For whatever reason, Lufthansa thought it made sense to advertise a fare sale for travel between the USA and Europe but the offer only has one attractive route.

For the terms of this sale that ends January 15, you can book travel between New York and Frankfurt for $2700 for departures taking place in February.

Want to fly anywhere else in Europe?  Then prepare to ante up as much as $9300 to get you from Charlotte to Milan or $8800 to get you from Denver to Frankfurt.  Boston to Brussels? $8000.

Here’s a screen shot of some other ‘sale’ fares:

 

I’m convinced that at this point Lufthansa has lost the plot when it comes to reasonable fares for Business and First Class.   Ever since the German Government handed Air Berlin to Lufthansa on a Silver Platter, LH has gone off the rails in many of their markets as far as fare pricing is concerned.    You’ll recall that during the Christmas Season, LH kept business class prices at levels 2 to 3 times higher than in previous years and it seems they are content on continuing the trend.

In fact, the ridiculous rise in fares has caught the eye of regulators in Europe who have figured that Lufthansa on average has raised fares by at least 30% to most markets.  Lufthansa claims that this was an algorithm programming issue, but I doubt that some snowflake intern is responsible for punching in the wrong code to create this fare gouge that has been in place for several months.   If it was a programming error, it would have been caught within hours or days and not by a regulator.   In the past week or so, LH has walked back some of the high economy class fares they were charging, but it took the ‘threat’ of a regulator.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a socialist and don’t expect airlines to make it so that everyone can afford a premium class fare.   If they can sell these fares at these prices, then good for them, and good for my Lufthansa dividend.   But at the same time, when competitors are charging a third or less than what Lufthansa is, at some point Lufthansa will start to see loyal customers defect.   Customers will stop shopping with their loyalty and start shopping with their wallets.

I’ll give you a personal example…..Each year one of our trips include my wife and I going to South Africa for a couple of weeks to visit Safari camps.   Each year we default to LH group since that what we’ve ‘always’ flown so regardless of price we’d always book an LH Group option.

This year?   It may come as a surprise to some of you, but my top 3 choices for our Africa flights include: 1. Emirates   2.  Qatar    3.  KLM.  My wife is liking all the things she has read about the Emirates’ First Class cabin ( thanks for nothing ‘PointsGuy’ 🙂  ) so I suspect that our flight to JNB will funnel through Dubai and that I should bring a shower cap for the A380 flights.

Later this year I will also be going to Le Mans, France to photograph the ’24 Hours of Le Mans’ for a company/team involved with the race.   My flights?   SAS Business on the flights from the US to Paris, and LOT Polish Business for the flights home.    A combination of factors led to those decisions.  Loyalty was not one of them.

And this coming from someone who has been loyal to LH Group for the last 10 years.   I’ve woke up to the fact that status has little impact on my travel experiences and that by shopping for the best value, I come up with other options that literally put thousands of dollars back into my pocket.   My bitcoins simply can’t keep up with some of the LH fare hikes! 🙂

Anyway, if you are looking for that flight between NYC and FRA during February you at least get a reasonable price there.    If you need to travel beyond FRA, your best bet would be to book the NYC-FRA ticket and then buy another ticket to get you to where you really want to go once you get to Frankfurt.