Lufthansa Flyers Can Now Upgrade With Cash
Lufthansa's making it much easier for travelers to upgrade to premium economy, business and first class in 2016 on the carrier's long-haul international flights. Passengers can now pay cash to upgrade to the next class of service on select routes.
The best part: Flyers in all classes, including economy, can pay a flat fee based on the route to upgrade to a better seat. The cheapest upgrades are those from economy to premium economy, which start at 249 euros (~$268) per flight. Economy passengers can also upgrade to business class. On the other end of the spectrum, travelers booked in business class can pay as much as 1,500 euros (~$1,614) for an upgrade to first class. Note that all of these upgrades are one-way, so you'll have to pay double if you want an upgrade for both sides of a round-trip ticket.
As of right now, the upgrades are only available on the routes listed above and the cost differs between flights, but it's possible Lufthansa could expand this offer to other flights. Additionally, award tickets cannot be upgraded using this method, and economy fares booked in K, L or T class can't be upgraded to business class. Flights must be operated by Lufthansa and you must request an upgrade before you check in for the flight. Fortunately, your fare class will be upgraded as well, so you should be able to earn miles based on the upgraded cabin, not the one you originally booked.
Ultimately, this is a pretty good offer for many of the airline's long-haul flights, which can be quite expensive in premium cabins. Lufthansa's first class is among the best in the sky, and certainly a pleasure to fly. If you're not sold on a cash upgrade, you can always book with points and miles either with Miles & More, or with an alliance partner such as Air Canada's Aeroplan program or United MileagePlus.
See Lufthansa's site for more info (note that you must be logged in to access this page).