It may be a very small piece of the travel experience that few of us will have the chance to try, but it’s still fun to explore what airlines are doing for their international First Class passengers. Lufthansa is certainly no slouch in this area. In particular, the airline’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt has always captured my imagine. Combined with the new First Class that rolled out on the A380, it’s a fantastic experience. Let’s walk through a trip from the perspective of someone starting in Frankfurt.
When you get to the airport, you immediately bypass Lufthansa’s main terminal area in favor of the First Class Terminal located just to the west. This free-standing building is only for those travelers flying in international First Class on Lufthansa or connecting to international First Class on Austrian and Swiss. If you’re in First on United? Too bad. HON Circle members also have access to the terminal when they fly. These people fly
300,000 600,000 miles over a two year period, so it’s a very exclusive group.
If you’re driving, someone will take your car and valet park it (apparently not very common in Germany, at least not when compared to the US). If you have a rental car, you can leave it and they will return it for you. You walk in to find a welcome area with desks to check yourself in. After processing there, you walk through the security area into the lounge itself.
The main part of the lounge has plenty of loungers, massage chairs, and workstations. There is a large bar in the main area which has the largest selection of whiskey in Europe – 86 different options.
On the side, there is a sit-down dining area where you can order food.
Going toward the west part of the lounge, you’ll find the cigar lounge, which smelled so friggin’ good. This is an old boys club, for sure.
Past there you find the restrooms along with a couple of day rooms for those who need some rest.
Unlike in the day rooms that British Airways has in the Concorde Lounge at Heathrow, these do not have bathrooms built in. There are a few shower rooms that you can use independently. Some have tubs.
When it comes to boarding, First Class passengers do not pre-board with the rest. They board at the last possible minute by going downstairs to the passport control area. Your passport was sent ahead when you checked in, so you just pick it up and then pick the car you want to take you to the airplane. It’s a mix of Mercedes and Porsches models, and while they can’t guarantee you’ll get the car you want, you will get one of these.
You could technically arrive at the First Class Terminal at 20 minutes before your flight and still likely make it onboard (assuming your gate isn’t too far away). They do ask for at least 30 minutes just to be safe, however.
Once you get to the airplane, you come up from the ramp and go right onboard. About 200 to 300 people per day take advantage of this set-up. There are also First Class lounges in the terminal for those who may be connecting from other airlines or simply do not want to go over to the First Class Terminal itself. Munich also has a First Class lounge as do a couple of places around the world, but none as extravagant as this.
Once onboard, then it’s time to take your seat. You might remember when I wrote about Lufthansa’s plan for the 747 First Class with a seat and a bed. That’s really just a temporary solution. The new First Class standard is what has been delivered on the A380. This has fully flat beds in a sound-cocoon. We weren’t able to experience it in flight, but it’s supposed to be an incredibly quiet experience. For this, I took a video to show it better.
If you’re rich, then step right up and buy these fares. A roundtrip from New York to Frankfurt is only a mere $16,000 or so while a roundtrip originating in Frankfurt starts at just over $11,000. Bargain! You can always try to save up enough points as well in order to get this excellent experience.