St. Louis gets its 1st transatlantic flight to continental Europe in nearly 20 years

Dec 14, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

St. Louis-area residents are about to have a convenient new way to get to Europe.

Lufthansa on Tuesday announced it will begin flying between Frankfurt (FRA) and the Gateway City’s Lambert International Airport (STL) in June. In addition, Germany’s Star Alliance carrier will also begin service between Munich (MUC) and San Diego (SAN) on March 27.

Lufthansa will operate the Airbus A330 to St. Louis three days a week, on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In a press release touting the new Munich flight, the San Diego Airport Authority said Lufthansa will operate the A350-900 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays initially, with frequencies increasing to include Tuesday and Saturday flights beginning in May.

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In a press release, Lufthansa noted that St. Louis is home to multiple international companies. It’s the U.S. headquarters for Bayer (formerly Monsanto), which is based in Germany. AB InBev (parent company of Budweiser) and Boeing also have a substantial presence in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

St. Louis was the location of the final headquarters for TWA, as well as a major hub. The airline was absorbed by American Airlines in 2001, which began a wind-down of the hub shortly thereafter. The last transatlantic service out of St. Louis to continental Europe was operated by American to London Gatwick (LGW) in 2003, according to Cirium schedule data. WOW Air briefly flew from STL to Keflavik, Iceland (KEF), in 2018 and early 2019.

In San Diego, the new Munich service will join British Airways’ flight to London Heathrow (LHR) and Japan Airlines’ flight to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lufthansa operated flights to Frankfurt from San Diego.

More: The best things to eat, see and do in St. Louis

The St. Louis flight is now bookable, and the award inventory looks promising. A partner redemption via United MileagePlus requires 33,000 miles one-way for an economy ticket, and 77,000 miles one-way for business class. TPG currently values those miles as being worth 1.13 cents per mile, and MileagePlus is a Chase transfer partner. Lufthansa award inventory is also often available via Avianca LifeMiles, one of the best points currencies to purchase, due to plentiful bonus promos. Of course, booking via Lufthansa’s own Miles & More program is always an option too.

Featured photo courtesy of Lufthansa.

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