On my recent flight to Lisbon (LIS) with TAP Portugal I was invited to the Lufthansa business class lounge in Frankfurt international airport (FRA) terminal 1. Since terminal 1 is the Lufthansa/Star Alliance terminal at FRA they have a very strong presence, in fact everything is Lufthansa branded – even including the gate desks.
I have been flying multiple times from Frankfurt with Etihad and Emirates, but only in terminal 2 so it was a first time for me to go to the ‘Lufthansa terminal’. Since I did not really know how big of a presence they have there I asked the check-in agent about which lounge I should use, which she replied to with ‘yes’. I then tried to clarify if there is a TAP Portugal lounge or which one I would be invited to which again she replied to with ‘yes’. I found that quite surprising since TP has only a few daily flights from FRA and it wouldn’t make sense to have their own lounge. After I realised there are only LH lounges at FRA terminal 1 now I am not sure if the agent just assumed I would know about it or if she herself didn’t know what kind of lounges there are…
After that initial confusion about the lounges I made my way through the duty free shop behind security – a mandatory walk before one can enter the actual terminal. As I mentioned above Lufthansa has a basically exclusive presence at Frankfurts terminal 1, so there are multiple business class lounges all over the terminal and I just randomly picked one on my way to the gate.
After entering the lounge through the outside front desk there is a concierge desk right behind which is followed by the foyer that features elevated bar seats, as well as a buffet with some very limited hot and cold food (basically vegetarian pasta, sausages and salad – all rather tasteless), an other buffet with fruits and smoothies and two coffee machines together with the usual selection of soft drinks. There was also a bar with draft beer and self-serve liquor.
On the right side of the foyer are two separate rooms that feature elevated seats and separated booths on elevated desks, intended to be a business centre. In one of those rooms was a charging station with 5 drawers to place your smartphone or tablet for charging. I used it for my iPhone and within an hour it charged less than 10% which is super disappointing – even old planes with the first generation USB chargers are faster and this station is on the ground with virtually unlimited power supply.
To the left from concierge desk and buffet were the restrooms that also feature showers in a separate area with a reception desk where you get towels etc. The restrooms were big and clean, while I really liked the size of the toilet booths I think it is worth noting that all appliance were old style – meaning you have to touch everything from toilet flush to tap and doors. I find that pretty disappointing given that it is not hygienic to touch such things in public restrooms and we live in the age of sensors for quite some years now. The lack of technology in the restrooms is actually quite ironic given that there is an automatic sliding door between the toilets and area with the sinks.
Passing by the buffets the lounge featured plenty of lounge chairs, dining areas and elevated bar seats. I found it a bit odd that all types of seats were pretty much mixed and not everything together in one area. So you would have a bar surrounded by lounge chairs and then next to it a cheap looking plastic dining table. Seemed to me like no real concept…
The lounge chairs all featured individual power outlets and a small table to place food and drinks which is very convenient. Unfortunately though the chairs are the old generation and do not have international power sockets (only European plugs will fit) and no USB power, many other LH lounges like the Lufthansa lounge Dubai feature the much nicer new chairs already, so I would have expected on their main hub they would have it too.
While the lounge had plenty other guests due to the size and the fact that there are several LH lounges at FRA it never really got packed.
No boarding announcements are made but there were two flight information displays at the buffet, I think given the big size of the lounge that is not enough and there should have been one or two more near to the seating area – instead there were TV screens showing ads for Lufthansa products.
The lounge also featured 3 drawers with newspapers and magazines on display as well as reasonably fast and easy to access WIFI powered by Telekom Germany.
There was a lot of staff cleaning tables, refilling food and showing guests around the lounge. I also appreciated the separate concierge desk with additional staff to check on boarding status etc. (FIDS did not show if a flight was boarding or not).
While the size of the lounge and the helpful and friendly staff was nice I think there is a lot of potential to improve on food and some facilities. Besides that the lounge features the same style as all LH lounges and provides a comfortable place to relax and prepare before boarding.