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Lufthansa Starts ‘Hate Selling’ Tickets to Put People Off Flying This Summer

Lufthansa Starts ‘Hate Selling’ Tickets to Put People Off Flying This Summer

German flag carrier Lufthansa has become the latest airline to deliberately raise the prices of flights this summer in a bid to dissuade people from actually booking a ticket.

Like many other airlines, particularly in Europe, Lufthansa is concerned it can’t cope with the level of demand for travel after the lifting of pandemic restrictions saw a massive surge know ticket sales.

Lufthansa initially raced to meet that demand with increased capacity but it has become increasingly obvious that the airline doesn’t have the staff or resources to serve the number of customers that want to fly with the airline this summer.

For the month of July, Lufthansa has now reduced all new short-haul ticket sales to the most expensive ‘fare bucket’ offered. A round-trip ticket from London to Munich in Ecomy now costs €1,035, while a return trip from Frankfurt to Paris with direct flights on Lufthansa costs €1,039.

Google Flights suggests that the cost of flights between Frankfurt and Paris usually cost between €167 and €376.

Lufthansa has already cancelled more than 1,000 flights up to the end of July in a bid to reduce the pressure on its overwhelmed operation. The ‘hate selling’ technique allows the airline to partially cap passenger loads on the flights that are still operating.

A decision like this would normally only have been made after an airline’s revenue management department had surpassed its targets for the time frame in question.

A spokesperson for Lufthansa suggested, however, that the decision had been made in order to keep seats open in order to accommodate passengers on cancelled flights.

Earlier this week, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr apologised to frequent flyers for the travel chaos that has gripped European aviation this summer. Spohr admitted Lufthansa had made mistake during the pandemic but framed those decisions in the context of desperately trying to save costs as the airline was losing hundreds of millions of Euros.

“We certainly made mistakes while saving our company and more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years,” Spohr said in an internal memo.

“Did we go too far in cutting costs here and there, under the pressure of the more than 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in pandemic-related losses? Certainly, that too,” he continued.

Yesterday, the German government approved plans to hire temporary airport workers from Turkey but analysts believe the emergency measures won’t come quickly enough to save the summer.

View Comments (8)
  • Lufthansa certainly did a lot wrong by reducing its staff much too strongly, just like most other airlines and airports. But whoever thought flying from Germany to Mallorca for €49 was fine, has nothing to complain about. It’s a question of supply and demand. Operational reductions due staff shortage put up the fares. Simple market laws.

    • I agree… Supply and Demand. And the airlines knew 5+ years ago that a shortage of pilots was on the horizon. People graduating pilot training were down, and after the bankruptcies of multiple airlines in 2009 and the years that followed, decimating attractive retirement pensions and benefits to make up for meager pay early in pilots’ and flight attendants’ wages, have all contributed to airline industry careers being far less attractive, just like the service industry. A reckoning was coming, and it is here now. Corporate executives will need to recalibrate compensation to pay the people who actually perform the work, acknowledge passengers’ pleas for comfort & flexibility, and claw back the greed lining executives’ bank accounts.

  • I work for an airline. They can block seats and withhold them from inventory if they really want to have spare seats. They just want to make the maximum revenue. This Lufthansa spokesperson is blowing smoke.

    • The idea is indeed selling more seats only at high prices. This will enable those that absolutely have to travel to do so at high fares – these people are used to pay high fares anyway – and at the same time will result in the empty seats needed to accomodate passengers from flights that had to be cancelled at short notice and take some strain of the system. Airlines have made substantial losses the past 30 months and of course try to enlarge revenue.

  • Why not just stop selling tickets when capacity is reached? A “sold out” sign is pefectly acceptable.

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