How family-friendly is Lufthansa?

Lufthansa presents itself as a family-friendly airline: “From booking to landing: with many coordinated services and benefits especially for families, Lufthansa makes flying with children even more enjoyable. As a family-friendly airline, we show an interest in the wishes and requirements of every individual passenger, large or small and meet a high standard in terms of safety and quality.”

And this is wat the carrier says about seat selection: “Whether you prefer the window, aisle or more legroom: Lufthansa enables you to reserve seats for you and your fellow travelers in advance or to select your preferred seats at check-in.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But many airlines nickel-and-dime their customers by demanding numerous fees including seat selection and reservation fees. They even do so for standard seats that are narrow and hardly offer any legroom.

Lufthansa is no exception. On long-haul routes, for example, passengers must pay – depending on the distance - €25-€35 (or $30–$40) for a standard seat and €50-€100 (or $60-$115) for a seat with somewhat more legroom. For a family of 4 you need to multiply those amounts by 4. Thus, for families the fee amounts to €100-€140 (or $120-$160) for standard seats and €200-€400 (or $480-$640) for seats with a little more legroom.

On medium-haul flights the seat selection and reservation fee is €13 (or $15) for standard seats and €40 (or $45) for seats with extra legroom. On short-haul routes the seat selection and reservation fee amounts to €10 (or $12) and for seats with extra legroom €25 (or $30).

They can also wait and select and reserve seats 23 hours or less prior to departure. In this case there is no seat selection and reservation fee. But given the high load factors it is very unlikely that families will be able to sit together on flights of this family-friendly airline.

So if the family members want to be sure they will sit together in standard seats they will have to select and reserve seats earlier, implying they will have to pay €100-€140 (or $120-$160) in seat reservation fees for long-haul flights.

It is nice that Lufthansa has a separate family check-in area in Frankfurt, Munich and Cairo, where 2 funny cranes welcome families. A large archway helps families find the family check-in quickly in the departure hall. There is also a staircase for smaller children so they can reach the counter to check-in themselves and their “escorts”.

But what counts more is that children can sit in the plane together with their parents. An airline that is really family-friendly would find another solution for families than paying a high fee – on top of other fees – for the privilege to seat the family together, in particular on long-haul flights.

Tags: Lufthansa, traveling with children, family check-in area, seat selection fees, seat reservation fees

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