Lufthansa Will Let You Book A Flight Without Knowing The Destination

As restrictions ease, European air travel is beginning to open up once more. However, for passengers eager to get back in the skies, this can pose another problem: where exactly should they go? With a diverse array of European cities in its network, Lufthansa takes the task of choosing away from the passenger with its ‘Lufthansa Surprise’ mystery flights.

Lufthansa Airbus A321neo
Lufthansa Surprise provides passengers with a sense of mystery and excitement. Photo: Airbus

What is Lufthansa Surprise?

Lufthansa Surprise appeals to passengers that want to travel within Europe but don’t know where to start. For as little as €69 ($78), Lufthansa passengers can let the German flag carrier decide their destination for them, having picked a category that they would like it to fall under. There are nine of these to choose from, and they start at the following prices.

  • €69 ($78) – Worth Seeing.
  • €79 ($89) – Arts & Sights, Go East.
  • €89 ($100) – Follow The Sun, The Great Outdoors.
  • €99 ($111.50) – For Lovers, Party On, Shop ‘Til You Drop, Urban Adventures.

Using these categories, Lufthansa showcases its diverse European network, while allowing passengers to have a degree of choice regarding their mystery destination. Each category has between six and 10 destinations, and some appear in multiple categories. For example, Gothenburg, Sweden falls under both Arts & Sights and The Great Outdoors.

Lufthansa, Airbus A320, Upcycled
Lufthansa currently offers its mystery packages from two airports. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Conditions of the scheme

So how exactly does Lufthansa Surprise work? It is worth noting first of all that you can only book such flights from its Frankfurt and Munich hubs. Bookable between one and 42 days before departure, the non-refundable flights initially only come with hand luggage. However, you can add ancillary services including checked baggage later on for a fee.

Lufthansa’s frequent flyers can still earn Miles & More points on such bookings. Passengers find out their destination upon payment, giving ample time to book accommodation. The price of the flights depends on how flexible you are regarding the destination. Passengers can de-select certain destinations from a category, but this may cause the price to rise.

For example, removing a city from Worth Seeing inflates the price from €69 to €75. However, this is a good way of avoiding repeat trips to places you’ve already visited. In any case, the conditions don’t seem to be putting passengers off. Indeed, a Lufthansa spokesperson advised Simple Flying that: “Last summer, we saw more customers using this offer.”

Lufthansa Parallel Landing Frankfurt
Lufthansa Surprise launched in 2016. Photo: Jake Hardiman | Simple Flying

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Mystery flights: a growing market?

As it happens, Lufthansa Surprise isn’t an initiative designed to galvanize post-pandemic travel. Indeed, Condé Nast Traveller notes that the scheme launched in May 2016. The scheme’s website claims to have saved passengers an average of €251 ($283) on bookings made yesterday, epitomizing its “Travel spontaneously, save spontaneously” slogan.

There also appears to be a growing market for the concept of mystery flights elsewhere in the world. With international travel not a realistic possibility for most Australians, mystery flights have provided a way for citizens to explore their own country. Indeed, Qantas launched a series of mystery flights in March, that even included a wine tasting experience!

What do you make of Lufthansa Surprise? Have you ever booked such a package yourself? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!