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
LOT Polish Business Class Lounge Warsaw
LOT Polish Business Class ERJ-170 Warsaw To Zurich
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.
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.
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.
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.
Near the entrance there’s an area with world clocks as well as a variety of magazines.
Then there’s also a WorldShop display area.
And a smoking lounge.
There are two main buffet areas. The one in the center of the lounge has mostly sweets, coffee, tea, water, etc.
Then the other one has more food, including fruit.
Some sort of dessert.
Gummy bears, snack mix, and nuts.
Bread, bread, bread, and bread.
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!). 😉
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.
Then there were some accompaniments for that, including sauerkraut.
There was also a selection of self serve drinks, including liquor, beer, wine, soft drinks, etc.
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!
At around 12:30PM we headed down to our departure gate, Z58, which was less than a five minute walk from the lounge.
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.
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.
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.