Why Are You Asking Me So Many Questions?

No, this post isn’t about the nearly 200,000 comments that have been left on the blog. 😉

This morning I flew from Frankfurt to New York on Singapore Airlines in Suites Class. It’s tough to beat flying Singapore Airlines on a transatlantic flight, though the one downside is the lounge situation in Frankfurt.

Of course Lufthansa has the stunning First Class Terminal and several lovely First Class Lounges, but the issue is that only first class passengers traveling on Lufthansa flights have access.

If you’re traveling in first class on a Star Alliance airline you only get access to their Senator Lounge, which is more like a business class lounge.

Lufthansa-Senator-Lounge-1
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt

After clearing security this morning I noticed signage for an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. I didn’t realize Air Canada had a lounge in Frankfurt, so figured I might as well check it out. Who knows, it might be nicer than the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

Air-Canada-Lounge-Frankfurt-1
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

And it actually was. It was gorgeous, and had an excellent food spread. After the Lufthansa First Class Lounges it’s the nicest one I’ve been to at Frankfurt Airport.

Air-Canada-Lounge-Frankfurt-2
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

Air-Canada-Lounge-Frankfurt-3
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

Air-Canada-Lounge-Frankfurt-4
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

But the staff were bizarre.

I entered the lounge immediately behind another guy traveling on Air Canada. Best I could tell, he handed the representative his elite card and not his boarding pass.

Agent: “Is everything okay?”
Guy: “Yes… what do you mean?”
Agent: “Are you going to give me your boarding pass, I don’t need this card.”
Guy: “Oh, you guys usually need the card.”

*he hands her the boarding pass*

Agent: “Sir, again, is everything okay?”
Guy: “Yes, is everything okay with you?”
Agent: “You gave me your inbound boarding pass. It’s too early for this.”

*he hands her correct boarding pass*

Agent: “Are you sure everything is okay?”

It was one of the oddest things I’ve witnessed, because she asked if he was okay in such a passive aggressive way. I don’t know if I missed context or what, but it was so strange. He seemed equally confused based on the look on his face as he walked away.

Then I hand her my Singapore Suites boarding pass, and she nearly soils herself. It’s rare to have airline agents have a reaction to boarding passes, but she goes “oh wow, I’ve only ever heard of this and have never seen one of these boarding passes. Please enjoy our lounge.”

So I go into the lounge and subtly start snapping pictures. There was an employee just kind of standing around by the buffet, and she comes up to me.

Employee: “Why are you taking pictures.”
Me: “Because I fly a lot and like to take pictures of my travels.”
Employee: “Oh… why?”
Me: “It’s just a hobby.”
Employee: “But why this lounge?”

At this point I’m wondering if she’s a Canadian immigration officer, because that’s what her line of questioning is starting to sound like.

Me: “Because I’ve only ever visited the Senator Lounge in this pier, and I didn’t realize this lounge existed.”
Employee: “So what are you doing with the pictures?”
Me: “Nothing in particular.”
Employee: “So you don’t copy them?”
Me: “Ummm…. no?”

At this point I just kind of walk away. I keep taking pictures, and she keeps standing a few feet behind me.

I sit down, and a while later I go to the buffet to get something to drink.

Employee: “So you’re flying first class?”
Me: “Yes.”
Employee: “Oh… then why aren’t you using the first class lounge?”
Me: “Because Singapore Airlines doesn’t have a first class lounge here, and the alternative is the Lufthansa Senator Lounge. I actually find this lounge to be nicer.”
Employee: “Have you used the Lufthansa First Class Terminal before?”
Me: “Yes, many times.”

At this point I can’t tell whether she’s just trying to engage in small talk (which I’m not interested in), be some sort of self-proclaimed security agent, or what. So I left the lounge and went to the inferior Senator Lounge, where at least I was left alone.

WTF?

Comments

  1. Why do you have to leave, tell her to leave you alone, that is what I would have done, I would say why are you asking me questions? Go away or fetch your supervisor.

  2. I know it makes me sound like the one who’s nuts, but in these situations – and when someone chatty sits next to me on the plane – I find a simple “I know it’s weird but I hate talking.” usually shuts the other party right up.

  3. If you were actually in Canada I would say these were just typically over-friendly Canadians who were genuinely concerned and/or curious about you. But since it was in FRA presumably they were still Germans, which makes it even weirder.

  4. Maybe they were trying to make you feel uncomfortable so you would leave. That way they have the lounge to themselves and less work.

  5. Nice to know there’s an alternative. I was quite frustrated when I went through FRA on my way between SIN-JFK last year in SQ R class. There was no indication from anyone what lounge to use. So I trooped around at like 6AM looking for the right lounge. I was not too happy. You’re right that the Senator lounge is not so great. The food spread looks pretty nice at this MLL.

  6. LOL… hilarious!

    so can I use the maple lounge also if i am arriving on Singapore Suites flight but connecting on a separate revenue coach ticket FRA-VIE? is it enough to show them the inbound Singapore F boarding pass?

    or will i have to use senator lounge?
    thx.

  7. Hilarious. Did you take her name ?

    You should perhaps get a press pass or some press credentials; that way you can always show it in situations like this.

  8. Sounds like AC staff/MLL in Canada 🙂

    Did you reply “No English”, and “No German”, then they’d leave you alone probably

  9. That’s weird. I’ve been to that lounge twice so far, and both times all of the staff members there were super friendly. During my second visit, I gave them my boarding pass and the attendant said “yes, thank you, and I’m gonna need your Star Alliance Gold card please” – and not “is everything okay?”.

  10. Some german people are really trying to be chatty but their own culture and education does not allow them to be like latinos people or africans !

  11. Alles in ordnung?

    But on a more serious note, haven’t you ever used Lounge Buddy? This app tells you what lounges are available on each airport and if you have access or not (you input your FF status and CC, and can also input which airline you are flying).

  12. You don’t like people to make small talk with you, yet you call out flight attendants (i.e. Ethiopian) for not making small talk with you.

  13. There seems to be a lot of blowback at the agent inside the lounge who seems to be making small talk. No reason to be impolite or ask for a supervisor people….

  14. I’m confused (as others seem to be) as to why you left the AC lounge.

    I’m going to make it a point to visit it next trip to FRA, just to experience the crazy.

  15. Oh, and another quick question: On the Air Canada page to which you link for the lounge, it says

    “As is the case with all our lounges, access to the Frankfurt Maple Leaf Lounge is complimentary with confirmed, same-day travel on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance flight for:

    -Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K and Elite 50K members,
    -Star Alliance Gold members,
    -Customers travelling in Air Canada Executive First,
    -Select club and card members with proof of active membership”

    But it doesn’t specify *A first or biz pax – in my experience, *A first pax always get access to all first and biz. lounges (except for the known one-offs such as LH FCT and FCLs, LX FCL, TG FCL, etc.), but this statement seems to exclude them. Or at lease excludes them from their list, maybe not the lounge.

  16. Wow, that does sound weird, both at the door and at the buffet. I wonder if they were expecting some sort of audit or mystery shopper and they were trying to figure out whether you or the other passenger were “it”. Which, if you were, I would think creeping y’all out wouldn’t help their ratings.

  17. I only use air Canada when flying star alliance first out of France. Discovered back in the early spring.

  18. maybe she was actually in immigration… or perhaps previoulsy worked as a customs officer and was just sweating the perp out lol esp if he looked even a bit uncomfortable or so flustered (handing her the wrong things)… which would kinda be out of character for anyone entering an airline lounge…. maybe she was just genuinely concerned about his well being cause he didnt look ok?

    anyways lucky, I’m just curious if LH F customers use the FCT… and other *A F customers use the Senator Lounge (what LH J uses)… then who exactly uses or gets to use the First Class Lounge?? just LH F folks in a hurry who dont have time to goto the FCT or??

  19. @ Barbara — There’s a difference between small talk and a hostile, accusatory tone. The first part of the conversation definitely had that.

  20. @ Nick — At least the first part of the conversation had a really accusatory tone. Really didn’t feel like small talk.

  21. @ TravelinWilly — Looks to me like an oversight on their part. All Star Alliance first and business class passengers should have access.

  22. @ Adam — The FCT and FCLs are all for HON Circle members and Lufthansa first class passengers. Keep in mind if connecting there’s no easy way to get to the FCT — you have to leave immigration and walk along the outside roadway to the FCT. So the FCLs are much more practical for connecting passengers.

  23. i would have told them, in perfect english, that I only speak swahili

    Unless she was cute then we would go another direction…

  24. It sounds like they were perplexed as to why you were in their lounge when you’re traveling in Suites Class. Maybe they thought there was some espionage afoot?

  25. I would have rattled off some nonsense in terse Russian and just ignored them – or maybe to increase the excitement level you might have replied, “Other than the vomiting, diarrhea and high fever since i left West Africa on my last flight, I guess I’m ok…” 🙂

  26. Definitely hitting on you. Understandable you didn’t pick up on that, she wanted you to go to a special lounge with her … just the two of you …

  27. very weird – my experience (and that of others as posted on flyertalk) is that this lounge is 1 of the 2 best ones at FRA (haven’t been to the FCL/FCT for a few years, but i assume that still takes first place)

    went to the AC lounge in april with an F BP on UA, and was warmly welcomed in english and german – the only ‘monitoring’ was by the catering lady to immediately put out another bottle of bubbly when she saw that i didn’t even get a full glass from the one in the ice bowl (and i can handle that 🙂 )

  28. Are you technically allowed to use the Air Canada lounge even if your flying LH and are M&M Senator? Or would you have to stick to the LH Senator lounge?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *