Lufthansa First Class Terminal Lounge Review [2019]

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal has always been on my bucket list of first class lounge experiences. I’ve always heard great things about it and I thought it was pretty cool that there’s an entire terminal dedicated to first class. On my recent flight from FRA to IAH in first class on the A380, I was able to experience the lounge for a few hours and here’s my review. 

Getting to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal

It was the last day of my round the world trip and for my last night, I opted to use Hilton points for a free night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport. It’s a pretty basic hotel but what I loved is that the hotel is located within the airport so you don’t have to take any shuttle bus and can just head right into the airport. 

My day started around 3 am with me waking up and getting things packed and ready to go. While ironing my outfit for the day and trying to avoid eating German gummies for breakfast, I got to catch a great sunrise over the Frankfurt skyline from the hotel’s 10th floor.

My round the world trip started out with an amazing sunset on my way to fly EVA business class on the 777 so it was only fitting that it end with an impressive sunrise. 

View from the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport.

At about 5:00 am, I checked out the hotel and began the trek over to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, making my way through the ghost town of an airport which is always nice and relaxing. 

Frankfurt airport terminal.

I didn’t have a clue as to how to get to the terminal so I just started to make my way through the empty airport, looking for signs. I never saw any signs for the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, though.  

Frankfurt airport terminal.

Eventually, I did see signs for Lufthansa check-in for business class and first class and I followed those down an escalator. 

I figured that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal might be near those or that at least some signs would point me in the right direction. But nope. After not finding any signs, I asked an airport agent where to go and he told me to head out the exit and turn left and that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal would be about 500m away. 

I was really not looking forward to breaking a sweat carrying all my luggage over there but when I stepped outside I was reminded that I was in Frankfurt Germany where, unlike Houston, the morning temperature was in the mid 60s.

Sweating wasn’t going to be a problem, but I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t at least contemplate hiring a taxi to take me to the terminal.

Enjoying the cool morning, I made my way down a sidewalk and through a couple of pathways and then I finally saw the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. I immediately started to get excited.

First sight of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal.

That excitement was curbed (as was I) when I made my way to the door of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal and realized it wouldn’t be opened for another fifteen minutes. So I just hung out and enjoyed the fresh air until eventually a couple of the Lufthansa staff members opened the door and welcomed me in. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal entrance.

One thing I like about LH F, they know how to brand their first class product. You see it all over the lounge exterior, the first class cabin, and on the memorabilia. First class doesn’t always feel as special as Lufthansa makes it feel.  

Lufthansa First Class Terminal check-in and security 

Once the doors were unlocked I entered into the bottom floor lobby and was led into an elevator. 

We then took the lift up to the main lobby of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal where the three check-in desks were.

From the first second I was greeted by the agents, I was impressed with their first class treatment. Throughout the entire stay at the terminal the staff would be attentive, personable, and just a joy to be around — they really added value to the experience. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal lobby.

I believe this lobby area is where you’ll enter if you get dropped off by a vehicle and that they will also take your baggage from you there. Since I didn’t have my boarding pass yet, they worked on getting me that and then they took my passport and told me that I wouldn’t get it back until just before departure. That was a little odd but a small price to pay.  

They explained to me that I’d have to wait a couple of minutes for the security station to open. So I just sat and relaxed in the lobby, checking out the sights and listening to some music pumping from the sound system. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal lobby.

After only a minute or two, an agent led me to the security station, where I was the only one in line (for the first 20 minutes I’d have the lounge all to myself). I took out my laptop and then walked through the metal detector. Because of heightened screening for US flights, I also had to remove my shoes and then was subject to a very thorough pat down. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal security.

But it was over before I knew it and then I was led towards the lounge. There’s a duty free store right past security but it was closed that early and I never went back to check it out. Just before you enter the lounge, there’s also a well-lit trophy case proudly showcasing multiple generations of the famous Lufthansa First Class rubber ducks. 

Lufthansa First Class rubber duck collection.
Lufthansa First Class rubber duck collection.

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal

As soon as you enter the terminal you will see a large collection of literature and magazines to read on the left. Their collection is very extensive so you can probably find something that you are interested in.

Next to the entrance is the magnificent bar area. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal bar.

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal bar is one of the most impressive first class lounge bars that I have come across. You can have a seat at the bar or at the counter in front of the bar which has a chess board to keep you occupied.

You can also find a guest book on this counter to sign. People left all kinds of different messages and even drawings in the book, and you’ll probably find the signatures of miles and points bloggers and YouTubers throughout the book. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal bar.

I really liked how sleek the look of the bar is. 

The bar at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is known for its extensive drink selection, which includes over 130 different kinds of whisky. They even offer a whisky tasting service. 

Also, if you are in the mood for gummy bears there are several containers that are organized by color. A little OCD but I liked the look of it. 

Since I don’t currently drink I opted for a mocktail. I’m not sure what was in the drink other than different types of fruit juices. I got about 70% through with it and still couldn’t decide if I loved it or hated it due to the odd and unfamiliar flavors, but I appreciated them whipping up something with no alcohol. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal dining 

The dining area at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is relatively small but it is elegantly put together. This area is divided up by a couple of partitions that allow you a little bit of privacy when dining which is nice and they have a no talking on the phone policy which I think is great. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal dining room.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal dining room.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal dining room.

You can choose between à la carte items off the menu or simply make your own plate with their extensive buffet. I did a little bit of both. 

First, I tried out the breakfast buffet items. There was a lot to choose from including things like:

  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Hash browns
  • Nutella crepes
  • Waffles
  • Cheeses
  • Deli meats
  • Cereals
  • Yogurts
  • Pretzels
  • Breads
  • Pastries

The breakfast selection was pretty much what you’d find at a five-star hotel that knows how to put on a great breakfast, so I was very impressed by it. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast.

Everything that I tried was high-quality. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the bacon and the crepes were simply amazing. But I didn’t want to go too hard on the buffet to save room for later so I ended up just trying a little bit.

I did come back about two hours later to try something off the menu. I ordered eggs Benedict and a waffle but was informed that items like the waffles were to just be taken off the buffet. I was slightly disappointed since it’s hard to beat a fresh waffle but I decided to just go with the eggs Benedict.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast view.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal breakfast menu.

The order promptly came out after only a few minutes and the eggs Benedict was delicious. I think the  hollandaise sauce had something special in it because it had a strong flavor I’m not used to tasting, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. But it was very delicious. 

Eggs Benedict.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal seating

There is a lot of seating throughout the lounge and you can find a number of small living room type setups in different sections of the lounge. These areas, which are great for groups, have chairs and sofas that are set up around a coffee table where you can find things like nuts and dried fruits to snack on.

There are also a couple of places for you to hang up your garments. 

I preferred to relax in the “easy chairs.” These were lining the windows and were very comfortable.

In the middle of the lounge you can find the concierge desk which can assist you with all things related to your flight. 

The concierge desk is to the left in the photo.

While most things were great in the lounge, I did have a couple of complaints. 

The first is that there were no outlets suited for international/US use and no adapters either. I had misplaced my adapter at some point during the trip and I was a bit surprised the lounge didn’t have at least one US power adapter to use.   

Another drawback to the lounge is that there are no true privacy areas (aside from the quiet rooms below that are very limited in quantity). All of the seating is out in the open. Sometimes it’s nice to just get cozy in a private little cubby and feel cut-off from the crowds (or the world) and that really is not a possibility there.

Also, there are very limited views that are not ideal for plane spotting. Below are what the views look like from the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. As you can tell, they are nothing special.

Maybe it was a little early for plane spotting but I don’t recall seeing much in the sky. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal quiet rooms

Lufthansa First Class Terminal has two quiet rooms with day beds (I just call them nap rooms). These can be reserved and occupied for up to three hours which is double the time allowed with the Day Suites at The Pier in Hong Kong.

The rooms are spacious and nice but I would not put them above the rooms found at the Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Qatar. There are far more rooms at that lounge and you can stay in them longer (up to six hours), not to mention the fact that they have private showers and TVs. Still, these quiet rooms would be great for a layover. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal quiet room.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal quiet room.

There are also four shower rooms that you can use in the back of the lounge.

The shower rooms are very nice and one of the rooms even has a bathtub you can relax in. Unfortunately, that bathtub was occupied every time I wanted to get photos of it so I was not able to get any.

Lufthansa first class shower room.
Lufthansa first class shower room.
Lufthansa first class shower room.
Lufthansa first class shower room.
Lufthansa first class shower room.
Lufthansa first class shower room.

To reserve a shower or bathtub room simply head to the desk with the ducks and the bell and ring it to get attention. Someone will probably pop out very quickly to greet you if they aren’t already at the desk. By the way, don’t forget to take your duck before leaving!

Cigar lounge

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal has a cigar lounge like some other first-class lounges. This lounge within a lounge has glass walls and the furniture is similar to that found in throughout the lounge.

Interestingly, the cigar lounge does not provide cigars so you will have to bring your own which is a departure from the Etihad First Class Lounge. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal cigar lounge.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal cigar lounge.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal cigar lounge.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal cigar lounge.

There is a bar within the cigar lounge which was stocked pretty well.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal cigar lounge bar.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal massage chairs

At the end of the lounge there are three special massage chairs that you can relax in. This is one of the few areas of the lounge where you can get some privacy so if you’re looking to relax, you might want to try out one of these massage chairs. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal massage chairs.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Bathrooms

The bathrooms in the lounge are very nice and well-kept. There are several different private stalls that you can enter in each stall has a toilet as well as a urinal. You can also find a shoe shiner. 

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Chauffeur service

One thing that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is known for is the personal chauffeur service. It is a pretty sweet perk and basically you get dropped off directly to the aircraft on the tarmac. And they don’t just use any old vehicle to do this — in many cases you are transported in a Porsche. It’s a short ride but it is a pretty sweet feeling to get dropped off in a Porsche.

When you arrive at the lounge or sometime shortly after, an agent should explain what time to expect to be taken down to the vehicles. In my case, it was right when boarding was scheduled. We went down the elevator and arrived at the waiting lobby. 

Last glimpse of the lounge!

This is where you’ll get your passport back from passport control, which could take a couple of minutes depending on how things are going. In my case, I took a seat for about three to four minutes while I waited for them to process everything. 

Finally, I was informed that another passenger would be riding with me and when he finally came down we made our way through the doors where the vehicles were parked. Sharing the Porsche was a little bit of a letdown in large part because it meant trying to get photographs without another passenger in them as we boarded.  

It was pretty cool to see a line-up of Porches waiting for us. 

We then loaded into the Porsche and then made our way to the A380, which only took about two minutes.

After arriving, we took a large elevator up to the boarding level.  

There were some people boarding through the jet bridge (I assumed business class passengers) and then we turned left into the first class cabin and the Lufthansa first class experience began! 

Final word

Overall, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal is a solid first class experience. In my opinion it has the following features that stand out: 

  • Exclusivity factor and ability to avoid public security lines/passport control
  • Fantastic in-lounge service 
  • Great bar and solid dining
  • Cool cigar lounge 
  • Nice nap rooms and shower facilities
  • Porsche chauffeur service 

The only things I wasn’t crazy about were: 

  • Lack of privacy
  • Lack of views for plane spotting

Relax & Recharge at National Car Rental’s Emerald Club Pop-Up Lounge

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

National Car Rental, the premier car rental brand for frequent airport travelers, is offering complimentary Emerald Club (pop-up) Lounges at select U.S. airports, including Denver (DEN), San Jose (SJC), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), St. Louis (STL), Oakland (OAK) and Houston (IAH). All airports were selected based on the percentage of passengers who travel for business.

National named the lounges after its Emerald Club loyalty program– which expedites the rental process by offering counter bypass as well as access to National’s “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized car. They developed the Emerald Club Lounge to provide a convenient place at the airport where travelers can relax and recharge.

The Emerald Club Lounge.

These pop-up lounges are featured post security in one terminal per airport and are open 24/7 with a National staff member on duty from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The pop-up Emerald Club Lounge that I visited at IAH is located past security near gate A1.

The pop-up lounge is out in the open and available to the public so you don’t need a special membership with National to get access. We visited the lounge before heading out to begin our month-long, round-the-world trip and thought the lounge was a well-placed and equipped pop-up lounge perfect for anybody looking for a free place to relax and charge up their electronics.

The Emerald Club Lounge offers free Wi-Fi, charging stations and access to tablets and TVs to check flight status and get the latest sports, weather and news updates.

In addition, you can also get information about the National app, watch National’s new TV commercials featuring actor Patrick Warburton and enroll in National’s award-winning Emerald Club loyalty program.

There are also some games that you can try out if you’re looking to pass the time (I gave the football game a try but wasn’t very good).

The staff member attending the lounge during our visit was very friendly and made sure we knew all about the different features of the lounge, such as the Wi-Fi and how the tablets worked. I took some time to relax in one of their reclining chairs and found it quite comfy. If you’re not interested in the reclining seats there are also a handful of stools that you can utilize (with chargers nearby).

Final word on the Emerald Club Lounge

Overall, the Emerald Club Lounge is a not a full-service lounge that will provide you with showers, alcohol, and food. However, it’s still a great place to relax and charge up your devices without having to worry about paying for a membership to enter a lounge.

  • You can click here to register for Emerald Club.


Photos of New United Lounge at Houston Intercontinental (IAH) Terminal C

United opened up a newly refreshed lounge at Terminal C (North) this summer with a fresh new look and feel from the other United lounges and I recently got the chance to check it out. Note: I don’t typically do “lounge reviews” but I figured I’d share some of my photos here and initial impressions of the lounge.

Where is the new United Lounge?

The new lounge is located near Gate 1 at Terminal C and is open from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm. 

IAH is one of my favorite airports not just because I’m from Houston but because you can easily make your way between terminals both pre and post security. On this trip I arrived through Terminal E and quickly made my way to Terminal C in about 10 to 15 minutes (slow walkers might take closer to 20 minutes).

As soon as you enter the lounge you’ll notice the mood lighting through the blue-tinted doors.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

There are two different check-in desks, one at the main entrance and another on the other side of the lounge. The staff at the main entrance were very polite and professional much like those I often interact with at American Express Centurion Lounges.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

The interior boasts new stylish lighting and an open layout, which makes the lounge much more appealing and modern. When I arrived around 6:30 am, the lounge had pretty minimal traffic, although when I left at around 8:00 am (on a Friday), the lounge had become very packed throughout.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

Unlike the Centurion Lounge at IAH, there’s not a lot of variety in the seating (e.g., no cubbies, chaise lounges, etc.). Outside of the few sleek seats, all seats are pretty much standard and come equipped with power outlets, USB ports, and lamps. While the lounge is very open, I found the corner pictured below to be one of the few semi-private areas of the lounge.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.
United Lounge at IAH Terminal C seating with outlets.

The seats pretty comfortable and you have a decent view of the tarmac, although since it’s Terminal C you’re not going to see a lot of the interesting planes from international carriers.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.
New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

Towards the corner of the lounge where we sat there was a flight schedule screen and a table with stools for laptop users.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

This is also the side where the bathroom is and a few phone rooms. The bathroom was very nice and well-kept but note that the phone rooms are not noise-proof. I could easily hear people chatting and doors slamming while inside. There are no showers in this United lounge (I don’t think any United Club’s currently have them at IAH) and also no family rooms.

New United Lounge at IAH Terminal C.

On the other side of the lounge closer to the bar and food areas there’s another longer row of bar stools.

United Lounge at IAH Terminal C seating.

There are some comfy booth-style seats close to the bar, which also have small tables and different style chairs. Staff members roamed the lounge to check on guests and take away dirty dishes but they didn’t seem overly attentive to guests, so you may need to flag them down if you want to ask them for their services.

United Lounge at IAH Terminal C bar area.

The bar area felt like a Centurion Lounge bar to me. I loved the new lighting design and set-up and thought that it looked very elegant, and noticeably more chic than other United Club lounges. The bar opens up at 7am, which I believe is much earlier than the Centurion Lounge.

United Lounge at IAH Terminal C bar area.

Basic beers and liquors are complimentary at the lounge but you’ll have to pay for certain imports and for premium liquors, cocktails, and fine wines, with prices starting at around $5.

United Lounge at IAH Terminal C bar area.

As a point of comparison, here’s another United Club Lounge bar at IAH (I can’t remember which terminal I took that photo at). To me these looks much more old-fashioned.

United Club Lounge bar at IAH.

The food options for breakfast were very standard. They offered a mixture of fruits (cantaloupe, blueberries, etc.), yogurt, granola, muffins, pastries, breads, cereals, and one of those nice Coke machines that allow you to choose all sorts of different Coke products. I believe the lounges are now offering more lunch options with things like new salads, soups, and other offerings.

Breakfast items at the United Club.

United is currently working on rolling out several new Polaris lounges worldwide. They’ve already opened one up at Chicago (ORD) and have plans to open eight additional lounges at the following airports: Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles International, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington Dulles, Hong Kong, London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita. I’m excited to see the new Polaris Lounge and also hope to more refreshed lounges at IAH.

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