What has normally been ‘verboten’ has become a reality, at least for the time being.
Lufthansa is offering paid access to ‘SOME’ of the First Class Lounges if you meet certain criteria. This criteria requires that you be a Miles & More ‘Senator’ and be booked on a intercontinental flight in Business or Premium Economy Class.
However, before you get excited about walking into the hallowed grounds of the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and all the joys that one derives from being treated like an uber VIP, not every lounge is part of this promotion.
Qualifying passengers can access the First Class Lounge in Concourse ‘B’ in Frankfurt, or the First Class Lounge in Munich. The First Class Terminal, and the lounge in Concourse ‘A’ in Frankfurt are not accessible with this promotion.
Restrictions not withstanding, it’s still a great opportunity to experience Lufthansa’s First Class services on ground when normally you would not be eligible to do so.
The promotion is in place until October 29, 2017 and pricing is as follows:
Senator flying in Premium Economy Class: €299, plus €199 per guest (including children)
Senator flying Business Class: €249, plus €149 per guest (including children).
You’ll need to show your boarding pass when you arrive at the lounge, and pay the Lounge receptionist upon entry.
Ducks are included with your purchase! 🙂
Lufthansa has updated their Winter 2017/18 timetable with new European routes focused on getting passengers to warmer destinations.
In all, six new destinations will be added taking passengers to warm weather destinations in Spain, France, and Italy:
Frankfurt – Bari:
3 weekly flights will begin on October 30. Flights will take place on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday and will be flown by CRJ-900 aircraft.
Flight LH294 will depart Frankfurt at 3:35p, arriving in Bari at 5:35p.
Flight LH295 will depart Bari at 5:15p, arriving in Frankfurt at 8:20p
Frankfurt – Catania:
2 weekly flights will begin on October 29. Flights will take place on Wednesday and Sunday and will be flown by A320 aircraft.
Flight LH306 will depart Frankfurt at 10:05a, arriving in Catania at 12:30p.
Flight LH307 will depart Catania at 1:30p, arriving in Frankfurt at 4:10p.
Frankfurt – Genoa:
3 weekly flights will begin on October 29. Flights will take place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and will be flown by CRJ-900 aircraft.
Flight LH260 will depart Frankfurt at 9:00a, arriving in Genoa at 10:25a.
Flight LH261 will depart Genoa at 11:00a, arriving in Frankfurt at 12:30p.
Frankfurt – Pamplona:
4 weekly flights will begin on November 6. Flights will take place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and will be flown by A319 aircraft.
Flight LH1118 will depart Frankfurt at 9:30a, arriving in Pamplona at 11:30a.
Flight LH1119 will depart Pamplona at 12:20p, arriving in Frankfurt at 2:30p.
Munich – Nantes:
Daily service will begin on October 29, with varying times during the week. A319 aircraft will fly the route.
Flight LH2242 on Monday and Thursday will depart Munich at 6:40a, arriving in Nantes at 8:35a. The return flight, LH2243, will depart Nantes at 9:15a, arriving in Munich at 11:00a.
Flight LH2242 on Tuesday and Saturday will depart Munich at 8:35a, arriving in Nantes at 10:30a. The return flight, LH2243, will depart Nantes at 11:05a, arriving in Munich at 12:50p.
Flight LH2242 on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday will depart Munich at 3:35p, arriving in Nantes at 5:35p. The return flight, LH2243, will depart Nantes at 6:10p, arriving in Munich at 8:00p.
Munich – Santiago de Compostela:
One weekly flight will begin on October 29. The flight will take place on Sunday, and will be flown by A320 aircraft.
Flight LH1866 will depart Munich at 8:30a, arriving in Santiago de Compostela at 11:20a.
Flight LH1867 will depart Santiago de Compostela at 12:10p, arriving in Munich at 2:50p.
Booking is now open for these flights on Lufthansa.com.
Due to the ratcheting up of security measures instituted by the TSA at airports worldwide, passengers bound for the USA are being asked to arrive at the airport earlier than normal to account for the extra scrutiny.
Specific to Lufthansa, it is asking passengers flying to the USA from Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and Munich to be at the airport at least an hour prior to their flight if flying in Economy or Premium Economy, and 40 minutes prior if flying in Business or First Class. LH is referring to this as the minimum time needed for ‘Check-In Acceptance’.
It may be a good idea to make sure you check in to your flight before coming to the airport. Easy to do via Lufthansa.com or the LH App. This way you can bypass the check-in process at the airport and head straight to your gate.
According to LH, this additional time requirement is not being instituted at any other airport where Lufthansa Group flights depart for the USA. Their press release also suggests that your small electronic devices may be subject to additional scrutiny before you are allowed to board your flight. That however, is a small price to pay for the ability to at least take your electronics on board.
Minimum connection times at the affected airports will not change.
The release did mention SWISS flights from Zurich, and is asking passengers bound for the USA to show up in ZRH at least 3 hours ahead of departure.
Lufthansa has begun to tweak their operations for Spring/Summer 2018. Typically the changes in aircraft that fly certain routes are as a result of seasonal demand on a route, scheduled maintenance, or aircraft retirement.
Thus far, Lufthansa has made changes on 10 of their routes that will see different aircraft fly he routes for at least the Spring and Summer next year.
Frankfurt – Beijing: Beginning on March 25, an Airbus A346 will take over for the 747-8i / A380 that currently fly the route.
Frankfurt – Hong Kong: Beginning on March 25, an Airbus A346 will take over from the A380 that currently flies the route. Specifically, the last A380 flight to Hong Kong will take place on October 27, and between October 27 and March 25 the 747-8i will be deployed on the route until March 25.
Frankfurt – Los Angeles: Beginning on March 25, an Airbus A346 will replace the A380 on flights LH456 and LH457. The 747-8i will continue to fly flights LH450 and LH451.
Frankfurt – San Diego: Beginning on March 25 an A343 will be deployed on the new route that begins on that day.
Frankfurt – Seoul: Beginning on March 25 the A346 will take over for the 744 and A380 that currently are scheduled on the route.
Munich – Beijing: Beginning on March 25 the A380 will take over for the Airbus A346.
Munich – Hong Kong: Beginning on March 25 the Airbus A380 will take over for the Airbus A346.
Munich – Los Angeles: Beginning on March 25 the A380 will replace the A346 on the route.
Munich – Singapore: Beginning March 27, the new (resumption of service) route will be served by an Airbus A350.
Over the last few days, German media has been reporting a new concept being considered by Lufthansa to further enhance cost savings when it comes to flight operations out of the hubs in Europe.
Lufthansa’s Harry Hohmeister has unveiled plans that will create a potentially new ‘Flexible Routing’ fare that will allow Lufthansa to change already issued tickets for passengers willing to be more flexible in their trip routing.
The reasoning behind this concept will allow Lufthansa to self-direct passenger flow through hubs based on demand and pricing. For example, Frankfurt Airport charges Lufthansa up to 20% more for handling long haul LH flights and passengers than Munich, Zurich, or Vienna charge. Having passengers reroute through lower cost hubs obviously would net a positive impact on LH’s bottom line. In their planning, LH would be able to determine in advance if other hubs and flights have capacity to handle last minute changes. If not, the flex fare passenger would fly their original ticket.
An example could look like:
A passenger books a flight from Chicago to Berlin. The original booking would have the passenger transit through Frankfurt enroute to Berlin. Under a flex routing fare, Lufthansa could re-ticket the passenger a few days before the flight to have them fly Chicago – Munich – Berlin, Chicago – Vienna – Berlin, or Chicago – Zurich – Berlin and thus avoid the extra costs associated with routing a passenger through the more pricey Frankfurt.
Passengers flying under a flex routing fare would be informed days or weeks ahead of their trip, letting them know if their original routing has changed.
Please understand that only a ‘flex routing’ fare class would subject a passenger to a last minute rerouting. Passengers flying on traditional fare classes would not be subject to these kind of changes.
Lufthansa has already sent a ‘shot across the bow’ to Frankfurt by announcing a transfer of 5 A380 aircraft to Munich, thus already reducing capacity at Frankfurt and potentially preparing for the roll out of the new flex-routing fares and increasing capacity in Munich.
In his comments, Hohmeister indicated that passengers agreeing to a flex routing fare would be well rewarded for their willingness to be flexible.
Plans are in place to unveil the new program for Lufthansa and Austrian operated flights at the beginning of 2018.