One of the reasons I did not choose a direct flight to Paris was because Lufthansa has a very famous First Class Terminal in Frankfurt that has received applause from many frequent flyers. Yeah you heard that right, a whole terminal separate from the airport for First Class passengers. Not the ordinary airport lounge then, and not as directly accessed either.
With that I made sure I have a long layover in Frankfurt to enjoy the numerous amenities of this terminal which I shall refer to as FCT in this post. Once I passed through immigration in Frankfurt, I head straight for the exit as my luggage has been tagged all the way to Paris. Even early that morning before sunrise, the departure hall was already seeing a buzz of activity with many travellers checking in. First stop in the departure hall was to ascertain if I had eligibility to use the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, so I made a stop over in the First Class check-in counters located in the A/Z area of Terminal 1. The check-in staff made sure my luggage was transferred to my next flight and told me I had a choice of using the First Class lounges or the Terminal which requires a walk outside.
Since I had a long layover, I figured I would be better served with the First Class Terminal. I took the escalators to a floor down passing by a hallway with some shops before ending out in the dark winter morning outside. I made a short 5 minute walk along a pedestrian walkway and managed to find the First Class Terminal quite easily. This is an independent building not connected in anyway to the airport and the entrance foyer consists of the signs and logo of Lufthansa with an elevator that will bring guests up to a reception area.
Once up there, a staff member will be assigned to each guests after their entry credentials are verified. There is a private security checkpoint with 2 lanes which should be more than adequate that it should not be any longer than 5 minutes to enter the lounge proper. Essentially the same security check but done in a much more dignified environment and private space. Past the security checkpoint lies a small duty free store where guests could purchase the usual duty free goods but they definitely have limited selection being the only one though FCT guests could certainly shop as well if they want to.
A glass door then leads into the main lounge and the staff member assigned to me offers to give me a tour of the lounge as she takes my passport and boarding pass. Beside the entrance, there is a cabinet that houses a collection of the rubber ducks that is a favourite souvenir of any guests’ visit to the FCT.
There is a long shelf filled with stacks of magazines from various European countries along with newspapers. Clocks signifying the time in several major cities around the world are positioned atop this magazine shelf.
On the right of the entrance lies the bar which is manned by a staff member and here guests could have any drink they want, with nearly all kinds of liquor, wines and champagnes. This also includes non-alcoholic drinks like juices, coffee and tea.
As it was way too early, I asked if they have any day rooms, and the FCT has 2 day rooms. Fortunately one of them was unoccupied and I was led towards the room which is located past the bar, restaurant, and the cigar bar. The 2 day rooms are located beside the shower and washroom area which certainly makes it convenient. While there are storage space for luggage and coat hangers around the lounge, the day rooms make it more convenient. The staff member who took my passport mentions she will do the required customs and hand my passport over to the immigration. She also said she will personally pick me up when the time comes for boarding. After that, she just passed me to another staff in charge of the showers and day rooms.
The dayroom might not be comparable to a 5-star hotel room but it was tastefully furnished and has proper noise insulation that certainly made it better than many hotel room. There was plenty of space to walk around with a single bed for guests. Across from the bed, there is a clock to tell the time and a coat hanger on the side. Once I got settled in, the day room staff will ask what time you would like to be woken up.
Inside the dayroom, there are also 2 bottles of water (one sparkling and one still) with a glass. I took this time to re-organize the stuff I obtained from the flight and took another short nap.
After the short nap, I went out to request for a shower room, and the staff member mentions she will give me a knock when a shower room is ready and motions for me to wait in the day room. I took this time to explore the washrooms which are really neat with individual toilet cubicles. In the vanity area, there is even a shoe cleaning machine along with a counter with ‘Etro’ amenities.
Later back in the day room, I got a notification that a shower room has been prepared for my use. I asked if I could leave my items in the room and the staff mentioned it is of no issue. As the rooms are not locked, guests really leave items at their own risk. But seeing this is a First Class Terminal with one of the strictest rule to enter, I expect it to be quite safe. I did bring my valuables with me to the shower room though.
The inidividual shower rooms were spacious and I had one with the standing shower cubicle which I prefer as I was not looking for a long soak. On entry, there is a long vanity counter, once again filled with ‘Etro’ bath amenities which does smell great!
In the corner, there is a bench with bathrobes and bath slippers. Meanwhile there are ample spaces to hang your clothes and the bench can also function as a luggage stand if you do not have access to the day room.
Behind the vanity counter, the area is split up for the toilet on the right side and a shower cubicle on the left. The layout was wonderful as it affords guests ultimate privacy in case of unwarranted intrusion. It was the best shower room in any First Class I have been to, period.
Feeling refreshed from the shower, I returned to the day room to dry my towels for a bit. Selfishly I occupied the day room to place my belongings for a little while more which is no matter really as the other room was still vacant. This meant the day rooms were not really in demand during the time between 7-9am, which is expected as most guests would just be wanting breakfast and catching up on the news. The whole lounge was quite empty anyway so I took this time to explore and take photos.
First I checked out the cigar lounge. This is a glass enclosed smoking room with their own self-serve bar counter and a cigar humidor. Guests could ask for the staff for assistance though it was empty when I explored this lounge.
Across from the cigar bar is the main lounge area with plenty of comfortable leather armchairs. My favourite place to sit would be in one of the lounge chairs facing the windows with their own ottoman. A side table separates each lounge chair and they also have power outlets for charging your laptop or mobile phone.
The other armchairs revolve around a central table. That is common amongst most airport lounges but what differentiates the Lufthansa FCT is there is a large basket with cups filled to the brim with nuts and dried fruits. There is also a buffet menu and a beverage menu that is thicker than many restaurants. I bet the drinks menu would not look out of place in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Warm wood partitions creates nooks for privacy and even when more guests started arriving, it never felt like the lounge got really busy.
Being a terminal in itself, it caters to families as well. Having visited Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room before, it should be clear that wealthy families can travel with their kids. And Lufthansa did create a nice play area for kids. Though this space was large and nicely decorated, it is located behind the bar and leads to a staff entrance which can mean it can get quite busy with staff walking around all the time.
If I was a parent, I would rather they created a door for this space to make it more private. In this respect The Private Room’s nursery area is slightly better.
However the FCT does not stop here. In fact all these lounge space are on the right side of the entrance. If guests head to the left, there is an elevated space that houses several work cubicles with their own workstations, telephone and all the power outlets a travelling CEO would possibly need. Similar to what is offered by ANA First Class lounges, it was definitely a nice space to work in.
Then there are more lounge space in this section and I found it to be quieter as it is more secluded from the main bar and restaurant area which sees the most activity in the FCT. Again there are racks to hang your coats and guests could leave their luggage below as well.
By the corner of this section, there is a row of napping chairs with neatly folded blankets. Guests needing a short nap could use this space which was also empty at this time. This section of the lounge actually overlooks the airport and I snapped a photo which shows the distance guests would have to walk from the airport to get to the FCT.
Lufthansa First Class passengers or members of the highest tier of Lufthansa’s Miles & More club could use the airport exit on the left of the advertisement pillar where the taxis are congregated in the photo below. They will then walk underneath the overhead road all the way until they reach they see the Lufthansa offices. The FCT is just beside it.
Back from the exploration, I packed my luggage and relinquished the day rooms so that it may be refreshed for the next occupant. An incident occured here where I injured my hand and had to ask for a plaster as I was bleeding. I was actually able to get help from several staff members. There are staff members around the lounge though they tend to leave guests alone unless they looked like they needed help. After getting multiple plasters, I head to the restaurant to have a nice breakfast.
Breakfast service was still ongoing and upon being seated, I was provided with a menu and asked what drinks I wanted. I went with a cup of cappuccino.
Though I figure the staff was busy preparing the lunch service so I had to flag down a waiter later on to order my breakfast. I ordered a sunny side up as I proceed to the main buffet area to pick up some other items. The variety of the buffet items is on par with many 5-star hotel breakfast buffet.
The quality of the food was amazing as well as I had more than one helping. I particularly liked they have crepes with nutella and fruit tarts, pies and other sweet treats in the breakfast buffet.
As my flight was slightly after noon, I also took some photos of the lunch menu. Again the spread was fantastic with a nice variety of food. Seriously I would not mind having all 3 meals in this lounge with all the variety. Because of the wide variety, I did not post photos of the food here, but readers could see an extensive album in my Flickr site.
Food served during lunch is something you might get from a high-end bistro and presentation was once again flawless where the lounge even served premium ham and cheese.
breakfast brunch, I relaxed in one of the lounge chairs and surfed the web while making some updates to my blog and checking out the weather for my upcoming ski trip in the Alps. As expected, the internet in the FCT is fast and the ambience was calm and composed since there are no announcements to detract guests from the experience.
I also did snack on the gummy bears that was displayed prominently on a long table across the bar. Visitors to the lounge would not miss that. At this time, the staff member in charge of the showers actually came over to where I was relaxing to hand me another limited edition rubber ducks as I had asked for one earlier as a memento after my shower.
As it got closer to my boarding time, I monitored the flight information board inside the FCT and wondered which car I would be driven in for my upcoming flight. The FCT has no walkway to the airport, so passengers are actually driven to the plane, like boarding a private jet really and the cars Lufthansa uses could be seen from the lounge.
Very soon, the staff member I was assigned to on my arrival appeared and picked me up. I should mention I did see her and she even greeted me and checked in on me while I was exploring the lounge. Apparently I was the only passenger utilizing the FCT for this flight to Paris and she brought me a level down on the elevator and passed me my passport and boarding pass for the upcoming flight. This departure area has some more lounge chairs and a reception desk where guests await their chauffeur.
The staff member waited alongside and asked me about my vacation plans. She then handed me over to the chauffeur who assisted me in placing my luggage in the trunk of the grey Porsche Cayenne SUV that would be my ride today to the plane.
It was a short ride in the Cayenne as we approached a retro-livery Lufthansa jet which would turn out to be the one I would board for the flight to Paris. The whole novelty of being driven to the plane is something I could live with over and over again! Certainly it makes for one of the high points of using the First Class Terminal.
Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is definitely the best airport lounges I have been to so far. They have some of the best lounge food with delicacies and drinks you would want to have, with all the amenities that certainly makes one feel at home. I can see why people might actually be fine with living in this terminal, and that says a lot for an airport lounge. This point alone certainly makes Lufthansa First Class a great flying experience, since I no longer need to dread the experience of connecting and transfers. In fact with this kind of lounge, I do not mind even if my flight gets delayed!