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.