Lufthansa To Introduce Hand Luggage Fares Across Its Network – But Will They Sell?

Lufthansa has taken a cue from other airlines and plans to introduce a hand luggage basic economy fare. Called Economy Light, the new tier will be introduced from November 6th. This new fare type will allow passengers to fly for dirt cheap prices with only what they can carry in their hands. This will potentially give the carrier a competitive advantage in the ferocious fight against low-cost carriers.

Lufthansa To Introduce Hand Luggage Fares Across Its Network – But Will They Sell?
Lufthansa will be offering a new fare class across its entire portfolio of routes. Photo: Kiefer via Wikimedia Commons 

What are the details?

As mentioned above, the new fare class will be called Economy Light, according to Economy Class And Beyond. It will be rolled out across their entire network and not limited to a single trial area. It will also not be limited to just Lufthansa, but also its other airlines SWISS and Austrian Airlines. The rollout should be completed by November 6th.

According to Lufthansa, passengers who are willing to sacrifice flexibility and baggage will get a much better deal. It is believed that the hand baggage limit will be around 8kg.

Lufthansa Airbus A380
Imagine only being able to bring hand luggage onboard the A380. Photo: Pexels

For those traveling on Lufthansa between Europe and North America, this news is actually not new. The airline has been offering this fare since summer last year.

Travel lighter and save: if you are flying with carry-on baggage only, you can enjoy a great-value trip to North America on our new Economy Light fare. Apart from one item of carry-on baggage, the Light fare has no free-baggage allowance. However, you can add one piece of checked baggage to your booking for a fee. Meals and beverages onboard are still free of charge.

Passengers will be able to upgrade their seats for extra legroom, to add a checked baggage allowance of 23 kg, and to be able to select their seat in advance, all for an extra fee. But as other people have commentated on the issue, if you want all of these plus the flexibility (and ability to be upgraded to a better class long-haul) then its best to buy a full fare.

Lufthansa, New Aircraft, Aircraft Orders
This new fare class will be great for travelers looking to fly as cheaply as possible. Photo: Lufthansa

Why is Lufthansa doing this?

So one of the questions that you are likely asking yourself, why is Lufthansa introducing this new fare? As much as we want to say its entirely because they love their customers and simply want to offer them better value, there are a few perks that they are keeping on the down-low.

  • The first is that with this fare structure they now appear much cheaper. They can offer a flight that appears €50-€70 cheaper on search engines and to resellers, pushing out the low-cost carrier competition.
  • They will make more money per customer, such as from those who need to buy luggage or want to sit together.

If you think about it, it doesn’t really cost Lufthansa anything to offer checked baggage or seat selection. This move will help bump up their bottom line and as Economy Class And Beyond suggested, subtly increase full fare prices whilst still appearing very competitive.

What do you think? Will you be using the new Economy Light fare? Let us know in the comments.