Star Alliance member Lufthansa has started a nice sale for business class seats from several European airports to Baku, Azerbaijan and Tbilisi, Georgia. While the prices below €400 are close to common economy fares with checked bags on these routes, sadly the hard product is, too. All flights are operated by Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Lufthansa’s European business class. A stop in Frankfurt or Munich is necessary each way.
Lufthansa’s rebooking policies don’t allow you to cancel your flight for a refund. You may change travel dates without an extra fee, but you’d still have to pay the price difference, which can easily exceed several €100.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
Tickets to Tbilisi are available at this price:
- Amsterdam at €339
- Milan at €339
- Warsaw at €340 (~PLN 1,560)
- Luxembourg at €342
- Brussels at €349
- Stockholm at €359 (~SEK 3,747)
- Madrid at €364
- Oslo at €370 (~NOK 3,711)
And these are the fares to Baku:
- Amsterdam at €378
- Milan at €379
- Warsaw at €380 (~PLN 1,743)
- Luxembourg at €382
- Brussels at €386
- Stockholm at €397 (~SEK 4,143)
- Madrid at €404
- Oslo at €410 (~NOK 4,112)
In most cases, you will find similar prices from other origins within the same country, like Barcelona or Rome.
Carriers & Seats
To Tbilisi, Lufthansa offers a nonstop roundtrip from Munich. This time, the red-eye service is the outbound flight. You will get back to Munich without a stop in Baku. Flights are operated by Airbus A320 aircraft.
When going to Azerbaijan, flights arrive in Baku in the late evening (23:20), with a stop in Tbilisi interrupting the outbound. The return trip starts with a five-hour red eye flight from Baku to Frankfurt.
Even the longer segments are Lufthansa’s European business class. While the soft product is significantly better than in economy, the hard product is the same except for a blocked middle seat. The biggest differences are a warm meal on each flight, two checked bags up to 23 kg each, lounge access and priority services.
Search & Book
The fare rules don’t give a sales or a travel period. The only thing mentioned is a minimum stay of either a Saturday or a Sunday. According to Google Flights, there is splendid availability all the way until May 2022
This is also the best place to find suiting flight dates or further origins. We strongly recommend booking directly with the airline.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Lufthansa issues tickets for all flight segments in booking class P. Members of Star Alliance frequent flyer programs can expect to earn the following mileage for an Amsterdam to Tbilisi roundtrip:
- 6,976 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 5,208 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 4,166 Award Miles + 834 PQP on United MileagePlus
- 4,166 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 4,166 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 4,166 Miles on LATAM Pass
- 3,000 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 2,916 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 2,082 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 1,008 Award Miles + 3,000 Tier Miles on Miles&More
Cover Picture: © ET1972