Lufthansa economy class guide: fare types, booking classes, and more

Everything you need to know about Lufthansa economy fare types and booking classes

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With Lufthansa’s reputation as one of the best airlines in the world, it should come as no surprise that its economy product is rated as very good. Despite its 5-star status, Lufthansa offers affordable (even cheap!) fares to Europe – and with far better flights and service than you’d get from a budget airline. If you’re planning a trip, it’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to check out the latest special offers.

From learning the differences between fare types to figuring out what booking codes mean, knowing exactly what you’re paying for is key to getting the most out of Lufthansa economy class flights. This guide was developed to give you all the information you need to maximize value and comfort in Lufthansa’s economy class.

See also: Guide to Lufthansa Planes and Seats: aircraft rankings, seat recommendations, and more

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Is Economy class on Lufthansa any good?

Lufthansa’s onboard experience in economy class is consistently good, with food quality and cabin cleanliness rated as excellent. However, the airline’s strength is consistently great customer service. Especially high marks are given to Lufthansa staff’s speed of service, attention to safety, and overall hospitality.

Although there aren’t many negative things to say about Lufthansa’s economy cabin service, recent complaints mention cold pre-arrival meals and occasionally unfriendly and inattentive staff.

Even though Lufthansa is one of Europe’s better airlines, surprisingly good fares are available for departures from the US. To quickly find and book the best deals available on Lufthansa.com, simply follow these tips.

What’s included in Lufthansa’s economy class?

All fare types in Lufthansa’s international economy class include meals and beverages (soda, water, juice, beer, and wine). Lufthansa also provides a variety in-flight entertainment to its economy passengers free of charge.

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The different economy fare types Lufthansa offers have different rules regarding things like refunds, flight changes, and baggage allowances.

Meals and beverages

Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks are included in Lufthansa’s long-haul international economy service. Depending on the length of the flights, beverages may be served several times, and you can also request drinks at your seat between services. Liquor and spirits are available for purchase.

Long-haul economy class meal service on Lufthansa flights consists of 3 courses: salad, entree, and dessert, followed by coffee, tea, and/or a digestif. The menu changes regularly and an additional cold vegetarian meal may be served depending on the length of the flight. On some routes, snacks may be served between meals. On other routes, snacks are available for purchase.

On short-haul flights up to 30 minutes, economy passengers receive Lufthansa chocolates. Flights up to 60 minutes also include a free bottle of mineral water.

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On medium-haul flights of 60 minutes or more, Lufthansa passengers receive complimentary chocolates and mineral water, with snacks and beverages available for purchase.

In-Flight entertainment

International economy class on Lufthansa flights offers access to more than 350 movies and TV shows, including content from China, India, and Japan. You can also choose from audiobooks and a variety of music playlists.

Newspapers and magazines

Lufthansa offers a variety of newspapers and magazines available for download to smartphones, laptops, and tablets. You can download the latest issues before your flight by entering your booking code or ticket number. Titles are available from 3 days before departure to the last day of travel.

Economy class passengers are able to download one title free of charge, while elite Lufthansa frequent flyers are allowed more: Senators can download 3 titles for free while HON Circle members are allowed up to 20.

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Wi-fi / internet

You have to pay for Lufthansa’s onboard wi-fi service, which has 3 tiers and ranges from $8 (or 2,300 miles) for speeds up to 64 kbps to $34 (or 9,500 miles) for the fastest service, which has a 1GB data limit.

Do Lufthansa economy fares include lounge access?

Lufthansa economy fares don’t include lounge access but you can purchase it from Lufthansa here, starting at $39 USD per person per visit. Another option is to use Priority Pass, which offers access at over 1300 lounges worldwide.

Economy fare types

Depending on the route flown, Lufthansa offers up to 4 fare types in its international economy cabin class: Economy Light, Economy Basic, Economy Basic Plus, and Economy Flex. Each fare class includes different services and amenities – like most things in life, the better the perks, the higher the price.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing flights is that when mixing fare types the most restrictive conditions will prevail. For example, combining a non-refundable fare for outbound travel and a refundable fare for inbound travel, or vice versa, will make all flights in the itinerary non-refundable.

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Economy Light

Includes: carryon bag, personal item, meals, beverages, and entertainment

Flight changes: not allowed

Refunds: not allowed

Best suited for travelers who need only a carryon bag and personal item, Economy Light is Lufthansa’s cheapest and most restrictive fare type. Other than cost, the primary difference between Lufthansa’s Economy Light and Economy Basic fares is that Economy Light doesn’t include a checked bag allowance.

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Like Lufthansa’s other international economy fares, Economy Light includes in-flight entertainment, meals, and beverages. You can’t change or rebook Economy Light fares and they’re non-refundable.

Economy Basic

Includes: checked bag, carryon bag, personal item, meals, beverages, and entertainment

Flight changes: for a fee

Refunds: not allowed

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Lufthansa’s Economy Basic fare type includes meals, beverages, and entertainment. The main differences between Economy Basic and Economy Light on Lufthansa international flights are that Economy Basic also includes a checked bag and allows flight changes for a fee*. Economy Basic fares are non-refundable.

Economy Basic Plus

Includes: checked bag, carryon bag, personal item, meals, beverages, and entertainment

Flight changes: for a fee

Refunds: for a fee

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Like Economy Basic, Lufthansa’s Economy Basic Plus includes meals, beverages, and entertainment, and allows flight changes for a fee. The biggest difference between Lufthansa Economy Basic Plus and Economy Basic fares is that you can get a refund on Basic Plus fares (after paying a $300 fee). Economy Basic Plus fares include a personal item, carryon, and one checked bag.

Economy Flex

Includes: checked bag, carryon bag, personal item, meals, beverages, and entertainment

Flight changes: free

Refunds: free

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Economy Flex is Lufthansa’s least restrictive economy fare. Rebookings and refunds are free with Flex fares, unlike Basic Plus fares which include a $300 fee to change or cancel the flights. Lufthansa Economy Flex also includes meals, beverages, and entertainment. Economy Flex baggage allowance includes a personal item, a carryon bag, and one checked bag.

Baggage allowances and fees

All Lufthansa economy fare types include a carryon bag and personal item. A single checked bag up to 50 lbs is also included, except for Economy Light fares. If you have an Economy Light fare, you can purchase one checked bag for $70.

Passengers flying to or from the US or Canada in all economy fare classes can purchase a second checked bag for $85.

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Quick comparison of Lufthansa Economy fare types

ServiceEconomy LightEconomy BasicEconomy Basic PlusEconomy Flex
Carryon bag included included included included
Checked bag(s)$70111
2nd checked bag (US / CA only)$85 $85 $85 $85
Meals & beveragesincluded included included included
Changes (rebooking) not allowed*$300*$300*allowed
Refunds / cancellationnot allowed not allowed$300* allowed
Advance seat selection$13-$40 $13-$40 $13-$40 $13-$40
Seat upgrades$20-$249 $20-$249 $20-$249 $20-$249
Mileage credit25%50%100%150%
Mileage upgradenono allowed allowed

*Due to continued disruptions caused by the coronavirus, Lufthansa is currently allowing flight changes and waiving change / rebooking fees for all international economy tickets, including Economy Light fares.

Seat types and fees

Lufthansa offers a variety of seat types and options in its economy cabin class. They’ll even let you buy 3 or 4 adjacent seats and furnish you a mattress if you’d like to lie down. We’ll begin with a quick rundown of the 3 most commonly asked questions about Lufthansa economy seats, followed by a short description of the different seat types.

When can I choose my seat in Lufthansa economy class?

You can select your desired Lufthansa economy class seat during booking (AKA advance seat selection) for a fee, which varies by seat type. You can also choose your seat during online check-in for free – including Preferred and Extra Legroom seats if any are still available.

Miles & More members with elite status can select seats for up to 4 passengers for free when booking online.

What does Lufthansa charge for seat selection in economy class?

Advance seat selection fees for Lufthansa economy class vary by seat type, the length of the route, and the current euro / US dollar exchange rate.

Standard seats are about $13 – $40
– seats in the Preferred Seating Zone are about $20 – $62
Extra Legroom seats are about $28 – $125
– a Sleeper’s Row is about $179 – $249

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Why can’t I select a seat on my Lufthansa flights?

For flights operated by a Lufthansa codeshare partner, like United Airlines, you won’t be able to select your economy seat in advance. Lufthansa generally allows seat selection on codeshare flights during online check-in.

Extra Legroom Seat

Seats with extra legroom are available on almost all Lufthansa flights. Depending on the length of the route and the current dollar / euro exchange rate, the fee for an extra legroom seat ranges from about $28 to about $125 USD. For information on which seats and rows offer the most legroom, see the section about Lufthansa planes below.

Preferred Seating Zone

On most flights, Lufthansa has designated an area between the economy and premium economy or business sections as its Preferred Seating Zone. The primary advantage to Preferred seats is that they allow for quicker exit from the plane upon arrival, as these seats aren’t necessarily more comfortable than other economy seats.

Fees for seats in Lufthansa’s Preferred Seating Zone range from about $20 to about $62 USD depending on exchange rates and flight distance.

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Standard Seat

The fee for advance selection of standard economy seats on Lufthansa flights ranges from about $13 to about $40 USD depending on route length and USD-EUR exchange rates.

Sleeper’s Row Lie-Flat Economy Seating

On long-haul flights of 11 hours or more, Lufthansa allows economy class passengers to reserve what they term a Sleeper’s Row – an entire row of either 3 or 4 seats, depending on aircraft configuration. You’ll be furnished with a thin mattress and a business class-quality blanket and pillow.

You can only book Lufthansa’s Sleepers Row at check-in or at the gate; it’s not possible to reserve it in advance. You can reserve the Sleeper’s Row for your entire trip or just for certain segments. The cost ranges from $179 – $249 USD per leg.

How to select economy seats on Lufthansa

How to choose Lufthansa economy seats while booking the flight: After selecting the desired outbound and inbound flights on the Lufthansa website, click the “Select seats” button near the top of the checkout page. A seat map will open that will display the seat types and prices available, including Preferred Seats and seats with extra legroom.

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How to choose Lufthansa economy seats after booking the flight: Advance seat selection is available up to 52 hours before departure on confirmed flight reservations (no standby or waiting list). To select Lufthansa economy seats, visit My Bookings and login with your ticket number or booking code.

You can also choose Lufthansa economy seats for free during online check-in, which is available 23 hours before departure.

Lufthansa’s Premium Economy fares

Premium economy fares from Lufthansa include more comfortable seats, higher quality meals, free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, better entertainment options, a travel kit, and an additional checked bag. Lounge access isn’t included with premium economy fares, but you can add it for a fee, either during booking or at a later time. You can upgrade to premium economy at any time before the flight as long as seats are available, using cash, miles, or a combination of both.

Lufthansa’s premium economy seats are located at the front of the economy section, but not necessarily in a separate cabin. The seats offer more legroom than regular economy seats and up to 50% more space around them, thanks to an armrest and center console. Increased pitch and a deeper recline will help you get better rest during the flight. Each premium economy seat also features a footrest as well as a cocktail table in the armrest to help avoid drink spillage (so important on long flights!).

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The travel kit included with Lufthansa premium economy fares contains eye shades, ear plugs, lotion, and other personal items designed to make the flight a bit more comfortable.

Lufthansa booking classes and codes

Lufthansa’s economy and premium economy fare types are further subdivided into booking classes (AKA fare classes), which are represented by a letter of the alphabet known as the booking class code. Booking classes by themselves don’t tell you whether you’re entitled to a refund if you cancel or if your ticket includes a baggage allowance – things like these depend on the fare type purchased, as discussed above.

Booking classes provide information to Lufthansa employees about different types of tickets, and are used in part to assign priority for things like boarding and upgrades. Booking classes are also used to determine how many miles are earned for Lufthansa flights, both with Miles & More and with other airlines’ frequent flyer programs. For example, Lufthansa economy Y and B fares earn the most United Airlines MileagePlus miles, while fare class K earns the least.

If you book Lufthansa flights through Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings or Brussels Airlines, you’ll earn Miles and More miles at a rate of the fare paid x 4 (or x 6 for Miles and More members with status). This also applies to travel agency bookings if the first three digits of your ticket number are 220 (Lufthansa), 724 (SWISS), 257 (Austrian Airlines), 082 (Brussels Airlines), and for all Lufthansa tickets issued by Eurowings.

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If you book Lufthansa flights from another airline, or from a travel agency and the first three digits of the ticket number are not 220, 724, 257, or 082, you’ll earn Miles & More miles based on the booking class and the flight distance. Note that the earnings rates shown below apply to worldwide flights; flights within Europe earn miles at fixed rates based on the booking class only.

Premium economy fares on Lufthansa are assigned to booking classes E and G. These classes earn Miles & More miles at a rate of 150% of the actual flight distance.

Booking class N is reserved for Lufthansa’s discount premium economy fares. It earns 100% of actual miles flown.

Lufthansa booking classes Y and B represent full-fare economy tickets. These classes have a higher priority for boarding, upgrades, and / or standby flights. They also generally include free cancellation and refunds / changes without a fee. Booking classes Y and B earn 150% of actual miles flown.

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Booking classes M, H, and U are used for Lufthansa’s regular economy fares, and sometimes for discount fares as well. Economy Flex, Economy Basic Plus, Economy Basic, and / or Economy Light fares may be offered in these classes, depending on the route. Booking classes M, H, and U earn100 % of actual miles flown.

Lufthansa fare classes Q, V, and W are discount economy fares. These classes earn 50% of actual miles flown. Economy Flex, Economy Basic Plus, Economy Basic, and / or Economy Light fares may be offered in these classes, depending on the route. Note that fare class S is sometimes included with this group.

Booking classes S, T, and L are used for Lufthansa’s deep discount economy fares. They earn Miles & More miles at a rate of 25% of actual distance flown. Economy Flex, Economy Basic Plus, Economy Basic, and / or Economy Light fares may be offered in these classes, depending on the route. Note that fare class K is sometimes included with this group.

Lufthansa fare class K is reserved for Lufthansa’s deepest discount economy fares. These fares earn frequent flyer miles at the lowest rates and have the lowest priority for boarding, upgrades, and standby. Fare class K earns Miles & More miles at rate of 25% of distance flown. Economy Flex, Economy Basic Plus, Economy Basic, and / or Economy Light fares may be offered in these classes, depending on the route.

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Booking class X is used for Lufthansa’s economy award tickets (tickets purchased by redeeming frequent flyer miles). Fare class X on Lufthansa doesn’t earn Miles & More miles.

How to find Lufthansa booking class codes

After searching for flights on the Lufthansa website, select the desired outbound flights on the flight results page. A sub-window with the available fares will open. Below that, click on “Show booking classes” to see the booking classes for the different fares available on those flights. We’ve included an example in the image below.

How to find Lufthansa booking classes

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

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