Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Introduction
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Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt
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As I explained in the last installment, my Austrian flight arrived at a gate rather than at a remote stand. Usually that would be a good thing, but when you’re connecting to Lufthansa first class, you’d get picked up in a car and driven to the lounge if you arrived at a remote stand, while you get nothing when you arrive at a gate.

In our case we were arriving at gate A38, and my connecting flight was leaving from gate Z64.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

While in theory that’s not a terribly inconvenient connection as far as Frankfurt Airport goes, it was still quite a haul.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

I followed the signage towards the Lufthansa lounges, which was about a 15 minute trek. And that was with me walking at a German pace.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

The Lufthansa First Class Lounge entrance was located to the left. It was easy enough to find, because it was right next to the Lufthansa Business Lounge, where there was a long queue to get in (which always seems to be the case).

I should note that most people are familiar with Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal, which is separated from the terminal altogether. It’s a heck of an experience. But there are a couple of Lufthansa First Class Lounges in the terminal itself as well, which are just about equally nice in terms of decor. The only difference is that you’re not guaranteed a car transfer to the plane.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt entrance

Anyway, the lounge was located one level up from the concourse. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, the friendly associate at the desk informed me I’d be departing from gate Z64, and recommended that I leave the lounge by around 12:30PM.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt stairs

This First Class Lounge is a decent size, and surprisingly wasn’t too packed, despite it being shortly before the rush of US-bound flights.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

There’s a wide entryway, and then to the right are four workspaces. I don’t think there’s an airline which does cubicles better than Lufthansa, as they have actual cubicles with closing doors, so you have lots of privacy.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt cubicles

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt cubicles

Across from the cubicles is the bar, which Lufthansa consistently does an impressive job with.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt bar

Then most of the rest of the lounge featured Lufthansa’s “signature” decor, with somewhat sterile and modern leather seating.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

I do find it interesting how Lufthansa arranges furniture. Rather than creating sets of 2-4 seats, they seem to arrange most seating areas so that you have 6-8 seats facing one another. In theory that invites conversation with strangers, though in practice I find most people still keep to themselves.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

By the windows there were some seats with ottomans, and then throughout the lounge there were a few tables with bar-style seating.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt seating

In theory the lounge has incredible views of the “Z” concourse, as it faces the tails of all the Lufthansa “heavy” aircraft. Unfortunately there are horizontal “strips” in the windows, which do hinder the views somewhat, and even more so make taking pictures virtually impossible.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt tarmac views

In the back right of the Lufthansa FCL is a smoking lounge, which features cigars for sale, as well as a dedicated bar selection.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt smoking lounge

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt smoking lounge

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt smoking lounge

Perhaps the highlight of any Lufthansa First Class Lounge is the dining area. In this case it’s located in the back left of the lounge. The dining area has roughly a dozen tables, and then a buffet and a la carte menu.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt dining area

Lufthansa’s catering is provided by DO&CO, which in my opinion offers the best airline catering. The quality and presentation of the spread was top notch.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

The spread had all kinds of cold cuts, cheese, freshly baked bread, several salads, more than a handful of hot dishes, etc.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch menu

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

But perhaps most tantalizing was the dessert spread, which looked incredible.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt lunch buffet

My layover was fairly short so I wasn’t going to have a full meal. That being said, I couldn’t resist having a “real” German pretzel with some guac. I should note that service on this visit was quite lackluster. Usually there are servers roaming the lounge, though in this instance I wasn’t offered a drink by anyone.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt pretzel & guacamole

Before it was time to leave the lounge I stopped by the shower area to request a couple of Lufthansa’s “signature” rubber ducks, which now seem to be silver-colored.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt ducks

The shower and bathroom area of the lounge is located past the entrance and to the left.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt shower reception

Not only do they have individual showers and bathrooms there, but they also have two sleeping rooms, which are great if you have a long connection.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt sleeping rooms

It’s worth noting that this FCL also offers what is essentially closest to being an “actual” bed, while the First Class Terminal basically just has couches with blankets.

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Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt sleeping room

Shortly after 12:30PM I left the lounge and headed to my departure gate. This was quite a stark contrast to my other Lufthansa first class experiences out of Frankfurt, whereby I was driven to the plane in a car.

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Frankfurt Airport duty free shops

I followed the signage to the Z Concourse, which required queuing for passport control. When you’re in the First Class Terminal, immigration formalities are taken care of in the lounge, while that’s not offered in this case.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

It was a bit of a haul to gate Z64, though the Z Concourse has moving walkways, which speed things up a bit.

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

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Frankfurt Airport terminal

I was thrilled to see that my flight was operated by the Siegerflieger Fanhansa Boeing 747-8, which is the exact same plane that took the German World Cup team home from Brazil after they won last year.

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Lufthansa 747-8 flying me from Frankfurt to Newark

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Lufthansa 747-8 flying me from Frankfurt to Newark

While the ground experience is amazing when you’re escorted to the plane (they drive you to the plane on the tarmac and take you straight up to the jet bridge via an elevator), in this case I was stuck queuing behind dozens and dozens of business class passengers, as there’s no separate boarding call for first class.

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Departure gate from Frankfurt to Newark

As you’d expect, by the time my boarding pass got scanned shortly after 12:45PM, the jet bridge was already quite backed up.

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Boarding flight from Frankfurt to Newark

I was excited for a glass of champagne aboard, and was equally excited to get back home after a long trip abroad.

Lufthansa First Class Lounge bottom line

As I explained in a separate post, I found this to be an all around pretty underwhelming ground experience. Lufthansa arguably has one of the best ground experiences in the world when you use the First Class Terminal and/or are driven to the plane in a car. Though in this case I’d say the ground experience was only slightly above average compared to other lounges.

The Lufthansa First Class Lounge itself was nice (though the service wasn’t especially good), but the lack of any ground services otherwise was underwhelming. It seems a bit odd how dependent the ground experience is upon your arrival and departure gate, rather than them trying to make the experience more consistent.

What has been your experience with Lufthansa’s ground services in Frankfurt?

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the cigar lounge and cabinet photos! I’d be interested in seeing the EK F lounge selection in DXB next time you pass through!

  2. I’ve had about a half dozen experiences with the F class lounges in Frankfurt and Munich in the last few months. In general, I far prefer Munich in no small part because of having the immigration officer available for EU arrivals (which doesn’t seem to be on offer in Frankfurt). Also, I do find the first class terminal at FRA to somewhat more attentive than the ‘regular’ First Class lounges in the airport.

    I’m surprised that you actually waited behind dozens of other passengers for boarding. Although LH does not have a separate boarding area for F class passengers (in my experience they have often offered a lounge-to-plane escort which makes that line moot…at least at foreign airports), they clearly have a ‘front-of-line’ policy. Just flash the red boarding card jacket and a LH staff member will quite literally ‘part the seas’.

  3. I was just at the FCT in FRA this morning. My wife and I were driven to the plane in a brand new s-class. This was after a relaxing bath and scotch tasting. That was tough to beat! What really surprised me was that we were whisked off the plane here in Dulles and driven to customs/immigration along with the one other F passenger where they opened up a back door and got us thru in minutes. Overall a great experience! Now I’m just sitting in the Senator lounge waiting for the flight back to MSP.

  4. It seems your experience was at the F Class lounge in Concourse A. That being the case the lack of service – or lackluster service as you called it – seems endemic at this lounge. The experience in teh F Class lounge in Concourse B lives up to the high standards of the FCT as well as the F Class lounge in MUC. Its something that can, and should, be addressed by LH. The boarding experience when not being escorted by limousine is not pleasant when accessing the plane from the terminal BUT (a) did you get there after boarding had already commenced? If so you can’t blame the ground staff. (b) if you DID get there prior to commencement of boarding and identified yourself to one of the agents you would get priority boarding (after Families with children, those needing assistance and HON members!) Though after that, once LH announces boarding for F they also seem to announce Star Alliance Gold, Senator, and sometimes even Business. They could do a better job of separation at that juncture.

  5. Are you sure the cigars are for sale? I have never taken advantage of that, but my understanding was they were complimentary. On the face of it, I wouldn’t make sense you can merrily pour yourself unlimited expensive scotch and cognac and then have to pay for a cigar. Maybe smoking laws require a charge for the cigars.

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