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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.
While in theory that’s not a terribly inconvenient connection as far as Frankfurt Airport goes, it was still quite a haul.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Across from the cubicles is the bar, which Lufthansa consistently does an impressive job with.
Then most of the rest of the lounge featured Lufthansa’s “signature” decor, with somewhat sterile and modern leather 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.
By the windows there were some seats with ottomans, and then throughout the lounge there were a few tables with bar-style 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.
In the back right of the Lufthansa FCL is a smoking lounge, which features cigars for sale, as well as a dedicated bar selection.
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.
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.
The spread had all kinds of cold cuts, cheese, freshly baked bread, several salads, more than a handful of hot dishes, etc.
But perhaps most tantalizing was the dessert spread, which looked incredible.
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.
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.
The shower and bathroom area of the lounge is located past the entrance and to the left.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was a bit of a haul to gate Z64, though the Z Concourse has moving walkways, which speed things up a bit.
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.
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.
As you’d expect, by the time my boarding pass got scanned shortly after 12:45PM, the jet bridge was already quite backed up.
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?