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Lufthansa and its Miles and More partners (Swiss Airlines / LOT Polish /Austrian Airlines / and a few more) has an interesting award chart section called the “3 region award“.
If you are using the regular zone-based Lufthansa award chart (PDF), you can only go directly between the 2 regions in question. For example, an Economy award between North America and eastern Asia is 80,000 miles. But you are not allowed to go through a 3rd region for your 80,000 mile award.
That’s why Lufthansa has the 3 region award chart
What does a 3 region award cost?
- Economy: 100,000 miles
- Business: 185,000 miles
- First Class: 290,000 miles
Terms and Conditions of the Lufthansa 3 region award chart
I first came across the 3 region award chart when I was looking through the regular Lufthansa Miles and More award chart and came across the booking for 80,000 miles between South America and Australia. I thought this was a potentially awesome booking, since there aren’t any direct Star Alliance flights between South America and Australia, so you’d have to “connect” between North America (or possibly South Africa)
(READ: Introduction to Air alliances)
But before I got too excited, I realized the existence of the 3 region award chart, and my 80,000 miles would actually immediately become 100,000 miles as soon as I touched a 3rd region.
The fine print:
- You can’t cross both the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean – if you do, then it turns into a “Round the World” award (which costs more)
- You have 4 flight segments total in each direction (8 total)
- You can have 1 stopover in each direction (2 total)
- You can also have 1 open jaw in each direction (2 total), but not at your stopover point.
Lufthansa 3 region award chart – some interesting routes
North America to Southeast Asia (via Europe)
If you priced these out regularly, it would be 50,000 miles roundtrip from North America to Europe, and 80,000 miles from Europe to Southeast Asia, for 130,000 miles total. But if you use the 3 region award chart, it is still only 100,000 miles
You go from Chicago to Rome (via a stopover in Munich), then open jaw to Vienna (as I understand it, you wouldn’t be able to make Rome your stopover AND open-jaw, before continuing to your destination (Singapore). Open-jaw on the destination (should be allowed) to Bangkok, Thailand before returning home via Frankfurt and Paris (stopping over at one of those places).
Total cost: 100,000 miles!
You could also route to Asia through Africa, or Australia going across the Pacific – you just have to make sure not to touch a 4th region, or it will turn into a Round the World award.
South America to Australia via North America
Going back to my original example, you can go from South America to Australia via North America. It’s not the 80,000 miles it would be if there were direct flights, but the 100,000 mile 3 region award is cheaper than the 140,000 miles it would cost as one-ways
Not a super exciting route, but hopefully it serves as an example of what you can do.
Check the price of routing as several one-ways
If you’re not planning on taking advantage of the stopovers or open-jaws, it may be cheaper to price each ticket as a one-way award. For example, Hawaii to Central Asia / Far East is only 20,000 miles one-way, and the Far East to Australia / New Zealand / Oceania is also 20,000 miles one way.
But if you were to book this as a 3-region award, it would cost 100,000 miles instead of just 80,000 as a series of one-ways!
In this case, you’d actually want to book each of these 4 segments separately to get it for the cheapest amount of miles (80,000).
Ever booked a 3 region award? Let us know in the comments!