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Lufthansa Changes

Retro-livery A320

Lufthansa have made some changes, which may be useful for those booking flex, business class or for those on corporate fare tickets.

The flex fares and business class fares are still divided into booking classes of varying degrees of cost. Though flexible, on any change of flight, if the booked fare class is not available, then any fare uplift would need to be paid. This has now changed in that if you arrive early at the airport and there is space available on an earlier flight, then you can change to the earlier flight at no extra cost, irrespective of the original booking class (note that the availability has to be in the originally booked cabin - that is either coach or business - you do not get a free cabin upgrade!)

This option is heavily geared towards the "one meeting" traveler - as changes can only be made on day of departure, either at online check in or at the airport and cannot be used if you have extra services booked - such as extra hold bags or free upgrades. You cannot change to an earlier flight if you have already checked in any baggage.

This also applies to Austrian Airlines and Swiss Airlines (though with Austrian and Swiss, you can only change to an earlier flight at the airport and not with the online check in)

Buying seats or extra bags is now (a bit) cheaper when bought online. Personally, when booking seats or baggage I find it much easier to use a GDS to book flights and then use whichever-airline-it-is website to book and seats or extra bags and so on.

The "earlier flight, free change" is really more tinkering round the edges of the ever more confusing range of conditions attached to fares, in the name of "differentiation". Though a welcome additional function, it means that any person (either agent or direct client) will require more personal bandwidth, when considering short haul flight options. From the airline perspective, it will help them to release seats on busier flights by giving the opportunity to change, free of charge, to those that finish their meetings early.

Not a big selling point, more a useful thing to keep at the back of the mind.

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