Airlines love them but passengers hate them – those extra charges for changing seats, checking in suitcases, sitting in the exit row or obtaining pillows, snacks or headphones in flight.Now Lufthansa is about to climb on the bandwagon, though it won’t be going as far as some other carriers.
The German airline plans to overhaul its fares and ticketing structure to charge passengers extra for checked baggage, seat reservations and flight changes or cancellations, German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports.
The paper quotes Lufthansa’s chief commercial officer, Jens Bischof, saying that from October the airline will bring in three tiers of economy-class fare – Light, Classic and Flex. ‘Light’ will be a budget fare for passengers travelling with carry-on luggage only.
About one-third of all airline passengers in Europe and Germany travel with just carry-on luggage, according to Bischof.
The tickets will go on sale next week. Lufthansa will still offer carry-on luggage rights, seat reservation and bonus miles programs, free snacks and refreshments on all flights under the new system.
Its Classic fare will include free seat reservations and free baggage allowance. Its Flex fare offers maximum flexibility, such as free rebooking.
While the new system will apply initially only to flights in Germany and Europe, the airline says it may eventually expand it to long-haul routes.
Travellers in Australia and New Zealand will already be familiar with such fare structures on their own domestic carriers.
Written by Peter Needham