The Lufthansa First Class Terminal (FCT) in Frankfurt is considered one of my favourite airport lounges on the planet. After I was a lot youthful, I’d deliberately spend 12+ hour layovers right here, as a result of that seemed like a enjoyable option to cross the time. Heck, at one level I even contemplated how I may most effectively transfer into the First Class Terminal (suffice to say that didn’t materialize).
Anyway, the FCT briefly closed in early 2020 as a result of pandemic, and at last reopened as of September 2021. It has been a very long time since I’ve reviewed the lounge. On this submit I needed to take an in-depth take a look at the present state of the FCT. Luckily we had loads of time to do this, as we landed from Miami in Lufthansa firstclass at round 8AM, and departed for Paris at round 4PM.
What’s the Lufthansa First Class Terminal?
The Lufthansa First Class Terminal is Lufthansa’s most unique firstclass lounge at Frankfurt Airport. What makes this so particular is that it’s completely separated from the remainder of the terminal — when arriving on the airport you may drive as much as the FCT, be checked in, clear safety, after which be pushed on to your aircraft. This lets you utterly skip the terminal, which in Frankfurt I’d take into account to be a blessing.
On high of that, the FCT has every kind of superior facilities, which I’ll get into extra element about under.
How do you entry the Lufthansa First Class Terminal?
There are two methods to realize entry to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal:
- By flying Lufthansa firstclass or SWISS firstclass the identical day; it’s high quality in case you’re connecting onto a regional flight after a flight in Lufthansa or SWISS firstclass, so long as you arrived the identical day, and are departing on Lufthansa, SWISS, or Austrian
- By being a Lufthansa HON Circle member taking any same-day departing flight on Lufthansa, SWISS, or Austrian (this would come with home financial system flights inside Germany); HON Circle is the highest tier standing within the Miles & Extra program, and it requires incomes 600,000 standing miles over the course of two years (that’s lots)
Since most OMAAT readers are going to be accessing the Lufthansa FCT primarily based on a same-day Lufthansa firstclass ticket, let me share just a few lounge entry examples:
- You do get entry to the FCT in case you fly Lufthansa firstclass from america to Frankfurt, after which join from Frankfurt the identical day in financial system or enterprise class; nonetheless, you wouldn’t get entry in case you select to spend an evening in Frankfurt earlier than your connection
- You do get entry to the FCT in case you fly Lufthansa firstclass from america to Frankfurt, and join identical day on any Lufthansa, SWISS, or Austrian flight; nonetheless, you wouldn’t get entry in case you join on different airways, like Brussels, Eurowings, United, and so forth.
- You may’t use the FCT if Frankfurt is your remaining vacation spot; this isn’t an arrivals lounge, however relatively is a departures lounge
How do you get to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal?
For those who’re originating in Frankfurt and driving by automobile, attending to the First Class Terminal couldn’t be simpler. As you method Terminal 1 by automobile, you’ll see an exit alongside the correct aspect of the roadway that permits you to pull up on to the FCT. Sadly the method is considerably much less seamless for everybody else, together with those that are connecting, and people who are arriving by practice. You’ll by no means be pushed to the FCT by the airline, even in case you’re connecting.
We had been flying Lufthansa firstclass from Miami to Frankfurt, and for the reason that jet bridge wasn’t getting used, we had been picked up by a firstclass van. These vans can’t really take you to the FCT, however relatively they drop you off near the immigration and baggage declare space.
After you clear immigration and undergo baggage declare in Terminal 1, comply with the signage in the direction of the exit. Irrespective of the place you exit, flip left, and keep on the arrivals stage.
When you flip left, simply hold strolling on the trail alongside the skin roadway.
Inside a minute or so that you’ll see the taxi queue, and also you’ll see a small espresso store the place the taxi drivers have a tendency to hang around. You’re nonetheless going the instantly. Really, within the under image you may see the FCT within the distance, which exhibits you simply how shut it’s.
After the taxi stand simply comply with the pedestrian crossing to the opposite aspect of the highway. This is similar space because the Lufthansa crew heart, the place you’ll see pilots and flight attendants headed for his or her flight. Simply previous that’s the Lufthansa FCT.
If you stroll in the direction of it you’ll see double doorways. Again within the day you’d must push a button and be buzzed in, whereas these days the door simply robotically opens.
You’ll see an unstaffed reception desk on the decrease ground, after which an elevator to the left. Take that up a ground to the primary stage.
I’d say the overall stroll from the time that you just exit the terminal ought to be not more than 5 minutes (in case you’re a quick walker, extra like three minutes). In our case it was about quarter-hour from once we bought off the aircraft till we had been on the door to the FCT, in order that’s not unhealthy in any respect.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal evaluation
With the above out of the best way, let’s get into the precise evaluation of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, from begin to end.
The FCT is marketed as being 1,800 sq. meters (~19,400 sq. ft), although in actuality that’s largely made up of areas the place friends don’t spend a variety of time, just like the check-in space, the decrease stage the place you get pushed to your aircraft, and so forth. If I needed to guess (and that is purely hypothesis on my half), the precise airside, “usable” house of the FCT is perhaps someplace round two-thirds of that. So the lounge is an honest dimension, however not large.
Lufthansa FCT arrival & safety
When you’re on the second ground, you’ll be approached by one of many Lufthansa brokers, who will take care of you when you’re within the terminal. There’s a seating space right here, in addition to just a few desks. At this level you’ll need to current your passport, boarding cross, and vaccination certificates or proof of a unfavorable coronavirus take a look at.
The Lufthansa worker simply shortly has to confirm that you just’re allowed to enter the lounge, and at that time you’re escorted by way of safety. A personal safety channel is likely one of the superior points of the FCT — not solely do you not have to attend, however I discover that the safety employees are constantly a lot friendlier than in the primary terminal.
Lufthansa FCT bar & restaurant
As quickly as you enter the FCT, you’ll see the signature bar to the correct, which is the middle of the lounge. That’s true bodily (it’s roughly in the midst of the lounge), however it’s additionally true within the sense that a lot of the service within the lounge occurs from right here. The bar is extraordinarily effectively stocked, with infinite drink choices, an espresso machine, and so forth.
Friends can select to sit down at high-top seating on the bar or a close-by island, or may be served wherever within the lounge.
There are some very gentle snacks on the bar, however a lot of the meals is served from the restaurant.
The restaurant is straight away subsequent to the bar, and consists of roughly a dozen tables. We’ll discuss extra concerning the meals service in a bit (because it has modified drastically since my final go to), however that simply offers you a way of the format.
Lufthansa FCT seating areas
A majority of the FCT is made up of couches and leather-based chairs. Admittedly the FCT is fairly industrial and minimalist-looking throughout the board, however I discover it to be effectively maintained and… effectively, becoming for Germany. Virtually the whole FCT options floor-to-ceiling home windows, so you have got a lot of pure gentle, topic to Mom Nature’s cooperation.
Inside the doorway and to the left are just a few sitting areas. There are many partitions between these zones to create a little bit of privateness, although sadly handy retailers are largely missing.
Additionally on this space are three rest chairs, the place you may relaxation with a blanket, in case you’d like. Personally I battle to get comfy in these seats, and may’t assist however really feel like I’m in a dentist’s chair.
Alongside the middle a part of the lounge are much more sitting areas. Luckily the lounge usually doesn’t get too full, so often most individuals can have a good bit of separation from different friends.
My one main disappointment with the FCT is the shortage of views. The FCT faces the skin roadway of the airport and terminal constructing, so there aren’t any views of the apron, or of any planes, from right here. Oh effectively.
Lufthansa FCT workplace cubicles
Inside the doorway and to the left are 5 cubicles which function sliding, frosted glass doorways. Personally that is the place I spend a good bit of my time when within the FCT, because of the simple charging retailers, and basic quiet environment.
Lufthansa FCT cigar lounge
The FCT is understood for having a cigar lounge, which is positioned inside the doorway, to the correct, down the corridor, after which on the left.
The cigar lounge options roughly a dozen leather-based chairs.
Manner again within the day Lufthansa would provide passengers complimentary cigars, and extra just lately there was a whisky setup right here. These days there’s only a small choice of tender drinks.
Lufthansa FCT nap rooms
Additional down the corridor and simply previous the cigar lounge are two nap rooms. Whereas not as luxurious because the nap rooms within the SWISS firstclass lounge, these are a incredible place to get some relaxation in case you have a protracted layover. They’re obtainable on a primary come, first served foundation, and there’s no minimal or most period of time you may spend in them.
Every of the rooms includes a twin dimension mattress with correct bedding (although don’t anticipate an excessive amount of from the consolation of the mattress). The bedrooms are in any other case fairly fundamental, and don’t have non-public bogs. If you’ll want to use the toilet, you’ll must go down the corridor.
Ford ended up taking a roughly three hour nap in one of many rooms, which was a great way to cross the time, and to verify he was extra effectively rested when arriving in Paris.
Lufthansa FCT bogs & bathe rooms
Previous the cigar lounge and nap rooms are the FCT’s bogs and showers. There’s a reception desk there the place you may request a bathe or nap room (or a duck — the one most fun factor concerning the FCT).
For those who’re simply wanting to make use of the toilet, there are rest room areas damaged down by gender. Whereas there’s a shared space for sinks, bogs as such are non-public, and within the males’s part every individual will get a bathroom and urinal.
There are additionally bathe suites. The bathe suites are fairly massive, and every function a sink, walk-in bathe, and bathroom, together with Etro toiletries. Additional rest room necessities can be found on request from the attendant.
Whereas there are some bathe suites with bathtubs, they weren’t operational once I was there.
Lufthansa FCT meals & drinks
What’s the meals & drink choice within the First Class Terminal like? As talked about above, there are servers roaming the lounge, completely happy to serve drinks at any time. I sat in a cubicle once I first arrived, and ordered a cappuccino and a glowing water, which had been promptly served.
The lounge employees could make most cocktails you could possibly think about. There’s not an precise cocktail or drink checklist these days. After I requested a couple of wine checklist, I used to be instructed that what’s on show is what’s obtainable, which is a bit odd, since there was solely purple wine on show.
I had one or 5 glasses of champagne on the flight from Miami, so couldn’t carry myself to drink extra. Sorry, crew…
Shortly earlier than our flight to Paris, Ford and I made a decision to have lunch within the restaurant. Again within the day there was an in depth buffet plus a menu, although that has since been scaled again. These days the buffet is generally empty, and within the case of my go to it simply had some particular person servings of appetizers and desserts, and a choice of bread.
There’s additionally a menu, however that has been scaled again as effectively. The lunch menu learn as follows:
Ford and I every ordered two issues. As a starter, I had the zucchini with lemon ricotta, pine nuts, and mint, whereas Ford had the pumpkin soup.
For mains, I had the salmon teriyaki, whereas Ford had the bell pepper hen.
Sadly the meals high quality has suffered on the FCT. It’s fairly clear that these dishes had simply been microwaved, as they had been piping scorching, and the mains tasted type of dry.
I completed the meal with an americano.
Lufthansa FCT geese
That is one thing that individuals are both endlessly fascinated by, or couldn’t care much less about. Lufthansa has cute collectible geese that it affords within the First Class Terminal, in addition to at different lounges for firstclass passengers.
Whereas there have been “normal” ones prior to now, there are additionally restricted version ones, celebrating all the things from the Olympics, to the World Cup, to Oktoberfest, to the vacations. If you enter the FCT you’ll see a show case on the left with all the geese.
Initially these geese had been simply positioned within the bogs for when individuals bathe or take a shower, however over time they’ve turn out to be collectibles. So in case you have entry to the FCT, you may ask to have considered one of these to take dwelling with you. Usually you’re greatest off simply asking the bathe attendants, who’ve loads of them obtainable (although they’ll often solely give every passenger one).
Take a look at the ridiculously cute geese that Lufthansa is providing proper now, that are of Lufthansa flight attendants in Porsches.
Lufthansa FCT departure & automobile service
One of many lovely issues concerning the First Class Terminal is that you just don’t need to hold observe of time — the workers within the lounge will search you out when it’s time to be pushed to your aircraft.
Earlier than we get into what that course of is like, I’ve all the time loved how the departures board within the FCT lists all of the departures for passengers who’re presently within the lounge. It’s all the time enjoyable to see the place fellow FCT guests are touring to, and the way that adjustments all through the day. To take it a step additional, generally you may determine with close to certainty who’s a firstclass passenger, and who’s a HON Circle passenger (not that it issues). For instance, there’s no firstclass to Dallas, so the passenger within the FCT that’s heading there may be possible a HON Circle member, until they had been connecting in firstclass from one other lengthy haul route.
When it’s time to depart, you’ll be escorted to one of many two elevators that results in the decrease stage.
On the decrease stage is the immigration desk, although you solely need to go there in case you’re departing the Schengen zone. We had been touring inside Europe and had already cleared immigration, so didn’t must go there. As an alternative we simply went to the Lufthansa worker, who checked our boarding passes and launched us to the motive force who could be taking us to the aircraft.
Sadly these days the choice of vehicles isn’t fairly as thrilling because it was. Again within the day it was nearly solely Mercedes and Porsche vehicles, whereas these days the most typical automobile is a Volkswagen van. Regardless that we had been alone, go determine we had been pushed in a four-person Volkswagen van.
For what it’s price, if there are a number of individuals headed to the identical aircraft you could have to share a journey with others. You may often anticipate that in case you’re departing in firstclass there might be others within the First Class Terminal on that flight. In the meantime in case you’re connecting intra-Europe, as a rule I discover that there aren’t any others.
Being pushed throughout the apron is heaven for any avgeek, given the superb views.
You’ll then ultimately pull as much as your aircraft, the place the motive force will park and allow you to out.
The driving force takes you all the best way to the door of the aircraft, the place you’re launched to the purser. Within the case of our flight, the aircraft was at a “correct” gate, relatively than at a distant stand.
This meant that we had been walked up the steps and onto the jet bridge, after which down the jet bridge to the door of the aircraft. Usually the escort strikes you forward of everybody else, so that they certain do make you’re feeling both particular or awkward, relying on the way you take a look at it.
The Lufthansa First Class Terminal continues to be the most effective lounges on the planet. The lounge itself has nice service and a pleasant format, nap rooms, geese you may accumulate, and it’s additionally enjoyable to be pushed to the aircraft. I’ve liked this lounge my complete life, and all the time take pleasure in having a protracted layover right here.
That being stated, I do suppose it’s price acknowledging that in the intervening time the expertise isn’t fairly what it was. The meals high quality and choice has been scaled again considerably, and the vehicles have been downgraded a bit (sure, that’s a whole “first world downside”).
Whereas that is a tremendous firstclass floor expertise, and it’s flawless in case you’re originating in Frankfurt, I feel the most important problem for a lot of continues to be that it’s not notably seamless in case you’re connecting. It’s a must to go away the terminal, stroll your self to the FCT, after which return by way of safety. Personally I benefit from the alternative to get some steps in, although for many individuals this idea is complicated, particularly in the event that they don’t know the way to get to the FCT.
For those who’ve visited the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, what was your expertise like?