Lufthansa is introducing a three-tier Economy Class fare structure this autumn for all its flights within Europe.
The airline is calling its three intra-Europe Economy fare tiers Light, Classic and Flex. Passengers flying on Lufthansa will also still be able to buy Business Class fares on the carrier’s intra-Europe flights.
Lufthansa will open bookings for the new Economy Class fare tiers this summer and will make the pricing and service details for each tier on each route available when it begins selling the new fare categories.
According to the airline, its new Light fare will present the best-value option for passengers who are only traveling with carry-on baggage and who do not wish to check in any luggage. Light fares will not allow passengers to change their bookings and will be non-refundable.
Classic fares will allow passengers to take one piece of checked luggage free of charge and will give passengers the opportunity to reserve their preferred seats as soon as they make their bookings.
If the passenger finds it necessary to rebook, the Classic fares allow rebookings for a fee.
According to Lufthansa, the Flex fare tier will offer the most flexible overall Economy Class service package. It will include many services, as well as the possibility to rebook at no charge and, if necessary, to obtain a refund for a fee.
In addition, travelers who have booked a Flex fare will be able to take an earlier flight on the day of their booking without being required to pay a surcharge for what may be a more expensive booking category.
Business Class bookings will still be available to business and leisure travelers on all of Lufthansa’s intra-Europe flights.
All Business Class fares will include the usual benefits, such as lounge access, a greater free baggage allowance, an unoccupied neighboring seat for more privacy and extra air miles in Lufthansa Group’s Miles & More frequent-flyer program.
Lufthansa says it will display clearly to travel agencies and passenger the services and features offered for each of the three new Economy Class fares, which will always be available on every intra-Europe flight.
The airline says its fare displays will make it quicker and easier to compare at a glance the services offered with each of the three categories of fares.
It will also be possible to combine different fare options when booking outward and return flights, according to Lufthansa.
The carrier says that, no matter which Economy fare tier a passenger chooses, all passengers will still receive complimentary drink and snack service on board.
They will also be able to take carry-on luggage on board, select their seat when checking in less than 23 hours before departure and earn miles with Miles & More: these will remain set features of a Lufthansa flight, with no extra charge.
Ticket prices for each of the three new European Economy Class fare tiers will depend on the route and the level of availability.
In other Lufthansa news, the carrier has confirmed that it will begin serving Malé, the capital of The Maldives, from Frankfurt this fall.
The new route will be another of the new leisure-oriented services to be operated by the carrier’s new lower-cost operation internally code-named ‘Jump’, which will operate all its routes with Airbus A340-300 widebodies configured to seat 298 passengers in three cabin classes: Business, Premium Economy and Economy.
In associated news, Lufthansa expects to complete the cabin refurbishment of every aircraft in its long-haul fleet during the third quarter of 2015, bringing the largest and most comprehensive retrofit program in the company’s history to a successful close.
Since 2011, Lufthansa has invested an average of around €1 million ($1.1 million) per day in refitting the cabins of its long-haul aircraft, investing a total of approximately €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) in the program.
Some 39,000 seats have been either replaced, modified, or in the case of new aircraft, installed in Lufthansa’s long-haul aircraft: 600 seats in First Class, 7,000 seats in Business Class and more than 27,600 seats in Economy Class.
Approximately 3,600 seats are being fitted in the new Premium Economy cabins on Lufthansa’s 106 long-haul aircraft.
Premium Economy seating is currently available on 30 Lufthansa long-haul aircraft and the carrier says that passengers will be able to travel in Premium Economy on all Lufthansa intercontinental flights by the end of this year.
Lufthansa is also installing its new FlyNet broadband Wi-Fi service in all its long-haul aircraft cabins as part of the airline’s cabin refurbishment program.
FlyNet, which provides broadband internet access via an onboard Wi-Fi network, will become available on all Lufthansa long-haul flights in the coming months.
The FlyNet service includes onboard access to the FlyNet online portal. The portal offers the latest news programs and the Sport24 live TV channel, which broadcasts major sporting events live.