Lufthansa takes punitive measures with light economy seat assignments
The gap between Lufthansa and Ryanair has narrowed even further. Not in terms of prices, but in terms of passenger experience.
Lufthansa Adds $35 Seat Adjustment Fee
Lufthansa Economy Light fares do not include pre-allocation of seats. Until now, it was possible to select a seat at the time of check-in when booking a light economy ticket, from all the remaining vacant economy seats. As Lufthansa has described this option so far:
Of course, all remaining seats can still be selected free of charge once check-in for the relevant flight begins, usually 23 hours before departure. Please note that, in this case, the choice can be limited in some cases.
I think it’s particularly noteworthy how Lufthansa describes this as “of course” (“Selbstverständlich” in German), essentially suggesting that it would be silly to have any other policy.
Well, “of course” everyone’s favorite five-star European airline has a new policy:
The light Economy Class fare on European routes does not include any free advance seat reservations. You will be automatically assigned a seat upon check-in. If you wish to change this seat, an adjustment fee will be charged starting from €25 / CHF 35 / US$35 as of 21.6.2022.
From 1 June 2022, Lufthansa will allocate economy seats at the time of check-in when traveling on light economy tickets. If you don’t like your seat, you will have to pay an “adjustment fee” starting at $35. So yes, you can bet that you will likely be assigned an average seat, and if you don’t want to, you can pay a €25 (or $35) fee for the privilege of a better seat assignment.
What are the prices of Lufthansa Economy Light tickets?
Economy Lite is Lufthansa’s version of the basic economy fares we have with the major legacy airlines in the US. Lufthansa Economy Light Ticket Prices:
- Include a handbag, standard economy food and beverage offerings, the ability to earn miles and status credits
- Do not include upfront seat assignments or refunds; For a fee, you can pre-book seat assignments and receive a checked bag
Suffice it to say that many people may be happy to book these rates when they can at least choose a seat at check-in. However, I imagine the economy changes if you have to spend at least 50 euros for round trip seat assignments.
Lufthansa has added a new €25 fee for seat assignment after check-in on its light economy class fares. With the old policy, you can choose any empty “normal” economy seat 24 hours before departure, when check-in opens. Now the system will automatically assign you a seat (maybe a middle one), and if you want to change it, you will have to pay.
For some, I’m sure this will change the value proposition of Lufthansa Economy Light Tickets.
What do you think about changing the seat policy for “Lufthansa Light Economy”?
(hat head for YHBU)