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I’m considering a trip to Cuba next month, so I wrote about the paid flight and award flight options last week. I can now confirm that Americans can use Lufthansa Miles & More Miles to book Avianca and Copa flights to/from Cuba.
You can even book these commercial flights from the United States to Cuba via Panama, and the awards are super cheap.
In Cheapest Flights and Awards To & From Cuba, I mentioned that there is award space from the United States to Panama to Havana on Copa Airlines.
These flights are not bookable with United miles because United pretends like Havana doesn’t exist online and by phone.
These flights appear to be bookable with LifeMiles. Unfortunately the only easy way to get LifeMiles is when they are on sale for 1.65 cents each (not currently), and I don’t have any.
I went looking for other foreign Star Alliance options to book the flights. Lufthansa–the German airline–is also a member of the Star Alliance, so it partners Copa and Avianca. Its Miles & More award chart shows a great price of 17,000 miles one way or 35,000 miles roundtrip to Central America or the Caribbean from the United States. I called Lufthansa to try to book awards to Cuba, and it worked!
First I tried to book Bogota to Havana on Avianca because I may want to combine Cuba with a return to Colombia, but the flight costs $400+ one way between Colombia and Cuba.
I searched lifemiles.com for award space on the direct Avianca flight. I found plenty of award space in both directions. (I believe partners have access to all the space in the “Limited Seats” columns.)
I called the British Miles & More service center at +44 371 – 945 97 37. Perhaps the American service center would be just as able to book Cuba flights, but at 1 cent per minute via gmail, I’d rather just call a foreign service center.
I fed the agent my date, and she priced the Bogota to Havana segment at 17,000 LifeMiles + $15. Fantastic!
She priced that award–Washington-Dulles to Havana–for 17,000 Miles & More miles and 4.5 GBP ($7.)
We got to me handing over my credit card, and I disconnected. I’m still not 100% sure I’ll travel to Cuba, but hopefully I’ll decide this week and book my flights.
Will I Have Trouble in Washington?
When I check in at Dulles, and the agent sees I have a flight to Cuba, will my flights be cancelled? I don’t know. In a worst-case scenario, I’d ask her to just print my boarding pass to Panama, and I’d collect my boarding pass to Havana there. If anyone has booked an award from the United States to Cuba and actually flown it, please share your experiences.
Lufthansa is willing to ticket awards from the United States to Cuba for 17,000 miles one way plus minimal taxes. Copa has several destinations in America from which you can get to Cuba with only one connection in Panama. If you don’t live in one of those cities, you can connect on United and Copa flights to Panama and then to Havana on your Miles & More award.
Lufthansa Miles & More is a 1:1 transfer partner of SPG Starpoints, and every 20,000 Starpoints transferred earns a 5,000 mile bonus. You can get the 35,000 miles you need for a roundtrip to Cuba by transferring 30,000 Starpoints to Miles & More.