The Lufthansa Group has announced today the introduction of Economy Light fares on North American routes as of this summer. Passengers travelling to North America on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines will have the option to purchase an Economy Light fare which does not allow any changes or cancellations and only includes 8kg of free hand baggage with NO checked in baggage free of charge. Seat assignments are available for an additional fee.

The Lufthansa Group claims the new fare option is the least expensive way to travel to North America… however, we all know that the airlines will simply price existing fares at the new Economy Light rate and make the Economy Classic fares more expensive. There is nothing cheaper about Economy Light – it is the same thing passengers have been paying for… except now they receive even less benefits.

In addition to the free 8kg of hand baggage, meals and drinks will be continued to be served for free. Miles & More award and status miles will be included on these tickets.. however expect to earn only 25% status miles of the distance flown and award miles will be based on the ticket price (so not a lot of miles earned at all).

Generally I don’t care about Economy Light fares and book them all the time on European routes when I know that I will be travelling with hand baggage only. However, the major aspect of Light fares that kill me the most is that Star Alliance Gold Members and Miles & More Status Members receive no free baggage allowance at all. None. This kills loyalty. I understand that base passengers who book a light fare are not entitled to luggage… however, loyal frequent flyers should receive this benefit regardless of what type of ticket they purchase. Frequent flyer benefits are completely separate from the fare purchased and therefore additional baggage allowance should be included.