Thanksgiving in Mumbai: Lufthansa’s Frankfurt A Concourse First Class Lounge

Having arrived at the dreaded C pier, I had to make the long trek through Frankfurt to my connecting flight on United. US flights depart from the A concourse, and it’s a long trip. The biggest delay was at security, where the lines were reasonably long but really just because it was taking 3 to 4 minutes to process each passenger, though it’s not really clear why.

After awhile, and though processing was incredibly slow, one of the two lanes was closed and everyone had to queue in the only line at the checkpoint.

Bags were put on the belt and the screener examining x-rays just sat there. Staring at each bag. And staring. There wasn’t extra screening or seconday screening, just an excrutiatingly slow gentleman operating the x-ray machine. Had I realized, I’d have cleared security elsewhere, but it always seemed like I was just close enough to make it worth waiting out. Ultimately it took an hour from arrival to entrance into Lufthansa’s First Class Lounge in the A concourse.

The A concourse is located just prior to passport control. I walked inside, showed my arriving Lufthansa boarding pass, and I was asked for my departing flight boarding pass. I handed them the boarding pass for my upcoming United flight back to DC and was told that I didn’t have access to this lounge, that I had to use the Senator lounge instead.

That’s not correct. Arriving Lufthansa first class passengers have access to Lufthansa’s first class lounges. I wouldn’t have access to the first class terminal because I was departing on United. But I absolutely was entitled to access. I asked for a supervisor, and another lounge agent came out to correct his colleague, who apologized and welcomed us to the lounge.

On first glance, the lounge looks almost identical to the First Class Terminal, only smaller. The furnishings and décor are almost identical. There’s a separate restaurant area and bar area. There are shower rooms in similar style.

The major differences are lack of private security screening and passport control and no car service out to the aircraft. Although on the plus side there’s a lovely view of airport operations, something the first class terminal lacks.

But the lounge is smaller, so much so that when I first arrived there wasn’t much open seating. I found a spot for myself and my wife in the corner. After about 20 minutes the morning rush cleared out and the lounge became perfectly peaceful.

I went for a shower, the attendant had me wait while she cleaned one of the shower rooms and told me it’s better to reserve one for a specific time during the morning hours in this lounge.

Much refreshed, I visited the buffet and brought a small plate back to my seat, secured a wireless internet password, and checked into work.

Soon enough it was time to head out to my United flight home, that will be one of the more interesting segments of this trip report. We walked through passport control, there was no wait, though just past passport control we were stopped by security and told that we’d be getting a special extra screening. We were both taken to a screening area alongside the terminal walkway and patted down and our carryons completely unpacked and repacked. The security personnel were friendly and professional, though I wonder what led us to be selected. Shortly we made it to the United gates…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I am curious as to how you would “clear security elsewhere” – do you mean that you would exit the terminal and re-enter from the outside? Because as far as I could tell there was only one passage from the arriving terminal to the terminal with US departure gates, and these days it has been my experience that the checkpoint is always jampacked, as you reported.

  2. That’s funny (the refused entry into the First lounge). Lufthansa is like that sometimes – agents who feel they are absolutely sure about the rules and unwilling to consider the possibility that they might be wrong. I don’t know why that is, but you are lucky that there actually was a supervisor available or you would have been SOL.

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