The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt (FRA) is one of my favorite first class lounges in the world and continues to offer a fabulous ground experience for Lufthansa’s most premium passengers.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Review
I spent four glorious hours in this lounge prior to my flight from Frankfurt to Los Angeles in Lufthansa First Class earlier this month.
Access + Hours + Location
There are only two ways to access this lounge: hold HON Circle status in Lufthansa’s Miles & More program or fly in first class. While American Express Centurion cardholders have access to Lufthansa First Class Lounges, access is not granted to the First Class Terminal.
Both status members and first class passengers are allowed a single guest, but only if that guest is traveling on the same flight. There used to be an exception for partners or spouses which only had to be traveling same-day on a Lufthansa Group flight, but that is no longer the case.
Passengers who upgrade from business class or use miles to fly first class are eligible to use the First Class Terminal.
The lounge is currently open daily from 5:30AM to 10:00PM.
This is meant as a departure lounge for travel originating in Frankfurt, meaning you cannot use this lounge if your travel is terminating in Frankfurt (unlike like the First Class Lounges in the A Gate or B Gate area, both of which are currently closed but ordinarily welcome arriving passengers). However, if you are connecting via Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Group carrier (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, Brussels Airlines), you can use this lounge before your connection as long as you arrived same-day in first class or hold HON status.
If you arrive in Lufthansa First Class and are connecting on another carrier outside the Lufthansa Group, even if Star Alliance, you technically do not have access to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt. I say “technically” because while those are the access rules and most agents are very strict in enforcing those rules, there have been instances in which passengers connecting on another Star Alliance flight are allowed entrance into the lounge. Consider access an exception, not an expectation, if you fall under this scenario. Either way, you’ll have to get to the Terminal yourself.
The First Class Terminal is indeed a separate terminal, with its own entrance, own security, and even its own immigration booth. If you entering the airport by car, follow highway signs for Terminal 1 and you will enter via the upper level by turning right before you reach the main passenger terminal.
If you are connecting, head out on the bottom level of Terminal 1, turn left, walk several hundred meters past the taxi rank, and then you’ll see the Terminal. There’s a circular staircase, like a vintage 747, taking you upstairs or you can enter on the ground floor and take an elevator upstairs.
When arriving by car, staff will often come out and offer assistance with your bags. Once inside, you’ll be asked to surrender your passport. After verifying your name against the flight manifest, you’ll be escorted through security, which is no different than security in the passenger terminal, minus the lines.
Your escort will ensure you are comfortably seated in the lounge with your boarding pass, then leave you alone – when it is time to board they will return with your passport and escort you downstairs.
COVID-19 Test Or Proof Of Vaccine Required To Enter
Note that pursuant to German law, you will need to to present a negative COVID-19 test (not more than 24 hours old) or proof of vaccination in order to enter the lounge. I was asked if I had a “Luca” app, which is an app Germans use to show proof of testing or vaccination. Don’t worry if the answer is no; the lounge will accept any valid negative test or proof of vaccination.
Should you require a COVID-19 test, there is a testing booth onsite in the Terminal lobby. A staff member will be summoned from Centogene Terminal 1 to come over and administer the test. A rapid antigen costs cost 29EUR while a PCR test costs 279EUR if you want results in 35 minutes (and is as cheap as 69EUR for 24-hour results).
After clearing security, walk past the duty free shop on the left (currently costed) and you’ll encounter the heart of the lounge. From there, you can turn left or right for comfortable seating in chairs clustered together, usually in groups of 4-8. The seating areas feature Italian-made leather chairs from Balieri Italia, which are extremely comfortable (and also quite pricey…I did look).
My favorite seats in the lounge are the easy relax chairs along the window.
There’s always a power port close by, often on the floor.
Several work rooms are available where you can discreetly make phone calls or use a desk and ergonomic chair to work. If I do need to make a phone call, I step into one of these rooms, though many do make phone calls from the lounge.
Two sleeping rooms offer a twin-sized bed in which you can rest if you have a lot of time in the lounge or are particularly tried. Ask the shower attendant if you wish to utilize one of them (often the doors are locked, but that does not necessarily imply they are in use).
While Lufthansa no longer provides complimentary cigars or cigarettes, the smoking lounge remains and offers a cordoned-off area to smoke indoors.
Restrooms + Showers
I love the restrooms in the First Class Terminal because they are spacious, private, and Lufthansa uses real towels (versus paper towels). I also love the smell of the Malin + Goetz hand soap.
Shower rooms are available: just ask an attendant at the counter. If there is a wait, you can add your name to the list.
The shower suite that features a bathtub was out of order during my visit, but here is a picture from a previous visit:
Speaking of bathtubs, the signature souvenir of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is a rubber duck. The standard-issue duck is black, though during my visit a pair of special-edition ducks were available, including a COVID-19 duck (wearing a mask) and a duck in a Greek toga, signifying the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The shower attendants keeps these in their cabinet: if you want one (or two or three), ask nicely.
Near the entrance to the lounge (just past security) is a display of historic limited-edition ducks that have been offered over the years:
Tip: If you happen to be flying through the First Class Terminal on your birthday, let one of the attendants know. The Terminal offers a very special birthday duck that is only available on your birthday (no exceptions).
Food + Drink
The highlight of the lounge is (well, was) the extensive selection of food and drink, including a huge bar and restaurant offering a la carte dining. Prior to the pandemic, an extensive buffet was also offered in the dining area. Even though German health regulations do not prohibit such a setup, the lounge has opted to bring back a limited made-to-order menu only. I expect we’ll see the full buffet return in due time. For now, there are only a few self-serve items.
That’s my only real gripe about my visit: the menu is very limited (a shadow of the pre-pandemic menu) and even breakfast staples like a bowl of berries were not available. Thankfully, coffee is free-flowing, the orange juice is still freshly-squeezed and I enjoyed a tasty croissant and omelet for breakfast.
Here’s the breakfast menu:
Before leaving (nearly four hours had passed, after all) I could no resist sampling the lunch menu and ordered Weiner Schnitzel, which was tasty but more food than I could eat.
Although I stuck to coffee and juice, the bar was quite extensive and included a huge menu of whiskey and nearly every bottle of top-shelf liquor you could put your mind on.
There was also a wine-bar in the restaurant area with red, white, and rosé wine from around the world:
Chauffeur To Aircraft
One of my favorite parts of the First Class Terminal experience is being driven to your aircraft by a chauffeur. That allows you to bypass the crowds in the gate by pulling up beside the plane on the tarmac, taking an elevator directly to the jet bridge, then walking onboard.
The limousine area is located just below the lounge. When it is time to board, your concierge will find you, escort you to the elevator, then meet you downstairs for final immigration formalities if traveling outside the Schengen Area . From there, you are assigned a car and driver to take you to your plane.
Lufthansa currently has a fleet of Porsche sedans and Volkswagen vans. Unless you request private transport, you will typically be seated with other guests from your flight.
The staff on day of travel could not have been kinder. There are some problematic staff members I’ve experienced during my many visits over the years, but none were present on the morning of my flight. I appreciated that the restaurant staff, hired by Do & Co and not Lufthansa, were very attentive. For example, I was asked no less than once every half hour if I needed a beverage refill.
Overall, I felt like a valuable client and appreciated the care and genuine friendliness of all the staff.
The very limited food menu and lack of buffet make this lounge a shell of its former self in terms of food and drink, but everything else is still the same. In short, this is a fundamental part of the Lufthansa premium ground experience and should not be missed if you are traveling in Lufthansa First Class, especially for the first time.
If I lived in Germany again I would do everything in my power to become a HON Circle member in order to visit this lounge before each trip. It’s still one of the pinnacles of aspirational travel and a great way to begin a first class flight. Even without frequent flyer status, using the proper credit card can help you secure sufficient points to enjoy this wonderful product.