Let down by Lufthansa: A review of the Lufthansa business-class lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2
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During the COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips and we are not publishing new flight or hotel reviews. While bringing our readers unbiased, detailed reviews of travel experiences is one of our core missions, now is not the time. We all love to travel and know you do too. So, to help keep you entertained — and maybe inspire you — we are publishing a selection reviews from 2019 and 2020, including the one below. Hopefully, this will help you once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.
Back in the pre-Covid-19 days, I was looking forward to experiencing my first-ever time in a Lufthansa lounge. I’ve visited a fair few lounges in my time, and airline lounges are almost always my favourites. With Lufthansa being renowned for its on board service as well as setting the bar high with its entire terminal dedicated to first-class passengers in Frankfurt, my expectations were certainly high.
Free access to the Lufthansa business-class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2 is available to passengers depending on a few specific criteria:
- Passengers travelling with a business class ticket on Lufthansa or any other Star Alliance member airline that day.
- Passengers with Lufthansa’s Miles and More ‘Frequent Flyer’ status — the equivalent to Star Alliance Silver — irrespective of which class or Star Alliance airline they’re flying that day. The same cannot be said for Star Alliance Silver members, however.
- United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club worldwide members so long as they’re flying on a Star Alliance flight
If you fall into none of the above categories, you can pay £89 for one-time access with Lounge Buddy. I’ll let you be the judge at the end of this if you think that would be worth it.
The lounge is open daily from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.
The location of the lounge is one of the best things about it. If you’re whizzing through the airport after rushing to Heathrow after a busy day in the office and want a quick bite before your flight, then Lufthansa’s lounge is the closest Star Alliance lounge to the entrance to the terminal concourse.
Signs clearly point out the directions to the lounge — as is usually the case in Heathrow.
Once you get to the top of the escalators, you can’t miss the distinct, orange, navy and grey colours of Lufthansa and its rather clinical-looking entrance. Everyone has their personal taste, but this wasn’t quite to mine.
Inside the lounge, the clinical-like feel continues. As does the colour scheme. There’s really nothing original or special in terms of the decor of this lounge. It’s a built-for-purpose airport lounge and that’s about it.
The large main area nearest to the entrance is filled with orange, navy and grey armchairs, each with access to a table for setting down food and drink as well as a U.K. and European power outlet. In terms of practicality, the lounge does this well.
My flight was around 7 p.m., so the lounge was very busy with commuting businesspeople. The café area was about the same size as the main seating area, but this was taken up predominantly by people working on laptops and iPads rather than those tucking into an evening meal.
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There’s also a more casual, bar-style high seating area, which was unoccupied for the most part.
There was a small area with about four of these poolside-style lounge chairs for those who were looking to stretch out and relax. They were occupied throughout my stay in the lounge apart from the few seconds where I was able to snap this picture. I also noticed that there are a number of coat stands dotted around the lounge.
I bee-lined, as always, for the first unoccupied seat by the window that I could see, but was pretty disappointed when the views of the apron and runway were partially obstructed by some annoying metal bars that make up part of the design of the facade of the terminal building. If you’re looking to get your AvGeek on and get some snaps, then this is not the lounge for you.
Not immediately obvious, as it’s tucked away near the entrance, is the lounge’s business centre. Though it serves a purpose, it was pretty unused. The design and layout reminded me of the least popular area of the University library with no views and no natural light where you’d have to sit as a last resort. This space could probably be better used for a shower area, which this lounge doesn’t have.
And finally, there’s an area with a couple of ‘private’ areas for making calls or working, which really weren’t even that private at all.
Other than the standard array of reading material that you can find in most airport lounges, and Wi-Fi with pretty good strength, this lounge has no other amenities to speak of. As I mentioned, there are no showers in the lounge. I visited the bathroom a couple of times, which was very clean — though each time, it was rather busy, so I wasn’t able to get a photo.
Food and Beverage
In my experience, the food and beverage options, yet small, were the saving grace of the lounge experience. The most exciting thing on the menu that evening was a very orange mac and cheese. Credit where credit is due, it was very tasty. But, I have to say, the selection of other dishes available was pretty poor. Once again the food service area was so busy with people it was hard to get in to take pictures. I got scowled at for taking too long with the photo of the mac and cheese as I was serving myself up a portion. There were at least two other main dish selections to choose from.
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What the dessert station lacked in terms of choice, it made up for with the chocolate brownie-like treats that I ate one, or maybe two of. The food service areas, in general, were pretty messy, and in some parts dirty. This was probably because it was the evening rush, but also the fact I don’t recall there being many staff cleaning, tidying and restocking food service areas like you might see more of in other lounges.
The drinks selection was quite exciting. It included the ingredients to make a Bloody Mary, as well as a variety of other spirits and wines.
There was both Budweiser and Beck’s on tap. Draught beer in a lounge always scores a couple of extra points in my book.
The coffee and tea station was well stocked, and the espresso I had was decent coffee — a rarity in airport lounges, I find.
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I wasn’t a huge fan of this lounge. Even if it were less busy, tidier and better stocked, it wouldn’t have made up for the lack of variety in meal choices and just general, overall, drab feel of the place. That said, it’s not the worst lounge I’ve ever been in.
Airline lounges are a real chance to showcase the hospitality of the airline as a teaser about what you can expect to experience on board. In that respect, and on this particular occasion, I’d say the experience I had in the Lufthansa business-class lounge in Heathrow was more akin to the prelude to flight with Ryanair flight rather than a national airline, which leads the way in many respects — not least with its first-class terminal in Frankfurt.
Perhaps it was my high expectation going into the experience, but I would prefer other Terminal 2 lounges over the Lufthansa lounge. If I was travelling on a Star Alliance business-class ticket, I would consider spending the extra time to walk to the B satellite area of Terminal 2 to lap up the delights of the United Club instead.
Featured image by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy
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