regardless of ease of booking? (I’d pay the $50 booking fee gladly for the Asiana price).
@Nick: If you already have the Asiana points, we go with Asiana. But if you don’t and we’re within a week, I am not going to recommend Asiana because sometimes those points take two weeks to transfer in.
It is possible to book a Star Alliance award completely online using the Korean-language website. There is an option to pay for the taxes/fees using a foreign (non-Korean) credit card. I was able to book a LH F-award using my credit card issued in Germany a few days ago without a problem. The ticket was issued immediately.
Thank you for this data point.
Can you advise if this is done on kr.flyasiana.com with either the Korean or English option? Or is it strictly done through the Korean language?
Thanks for this great data point. As much as I see value with Asiana Club, I struggle with the wait times on the phone. Dare I say they could now learn a thing or two from Aeroplan?
The Asiana Star Alliance booking tool is at:
Unfortunately, it’s only available in Korean. You’ll need to log in to search. I recommend using the translate feature of the Google Chrome browser, if you don’t speak Korean (like me). It’s not perfect, but it works…
Good luck 🙂
It was so easy when I did it a couple of weeks ago. I called reservations on Sunday morning at 9am EDT when they opened and someone answered right away. I fed her the flight info and she made the reservation and gave me the record locator as well. She told me that ticketing would open the next day at 11:30 and I would get an email when it was ticketed. I received an email at 11:45 the next day, logged in to LH and grabbed my seats, and the trip went off without a hitch. I had already transferred the SPG points to Asiana last year while planning another trip.
Just curious, which route did you book?
I have had a hard time finding ANY first class Lufthansa space to the US.
I actually have plenty Lufthansa Miles (don’t ask.)
I’m having trouble booking an Asiana award on Etihad. I’ve called the US call center twice and they can’t see availability, even though American airlines could see it, as I have a ticket for my wife held, MLE-AUH-JFK in Bus/First. Would it help to ask for a supervisor?
That’s frustrating. If AA sees it and you also see the Etihad Guest space on the Etihad website, then Asiana should be able to book it. Keep trying.