With environmentalism being an increasingly hot topic in the aviation industry, we’ve seen many airlines introduce options to carbon offset tickets. Lufthansa Group is taking it to the next level, with the introduction of “green fares.” The airline first trialed these in the summer of 2022, and is now rolling them out on a more widespread basis.
Ironically, these fares almost seem more targeted at business travelers who are also points addicts than anything else. I can’t decide if these are malarkey, kind of genius, or both.
The basics of Lufthansa’s new green fares
Lufthansa Group is rolling out a fare bundle all about environmentalism, known as green fares. As it’s promoted, these fares offer “full CO2 compensation” with the price. This includes 80% offsetting done “through high-quality climate projection projects” and 20% offsetting done through the use of sustainable aviation fuels.
This is being formally rolled out as of February 15, 2023, and green fares will be available on flights throughout Europe and North Africa, including to & from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Furthermore, this will be offered by Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, SWISS, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover, and Air Dolomiti, covering more than 730,000 flights per year. Both economy and business class travelers will be eligible to book these fares.
Customers searching for tickets on eligible routes will see these fares alongside the typical fare bands, including Light, Classic, and Flex. These fares won’t just include carbon offsets, but will also include free rebooking, and extra status and award miles.
This is part of Lufthansa Group’s goal of halving net CO2 emissions by 2030 (compared to 2019), and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
What makes Lufthansa’s green fares so interesting
How are Lufthansa’s green fares priced? Let’s take a look at pricing in both business and economy for a one-way ticket from Copenhagen to Frankfurt.
In business class, the Business Green fare is identical to the Business Flex fare. What are the differences?
- The Business Green fare includes carbon offsets, 20% bonus award miles, and 20% bonus status miles
- The Business Flex fare includes being able to switch to an earlier flight on the day of travel, and the ticket being refundable without a fee
In economy class, the Economy Green fare is identical to the Economy Flex fare. What are the differences?
- The Economy Green fare includes carbon offsets, 20% bonus award miles, and 20% bonus status miles
- The Economy Flex fare includes being able to switch to an earlier flight on the day of travel, the ticket being refundable with a fee, priority security, and priority boarding
What I find interesting here is that the green fares are almost designed in a way so that they could be appealing even if you don’t care about the carbon offsetting aspect of it. Maybe not for those paying out of pocket, but for those who are traveling on business and have some freedom with how they book, I could see people going for a fare that includes 20% extra award and status miles.
It’s a bit ironic that the fare that offers full carbon offsets might actually be most appealing to business travelers who are also status and miles junkies… and that might not be a bad thing?
Lufthansa is rolling out its “green fares” on a widespread basis, after initially testing the concept in the summer of 2022. This will shortly be available on all Lufthansa Group flights within Europe, as well as flights to & from North Africa. As you’d guess based on the name, these fare bundles allow you to offset your carbon emissions.
The execution of this is what I find interesting, though. Essentially you pay the flexible fare, but forgo the flexibility (and in some cases other perks), in order to offset your flight and earn bonus award and status miles.
I think this might create an incentive for some people on expense accounts to book these fares, even if carbon offsets aren’t the primary motivator here.
What do you make of the new Lufthansa Group green fares?