United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco
In the frequent flyer community, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt has a hallowed status. It’s often cited as one of the best airport lounges in the world, if not the very best, so I was really excited to finally get my chance to see it.
But honestly, I think that it’s a little overblown. It’s classy and nice and sophisticated and has some great amenities, but I think the Emirates First Class Terminal in Dubai is more aspirational/ridiculous. I can see why people like this place, though.
To get to the First Class Terminal, you need go through immigration and baggage claim, and then walk a short distance to the separate building. At immigration, the officer questioned why I was entering Germany when I was already in the non-Schengen area and heading to New York, but I told him I wanted to visit the First Class Terminal and he waved me through. The First Class Terminal wasn’t a far walk from where I exited baggage claim.
As you enter, you surrender your passport, which you’ll get back once it’s time to board the plane, and you go through security, which is quick and private but still more intrusive than something like TSA PreCheck.
I first took a lap around the lounge to see everything that was an offer. I was expecting a larger space, but everything that was there was well-furnished and nice, and given the entrance requirements, it’s unlikely that the lounge will ever be very busy.
I put down my stuff at a seat and decided to make my way to the dining area and check out the food and drink options. There is an extensive selection of drinks–including many, many different kinds of water–with everything from kombucha to whiskies. For food, there’s a buffet with a lot of options, but there actually aren’t that many food options made-to-order.
Maybe it’s because I was the only non-white, under-40 person there, but I felt like the service was a little lacking at times for such a celebrated lounge. For example, the attendant in the dining room was pretty cold and aloof and not very helpful when I asked questions. She seemed to provide more attentive service to the other lounge guests and took quite a while to even notice me.
The food selection was fine, but catered to German tastes. The made-to-order option was wiener schnitzel, which I did not try. The attempts at Asian food (e.g. the fried noodles) were not very good, but I imagine people who are bigger fans of cured meats and cheese would be ecstatic at the offerings.
After eating, I made a compulsory trip to a bath room to grab a Lufthansa First Class rubber duck, and since I was there anyway, I figured that I might as well take the first bath I’d taken in at least 10 years (I’m of course not counting my brief jacuzzi time in the Qatar First Class Premium Terminal in Doha).
I then spent some time catching up on the internetz before being told that I should make my way to the elevators to grab a car to my plane. There were 5 of us headed to New York from the First Class Terminal, so we were transported in a van, and the plane was located at the closest gate possible, so within a minute or so we were getting out of the car to board.
All in all, this was definitely one of the best, classiest, most well-appointed lounges that I’ve been in, but I think I prefer the Emirates First Class Terminal in Dubai.