There's no shortage of Lufthansa First Class reviews across the web. A quick search and you'll find a dozen or so bloggers offering similar reviews and high marks. But each review reminds us as passengers and consumers that the hardest element and metric to achieve in the hospitality and service industry is consistency. The airline industry alone must consider a slew of variables from different crews to aircraft variances in its product delivery. So, it's no surprise that aviation enthusiasts around the world consistently rank the Lufthansa First Class experience as one of the best for consistency.
I recently had the opportunity to experience Lufthansa First Class from Frankfurt to Boston. Suffice to say, my aviation dreams came true, beginning with the Lufthansa First Class Terminal (FCT), a private facility fully-dedicated to serving the airline's First Class passengers.
Lounge: First Class Terminal
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
The day started off quite early, beginning with a 6:35AM departure out of Milan and landing into Frankfurt at 7:55AM. My connecting flight from Frankfurt to Boston was scheduled to depart at 1:05PM, which meant I had 5 glorious hours to spend in the FCT.
The location of the FCT, unfortunately, is not accessible from the main terminal. So, by design, this private experience is intended for passengers departing out of Frankfurt. For connecting passengers interested in the FCT experience, you will be required to exit the airport and take a 10 minute walk from terminal to terminal. Furthermore, the airport has zero way finding signage.
I arrived into Frankfurt's Terminal 1 Pier A and quickly managed to navigate through the very busy terminal. While my focus was to B-line it straight towards the FCT, I'm also not the biggest fan of Frankfurt's airport and terminal experience. Between the low ceilings and tight spaces, it's by far one of my least favorite airports. Said differently, it just gives me high anxiety. I made it to the FCT in record time, less than 20 minutes after deplaning. 😁
The FCT has two entrances, one from the ground floor, or arrival level, and the other from the departures level. Connecting passengers will find the ground floor entrance to be the quickest and easiest. After exiting from the baggage claim area, you'll want to make a left and look for this building.
The ground floor is unmanned, so once inside, you'll help yourself up the elevator to the second floor and step into this beautifully designed lobby with three check-in desks. There you'll be greeted by your personal assistant (PA). As is the norm in the FCT, each passenger (and accompanying group) will be assigned a dedicated FCT PA responsible for providing you concierge level service and ensuring you enjoy your time. They will minimize the interaction but will periodically check-in with you to see how your experience is going.
Upon entering, we were greeted by our PA who asked to see our passports. The terminal itself has its own security screening, which at the time had a small line. To avoid wasting any time (gotta love German efficiency), she asked us to wait in the security line while she went to check us in. A few minutes later, she returned with new boarding passes. From the moment we handed over our passports, our PA held onto them until we boarded.
I found the security screening process itself not very enjoyable. Their security agents weren't very polite and had us remove our everything - shoes, toiletries, laptops, and, get this, our charging cables - from our bags. Each piece of luggage was very thoroughly searched and we weren't allowed to retrieve our items until everything was completed. So, we waited without shoes on the very cold floor. A missed opportunity for Lufthansa is to consider providing slippers during this unpleasant process. The entire security screening process took about 10 minutes, combining the wait time and the search process.
Past security and before the entrance is the FCT's private duty free shop! While the shop wasn't particularly large, it carried a nice selection of alcohol, watches, purses, chocolates, and plenty of cosmetics. I was in search of a particular cologne and size, which was one of the few items they did not carry. I asked one of the employees if they could courier one over from the main terminal, which they said was not possible in the short time frame. However, the FCT does offer First Class passengers the opportunity to pre-order an item via email. Simply submit your request via email at least 24 hours out and you should find the item ready for pick-up upon arrival.
I entered through the double doors and was instantly relieved. To the right, you'll find a stunning bar and the main dining area. On the left is a selection of magazines and newspapers. Along the window are seating areas, and behind the dining area is a cigar room, two nap rooms, and shower rooms. After a very early flight, I immediately asked for a shower room to be set-up, which they obliged.
After showering, I decided to head over to the main dining area for breakfast. Please note, the FCT serves breakfast until 11AM, and switches over to lunch. During my time in the lounge, I was able to experience dishes from both the breakfast and lunch buffet line and a la carte menu, which was nice.
For breakfast, I ordered the Asian breakfast from the a la carte menu, which was delicious. For lunch, I dabbled from the buffet line and tried a few hot dishes and desserts. I was weary of eating too much knowing what was ahead of me. My beverage of choice was a delicious 2006 Comtes de Champagne Rosé Brut, exclusive to the terminal. While, I'm not typically the biggest fan of Champagne, this bottle was absolutely divine and I continued to down a few more glasses on the plane.
After lunch, I poked around the internet, which was exceptionally fast, followed by a quick 20-minute snooze in the nap room. The FCT offers two nap rooms, and each one was clean and well-designed. I absolutely loved all the lighting options, which set a nice and calming mood.
At 12:30PM, it was time to bid farewell to the FCT. Our PA approached with an exclusive FCT rubber duck as a parting gift and proceeded to let me know the car would be ready in just a few moments. I packed my belongings, went down the elevator, and "boarded" by having my passport returned back to me. It was phenomenal to go through customs without any hassles.
Waiting outside was a gorgeous line-up of Porsche Cayenne's and Mercedes S-Class's. For an #AvGeek, it's the biggest treat and novelty to be chauffeured around the airport from your private S-Class. Heck, anyone can find some joy in this. We passed by about a dozen A380 and 747's during the 5-minute drive.
The concept of an airline lounge is quite varied across the airline industry, but Lufthansa's private First Class Terminal is on another level. Not once did I feel like I was at an airport, instead I pictured a five-star hotel lobby or, even, my own living room. From start to finish, you can see how meticulous every detail meant to the five-star german airline. Unfortunately, my biggest gripe was the security screening process, which was completely out of Lufthansa's control.
This experience certainly lives up to their motto, Nonstop You.