Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian will remove free food, snacks and drinks from economy class on all short and medium haul routes.
The decision to ditch complimentary food and beverages on board its flights was announced this week in a Lufthansa Group press release.
Instead of offering a free snack or meal, as well as complimentary beverages, the Lufthansa Group airlines will now move to a full buy-on-board program.
Reportedly, Lufthansa and SWISS will still offer its passengers a complimentary water bottle, but everything else has to be bought on board from the crew. According to online media, Austrian will allegedly not even hand out free water bottles.
Starting spring 2021: Selected, high-quality food and beverages for purchase at @Lufthansa, @FlySWISS & @_austrian in Economy Class on short- and medium-haul flights. https://t.co/l2nbbqLk4n pic.twitter.com/1JyGcOiydm
— Lufthansa News (@lufthansaNews) November 17, 2020
Although the decision to remove free snacks and drinks from the flights is likely to be very unpopular with passengers, Lufthansa Group tries to spin the news to make it sound like a positive move.
Mentioning “high-quality foods and beverages” and a “broad selection” of items, the airline group thinks it is actually a move which their passengers will appreciate.
Lufthansa Group executive board member Christina Foerster said: “Our current snack offer in Economy Class does not always meet the expectations of our guests.
“The new offer was developed on the basis of feedback from our customers. With the high-quality offer available for purchase, our passengers will be able to decide what they want to eat and drink on their journey.”
Working in journalism, I can only say that it really sounds like a lot of typical PR hogwash to me. Sure, if you ask passengers whether they want more choice and better quality food, they will answer ‘yes’ without a doubt.
Yet I’ve never encountered a passenger who would come up with “yes remove those free snacks and beverages!” or “let’s move to a Ryanair low-cost model” as proposed solutions.
To me, removing free snacks and drinks means a sad devaluation of the Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss brand. That said, the airlines are not alone, as previously British Airways already removed complimentary snacks and drinks from its intra-European flights.
Lufthansa Group carriers Brussels Airlines and Eurowings already had buy-on-board menus on their intra-European flights as well.
What to expect on board?
The new buy-on-board menu will only apply to short and mid-haul routes, starting in spring 2021. On long-haul flights, Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss will still serve complimentary food and drinks.
If you fly in business class on Austrian, Lufthansa or Swiss, then nothing will change as you will still get a complimentary premium snack or meal, as well as drinks.
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