Farewell to the Fifth Star: Skytrax Downgrades Lufthansa to a 4-Star Airline

Lufthansa A350

In December 2017, Lufthansa received a special honour: it was rated the only 5-star airline in Europe by the rating company SkyTrax. The British company thus put the German airline on a par with Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Qatar Airways.

Even then, the decision caused headaches in frequent flyer circles. Since then, however, Lufthansa has once again significantly reduced the in-flight product: Among other things, the free baggage allowance on long-haul routes, free catering on European flights and most recently also the seat selection at check-in (within Europe) have been eliminated.

This development has not gone unnoticed at Skytrax either: today it was announced that the 5-Star-Hansa has lost a star. It is now only listed as a 4-star airline on the Skytrax website. Now it is on a par with Air France, Iberia, British Airways, Austrian, Swiss and others.

From now on, Lufthansa is only a 4-star airline

Where Lufthansa Has Lost Stars

A comparison between the new rating on Skytrax and the old version in the internet archive shows where Lufthansa has gotten worse according to SkyTrax. Apparently, Lufthansa used to be better in four categories:

  • Long-haul premium economy: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
  • Long-haul economy class: 5 stars → 3.5 stars
  • Short-haul business class: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
  • Short-haul economy class: 4 stars → 3.5 stars

The downgrade of the long-haul economy class is the most serious: it fell from 5 stars to 3.5.

Lufthansa Skytrax alt neu Vergleich 2022
Lufthansa’s new (left) and old (right) Skytrax rating in comparison

Detailed ratings of each class are also available on Skytrax. Apparently, not all classifications have been updated there yet. Although the premium economy and short-haul business class have been significantly downgraded, nothing has changed there.

With regard to economy class on short and long-haul routes, we have been looking for changes. We noticed the following downgrades:


Premium Economy Class

  • Detailed ratings have not yet been updated

Economy Class

Lufthansa’s cost-cutting measures are having a strong impact on in-flight products. Food & drinks have been significantly downgraded. There were also minor changes in service:

  • Product:
    • Quality of the meals: 4.5 stars → 3 stars
    • Amount of meals: 4 stars → 3 stars
    • Selection of wines & drinks: 4 stars → 3 stars
  • Service:
    • Speed & timing: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Hospitality: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Interaction with customers: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Service consistency: 4.5 stars → 4 stars

Short and Medium-Haul

Business Class

  • Detailed ratings have not yet been updated

Economy Class

The introduction of the buy-on-board concept is making an impact here. As for food & drinks, the rating goes down from 4 stars to 0.5:

  • Product:
    • Free meals/snacks: 4 stars → 0.5 stars
    • Free drinks: 4 stars → 0.5 stars
  • Service:
    • Speed & timing: 5 stars → 4 stars
    • Enthusiasm and friendliness: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Hospitality: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Handling passenger requests: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
    • Service consistency: 4.5 stars → 4 stars
Short-haul economy class: old (left) and new (right) ratings of the in-flight product


In view of the numerous cost-cutting measures in recent years, Lufthansa’s downgrade was long overdue. The German flagship carrier is (unfortunately) not even close to keeping up with the airlines from Asia. The service in economy class is now a tragedy – on both long and short-haul routes. And even the business class no longer holds up in comparison with the competition.

Incidentally, the 5-star award is still listed on Lufthansa’s website. However, this section should soon disappear.

Thanks to Flyertalk user oliver2002 for informing us

Cover Picture: Photo by Lukas Souza on Unsplash

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Comments (2)

  1. Heribert Staudinger says:

    My recent experience with Lufthansa was pretty terrible. They lost my luggage on a flight from Paris to Frankfurt, there was no person in the same terminal to talk to. They did send it to my hotel a day later. Two days later, the flight from Frankfurt to Newark on a poorly maintained 747-800 (broken table in business class made it almost impossible to eat for one of my fellow passengers. Check-in in Frankfurt, long lines in front of the business class check in, clearly understaffed. It is really sad where Lufthansa got after really good years. The pilot union appears to have a great sense of entitlement, it just called for the second strike in just over a month making flying with Lufthansa a big gamble. That despite of pensions employees in other countries can just dream of.

  2. Jinping xi says:

    Even 4* is overrated !! How dare Lufthansa could be the same grade as AF

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