Lufthansa sells unsold fresh food at discounted prices before landing

Lufthansa Group on Wednesday announced a new initiative that will allow passengers to purchase unsold fresh food at discounted prices at the end of flights. These meals are sold to takeaway, allowing passengers to take home delicious snacks or have a snack before landing.

Entitled ‘Onboard Delights Last Minute’, the program will allow Lufthansa passengers to purchase food not sold during the flight for a flat rate of €3.50. Passengers can also collect and redeem award miles with Onboard Delights Last Minute purchases.

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Operated by Gate Gourmet, Lufthansa’s catering program includes salads, bowls, sandwiches and specialty cakes and has been serving passengers for over two years.

A member of the incredibly vast and diverse Lufthansa Group, the airline is the first to offer discounts on unsold food, as Austrian Airlines, Swissair and Eurowings have been doing since 2022. Not a group airline.

Lufthansa Group

Photo: Lufthansa Group

Available on select flights

Lufthansa will offer this new program on select flights from European destinations back to Frankfurt or Munich. Unsold food from the outbound flight can be served on the way back to Germany, but the unsold food will be discarded at the end of the return flight to the airline’s hub.

In this way, Lufthansa was able to offer its loyal customers the opportunity to enjoy delicious snacks at affordable prices, while contributing to increased revenue from food sales. But most importantly, both customers and carriers work together to reduce food waste.

These meals are €3.50 and represent a unique opportunity for transit passengers as they can purchase affordable gourmet meals from Lufthansa rather than expensive airport alternatives for long transit passengers.

Importantly for passengers, however, Lufthansa has different catering programs for longer flights and does not cater for flights shorter than an hour, so this unique opportunity is for flights within Europe longer than an hour. It means that it is only available on flights.

Lufthansa short-haul catering

Photo: Lufthansa Group

Long-term sustainability goals

The Onboard Delights Last Minute program is consistent with the airline’s long-term sustainability commitments. By 2025, Lufthansa aims to reduce food waste by 50% from the record level of 2019.

In addition, other Lufthansa Group airlines have also successfully reduced food waste through unsold food programs. Austria, Switzerland and Eurowings have reported selling about 80,000 food items that would have been wasted in 2022.

Lufthansa A380 Landing-1

Photo: Kittikun Yoksap/Shutterstock

The program could lead to even longer-term trends as the airline industry looks to the future. Civil aviation remains one of the most carbon-intensive industries and will be defined by its ability to continue to innovate and reduce its carbon footprint.

In the future, airlines may require pre-ordering of meals and snacks with limited in-flight purchase options. Such a pre-ordering scheme allows airlines to know exactly how many meals to serve on each flight, thus ensuring zero food waste.

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