Lufthansa Decided To Cut Inflight Meals – To Save Just 51 Cents Per Passenger

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Southwest Airlines captain deputizes passenger with Downs Syndrome.

  • Lufthansa saves 51 cents per passenger by cutting free inflight half sandwiches.

    The airline raked in around €4.9 million in ‘buy onboard’ revenue last year.

    Lufthansa decided to abandon a complimentary meal service on short and medium-range flights in 2021. A buy-on-board range called ‘Onboard Delights’ was introduced on flights of one hour or longer with fresh starting at €5.50.

    Coffee and tea cost €3, and soft drinks and beer cost €3.50.

  • Cabotage.

  • Southwest Airlines filed a trademark complaint over the use of the domain name and lost. It’s obvious fair use in criticism, and there’s little risk of consumer confusion.

  • Price-fixing lawsuit against Atlantic City casino hotels (Reuters)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If my math is correct, 51 cents per passenger at an average of, call it, 125 passengers per flight (and this may be a lower than actual number given long haul/larger aircraft flights, amounts to $63.75 saved per flight. Lufthansa has over 850 flights per day. See where I am going here? 54K per day. $20 mil per year? I’d call this an extremely deceiving headline “To Save Just 51 Cents Per Passenger”….

  2. I assume the Lufthansa story is just about economy. In business class from Berlin to Frankfurt three days ago, we were served warm rolls and butter, three decent size pieces of beef, mashed potatoes, cherry dessert and an apple. All on a flight with 50 minutes in the air. Compare that to what American serves in First on a flight less than 500 miles.

  3. As figures pointed out, it may save .51 on sandwiches it doesn’t provide for free, but it now generates an average of 8 or 9.00 revenue over and above that savings from people buying food they would not have bought if they had a free half sandwich, maybe. That’s capitalism, and cost cutting, increasing revenue which is the task the CEO’s and management are set out to do for stockholders. Think ahead and bring something you make or buy on the way to airport-it will be better and cheaper.h

  4. Just realize, all airlines are run by bean counters. People like Gordon Bethune are relics of the past.

  5. I’d gladly pay $1.51 ticket surcharge to receive improved food offerings!!!!

  6. Goeff, couldn’t agree more that it’s a very deceptive headline to draw click which I admit I clicked on it.
    The real linked article showed that yes, they saved this per meal, but then you have to factor in the revenue generated from now selling meals. So by your math of 20mil savings and the 4.9 mil in sales last year, the title should have been “ How a .51 cents saving is benefiting Lufthansa by almost 25 million”
    I would have still clicked on it, the feeds would have still picked it up and more importantly, it would have been accurate and TPGish.

  7. This is the stupidest thing I have heard an airline do yet. And coming from Lufthansa is even more crazy. If this really their policy and all passengers flying on LH should buy all of their drinks before they board; especially in hot drinks. Even only half of the customers buy drinks before boarding will be significant and the clean up after flight will be a lot more than if the airline served non-alcoholic drinks for free. The amount of trash that will be in the seat pockets could be large and the airline would have to have storage someplace on board if they went down the aisle collecting all of this trash.

  8. It’s probably for more reason than that. People complain about food on an airplane more than anything else.

  9. Lufthansa is becoming more and more like a low cost airline. Only their prices are double

  10. Lot of bean counters around here. OK $25mn extra rev / savings looking at the food P&L alone.

    What about free food plus buy on board? They were earning revenue from buy on board prior to the change.

    What about the impact on the rest of the lifetime value of a passenger and impact on the total P&L. Does this nickel and diming make them even a small % less likely to choose Lufthansa? To recommend Lufthansa to a friend or colleague who then books direct vs a commissioned channel?

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