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.
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