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December 12, 2015 / oneworld82

Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and First Class Lounge in Munich

As you might remember, I went to Kenya for a safari last February. On the way back, I was supposed to fly a combination of Etihad First Class and Lufthansa First Class, but my plans changed to a more direct routing once I got sick on the last day of the tour (an intestinal bug that bothered me for a couple of weeks).

I had to cancel my LH award which I had booked with Aeroplan, but I decided not to reinstate the miles since I figured I would have a chance to rebook my ticket before the ticket would become invalid.

And so, I used this Madrid trip as an excuse to pamper myself with a Lufthansa First Class flight back home. In retrospective, it lengthen my journey considerably, but since I don’t foresee many chances to fly LH F in the next few onths (given that our baby is almost here!), I decided to dodge the bullet and fly now.

After an uneventful flight from Madrid in Iberia Y class (where not even water is offered – it was worse than Ryanair!), I spent the night at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport – very conveniently located across Terminal 1 and next to the Hilton Garden Inn. The rate ($157 a night) was reasonable, especially because the hotel is quite nice.

My itinerary back home would include a detour through Munich, as I couldn’t find a convenient First Class itinerary from FRA that would get me to a convenient gateway where to connect to DFW. So I would fly at 1.15pm to munich (in Y), and then from MUC to ORD in F on a retrofitted A346. I would land in Chicago before 8pm, and then conncet to DFW on the last AA flight at 10.20pm. A marathon, especially considering that I could have taken the nonstop DFW-MAD flight instead.

After waking up at around 7.30a I headed to the First Class Terminal. Now, I have not been yet to neither the Air France’s First Class lounge in Paris nor the Singapore Airlines’ Private Room in Singapore, but I firmly believe that the FCT must be among the best 2-3 lounges in the World. It’s one of those aspirational places that just speaks understated luxury, great service, excellent F&B.

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First Class check in area

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After checking in and going through security at the terminal itself (everything took less than five minutes), I made my way into the lounge, which was particularly crowded at this time of the day given the wave of north America-bound flights that leave in the morning. I realized that I had visited the FCT before either around the holiday season or during the weekend, which meant no businessmen around. The feeling was much different this time, with lots of suited men (and very few families) around.

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I wanted to have breakfast right away, but all tables were occupied. So I grabbed a glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, and sat down in the lounging chairs checking my emails for a few minutes.

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I tried again fifteen minutes later, and this time I did find a table available. The buffet spread was very similar if not identical to the one during my last visit in December.  I went for a weird mix of food, ranging from a pain au chocolat to smoked salmon to a cappuccino. I particularly liked the kiwi and pineapple juice on offer – as well as the muesli – but I was disappointed that the carrot juice bottle was empty and never replenished.

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

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Overall, quality was as excellent as always, although the food spread doesn’t show any variation whatsoever.

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I then headed to the cigar lounge to have my usual Villiger robusto; to my dismay, the FCT has stopped carrying cigars – they only had a few cigarillos left. So that was it: one of the best perks of the terminal is gone, and the cigar lounge has been effectively reduced to a fancy smoking room. Sad times, but I guess LH is just trying to save money wherever it can, and I assume that’s an area they identified as such.

Lounge hallway

Lounge hallway

Drinks selection in the cigar lounge

Drinks selection in the cigar lounge

I still had my cigarillo and a nice glass of Hennessy XO, before going to the shower area and getting a rubber ducky to add to my growing collection.  I then headed to the always-beautiful bar area (Halloween-decorated, given the season), and tried to order a Yamazaki. Unfortunately, they had no more Yamazaki (bummer #2), and so instead I had some other premium Japanese whickry, that was just as good to be fair (I forgot the name though).

Candy display

Candy display

Halloween time!

Halloween time!

A quick look at the resting room

A quick look at the resting room

After working for a bit, I decided to have lunch before boarding my flight to Munich. The buffet was the same (give or take a couple of items) to the one back in December – and so was the a-la-carte list. But they did have a Halloween theme, with pumpkin dishes – a nice addition indeed to celebrate the Fall season.

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Halloween menu!

Halloween menu!

After ordering the beef filet from the menu (medium rare), I checked the buffet out and picked up some items to start my meal – quality was, as always – excellent.

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After thinking about what I wanted to eat for a little while, I picked up some mixed items from the buffet.

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Appetizer

Appetizer

The quality of the food was excellent, and so was the service. I ordered a glass of Barbaresco with my food, and service was fast and very attentive.

After I finished my appetizers, my steak was promptly brought out.

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Presentation (with arugula salad) and meat were extremely good – Do&Co is really hard to beat!

Not long after finishing my meal, it was time to go boarding. The lounge attendant picked me up, helped me with the elevator, and then met me downstairs, where I would be driven to the plane via a nice Mercedes.

My ride

My ride

Our plane to Munich – an Airbus 321 – was ready to leave (we literally were the last passengers to board), and soon we were en route to Munich, a short, uneventful flight.

Once landed I made my way to the First Class Lounge, located in the central section of the terminal. The lounge is over two floors, with check in on the lower level. The lounge style is consistent with the one in Frankfurt, the main difference being size: this lounge is tiny compared to the FCL/FCT found in FRA, which made it very crowded as I was visiting at a rather busy time if day.

Entrance

Entrance

As you reach the upper level you can find the seating area on your right hand side, and the bar/dining area on your left hand side. The food is not catered by Do&Co and it’s buffet only (the selection looked pretty limited).

Seating area

Seating area

Newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines

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Buffet

Buffet

There are showers and a cigar lounge – this one without cigars as well.

The bar, while on the small side, is very nice, and I had the chance to enjoy a decent espresso and some Amarone grappa, before heading to my plane for boarding.

Bar area

Bar area

Espresso and grappa

Espresso and grappa

Overall, today’s experience in the First Class Terminal was excellent, but some details showed some worrying declines in quality: no cigars, no water menu, no Yamazaki… While these are small changes, they are certainly substantial.

Regarding the MUC FCL: well, it’s a decent lounge but very small – I guess the size of Munich airport doesn’t warrant anything better, and I guess it’s still nice Lufthansa tries to differentiate between First Class/HON passengers and the rest.

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