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 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.

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Flemming Stücker

I used this, this summer on Air Canada CPH-YYZ 250$ return. Really cheap, and if big shopping just pay for extra bag on return flight.


Same here, I have booked such fares in the past and will do so going forward. Even with an Economy Light ticket you can still select your seat during check-in 24 hours before departure for free on Lufthansa. In addition, checking in your carry-on is typically not an issue (as long as it’s not too heavy or obviously oversized). So I see these fares more like an “inflexible, light bag” offering and not at all comparable to what low cost carriers offer. Especially combined with a frequent flyer status it’s a great experience at a very affordable price point. I’ll… Read more »

Tadhg O'Donovan

This is crazy. They are giving up a core advantage. Now they are sane as LCC.


Exactly the same as Aegean offers through the GoLight fares.


From the North American view, this is very similar to Basic Economy on DL, AA, & United. Each have their own flavor of restrictions, but the secret is to travel “light”.

Where most Americans screw up is we can’t go on a weekend trip without packing the kitchen sink!!!! Then the supplemental fees kick in and the total fare is more than a standard ticket.

Bon Voyage😆😆😆


Sorry to be rude but this post is completely wrong: Lufthansa offers economy light without a real hand baggage allowance (just one small carry on up to 8kg) since many years on european routes. Used it many times for weekend trips from Denmark to Italy or Germany.


I see that other mainstream airlines are doing this too. In reality, the cost of air travel has doubled in the space of 1 year. They use an advertising strategy of (for eg ) *from R7900, but that is only the cost of the first leg of the journey on the lite option – none of their top structure are prepared to work for a moderate salary, so they live their own luxury lives at the cost of the passengers. My trip next year will be my last, they are pricing themselves out of the market.