German flag carrier Lufthansa is offering passengers the chance to book flights to a surprise destination, potentially saving them a significant amount of money in the process. The concept, branded as Lufthansa Surprise, is a unique way for passengers to add some excitement to their travel plans.
The process is simple – passengers choose one of nine different travel themes, their preferred dates of travel, and a departure point of either Frankfurt Airport (FRA) or Munich Airport (MUC). The price of the booking is then displayed, and once payment has been processed, the destination is revealed.
Bookings can be made from one to 42 days in advance, and passengers can choose to exclude individual destinations from each travel theme. However, according to Lufthansa, the more flexible they are, the more money they stand to save.
Lufthansa Surprise passengers to save money by booking allows flights to a mystery destination. Photo: Getty Images
What are the travel themes?
There are nine different travel themes available. Example destinations from within each theme and their prices are listed below (departures from Frankfurt):
- Worth Seeing – from €79 ($77) – Ibiza, Vilnius
- Go East – from €89 ($87) – Dubrovnik, Riga
- Arts and Sights – from €89 ($87) – Bordeaux, Santiago de Compostela
- The Great Outdoors – from €89 ($87) – Bergen, Valencia
- follow the sun – from €89 ($87) – Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes
- party-on – from €99 ($96) – Barcelona, Helsinki
- For Lovers – €99 ($96) – Florence, Malta
- Shop Till You Drop – €99 ($96) – Copenhagen, Milan
- Urban Adventures – from €109 ($106) – Madrid, Reykjavik
All bookings are made on Lufthansa’s Economy fare, which includes one 8kg item of cabin baggage. Passengers can choose to add ancillary services such as checked baggage and seat selection. Once booked, the flights cannot be changed and are non-refundable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the airline’s 24-hour free cancellation policy does not apply in this case either.
There are some significant savings to be had – according to Lufthansa, savings average €250 ($243) per person. For example, on a dummy booking, flights departing mid-week in October to a ‘Follow the Sun’ destination were available for €90 ($88), whereas regular flight bookings to the potential destinations, including Palma de Mallorca and Faro, were coming in over €300 ($292).
As part of Lufthansa Surprise, passengers can select their travel dates and a travel theme. The destination is then revealed once the booking has been completed. Photo: Lufthansa
Flights can also be credited to the passenger’s Miles & More account – Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program, which is due to be revamped in early 2024.
The destinations available as part of Lufthansa Surprise are all within Europe. This means that flights will most likely be operated by the airline’s Airbus A320 family aircraft. Lufthansa currently has 187 Airbus narrowbody aircraft in its fleet, with 79 more Airbus A320neos and Airbus A321neos on order.
Lufthansa is not the only airline to be offering flights to unknown destinations. This summer, ultra-low-cost carrier Wizz Air took 200 competition winners on a mystery journey from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). The destination of Kutaisi (KUT) was only announced on board once the aircraft had landed.
Wizz Air recently ran a competition to fly to an unknown destination (Kutaisi), which was announced on arrival. Photo: Wizz Air
While Wizz Air’s one-off competition was different from Lufthansa’s bookable flights, the concept of a surprise flight is an ingenious idea for airlines to fill seats on flights with otherwise lower load factors.
What do you think of the idea of booking a flight to an unknown destination? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Full Service Carrier
- Frankfurt Airport, Munich Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Airlines Group:
- Lufthansa Group
- Carsten Spohr