Service Downgrade: No More Snacks & Drinks on Lufthansa Group Short-Haul Flights

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The Lufthansa Group is still trying to cut its losses. They just announced that starting in spring 2021, Lufthansa, Swiss, & Austrian will no longer be offering free snacks & drinks on their short-haul and medium-haul routes. The ticket price will then only still include a bottle of water. Everything else needs to be purchased separately, for which a buy-on-board menu will be introduced.

Of course, Lufthansa is once again trying to sell its decision as a positive change. In the press release, besides a lot of superfluous text about how great this change really is, it clearly says:

The standard, complimentary snack will no longer be served in the future.

The new catering concept will apply to Lufthansa, Austrian, and Swiss’ short-haul and medium-haul routes. It could therefore be, that even rather long flights, e.g. to Athens, Lisbon, and possibly even Cairo may be affected. Due to the long flight-time and/or the competitors’ offers, those routes used to even have a warm meal service. This will probably then become a thing of the past, just like the granola bar on short-haul flights.

Lufthansa is also drastically cutting its drinks-service. Except for very short routes, you could always choose from various options, such as coffee, orange juice, soft drinks, or even a glass of wine. From 2021 onward, you’ll only get a bottle of water (and not even that on Austrian flights). In business class, nothing changes.

Swiss had already introduced a buy-on-board menu in 2018 for flights from Geneva to be able to compete with Easyjet. Snack & drinks (except water) had also been cut there, but only for passengers traveling on an Economy Light fare.


Lufthansa states:

Our current snack offer in Economy Class does not always meet the expectations of our guests

… and they’re absolutely right. Giving the passengers a granola bar or a dry sandwich absolutely does not meet the expectations set for a premium airline. This, however, does not improve if you cut the snack and drinks. While the granola bar may not be a big loss, the drinks are quite a hard-hitting cut. The Lufthansa Group is gradually mutating into a group of low-cost carriers but without a matching price policy.

Translated by Ditmar Lange

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Comments (2)

  1. DRV says:

    To be very honest, Brussels Airlines has already used this method and I do prefer it.
    I flew a lot with Lufthansa short haul economy (2-4 times per month), most of the time they serve just a very small cheese/ham sandwich or snack which in my opinion is almost nothing to eat. While in Brussels Airlines you can buy a decent hot meals, oven fries, pasta and a wide varity of sandwiches for between 3-10 euro a set. This gives me a better choice and when you don’t have time to buy food.

    • Laszlo says:

      I don’t fully agree, the cheese and salami sandwich are quite decent, especially for a first leg outside of germany. The 50 then 33cl warsteiner were also a good added value. Now I will fill my needs at the lounge, which isnt always easy when you have short layover. This is without saying that SN prices are most of the time a bargain vs LH/LX/OS prices, so a BoB is acceptable.

      Quite disappointed here tbh..

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