Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich
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Hilary Stockton
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Review: Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Seating

 

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This Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge Review is part of a trip report including First Class and Business Class to Moscow on Lufthansa, with reviews of luxury hotels and dining in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

For the prior posts, see:

Lufthansa First Class Award Booked 15 days in Advance

Lufthansa New First Class Review

I've had quite a few visits to top-notch hotel club lounges such as the Four Seasons Hong Kong Executive Lounge and a number of Ritz-Carlton Club Lounges, but very few top-tier airline lounges. I won't count U.S. domestic business class lounges, which to me seem like a bad joke--often crowded, with no appealing food options, and sometimes surly employees. But clearly Lufthansa's First Class Lounge is another animal altogether.

Since I was arriving on a first class flight but departing that night on an intra-Europe Lufthansa business class flight, I wasn't 100% sure they'd let me in, although I'd read reports that even at Frankfurt's First Class Terminal they generally did allow arriving Lufthansa first class passengers who had a same day connecting flight in business to use the FCT, even though it's really mean for passengers departing on Lufthansa first class flights. So I decided to try my luck, since I needed to get online anyway, and very much wanted a shower to freshen up.

I pressed the buzzer and was buzzed in, showed the agent my first class boarding pass, and asked if I could use the lounge. She asked to see my connecting flight, and also had me hand over my passport to a separate customs officer who kept it for the duration of my stay in the lounge. I'd asked her about a plug adapter, not having been able to find my European adapter before I left, and she escorted me to the bar, where they keep them, taking your boarding pass to ensure you don't forget to give the adapter back. Although it was all quite regimented, once inside the lounge, I began to appreciate it more. I first sat down in one of the several office rooms and checked email, while enjoying some kaffee und kuchen--a cappuccino (machine made, but still decent) and slice of apple tart (very good).

Review-Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich - Cappuccino and Apple Tart

 

Then it was off to have a shower. The attendant was friendly, although seemed slightly flustered responding to my English. And indeed, the majority of other visitors that Saturday were German speaking, and all men with the exception of one German mother with two energetic little boys. The shower room was a lot nicer than the Swiss shower room I had at the Swiss Arrivals Lounge in Zurich. Not only did it not flood (better design!) it was a lot more spacious, with a separate alcove for the toilet, a large bench to put your things, extra towel, etc.

Review-Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Shower Room

 

Review-Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich - Shower Room

 

The Fusion bath amenities left something to be desired, since they had a strong Sandalwood scent to them, but not a problem since I always bring my own.

Review-Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge-Toiletries

 

The shower had both a rain shower fixture and regular nozzle.

Review-Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Shower

 

After freshening up and doing a bit more work, I was hungry. I checked out the buffet, which had various salads, sushi, smoked salmon, a large fruit plate, cheeses, breads, an array of desserts, etc., but I was drawn to the nicely set tables which had their own menu. It was also set with the classic Lufthansa rose, which was lovely and so civilized. I prefer cooked to order food over most buffets, so I sat down and was warmly greeted by both a young woman server and an older male server. For lunch, I chose the venison medallions (when was the last time you were able to order venison at an airport lounge?!) which came with a chocolate pepper sauce, red cabbage, and gnocchi. I accompanied with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Let me say, this was SO much better than the pre-flight supper at the Lufthansa IAD Lounge prior to my flight in Lufthansa New First Class. Not even close. And it was filling enough that I was glad I hadn't ordered an appetizer, and sorry not to have any room for dessert.

Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Dining Room

 

Review-Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich - Venison with Gnocchi

 

Since the day was quite rotten outside, I gave up on heading into Munich for a few hours, and decided to just get more work done in the lounge. About 5 hours later, and an hour and a half prior to my flight, I decided to have a light dinner of soup and dessert. I can't recall exactly what they called this creamy chestnut soup, but it was silky and delicious, at least if, as I do, you like chestnuts. I find it such a quintessential fall flavor and surprisingly not used that much in American cooking apart from, say, stuffing at Thanksgiving. Simple, rich, and satisfying.

Review-Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich - Chestnut Soup

 

I finished off with probably my 4th fresh passion fruit of the day (the novelty of fresh passion fruit in an airline lounge clearly hadn't worn off on me, plus it was channeling that luscious fruit bowl and passion fruit welcome drinks at the Amankila in Bali), a strawberry, and a couple cookies. The kind server also brought me a little plate of chocolates, which I saved to take home for the munchkin.

Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Munich - Dessert

 

Actually, there were trays of Mozart candies all around the lounge--talk about SO much better than stale pretzels, chips, packaged cookies, etc. that you find in U.S. lounges (ok, I know it's not fair to compare those lounges to a Lufthansa First Class Lounge, but still).

Review-Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Mozart Candies

 

The only thing I wasn't crazy about, although fortunately it was pretty well self-contained, was the Cigar Lounge. It was pretty amusing though--I still don't get cigars or smoking in general, but it certainly managed to have at least one person puffing away in there at all times.

Review -Lufthansa Munich First Class Lounge - Cigar Lounge

 

Getting Into the Lufthansa First Class Lounge

As noted above, Lufthansa' First Class Lounges are really supposed to be for passengers departing on a Lufthansa First Class international flight; but typically you'll be able to also use the lounge if you are an arriving Lufthansa First Class passenger with onward travel on Lufthansa, whether in business class or even coach, as per Alexander's comment below.

Note that you must be an arriving or departing first class passenger on Lufthansa or Swiss metal; if you're arriving or departing in first class on another Star Alliance carrier you're out of luck. You are allowed one guest if s/he holds a boarding pass for the same flight as you do; and you can also host your spouse or life partner and children under 18 if they have same day boarding passes. You do not have to be flying on a revenue ticket; anyone traveling on a Lufthansa first class award ticket as described above can be admitted, so it's a nice additional perk of flying Lufthansa. As covered in my prior post, I prefer using United miles earned from the Ink Bold, Ink Plus and Sapphire Preferred sign up bonuses and spend, since with a United roundtrip award you can get a free United one-way, and also because United, unlike US Airways, doesn't block Lufthansa first class award availability (although you may encounter some phantom availability).

 

The Verdict

I can better understand why people get excited to visit Lufthansa First Class Lounges now. The ability to order excellent dishes to order seals it for me, since that's something that you don't even get (apart from a few dishes such as eggs cooked to order at breakfast) at even most top hotel club lounges. That said, you can bet the buffet items at the Four Seasons Hong Kong Executive Lounge are a LOT better quality-wise than the buffet options in the Lufthansa First Class Lounge. But of course, with the Lufthansa First Class lounge you're getting it included in the price of your award ticket, and you most definitely won't be staying at any Four Seasons for the miles and points from a few credit card applications. 

If I had to criticize, I'll say that what I really want in more top tier airline lounges is a sleeping room or area where you can lie down. I've done this at the British Airways lounge, where there's a sleeping area, and I know that Etihad also has some sleeping rooms, first come, first served. Even the Swiss Arrivals Lounge in Zurich apparently has a bedroom, although I didn't have occasion to see or use it. 

Update: apparently there are sleeping rooms, per Deborah and Alexander's comments--I should have asked about them! Although as they're apparently near the entrance and you hear the foot traffic, I probably wouldn't have been able to get to sleep anyway.

Have you been to a Lufthansa First Class Lounge or the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt? What did you like most about it?


Related posts

Lufthansa First Class Award: Booked 15 Days in Advance

Swiss Arrivals Lounge (Zurich) Review

Lufthansa First Class Review

Lufthansa's New Business Class Rollout and Routes

Airlines and Routes with First and Business Class Award Availability for Europe

10 Best International First Class Seats for Award Travel 

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Comments
User_avatar_default Andras A. commented 20 Nov 2012
I guess I would really like to know which one is better the Munich or the Frankfurt one. Perhaps both are (should be) the same? Great post...
User_avatar_default Joseph M. commented 20 Nov 2012
Both are great but the Frankfurt lounge does have 2 sleeping rooms
User_avatar_default Deborah B. commented 20 Nov 2012
Munich feels more intimate, Frankfurt is much lighter and expansive. The catering appears to be very similar in both. The sleep rooms(there are two) in Munich are quite near the entry, I used the ear plugs that were provided, but the vibrations from foot traffic were still noticeable. I did sleep, but would have preferred a more quiet, out of the way location.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 21 Nov 2012
Joseph and Deborah, thanks for sharing your take on both, hopefully helpful to Andras. Good to know Munich has sleeping rooms, I should have asked! It does seem strange to place them near the entryway due to noise.
User_avatar_default Alexander E. commented 23 Nov 2012
Don't compare the Washington lounge with the Munich lounge: Munich is a First Class Lounge, Washington a Senator Lounge. The reason that the sleeping rooms are located at the entrance is that originally they were not foreseen. They were added later and it was the only space available. According to the rules: you have access with a same day boarding pass for an arriving/departing flight - i.e. even if you're not connecting. That also counts if you're connecting in Economy Class. According to the rules: you may take a guest if he has a boarding pass for the same flight. The rules don't say that he/she has to fly First Class. The First Class Terminal plays in a totally different league as it is a separate building. No matter what position your Ircraft is parked, you get driven to the plane, usually in a Mercedes or Porsche. It is bigger than the lounges and it feels more spacious. But even here it can get crowded Monday morning and Friday afternoon. The First Class lounges in Munich and Frankfurt are very similar with, in my humble opinion, Munich having the friendlier staff. Munich, however, usually gets crowded at specific times of the day, namely when the long haul flights to the U.S and Asia are scheduled. All-in-all I refer Munich.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 23 Nov 2012
Thanks Alexander, have updated the post to mention that as long as you're arriving or departing first class on Lufthansa or Swiss, you have access. And you can apparently also invite a spouse/partner and children under 18 to the lounge even if they're not on the same flight as you, as long as they hold same day boarding passes. Good to know I lucked out with the lounge that has friendlier staff!
Picture?type=large Brendan B. commented 26 Nov 2012
For sleeping, you could have reserved a day room at the Kempinski, which is a few minutes walk away. It is complimentary for LH F arriving passengers. The rooms are available from morning until 6PM (or perhaps 5PM) and include access to the spa.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 26 Nov 2012
Brendan, great to know that you can reserve a day room at the Kempinski--it would have been handy to get some rest given my night flight to Moscow.
User_avatar_default Fred S. commented 05 Sep 2013
We will arrive FRA UA First Class and depart Lufthansa Business two hours later. All mileage ticket. Which lounge will we be able to use? Headed for Moscow and St. P.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 05 Sep 2013
Fred, you could go to any of the Lufthansa Business Class lounges; the First Class Lounge is only if you're arriving or departing in Lufthansa First Class.
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