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.
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.