Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest may well be cancelled this year but this complication isn’t going to stop Lufthansa celebrating the festival. Sadly, even Lufthansa will be cutting back its usual Oktoberfest celebrations but the airline will be holding onto its ‘Trachtencrew’ tradition – flights crewed by flight attendants in traditional Bavarian costumes.
Back in April, the German state of Bavaria announced it wouldn’t be able to proceed with the “biggest and most beautiful beer festival in the world” because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The annual event was originally slated to take place between September 19 and October 4 with an estimated six million visitors descending on Munich from around the world.
The risk of COVID-19 infection in the crowded beer tents was simply too high and officials took the decision to cancel the festival until there’s either a vaccine or medical treatment for the novel Coronavirus. “Not to let it happen is a bitter pill to swallow,” commented Munich’s Lord Mayor, Dieter Reiter at the time.
So while large scale Oktoberfest celebrations are curtailed in 2020, Germany’s national flag carrier will at least have its specially-selected Trachtencrew operating on a long-haul flight between Munich and New York Newark on September 22.
More Trachtencrew will take to the skies on select Lufthansa CityLine short-haul flights between September 21 to September 25. Destinations for the crew include Copenhagen, Helsinki, Manchester, Berlin and Vienna and to the holiday destinations of Santorini and Sylt.
Traditionally dressed in Dirndl dresses and Lederhosen, the Trachtencrew were first introduced by Lufthansa to celebrate Oktoberfest back in 1957. After a hiatus of many years, the tradition was once again resurrected in 2006. Since then, the Trachtencrew have flown flights to 25 long-haul destinations around the world.
In 2018, Lufthansa even brought back another tradition just for Oktoberfest – serving fresh draft beer from a keg at 38,000 feet. Lufthansa has no plans to bring back the keg for 2020 but passengers will at least be able to request a Weissbier. Business Class passengers will also be served trout and Bavarian cream throughout the month of September and Lufthansa lounges will be offering traditional Bavarian treats.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.