In yet another cost-cutting move, Lufthansa says it will axe free liquor on long-haul flights for Economy and Premium Economy Class passengers. Justifying the decision, Lufthansa said it was introducing a new service concept that lets passengers buy personalised snacks in between normal mealtimes.
Earlier this year, Lufthansa cut free snacks and drinks for Economy Class passengers on short-haul routes in favour of a buy on board service, while the airline is also trying to sell spare seats on long-haul flights by introducing a ‘sleepers row’.
“Only the spirits, which were still given out as freebies before the pandemic, will be transferred to the chargeable range,” noted a Lufthansa spokesperson after details of the service cuts were leaked.
The airline will continue to offer beer, wines and soft drinks for free on long-haul flights, while passengers will be able to choose from a range of snacks and other products to buy in between normal meal times.
Deflecting criticism of the cost-cuts, a spokesperson said the airline was “responding to the diverse needs of guests when it comes to choosing food and beverages on board”.
“Especially in the time between services, guests’ needs are very individual — instead of a standard product, they want more choice and high quality”.
The decision to cut free liquor will bring Lufthansa in line with some of its northern European competitors including Finnair and SAS which haven’t offered complimentary spirits for a number of years.
In the highly competitive European market, the decision could also encourage rivals to make similar cuts in the not too distant future.
Such cuts have, however, proved controversial in the past. British Airways, in particular, had to roll back service cuts on long-haul flights, deciding to provide more food to Economy Class customers rather than trying to sell snacks.
American Airlines and United also only offer free beer and wine for Economy Class passengers on transatlantic services, while Delta and jetBlue offer a full selection of alcoholic beverages including spirits.
TOTH: One Mile at a Time
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.