In planning a Safari trip for later this year, I came across what I would consider very attractive Business Class fares from several of Lufthansa’s USA gateways to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Typically, Business Class fares from just the USA to most of Europe on LH will run in the $5000 range from the East Coast to over $7000 from the West Coast when there is no fare sale.

What I have found however are several windows of opportunity in 2014 where travelers can enjoy Lufthansa’s Business Class from several US gateways to Johannesburg (via Germany) for ONLY $5000-5200. In addition, these are NOT deep discount ‘P’ fares but are the more attractive Z fare. I say attractive because ‘Z’ fares usually credit more elite qualifying miles towards most Star Alliance Frequent Flyer programs.

After I expanded my search I discovered that these attractive fares are available from Chicago, Boston, New York (JFK/EWR), Houston and Los Angeles. Yes, you can fly LH Business from LAX to JNB which will yield 33580 ‘Elite Qualifying Miles’ for $5030. Thats 1/3rd of the way to Miles & More Senator status in just one trip! Additionally, current Miles&More members will earn an additional 25% Executive Bonus and walk away with 39122 miles.

The advanced rationalizer will see these fares as paying for Business Class between the USA and Frankfurt or Munich and getting the roundtrip flights from Germany to South Africa for free when you consider the fares. It was a no brainer for me to book our tickets today!

The dates that these fares are available vary considerably. The bulk of these fares are available for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday departures between now and mid-May. The fares move up to the $7000-$9000 ($10,000-$12,000 in some cases) range during the summer months and come back down to the $5000 range in mid-August and stay that low through the end of the year. The best pricing for August-December fares is found when departing early in a given week.

Just to illustrate how attractive this fare is, if you book a departure early in a week you would pay the aforementioned low fares. If you were to depart on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday the fare nearly doubles in some cases.

The icing on the cake for these fares is that it gives you the opportunity to fly in 2 of Lufthansa’s best aircraft if you plan appropriately. If done ‘correctly’ you can experience Lufthansa’s A380 and 747-8i between the US and South Africa.

Please be aware that some fare options that you’ll find include flights operated by United or South African. I suggest being aware because the miles you earn may vary based on the airline operating your flights. Check with your FF program ahead time so you know what you’ll earn with a given carrier. The credit you will earn for Z fares can vary widely based on the FF program. For example if you fly on a South African operated flight and are a United Mileage Plus member, you would only earn the actual mile flow towards status. There are no bonus elite miles for Z fares on South African operated flights if you credit your miles to Mileage Plus. On the other hand, Lufthansa operated flights will credit 150% of miles flow towards elite status with Mileage Plus.

If you need any help with finding these fares please leave a comment or send me an e-mail!