United Airlines MileagePlus members have been eligible to earn miles on Germanwings, the Lufthansa low-cost-subsidiary since last October, with the promise that Germanwings flights would soon be available for mileage bookings. Now, Germanwings flights are bookable on united.com in both “business” and economy classes.
Germanwings cities served
Germanwings is a low-cost carrier with hubs in:
- Düsseldorf (starting in March)
For economic reasons (i.e. to pay their workers less), Germanwings operates as its own airline (4U) rather than directly under the Lufthansa (LH) company and with DUS completing its transition from LH to 4U in March, will handle all of Lufthana’s short-haul operations outside of Frankfurt and Munich.
Like most European airlines, there is no true business class, but Germanwings offers three levels of service, Basic, Smart and Best. Basic offers no amenities other than a free carry-on bag, Smart offers one free checked bag, assigned seating, and a free snack, while Best is comparable to business class and includes a blocked middle seat in the first three rows of the aircraft, two free checked bags, free food (from the BOB menu), priority check-in and boarding, and lounge access.
United is offering both business and economy class fares, which is quite frankly more than I thought they would do. Economy awards book under “Smart” (although I have not been able to verify this in writing) and business awards under “Best”.
Note that Germanwings is not a Star Alliance member and thus Star Gold status does not grant lounge access when traveling on Germanwings.
Germanwings allows for more options across Europe, so this is a positive development.