Lufthansa Business Lounge Detroit DTW Review (Priority Pass)

Finally! Detroit Metro Wayne airport has a Priority Pass lounge! The Lufthansa Business Lounge in the North Terminal is Detroit’s first Priority Pass lounge, which was especially needed for the North Terminal.

While the much better beautifully designed McNamara terminal had 4 Sky Clubs and excellent shops, the North Terminal only had the Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge which was only accessible via Star Alliance Gold status.

So, when Priority Pass added the Lufthansa Business Lounge to its network on October 15, 2018, I had to visit it to share my experience.

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Priority Pass

The Priority Pass network is over 1,100 lounges and restaurants in airports around the world. These lounges can vary dramatically in their size and quality, but generally, you can expect to find a comfortable place to relax with snacks and drinks and free wifi.

Priority Pass membership can be bought, but Priority Pass Select membership comes with many credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum Card only to name a few. The guest policy is a little different depending on the card that you hold, but generally, you can expect to bring in two guests with you into these lounges.

DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge hours

The Priority Pass hours are:

  • Monday – Saturday: 5:00 – 18:30 
  • Sunday: 11:00 – 18:30.

However, Priority Pass cardholders cannot access the Lufthansa Business Lounge between the hours of 13:00 and 16:00 every day.

The regular hours for Star Alliance Gold, Star Alliance international business/first, and Royal Jordanian business can access the lounge between the hours of 5:00 – 19:30 Monday – Saturday and 11:00 – 19:30 Sunday.

Regular lounge hours are different from Priority Pass hours

DTW Lufthansa Lounge location

Lufthansa Business Lounge is in the North Terminal, which undoubtedly is the ugly empty feeling terminal compared to the McNamara terminal at DTW.  If you’re not flying a SkyTeam airline out of DTW, then your flight will be out of the North Terminal.

Sadly, you cannot navigate between terminals past the security check-point. So, if you’re in McNamara terminal, you won’t have access to the North Terminal or vice versa. However, I never once wanted to go to the North Terminal which I actively avoid since the McNamara terminal is far superior for shops, lounges, food, and design.

The Lufthansa Business Lounge is easy to get to once you’ve passed security. Once you pass through security, you will head towards gates D7, and you will find that the lounge is before D7 and after D8. There are a few moving walkways that make it a more leisurely walk, but there is no ExpressTram like the McNamara terminal.

Once passed security you are greeted with flight information displays and gate D18
Moving walkways make it easier and faster to walk to the lounge
DTW North Terminal map

The Lufthansa Business Lounge experience

About 5:45 in the morning I made my way passed gate D8, and I arrived at the entrance of the Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge at DTW dressed in the signature yellow and gray colors of Lufthansa, making the lounge stand out and easy to spot.

When entering the lounge, the first thing I noticed was the small entrance where the lonely lounge attendant sat at the standard office desk without a smile asking if I was using Priority Pass. I smiled and said yes I am using Priority Pass along with a good morning. I pulled out my phone, she scanned it, and then I signed. She didn’t ask for my boarding pass but probably didn’t ask because it was so early and no flights have arrived for the day.

She seems tired, and I wasn’t bothered by it, but it sucks to be greeted by someone that shows how much they don’t want to be there. Yes, it’s very early in the morning, but the TSA agents I interacted with 5 minutes ago were smiling and so cheerful. Throughout my brief visit to the lounge, she never cracked a smile.

I walked a few feet and made my way into the Business Lounge past a magazine and newspapers display on the left. I should mention that the Business Lounge was the only side open since the Senator Lounge I believe only opens up later on in the day. Do note, the Senator Lounge is on the right side and is accessible to Star Alliance Gold members.

Maganize and newspaper display in the DTW Lufthansa Lounge lobby

The lounge isn’t big and just one room consisting of dining style seating, high top seating, lounge chairs seating, and work carrels.

DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge dining room
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge chair seating
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge work carrels
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge work carrels in the foreground and the dining room in the background

The lounge is tiny and very exposed anywhere you sit. Lounge chairs are set up where you face and sit next to someone without any dividers besides a small side table. The work carrels aren’t that useful being on the smaller side and right next to the bathrooms. In general, there wasn’t one place in the lounge that felt secluded or private, even with eight people in the lounge it didn’t feel secluded.

The lack of workspace is noticeable. For proper workspaces, you can either work in the dining room or at the work carrels. The sad thing is the lack of outlets is another issue. There are a few scattered and one at each work carrel, but the outlets aren’t consistent throughout the rest of the lounge. While this is better than working in the terminal, I still think some variety when it comes to workspaces and seating is needed.

At least the lounge chairs are kind of comfy.

DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge chair seating

They have a nice scale model of Lufthansa 747-400 that they fly to Detroit painted in their old livery and a small wall of clocks displaying different time zones in the back of the lounge by the bathrooms and the work carrels. I love when model planes are in lounges, especially ones that are huge. 🙂

DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge scale model of their 747-400
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge scale model of their 747-400

Right next to the scale model of the 747-400, you will see the bathrooms. The men’s bathroom was clean during my visit but didn’t have any special amenities besides facial tissues. Neither the Business or Senator side of the lounge have showers.

There aren’t any great views besides the yellow bus (Spirit) planes at gate D8. The only windows that allowed a view outside were right next to the buffet. Otherwise, for views of the apron and runway are somewhat limited for some plane spotting.

One great thing about the lounge is the silence. During my visit the lounge was very quiet and having a calm environment is fantastic.

Food and drink options

Since I was at the lounge very early, the food options were somewhat limited. I didn’t find this an issue since it was a light continental style option of food like cereal, yogurt, bagel, and fruit.

They have a mini fridge filled with soft drinks, the self-service bar, coffee machine, sparkling and non-sparkling water available. They don’t stock tiny little water bottles, so the water comes from liter bottles of it right next to the alcohol.

The glassware is actually glass, with a cool Lufthansa logo on it, and plateware were actually reusable plates. Each table had real flowers, and the nice thing about the tables was the fact they were clean during my visit. Touches like proper tableware and flowers are nice to see in domestic lounges.

However, don’t expect to go crazy eating lots of food.

DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge buffet
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge buffet
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge buffet and self-service bar
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge buffet and self-service coffee machine
DTW Lufthansa Business Lounge table view with real flowers, which is a nice touch

I ended up having a plain bagel, which is the only type of bagel they had. I ended up toasting it. When another guy and I was toasting my bagel, a line started to form to toast bagels. I guess the bagel is the only appealing thing?

The coffee machine was a little confusing. All the labels say decaf, but the decaf cylinder that is labeled decaf that holds the coffee beans wasn’t filled while the espresso beans cylinder was filled. So, I am guessing the label is wrong, or they filled the espresso cylinder with decaf. I am not sure, but in the end, it made a crummy cappuccino.

During my 20ish minutes in the lounge, the lonely lounge attendant walked around picking up any dishes and garbage left. She also refreshed some of the food at the buffet and replaced one of the empty liters of water.

Final word

Detroit finally has a Priority Pass Lounge! It’s undoubtedly great for North Terminal passengers that don’t hold Star Alliance Gold Status or not flying international first/business class. While it is an excellent addition for DTW North Terminal passengers, I still think the lounge is just okay.

I wouldn’t arrive early at the airport to access the Lufthansa Business Lounge. I love visiting lounges that offer places that are semi-private or secluded like the United Polaris lounge or even Sky Clubs for that matter, but the Lufthansa Business Lounge feels like an office break room.