As part of its effort to recoup some of its pandemic losses, Lufthansa will begin charging Economy and Premium Economy passengers for mid-flight refreshments and drinks on long-haul flights beginning December 1.
Justifying the cutbacks, Lufthansa said that rather than trying to save costs, the new ‘buy onboard service was how the airline was” responding to the different needs of guests when it comes to choosing food and beverages onboard”.
On long-haul routes, Lufthansa will continue to serve a three-course main meal and a cold vegetarian snack before landing, but customers will have to pay if they wish to eat at any other time.
“Especially between meals, guests’ wishes are very individual – Lufthansa is meeting this demand now with a wider selection,” a spokesperson said on Tuesday as the German flag carrier tried to put a positive spin on the move.
Along with charging passengers for mid-flight refreshments, the allegedly “five-star” airline would stop providing free wine to non-premium travelers. Popular spirits such as gin and rum will be priced at €6, while ‘luxury’ spirits such as Grey Goose vodka and Dewar’s whiskey will be priced at €7.
From December 1, the new onboard cuisine will be available on 37 long-haul routes between Germany and North America, South America, Asia, and South Africa. The snack bar will be available on Lufthansa’s complete long-haul route network by next Spring.
Lufthansa removed free food and drinks for Economy Class passengers on short-haul routes earlier this year in favor of a buy-on-board service, and the airline is also attempting to sell extra seats on long-haul flights by establishing sleepers row.’
A spokesperson said the short-haul buy on board had so far proved “very popular”. The buy-on-board offer on both short-haul and long-haul flights will be known as “Onboard Delights”.
On long-haul flights, Lufthansa will continue to offer a selection of complimentary non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer. Light food alternatives such as chips, Haribo chocolates, and cookies are available for purchase onboard.