Lufthansa has rolled out yet another offer as alternatives to traditional air tickets, namely an option to purchase the actual time in the air based on the scheduled duration of the flights: Timepass.
It’s very hard to utilize pre-purchased flight pass based on time to it’s full potential because it’s almost impossible to find flights that fill up the entire allowance without leftovers.
You can access the Lufthansa Timepass website here to have a look for yourself.
The prices above are for the basic 6 hour pass, there however two other options available.
- 6 hours for 249 EUR
- 9 hours for 379 EUR
- 12 hours for 499 EUR
- 6 hours for 429 EUR
- 9 hours for 659 EUR
- 12 hours for 869 EUR
It makes most sense to use the available time on routes that are usually quite expensive such as Russia and Scandinavia. Morocco is also priced quite high on most occasions.
You got to keep an eye on the flight duration per round trip noted in the destination description. You can only book round trip flights though, one way flights aren’t permitted. And this leads us to a further array of restrictions.
The following I consider too restrictive and potential deal breakers for this promotion:
- Flights are only available on direct routes from Frankfurt & Munich
- Only return flights are permitted
- Black-Out dates apply
- All visits must include either a Friday or Saturday night
- Flights only bookable up to 21 days before departure
- No proper invoices will be issued (important for business expenses)
- You cannot upgrade to Business Class with Lufthansa Timepass
- Already booked flights can neither be rebooked nor cancelled
- Lufthansa Timepass tickets are booked in the Economy Light fare
The Economy Light fare is a real problem as far as I’m concerned.
The ‘Light’ fare is ideal for you if you are only travelling with carry-on baggage and know exactly when you will be flying – because bookings cannot be changed nor tickets refunded. For an additional fee, you can add one piece of baggage and a seat reservation to your booking at any time.
This is how the fares compare to each other:
You’ll still be able to collect frequent flyer miles and enjoy associated status benefits however as long as the booking class of your ticket will be eligible to earn anything under your respective program. Those benefits do not include the extra piece of baggage for Star Alliance Gold.
Tickets can only be requested after purchasing the pass and you can’t see availability beforehand. Flights are subject to acceptance by Lufthansa and until then you can’t see the booking code and booking class either.
Lufthansa is experimenting a lot recently with alternative products of which this is just another version. The other alternative booking option is the AnyWay pass I recently wrote about (see here).
Way too many restrictions for my personal taste. It could be ok if someone has Star Alliance Gold status to enjoy a few benefits when flying on these tickets. Certainly better than a budget carrier
The maximum one would be able to get out of the base pass for 249 EUR are 3 short haul tickets where the cumulative flight time won’t exceed 6 hours or alternatively (and ideally) expensive flights such as St. Petersburg or Helsinki among others where revenue tickets are usually expensive.