Lufthansa starts charging for alcohol on long-haul flights


With the launch of its new “Onboard Delights Interkont” catering concept, Lufthansa will start charging for spirits in economy class on long-haul flights. Meals will remain free, as will the beer and wine that will accompany them. The concept is expected to begin testing in mid-October and launch on Lufthansa’s intercontinental network in December.

Lufthansa is testing its new “Onboard Delights Interkont” concept on routes to the United States in mid-October. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Theft

“No more free schnapps”

At times like these, and ahead of the upcoming state aid calculation, airlines need more than ever to find ways to cut spending. While the industry appears to be recovering from the worst of the crisis, carriers are still a long way from their usual revenue figures.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr could challenge the single-digit ticket prices of his airline’s low-cost competitors. However, when it comes to catering, Lufthansa is not against taking a sheet from the LCC book. In January of this year, the airline phased out free food and drinks in short-haul economy class, replacing them with the “Delights on board” on-board shopping menu.

Lufthansa is now also changing its concept of long-haul catering and will soon no longer offer stronger alcoholic beverages to economy class customers free of charge. Or, in the words of the German-speaking aviation news agency, aeroTELEGRAPH – “no more free schnapps on Lufthansa’s long-haul routes”.

Lufthansa starts charging for alcohol on long-haul flights
The airline has already removed free food and drink for economy class passengers on short-haul services. Photo: Lufthansa

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Onboard Delights Interkont will be rolled out before the end of the year

The new restaurant menu concept will be known as “Onboard Delights Interkont”. Economy Class passengers will still be offered free beer and wine, but will have to pay for any alcoholic beverages they wish to consume on board.

According to One Mile At A Time, Lufthansa is expected to test the new service idea on routes to Boston and LAX from mid-month. Meanwhile, the carrier plans to roll out the concept across all of its long-haul services before the end of the year.

Lufthansa A330
The airline said “high quality snacks and drinks” will be offered between free meals. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

“Better meet individual needs”

However, there is a clear difference between the short-haul “Onboard Delights” and its intercontinental sibling concept. There will always be free food and drink in economy class on Lufthansa long-haul flights (except for the spirits mentioned above). Rather, the new menu will serve as an additional offer. A Lufthansa spokesperson shared the following statement with Simple Flying,

“Lufthansa Product Management is currently working on developing the economy class culinary offer on long-haul flights. It’s already clear that passengers will continue to receive a range of free meals and drinks. In addition, a wide selection of high-quality snacks and drinks will be offered for purchase between meals in the future to better meet individual customer wishes.

What do you think of Lufthansa’s new intercontinental catering concept? Will you miss free alcohol? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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