Frankfurt am Main
- Nice and bright
- Offers amenities that the higher-tier Senator Lounge here doesn't
- Private working rooms for serious productivity
- Location isn't as convenient if you're departing from gates A1-25
- More power points would be appreciated
- Cocktail bar with barista-made coffee
Lufthansa and Star Alliance business class passengers jetting from Frankfurt on German domestic flights or those within the European Schengen Area have two main business class lounges to choose from here.
The most popular is the 'main' Lufthansa Business Lounge A13, given its convenient central location and larger footprint, but that doesn't mean you should overlook your other option: Lufthansa Business Lounge A26: about seven minutes further on foot.
Here, you'll get more natural light, better airport views, barista-made coffee and a tended bar – and better yet, this lounge welcomes exactly the same guests, so if you can access that main lounge, you can swing past this one, too.
You're also not required to use the lounge closest to your boarding gate: as long as you're flying from this part of Frankfurt Airport, you're clear to choose your lounge or even visit both, as Australian Business Traveller did during a recent visit to Germany.
Location & Impressions
After clearing security screening, follow the Lufthansa Business Lounge signs around to the left. You'll shortly see one Business Lounge on your right (near gate A13), but for the A26 lounge, keep walking straight ahead, in the direction of Lufthansa Service Centre...
... and once you get close to gate A26, take the escalator upstairs...
... scan your boarding pass at the door, and you'll be inside. The first thing you'll notice are the windows surrounding the lounge, giving you an excellent view around the airport...
... and given the layout of Frankfurt Airport, where these piers are multi-storey – with one level catering European flights, the other, for longer international flights which can park at the same gates – don't be surprised if you see large aircraft like Airbus A380s or Boeing 747-8s sitting below (sorry, these won't be flying you across Europe, though).
The Lufthansa Business Lounge A26 opens from 5am until 10pm daily, catering to all flights from this part of the airport: but do note that boarding calls aren't made here, so keep an eye on your departure time.
Given the size of Lufthansa's Frankfurt Airport hub, the airline provides a staggering 14 lounges here, plus an entirely separate terminal for first class passengers, so for the most part, each lounge is designed to cater for a different set of travellers.
Concourse A – where this lounge is located – serves German domestic flights and those to the other 25 countries within the Schengen Area, such as France, Italy and Switzerland, which share an open border with Germany.
As such, the Lufthansa Business Lounge at Gate A26 primarily welcomes the following guests aboard these intra-Europe hops:
- Lufthansa business class passengers who aren't also Star Alliance Gold members.
- Business class passengers of other Star Alliance airlines on Schengen flights, including Adria, Aegean, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS, SWISS and TAP Air Portugal, who don't also have a Star Alliance Gold card.
- Miles & More Frequent Traveller (Star Alliance Silver) members flying with the airlines above, or on an eligible codeshare flight (not applicable to other Star Alliance Silver members).
- United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members prior to Star Alliance flights.
This access list mirrors the Lufthansa Business Lounge A13 in the same terminal, although that lounge tends to be much busier, given its location just past security.
Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers are certainly welcome in both of these lounges, but are instead better-accommodated at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge A50 in the same terminal, which is a cut above the Business Lounges and welcomes these elite frequent flyers travelling in any class of service.
Passengers connecting to or from a Lufthansa or SWISS first class flight have things even better, with access to the separate Lufthansa First Class Lounge in the same concourse: ditto Miles & More HON Circle cardholders travelling with a Star Alliance airline in any class of service.
While Lufthansa's Senator Lounges are designed to be better than regular Business Lounges, here at Gate A26, this Business Lounge has something that the Senator Lounge doesn't, and that's a tended bar:
You won't find this in the other Business Lounge in the same concourse, either: it's exclusively found here at the A26 facility, although there's still wine within easy reach for a quick self-pour:
Better yet, the bar counter also provides barista-made coffee – Italian coffee, at that – which is also something you won't find at the other Business and Senator Lounges before European flights:
But why is the A26 Business Lounge so special, we hear you ask?
As a spot of Frankfurt Airport trivia, this used to be a Lufthansa first class lounge many years ago, having since been converted into a Business Lounge: and rather than ripping out the bar and coffee facilities, Lufthansa decided to leave them in place – no complaints here!
There's still a push-button espresso machine if you're pressed for time, of course...
... while on the dining front, the selections here reflect Business Lounge standards, beginning with a range of hot items like scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon...
... your choice of rolls and pastries, kept under a heat lamp...
... along with fruits, yoghurts...
... cereals and various condiments...
... and as I visited the lounge mid-morning, some transitional options were already available, including meats and cheeses...
... with fresh fruit available at the counter nearby:
There are rows of dining tables near the buffet area at which to enjoy your meal – here's a snap of one of the few empty seats during one of the lounge's busier times when most others were occupied...
And as I've come to expect of all Lufthansa Group lounges, the place wouldn't be complete without an ice cream freezer...
... and a 'candy corner' offering a variety of treats:
As I was beginning a busy 13-hour work day with two more countries to visit before heading to bed – next stop, Italy, followed by Switzerland – I was content with a second coffee and instead chose to eat on my Lufthansa A320neo business class flight to Rome.
For any laptop tasks, there's a working bench not far from the caffeine counter...
... with a separate business nook providing both PCs and space to use your own devices, with power points at the ready:
Those needing some serious quiet to get things done can also set up in one of these working rooms, although that does mean missing out on the great natural light as available in the rest of the space:
Wireless Internet here is lightning-fast and was the speediest of all the lounges I visited in Frankfurt on the same day – I clocked downloads of 99Mbps and uploads of 85Mbps, and given the lounge was relatively busy during my stay, that was excellent.
I would have appreciated having power points available in more places: namely, in the dining area, although if I'd needed power, there were still options, at least.
Speaking of power, you'll find outlets near the seats facing the windows, giving you an option to relax and recharge...
... while the lounge also provides showers and used a buzzer system when there's a queue, to save having to stand and wait outside.
Comparing Frankfurt's Business Lounge A13, Senator Lounge A50 and this Business Lounge A26, I'd have to say that this would be my pick of the three, even if access were available to the higher-tier Senator Lounge.
For starters, while this A26 lounge certainly wasn't 'quiet', it was significantly less busy than the other two when I stopped by, no doubt given its location far along one of the terminal's two piers – I timed the walk from security to here and back at 15 minutes, meaning it's not as easily used by travellers as the other, more central lounges.
The presence of true barista coffee rather than a 'fine' but less-desirable push-button latte was also appreciated, and if I'd been flying later in the day, the staffed bar would have equally been welcome.
All things considered, if I were flying from this part of Frankfurt Airport again, I think Business Lounge A26 would be my go-to, despite also having the option of the Senator Lounge.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Frankfurt as a guest of Star Alliance and Lufthansa.