Review: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt

Introduction
Around the World on 90k Part I: Warsaw and Beijing with Nothing But a Passport and a Dream(liner)
Around the World on 90k Part II: Blowing Through the Horn of Africa
Korean Air Lounge New York JFK
LOT Polish Business Class 787 New York To Warsaw
Westin Warsaw
LOT Polish Business Class Lounge Warsaw
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Swiss Panorama Lounge Zurich
Swiss Business Class A330 Zurich To Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class 787 Beijing To Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine Business Class Lounge Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class 767 Addis Ababa To Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class 747-8 Frankfurt to Washington
Park Hyatt Washington DC


We decided to spend the night at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, but since I reviewed that just a couple of months ago, I’ll skip it with this trip report. The stay was good as usual — you can’t beat the convenience of being right across from the terminal, and the club lounge there is great as well.

Our flight from Frankfurt to Washington Dulles was at 1:10PM, and since we had been given our boarding passes when checking in at Beijing Airport, we could head straight through security.

We left the hotel at 11:30AM, and were through security and in the Z Concourse by 11:50AM, which was surprisingly efficient for Frankfurt. While I transit Frankfurt Airport well over a dozen times per year, I usually have the good fortune of using the First Class Terminal, which means I get to bypass the terminal altogether on departure.

I’ve reviewed the Z Concourse Lufthansa Senator Lounge before, so this time around figured we’d check out the attached Lufthansa Business Lounge, located near gate Z50.

Lufthansa’s lounge system is very interesting, because they have a Business Lounge for business class passengers, and then a Senator Lounge for Star Gold passengers as well as first class passengers on partner airlines. That’s sort of how they get away with not allowing partner airline first class passengers into their real First Class Lounge and First Class Terminal, because they claim that those are HON Circle Lounges (their top tier elite), which they also admit their own first class passengers to, as a courtesy.

The problem is that Lufthansa’s lounges — in particular Senator Lounges — are notoriously overcrowded. So I was curious to see how the Business Lounge compared, which in theory should be inferior.

There was quite a long queue to get in the lounge, and once inside we proceeded up the escalator to the Business Lounge.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt entrance

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt escalator

The Z Concourse is reasonably modern, so the club is fairly new and is actually quite nicely decorated. It’s almost identical to the adjacent Senator Lounge. What kind of surprised me is that the lounge wasn’t really overcrowded, despite it being peak travel hours. There was quite a bit of seating available, so that was cool.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

The lounge is absolutely massive, and features a variety of seating options, from lounge chairs to bar stools to dining tables to an entertainment area to a relaxation area to a business center.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt business center

Near the entrance there’s an area with world clocks as well as a variety of magazines.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt magazines

Then there’s also a WorldShop display area.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt WorldShop display

And a smoking lounge.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt smoking area

There are two main buffet areas. The one in the center of the lounge has mostly sweets, coffee, tea, water, etc.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Then the other one has more food, including fruit.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Some sort of dessert.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Gummy bears, snack mix, and nuts.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Salad.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Bread, bread, bread, and bread.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Brazilian soup (it’s worth noting this was before Germany played Brazil in the World Cup… wonder if they changed the soup before then? Or maybe they kept it… because Brazil got served!). 😉

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Then there was sausage. Lots and lots of incredibly large German sausages, which seemed to be quite popular, because the tray was replaced every few minutes and there was consistently a queue for them.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

Then there were some accompaniments for that, including sauerkraut.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

There was also a selection of self serve drinks, including liquor, beer, wine, soft drinks, etc.

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt buffet

The only other thing worth noting about the lounge is that it has quite possibly the greatest view of any lounge in the world… almost. It literally looks directly upon the line up of the dozen or so Lufthansa 747s and A380s that populate the Z Concourse during the afternoon rush. The only catch is that they have “stripes” on the windows which really kind of ruin the views. Booo!

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Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt view

At around 12:30PM we headed down to our departure gate, Z58, which was less than a five minute walk from the lounge.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

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Frankfurt Airport departure gate

Boarding was eventually called at 12:45PM, a bit later than expected. This gate has self boarding, so you just walk up to the gate, place your boarding pass face down on the scanner, and the gate opens.

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Frankfurt Airport departure gate

And then we were off to fly what’s hands down the sexiest plane in the sky, the 747-8. Except for the first time I was flying it on the upper deck and not in the nose.

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

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Lufthansa 747-8 Frankfurt Airport

Lufthansa Business Lounge Frankfurt bottom line

As much as I’m generally not a fan of Lufthansa’s non-first class lounges, I was actually impressed by the Business Lounge. The lounge was nicely decorated, wasn’t overcrowded, and the food spread was good.

I actually have no clue what the difference is between the Business Lounge and Senator Lounge — as far as I can tell they’re identical, and if anything the Senator Lounge seems to be more crowded.

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Comments

  1. Hey Lucky, I believe the food and possibly the drinks in the Senator lounges are a notch better than in the Business Lounges.
    When you have the chance try out the Business Loungein FRA close to Gate A26. there used to be a Biz & Sen Lounge there on the ground floor. When they opened the new Lounges between A & Z they closed this location. But a short while later they reopened a Biz Lounge close to A26. You need to ride up the escalator!! I believe this used to be a LH first class lounge because it has a different layout compared to normal Biz lounges. The restrooms are better and have more space for example.

    greetz, Buzz

  2. Shoot — if we’d stayed at the Le Meridien in Frankfurt, would you have reviewed it? Now I feel bad for pushing us to stay at the Sheraton and thus cutting out a review!

  3. I don’t know the official policy of photography in LH lounge, but I was stopped at B concourse business class lounge back in April, by the “food station staff”, not by the lounge staff, weird

    B concourse is even more confusing for star gold (I was *G in Y)
    Senator, business, Maple leaf lounge

  4. @ Andrew B — Hah, nope, I’ve reviewed the Sheraton, Westin, and Le Meridien in Frankfurt. 🙂

    And after the Ethiopian flight I was too tired to review anything anyway!

  5. @ Sam — You just scan your boarding pass like the gate agent would otherwise do. It’s actually quite efficient.

  6. Lucky: Great review. Just as an odd side point, and even though you go to all these exotic destinations, I’ll bet that the best airline club view you’ve had is at the LGA Admirals Club: you’ve got the AA flight line in the foreground, the main runway with planes taking off in the middle ground, and the Manhattan skyline in the distance. With a setting sun and a seat by the window, I don’t think there’s much of a better view anywhere. If only the free wine at the bar were a bit better, it’d all be perfect!

  7. @ Sam — If I can offer a different perspective from Lucky’s, the boarding pass scan itself mostly went fine (aside from our passes, which were on Ethiopian stock and needed to be reprinted), but the order of the line wasn’t enforced. We stood in line for a good 25 minutes before they were ready to board (they were running behind ), and just as they started boarding, a LARGE group waiting in the seats nearby decided that “there’s no way all these people are in business class” and just barged in front of us in the queue. I was hoping a stern gate agent would ask them to use the economy line or at least get behind everyone who’d been waiting, but no such luck. Was this because of the self-boarding process? I don’t know.

  8. Was there a couple of weeks ago – it wasn’t as crowded as when you were there, but I also really liked the lounge. Definitely one of the better business class lounges I’ve been to. They also have shower rooms which are pretty spacious and comfortable, and much appreciated by me after a 12-hour stop in Frankfurt and just before a longhaul to HKG.

  9. I’ll be connecting in FRA from UA first to LH business in terminal A, no *G status, do I have access to both the business lounge and senator lounge?

  10. @ JW — Technically you only get lounge access based on your outbound flight, so in this case the Business Lounge. In practice they may let you into the Senator Lounge, though.

  11. I believe the SEN lounge usually offers a “special course of the day”, as well as an extra full service bar. But other than that, it’s not so different from the Biz lounge. If you get a chance next time, do check out the new AC MLL in Concourse B, though. The food spread is far more extensive than the LH lounges, and the showers are gorgeous.

  12. These lounges are always crowded since pretty much everyone can get into one of them. I’m surprised you found as much food and drink as you did..

    If you’re not FIRST you’re last!

  13. @phil asks “Is this the same lounge you’d use if using A terminal gates?”

    I think the answer to that question can’t be yes. The A and Z gates are separated by passport control. If A and Z passengers could mingle in the lounge and then leave by the Z entrance, that would be a problem. You could essentially bypass passport control, by entering the lounge from the A concourse and then exiting in the Z concourse. I’ve only ever been in the lounges in the Z gates, but my understanding is that the A lounges are a similar set up, but different lounges.

    I think the main difference between the Senator and Business lounge is the pretzels! Lucky — any pretzels in the business lounge?

    One hassle about these lounges is that if you’re flying United and have access to the Senator lounge (because you’re in F or are *G), but you need support, the United agent is in the business part of the lounge. So, you wait in line to enter the lounge, and you’re granted access to Senator, but then you have to go upstairs to business to do your United business, but then when you try to re-enter the Senator lounge you either need to go back in line, or prepare to be accosted if the lounge agent doesn’t recognize you. And if, horror of horrors, your admission ticket is TK *G status, prepare for LH to treat you with even-less-then-normal-for-Germany-airline-employee coldness.

  14. I have found the senators lounge to be ridiculously overcrowded during peak times. Have been there were you can’t even find 2 open seats!

  15. Does anyone know why some airports insist on putting those stripes or some form of ‘barrier’ on the windows to prevent a clear view through to the airport grounds? Is it for security purposes? I’m really curious – as I’m sure most airport management teams have realised that there are many travellers who are plane spotting geeks, and those that aren’t are probably less-frequent travellers who would appreciate the chance to take a photo of their plane and post it on Instagram or Facebook to show all their friends and family…

  16. Andrew,

    Thanks for the response. That was what I was thinking when I asked the question. While having a gate agent, or two, does not ensure 100% order, it has to help. I know that bording at JFK on an international flight can be hectic (having experienced it on a JFK-HK flight), but at least there are folks there to keep some sort of order and keep all the lines straight. Also, not all things scan properly, so that can be a negative.

    Thanks for the the other perspective. I suggest a new rule, every time Lucky flies Lufty he has to take along and impartial party :). I will volunteer first!

  17. @Not a big German sausage

    The strips are an energy conservation measure. They block some the sunlight coming through the window, which reduces the load on the air conditioning system. There are other variations, including a dot/circle pattern and tinted/reflective film, which would be best for us but there are probably other considerations..

  18. As far as I remember, LH grants Business Lounge access to their silver level (Frequent Traveler/35K status miles), other than that I don’t remember big differences. The Senator lounges sometimes have a sleeping area or other similar extra, plus maybe an enhanced food/drink item or two. Personally,
    I like the FRA Tower Lounge (especially the Sonic Chairs) and the Senator Cafe lounge in Munich. The lounge in MUC that is decorated like a Biergarten is also cool.

  19. @Buzz you’re right. That one used to be a First Class lounge – as I had to find out when I flew LH F earlier this year and then had to make my way back to the First Class lounge in Concourse Z (which is quite a walk).

    As Moler noted, the food at SEN lounges is a little more extensive. They usually have one or two more hot food options, and some more finger food, while a Business Lounge usually only has a soup and one of sausages (hot dogs) or meat loafs. Also, as a LH SEN, you have access to more magazines (though you’ll usually have to ask the lounge staff).
    One reason why SEN Lounges tend to be more packed than Business Lounges is that LH SEN (i.e. Gold) members are allowed to bring a guest. So if two people are traveling together and one is SEN and one is FTL (i.e. Silver), they’ll get into the SEN lounge and not the FTL lounge. HON circle members are even allowed to bring two guests.

    But all in all, Business and Senator lounges are really not that much different. Also, a Business Class lounge for international departures (e.g. in FRA) offers pretty much the same as a Senator lounge for domestic departures (e.g. in HAM, DUS, STR).
    As we all know, LH’s First Class lounges are a totally different story and just incredible…

    Any more questions? 😉

  20. Do they allow access to the first class lounge on arriving flights? We are arriving to frankfurt on a first class flight and connecting on a 2 cabin flight in business to Venice.

  21. Your reviews are great – very informative – thank you very much for posting them – awesome eye!

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