Can you access the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt on arrival?

Nov 7, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

A true first-class experience starts on the ground, and some airlines have taken this to the next level with incredibly luxurious and exclusive airport lounges. One of the single best lounges out there is the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. As the name implies, this lounge isn’t actually located in the main airport building. First-class passengers have a separate, detached terminal that doubles as their security checkpoint and pre-departure lounge. TPG reader Zach wants to know if he can access the First Class Terminal on arrival as well …

I’m flying Lufthansa first class from New York to Munich to Frankfurt, before connecting on to Amsterdam on a separate ticket. Will I be able to access the First Class Terminal during my layover in Frankfurt?


For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

This is a great question; in addition to the appeal of the First Class Terminal itself there are plenty of reasons Zach could be wondering about access. After a long flight from the U.S. to Europe he might want to shower and grab a bite to eat before heading to his final destination, and he may not have enough time to do that on his layover in Munich. Perhaps he has a meeting to prep for or some work to get done, or maybe he just wants to grab one of Lufthansa’s first-class rubber ducks as a souvenir of his travels.

Related: You’ll pray for a delay: Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.)

Lufthansa has a number of first-class lounges in its hubs in both Frankfurt and Munich, but the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is one of a kind. Since it’s not connected to the main terminal it’s technically intended for passengers originating in Frankfurt, but if you have a connection and are willing to clear customs and make a short five-minute walk, you’re welcome to use it. Here are the requirements for access to the First Class Terminal:

  • Passengers traveling in Lufthansa or Swiss first class with a flight arriving or departing on the same day.
  • Miles & More HON Circle elites with a boarding pass for a Lufthansa/Star Alliance/codeshare partner flight arriving or departing same day.

This makes the First Class Terminal incredibly exclusive, as even passengers traveling through Frankfurt in first class on a Star Alliance partner airline can’t access it. However, this doesn’t exactly answer Zach’s question. If we dig into the fine print at the bottom of Lufthansa’s lounge access webpage, we get a bit more clarification:

“Access to the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is only possible with a confirmed First Class flight on the same day with Lufthansa or SWISS. HON Circle Members have access to the First Class Terminal for Lufthansa, SWISS or Austrian Airlines flights departing on the same day. Passengers flying into Frankfurt have no access to the First Class Terminal.

With your First Class boarding pass for a flight operated by Lufthansa or SWISS on the same day, you have access to the First Class facilities (First Class Terminal and First Class Lounges). Passengers who, in addition to their First Class flight, are taking a connecting or feeder flight, have access to the First Class facilities, as long as the entire First Class journey is a through booking.”

The last sentence is where Zach is going to run into a problem. If his ticket were booked in reverse — from Frankfurt to Munich and Munich to New York – he would be able to access the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. However, his Lufthansa ticket ends in Frankfurt, and his connecting flight to Amsterdam was booked separately. This means that he won’t be able to access the First Class Terminal, but he should be able to access a Lufthansa Senator or business-class lounge with his same-day boarding pass, as those lounges don’t feature the same access restrictions as the First Class Terminal and first-class lounges.

Related: 6 tips for booking Lufthansa first-class awards

Each airline has slightly different policies on who can access lounges and when (departure, arrival, connection, etc.), but to get around this question while still providing an elevated experience for premium passengers, a number of airlines have arrivals lounges at their hubs. Lufthansa has an arrivals lounge in Frankfurt that Zach could access with his boarding pass, although it isn’t as nice as the first-class facilities. Air France and Swiss also have arrival lounges, as do ANA and Qatar to name a few.

Bottom line

Unfortunately because his award ticket ends in Frankfurt, Zach won’t be able to access the First Class Terminal before his onward connection. This is a great incentive to try and book a single ticket instead of two separate ones whenever possible, to make sure your lounge access policies carry over. Zach would be able to the use the arrivals lounge or the Lufthansa business-class lounges, but none of those offer the same level of service (including a chauffeur to your plane) that the First Class Terminal does.

Thanks for the question, Zach, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.