Lufthansa Group: Seat Selection No Longer Included in European Light Fares

Lufthansa Swiss Austrian

Customers of Star Alliance member and German flag carrier Lufthansa have gotten used to bad news over the past two years. While prices remain steady or rise, more and more formerly included services now come with an extra price tag. The latest casualty of that trend is the free seat selection on Inner-European flights.

Until recently, passengers could choose their seat for free when checking in online 24 hours before departure. As of now, seat selection has been randomized. Switching seats comes with the hefty price tag of at least €25/CHF35.

According to our research, Lufthansa altered texts regarding seat selection on May 24, 2022. Fellow blog YHBU was first to report and confirm the news on Sunday.

Changes Affect Light Fares Only

The new regulations only affect passengers who booked the economy light fare. Economy classic passengers can still choose their seats for free, except places with extra-legroom like the exit rows, that come at an extra cost. That fare is usually €25 more expensive and also includes a checked bag up to 23 kg.

As of now, there is no word on the effects of Senator, HON Circle and other Star Alliance Gold members. What we do know is that fellow Lufthansa Group airlines SWISS and Austrian Airlines will adapt the changes, too. SWISS plans to charge for seat selection starting June 21. Austrian intends to catch up in or before September 2022.

Lufthansa A320 Kabine
Not content with the middle seat? It’s shut up or pay up now for Economy Light passengers in LH planes.

The Downward Spiral Continues

This development is only the latest piece in a long list of downgrades since 2020. Starting with the start of pandemic measures in March of that year, Lufthansa announced the following changes:

  • Cancelling a bevy of contract lounges (some have been renewed since).
  • Permanent closure of five Lufthansa lounges in German airports.
  • Charging for previously free food and beverage services on European flights (now reduced to water).
  • Re-introduction of previously waived rebooking fees.

While the market pressures European airlines into overhauling their cost and revenue structure, the product of so-called legacy carriers like Lufthansa and low cost competition like Ryanair gets more and more similar. Many of Europe’s bigger airlines only differentiate themselves from their budget competition by name and connecting possibilities only. Included services become more and more identical.

Cover Picture: © Deutsche Lufthansa AG

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