Lufthansa unveils new buy-on-board menu
Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.
On Monday, Lufthansa detailed its new buy-on-board menus for short- and medium-haul flights, expanding on the announcement it first made in November 2020.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Starting with the launch of the airline's summer 2021 schedule, passengers will be able to order items from the new menu on flights of at least 60 minutes. The exact start date is unknown.
Related: You can now book a lie-flat economy seat with Lufthansa
Prices are expected to range from around two euro ($2.42) for snacks and up to 12 euro ($14.55) for larger meals.
Lufthansa has partnered with dean&david, a German restaurant. The menu will include a selection of healthy, high-quality meals such as salmon avocado bowls and bircher muesli breakfast options.
The main meals will be accompanied with a selection of cakes and snacks from other caterers — also for purchase. For hot drinks, confectionery and patisserie, Lufthansa has partnered with Dallymayr, a company that uses an Ethiopian cultivation project for its coffee. The airline has also detailed that there will be a "large selection" of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
And finally, for those passengers who do not wish to spend money on a buy-on-board menu, Lufthansa and Swiss will continue to serve bottles of water and a "small chocolate surprise" for free, though Austrian will not.
"Our partners dean&david and Dallmayr represent outstanding quality and responsible action," said Christina Foerster, a member of Lufthansa's Executive Board. "In addition to the satisfaction of our guests, the topic of responsibility for the environment is also very important to us. We use almost exclusively sustainable materials for our packaging."
There will be no changes to business class and long-haul economy flights.
Related: Watch TPG UK review all 4 Lufthansa classes of service
Previously, Lufthansa, Swiss, and Austrian offered free snacks, sandwiches or hot meals on most flights, as well as free drinks, including alcohol. Although simplified, these airlines have even continued to offer some form of service on most short- and medium-haul flights during the pandemic.
Swiss has also confirmed that it will continue its tradition of handing out its signature “Thank you for flying Swiss” chocolates to all passengers. Likewise, Austrian will give passengers a sweet “Signature Treat” on flights lasting up to 180 minutes.
Why are these changes happening?
The timing of these changes may seem a bit strange given that demand for travel is still down and that this would be increasing contact between passengers and crew members.
However, this is likely something that the airline group was planning to do for a while now. British Airways has been offering buy-on-board catering in short-haul economy for several years now and the concept has been successful with Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiaries Eurowings and Brussels Airlines. Additionally, Swiss has been testing buy-on-board options on short-haul flights out of Geneva since 2018.
Related: Speedbird Café: British Airways unveils new pre-order menu for short-haul flights
According to executive board member Christina Foerster, “Our current snack offer in economy class does not always meet the expectations of our guests. The new offer was developed on the basis of feedback from our customers."
Related: Lufthansa’s new short-haul economy seats offer increased recline and USB power ports
Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian will be eliminating free food and drinks on short and medium-haul economy flights this year. Although this change was inevitable with the rise of competition from low-cost carriers, it’s disappointing nonetheless. It wouldn’t be surprising if other full-service airlines like Air France and KLM implement a similar approach in the future.
Additional reporting by Daniel Ross.
Featured courtesy of Lufthansa Group.