Though my First Class flight to Washington didn’t depart until almost 1:00, I arrived at Frankfurt Airport shortly after 9. Why? Because I wanted plenty of time to savor the Lufthansa First Class Terminal experience. For the most part, Lufthansa’s exclusive lounge didn’t disappoint. While perhaps not quite as great as Air France’s La Première lounge, it’s still a great lounge. Certainly among the world’s best, as Brad suggested.
Note: this post is part of my trip report covering my trip to Germany in March, 2019. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Adjacent to Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport. When arriving by car, there is a separate exit for the First Class Terminal from the airport access road. Just follow the signs for Terminal 1. If coming on foot from Terminal 1, it’s a little tricky. The actual entrance looks like this (photo by Brad):
How to get here, though, isn’t exactly obvious; there is no signage to the First Class Terminal from Terminal 1. Whatever you do, DON’T use the First Class check-in area in the terminal. This won’t give you access to the FCT. Instead, head to the lower level from the baggage claim area, using Exit A1 (at the far end of T1). Look for the Sixt Diamond Lounge. To the left of there, you’ll see a sign for “P29 Short-Term Parking”. Head out that door, and from here, you’ll see the First Class Terminal. Continue along the sidewalks towards it. In Brad’s picture above, look closely and you’ll notice a yellow Lufthansa sign. Behind that is a door leading to an elevator. Just head up the elevator to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal reception area.
Only Lufthansa long-haul First Class passengers and HON Circle members may access the First Class Terminal. This makes it one of the most exclusive lounges in the business.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal – Check-In
After stepping off the elevators into the lobby, an agent immediately approached and checked me in on a handheld tablet. While she printed my boarding pass, she walked me down the hall to the security screening area. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal includes its own, private security screening and passport control. And unlike the slow, officious staff I usually encounter at Frankfurt, these were friendly and efficient. Within a couple of minutes, the agent returned and escorted me into the lounge.
Lounge Seating and Amenities
First off – I confess I’m not the biggest fan of the lounge’s overall design. It reeks of the cookie-cutter minimalism found in practically all public spaces these days. I mean, can ANYONE design a public space today without overuse of grey granite, white marble, and plain square tilework? But as far as a lounge space itself, it’s quite logical and efficient, basically a large rectangular shape. As you walk in, immediately in front of you is a large area of “traditional” lounge seating. Note that after selecting a seat, your attendant takes your passport; they will return it to you when leave the lounge for boarding.
Before grabbing a seat here, I shamelessly mentioned to the agent that my son really looked forward to getting a duck. So she kindly brought me two.
Just to your right after entering is a selection of newspapers, as well as a world clock.
To the left is a corridor leading to the elevators to the boarding area, as well as a “waterfall fountain” of sorts. Not pictured: just to the right of where I’m standing is a desk with a Lufthansa agent on duty if you need any assistance.
Behind the fountain, the seating area continues. It looks deceptively small, but it’s actually fairly spacious. Seating ranges from more typical lounge seats, to several relaxing chairs along the windows.
In one corner are a few angled seats with blankets if you want to take a quick nap. Note that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal also features two sleeping rooms. Both were occupied during my visit so I unfortunately couldn’t get a photo.
Moving back to the central seating area, there are several more relaxing chairs along the windows.
This is probably my main disappointment with the lounge – no meaningful views from the windows. Just the airport access road and some commercial buildings.
If you need a private area to conduct business, the lounge features five private offices. Each office includes a workstation, phone, and large desk.
Beyond the main seating area is another corridor leading to the cigar lounge and bathroom/shower area.
The cigar room is a separate, self-contained seating area with its own bar. I hoped to grab a few photos, but it remained occupied throughout my visit.
At the far end of the hall is the check-in area for the shower rooms.
The Lufthansa First Class Terminal has four rooms, one with a bathtub, and the other three with showers. I hoped to try the bathtub, but it was occupied when I checked in. Rather than wait, I just took one of the other shower rooms. The shower rooms are large and clean, and include a toilet. Bath amenities hail from Italian designer label Etro. I thought the products had a nice scent and were of good quality. They certainly aren’t cheap; while hard to find, it looks like travel size Etro toiletries run about $25. Amenities also include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and razor.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal – Food & Beverage
If you came to the FCT for a First Class food & drink experience, you’ve come to the right place. Shortly after sitting down, a lounge attendant asked if I wanted something to drink. I ordered a cappuccino, which hit the spot on a cold, rainy morning.
Meanwhile, immediately to the right of the entrance is the First Class Terminal’s impressive bar. Unlike the hidden away bar at the La Première lounge, the FCT makes the bar a focal point of the lounge. According to Lufthansa, the selection includes more than 130 whiskies from around the world. I really missed out on that; I should have tried out a whisky after lunch.
Next to the bar is the Lufthansa First Class Terminal dining room. It’s a large dining room for the size of the lounge. Consider, for instance, that the dining room at the United Polaris Lounge at LAX seats only 20.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal guests can choose between a buffet or a la carte dining. As I wanted to save my appetite for lunch, I picked at the buffet for breakfast, then enjoyed a sit-down lunch. The buffet includes a pretty expansive selection, starting with fresh breads and waffles.
The buffet then moves on to fresh vegetables and smoked salmon…
…and then a (quite tasty) meat and cheese selection. The cheeses were especially delicious, if you’re a cheese freak like me.
There is also a decent variety of hot items. Today’s selection included grilled bratwurst, sausage, baked beans, scrambled eggs, and more.
Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, you can enjoy some cakes, along with fresh honey from a honeycomb.
In the beverage department, I highly recommend trying some of the fresh-squeezed juices. I downed several glasses of the (delicious) orange juice during my visit.
Breakfast transitions to lunch at 11:00. If you’re in a hurry, or just prefer the buffet, the FCT does offer a lunch spread. The sit-down menu includes a page with all of the buffet items.
Things start off with a pretty impressive spread of salads.
There is also some – very fresh – prosciutto and jamon Iberico, along with a variety of cured meats cheeses.
Or you can stick with smoked salmon if you prefer.
Cold options included Mediterranean favorites like hummus and tabouleh.
The hot options, meanwhile, featured rice, grilled vegetables, and white eggplant puree, among others.
Still hungry? Enjoy a parfait, or some pretty nice looking cakes and pies.
But if you have time, I highly recommend ordering off the a la carte menu. While not as extensive as the menu at the La Première lounge, it’s still chock full of good stuff. I believe you can also ask for any buffet items to be brought to your table.
I started off with the “sweet potato cappuccino, basically a sweet potato soup topped with foam. The soup base itself was good, though I didn’t really understand the tofu chunks. It adds texture, I suppose, but doesn’t really add to the flavor.
For the main course, Matthew swears by the beef filet, but I couldn’t resist the Wiener schnitzel. Accompanying the dish are warm potato salad, cucumber salad, and sauerkraut.
I’ll rate the dish very good, but just short of great. The veal was nicely cooked and seasoned, and kudos to the chef for excellent breading. (Trust me, as a chicken fried steak connoisseur, I know good breading. And yes, I’ve said previously that I dislike veal. I’m trying to expand my horizons.) But it was a bit too oily, which diminished the otherwise good flavors. I initially planned on dessert, but already feeling a little full, I decided to save room for the on-board feast.
Apparently I forgot to photograph the wine list, but I had a couple of glasses of a very good Malbec. Chances are the massive bar has something you’ll like in any event.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Service
This is where I thought Lufthansa fell a little short of Air France in the First Class experience. Most of the staff I encountered were friendly and attentive. Just like Air France, Lufthansa makes the experience hassle free, thanks to a private security screening and passport control, and a personal escort to the plane. Even though I got a van instead of the Porsche, there’s just something special about the “royal treatment” getting onboard.
And of course getting up close and personal with a 747-8i.
There were a couple of notable service issues, though. One, after receiving my cappuccino upon entering, the staff member simply disappeared. No offers of refills, and my dirty plates and juice glasses remained on my table for more than an hour. Second, the waiter in the dining area seemed a bit surly and disinterested. I had to flag him down to bring a menu, and then again more than 10 minutes later to place my order. Neither of these are huge deals. But since Air France provided flawless service in the La Première lounge, I expected a higher standard here.
I don’t quite share Brad’s opinion that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is the best lounge in the world. In my opinion, Air France just edges out Lufthansa in the food department, and provided a higher standard of service. (I also prefer the modern-but-not-minimalist design of the La Première lounge, though that’s personal preference.) But it’s a very solid lounge experience, one to look forward to before your ride up front.