In another cost-cutting measure, Lufthansa has announced that it will phase out free alcoholic beverages on long-haul flights for Economy and Premium Economy class passengers. Justifying the move, Lufthansa said it was introducing a new service concept that allows passengers to purchase personalized snacks between normal meals.
Earlier this year, Lufthansa cut free snacks and drinks for economy class passengers on short-haul routes in favor of an on-board shopping service, while the airline is also trying to sell additional seats on long-haul flights by introducing a ‘row of berths’.
“Only spirits, which were still offered as gifts before the pandemic, will be transferred to the paid range,” noted a spokesperson for Lufthansa after details of the service cuts were disclosed.
The airline will continue to offer free beer, wine and soft drinks on long-haul flights, while passengers will be able to choose from a range of snacks and other items to purchase between normal meal times. .
Turning away from criticism of the cost cuts, a spokesperson said the airline “is catering to the diverse needs of customers for the choice of food and drink on board.”
“Especially between services, customers’ needs are very individual – instead of a standard product, they want more choice and high quality”.
The move to cut free liquor will allow Lufthansa to align with some of its northern European competitors, including Finnair and SAS, which have not offered free liquor for several years.
In the fiercely competitive European market, the move could also prompt competitors to make similar cuts in the not too distant future.
However, such reductions have been the subject of controversy in the past. British Airways, in particular, had to reverse 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.
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