Lufthansa is “optimizing” the pre-arrival meal service in economy class and premium economy class on longhaul flights. That’s bad news, since Lufthansa was already lagging behind its competition.
Effective November 28, 2019, Lufthansa will only offer a cold vegetarian snack for the pre-arrival meal on longhaul flights. The portion will be small and there will be no choice.
Currently, Lufthansa offers a hot meal on flights over 10 hours and a hot snack on flights under 10 hours.
cursed blessed to fly Lufthansa economy class twice this year from Los Angeles to Germany, once to Frankfurt and once to Munich.
On both flights, I was served this pre-arrival meal:
Even in my trip report I wrote that food was insufficient for a 10-hour flight and to bring you own. That will certainly be the case now.
- Lufthansa A380 Economy Class Los Angeles To Frankfurt Review
- Last Row. Middle Seat. My 11-Hours In Lufthansa Economy Class…
Lufthansa Premium Economy Meal Cutbacks
What is even more startling is that premium economy class will also move from a hot pre-arrival meal to a cold vegetation snack.
For example, I was served this pre-arrival breakfast from LAX-FRA:
And this pre-arrival dinner from FRA-LAX:
I have no problem with a vegetarian dish. The breakfasts above were all vegetarian. But eliminating hot dishes for a cold snack, even in premium economy? Seriously?
Meanwhile, British Airways recently upgraded its pre-arrival service in premium economy class. I was served a nice hot meal before landing last month from LHR to LAX:
United offers a far better pre-arrival breakfast in premium economy class:
And even in economy class from the West Coast, Denver, and Houston, which is actually quite tasty.
Bye-Bye Headsets, Hello 0.5L Water
Lufthansa is also cutting back on reusable headsets and will instead use disposable ones. It says this is good for the environment since it will reduce weight. Yes, but think of all the waste…
The only upside to these changes is that Lufthansa will offer each passenger a 0.5L bottle of water.
It seems both of these changes are also aimed at reducing flight attendant workload. Flight attendants currently pick up headphones in economy class before the end of each flight. That will no longer be necessary. Flight attendants also will no longer have to make water runs throughout the flight if each passenger has their own bottle.
I am so disappointed by these changes. Lufthansa claims to be a five-star airline, but these cutbacks render Lufthansa meal service noticeably lacking compared to their U.S. competitions. Ironically, as British Airways has upped its game, Lufthansa is in bean-counting mode.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d take a U.S. carrier any day over Lufthansa in economy class. These latest cutbacks just make the decision even easier.
(H/T: One Mile at a Time)
Eliminate water runs? On my 3 hour UA flight FUK-GUM they ran the drink cart twice, had 2 water runs and 1 Coke/Sprite run. On any given AS flight to/from Hawaii I’ve seen no less than 4 water runs, 2 drink carts and 1 coffee run.
I booked a Premium Economy Ticket for my wife but United issued their ticket as starting point was Columbus. At Frankfurt she was told she can buy the lounge pass as Lufthasa did not issue the ticket. With the hot meal gone, I will to eliminate Lufthasa Premium Economy as An option completely. Lufthansa has too many conditions. Cannot wait for ME3 – Qatar/ Emirates/ Etihad to launch Premium Economy
I wouldn’t take a U.S. carrier over Lufthansa in economy class — at least flying to Europe (it doesn’t matter on the way back!) — because the U.S. carrier doesn’t have to give me €600, if there’s a delay or cancellation. Flying to Europe on an EU carrier is like having extra travel insurance included free of charge.
That’s a fair point…if you can squeeze the compensation out of them.
Providing disposable earphones instead borrowing headphones makes totally sense and is a change many other airlines did. Waste is up to the passenger: once he/she have one and not misplaced it, chances are he/she won’t collect a new one. Also sound quality it relatively better with those earplugs than those open headphones.
Plus, like only half of the passengers are even taking it as they prefer to use their own.
Why don’t they just have headphone jacks you can use your own headphones with?
Many passengers do. Just buy the adapter, or some headphones comes with it. Or, depending on the airline, the ones given away have an adapter which you can use for your own eaephones.
I have always wondered how Lufthansa was considered a 5-star airline. Its business class is not all aisle access which is a pretty basic requirement for business class these days. This is probably one case where I would pick United Polaris over Lufthansa. Now in economy especially within Europe they are much better! These changes sadden me since it will likely trickle up to business class at some point. I’d rather take Austrian or Swiss business, with second choice being United Polaris, and last choice is Lufthansa for Atlantic crossings.
LH is a five star airline for a very simple reason. They wrote a large check to the rating agency.
They also aren’t allowing you to preselect your seat on long Hall flights which I just find stunning. Are you competing with Ryan Air? I have flown LH 456 & 457 many many times over the last 20 years and I always found Lufthansa to be great. Unfortunately it looks like that time may have passed. Thanks for the 411.
Lara is right. Have to take Swiss or maybe SAS for European connections now. LH has been going downhill for some time and FRA is a train wreck for a connecting hub.
Interesting. My last UA flight in economy class (February of this year) was ZRH-IAD and there was no pre-arrival meal. We got a snack, but that was it.
On westbound European United fights the pre-arrival meal is a hot sandwich on all routes.
Not too surprising about the food also being cut in premium economy, since it’s the same food in economy, just with nicer plating, which also looks like it could apply to United as well.
Looks like I’ll be flying Austrian whenever I can now. Lufthansa has failed to impress me the last couple of times I flew them.
Lufthansa give travelers yet another reason not to choose them over the competition. They are also currently in dispute with LSG their caterer in Germany and numerous short haul flights are leaving uncatered as they prioritise long haul.
A bit different because it’s short haul European business class but a couple of months back I had what I can only describe as the worst meal I’ve ever been served on a plane on a 2.5 hour sector with Lufthansa. The starter was an undressed collection of salad leaves, the main some dried out fish on a bed of vegetables which had been glued together with something that had the texture of and I imagine the taste of wallpaper paste and the pudding was some sliced fruit cut so thinly you could see through it.
That was catered ex-MUC and the food from there always has been better than ex-FRA. On the return flight catering was loaded at ADB and it was way, way better.
Two years ago when I flew Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Dulles they ran out of economy meals. I along with several other passengers ended up getting a business class meal on real China although I wouldn’t say the meal was anything special.
My recent Lufthansa long haul flight and subsequent inter Europe flight were disappointing because of poor food and service. The airline no longer deserves recognition as a top carrier.
Are Lufthansa mad!
They’re cutting things randomly. Smells of bean counters with, no idea about pleasing customers, marketing and generating revenue.
I just hope Swiss aren’t following suit.
I think they’ve been watching Ryanair a little too closely!
They need to actually talk and listen to customers, and look at their competitors strategies.
“5-starhansa” strikes again…
Have booked to fly Dunedin New Zealand to Manchester UK. next year.. That is really about as far as one can go. Domestic Air NZ to Wellington 1 hr.
Then P. E Singapore Air to Singapore with stop in Melbourne Australia. 13 hours. 4 hour stop in Singapore then 13 hour flight to Manchester UK.
This really is an epic journey..
Air Singapore offer a book the cook service.
Providing disposable earphones instead borrowing headphones makes totally sense and is a change many other airlines did. Waste is up to the passenger: once he/she got one and not misplaced it, chances are he/she won’t collect a new one. Also sound quality is relatively better with those earplugs than those borrowed open headphones.
Plus, like only half of passengers these days are even taking it as they prefer to use their own.
I was flying back on Lufthansa from New Delhi to Chicago on two planes. The food was spicy , hot wraps tasted like a mud. Coffee reminded tea. In general it was bad. The crew was disorganized, made a lot of mistakes with serving special orders. Wet napkins were handed after a meal. In my opinion I would like to refresh my face and hands before. One of four toilets on air bus did not have water.
I’m saying good bye to LH.
Seriously? You’d choose a US carrier over Lufthansa? Just because they cut one hot meal from their service for coach doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of their 5 Star rating. Lufthansa is an excellent airline because even though now they have one hot meal less the service is still superb. People (continue to) choose Lufthansa because of their customer service quality. Lufthansa is an airline that goes by the principle of “Der Kunde ist König” = Customer is King. They still go above and beyond to ensure there customers happiness. For instance, regarding meal service, when I recently flew from FRA to DUB with LH I was served two drinks, hot coffee, a pastry or a sandwich and a bag of nuts. On my flight from DFW to LWR on United which was about the same length I was served one drink and a measly bag of pretzels. That’s the difference between US Carriers and Lufthansa and that’s why people choose Lufthansa over a US-Carrier to this day.
Service is not superb. In fact, United’s service is consistently better than Lufthansa’s in every class but first class..that is my experience. Food is better on United. Legroom is better. IFE is better. There are power port and functioning wi-fi. In almost every way, I’d take United any day over Lufthansa in economy class, premium economy class, or business class on a longhaul flight
United’s business class is like riding 2nd class on a Moroccan train. I’d rather get blindfolded, tied up and shoved in the back of a truck for 1000 miles while someone repeatedly stabs me in the balls than take United
Sorry you have not ever flown it…
the food looks good actually, i dont quite get what your complaining about…
Lufthansa always worked for me, even in economy, which I cannot say about United or British Airways, or Air France for that matter. In BA First class from Europe to USA I was SO miserable that I demanded (and received) some compensation for all of the convenience I was subjected to. United Premium Economy (from USA to Israel) was a nightmare. Business Class in AirFrance (Paris-USA) was so-so at best.