Eurowing operates a strange model where certain passengers benefit from free snacks onboard, depending on their fare and seat. Now, the low-cost Lufthansa group airline is saying “auf wiedersehen” to the perk from June. Eurowings is based in Germany, with both long and short haul routes across the globe.
Many airlines are switching to a buy onboard option instead of complimentary catering. The move is an attempt to cut costs, but has frequently been met with passenger disapproval. Despite the disapproval, the change may actually be for the better, especially with lower cost airlines such as Eurowings.
The current service
Eurowings currently offers a complimentary catering service to select passengers. This is available primarily for those who book a smart fare. The smart fare includes free seat selection in the prefered seating area. However, other passengers are able to take advantage of this by purchasing one of these prefered seats.
On a flight from London Stansted to Cologne Bonn, purchasing a basic fare with the preferred seating option will cost a minimum of £36. The smart fare would include the refreshments and seating for just £10 more. However, the smart fare also includes a checked bag, justifying the extra cost.
The coming changes
Eurowings is set to remove the complimentary catering provided to all those sitting in the prefered seating area. As a consequence, you will no longer receive complimentary catering when purchasing a smart fare or a seat in the prefered seating area.
Passengers instead will be granted priority boarding. Priority boarding is currently only available to those with a business class ticket, or certain Miles and More statuses. However, now these passengers will be joined by the smart fare holders. While some may argue that priority boarding is a better offering than onboard catering, it needs to be carefully managed. If everybody has priority boarding, then nobody has priority boarding.
Is this a good thing?
Many would argue that cutting a service is a bad thing. While in the case of airlines such as British Airways this could be the case, it probably isn’t here.
Passengers are only really missing out on the free drinks. In my opinion the Eurowings snack is not worth the extra money. Additionally, it would be far cheaper to buy a non alcoholic drink in the airport terminal and take it onto the flight than to pay the extra for a smart fare.
As such I believe that moving to a buy onboard service is the right direction for Eurowings to head in. I think priority boarding is far more valuable.
What do you think? Should Eurowings keep complementary catering? Let us know in the comments!