A Look At Lufthansa Lounges In The Coronavirus Era

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Note: I’m sharing my experience about what international travel is like nowadays, since it’s something a lot of people have questions about. If you do choose to travel, please make sure you take appropriate precautions, not just to protect yourself, but also to protect others. Also consider the risks and constantly changing rules surrounding travel, which can significantly complicate things. See the introduction post in this series for more background on the precautions we took, and the potential risks.

We were scheduled to have a roughly 80 minute connection in Munich, as we were arriving from Montreal and departing for Bodrum. I figured I’d provide a brief rundown of our experience at Munich Airport, as well as the Lufthansa Lounge, given how much lounges around the world have adjusted service.

As was the case in Montreal, the airport was deserted. I’ve never seen a major global hub in Europe this empty. We didn’t have to go through security in Montreal or Munich, so we just headed straight for the lounge.

Munich Airport terminal

Munich Airport terminal

Munich Airport terminal

Munich Airport terminal

As of now only a very limited number of Lufthansa lounge locations are open. Fortunately in this case a lounge in the non-Schengen area was open, and was only a short walk from both our arriving and departing gate.

There were floor markings leading into the lounge to provide proper physical distancing, though fortunately there was no line to get in (I have seen pictures of literally dozens of people lined up to enter the lounge, so I guess we were traveling at a good time).

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

All guests were directed into the Senator Lounge, as the Business Lounge was closed (the former is typically considered to be more premium and is open to Star Alliance Gold members, while the latter is typically open to Star Alliance business class passengers).

Despite the limited lounge capacity, there were maybe a dozen people in the entire lounge, so it was quiet. It seemed pretty clear that a significant amount of seating had been taken out of the lounge, from individual tables to seats at communal tables.

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

Lufthansa Lounge Munich

Not surprisingly, the food selection had been altered significantly. The buffet that was once packed with food and drinks now had very few options.

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

The only thing on offer in the main part of the buffet was bottled water. There were “out of order” signs for the coffee and soda machine.

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

Then there was a small display with packaged snacks. In the white paper bags were:

  • Pretzels
  • Pretzels with chili cheese, iceberg lettuce, and cucumber
  • Pretzels with salami, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and goat creme cheese

Then there were also small containers of fruit salad.

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

To the right side of the buffet were packaged Twix, Kit-Kat, granola bars, and snack mix.

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

Lufthansa Lounge buffet

All other drinks in the lounge were served at the bar, with the option of soda, beer, and barista made coffee drinks.

Lufthansa Lounge drink menu

Lufthansa Lounge drink menu

Lufthansa Lounge drink menu

I ordered a cappuccino to drink.

Lufthansa Lounge drink

Our layover was pretty short. I spent a bit of time on my laptop, and then about 30 minutes before departure we headed to our gate, which was a five minute walk away. We decided to board last, since the flight wasn’t very full, and there’s no reason to spend more time in a short haul Lufthansa aircraft than you need to.

I won’t write a separate review of the next flight, since it was pretty typical for intra-Europe business class. As was the case on the transatlantic flight, the meal service was more or less as usual. The difference was that the hot portion of the meal was served with its aluminum cover, though now that I think about it, maybe Lufthansa has always done that on shorter flights? The choice was between fish or chicken.

Lufthansa business class lunch

Lufthansa business class lunch

Lufthansa business class lunch

Lufthansa Lounge bottom line

Lufthansa has modified its lounge experience in a reasonable way. The lounge had significantly more spacing between tables than in the past, and self serve options were limited to bottled water and packaged snacks. All other drinks were available from a bartender.

In general this was a seamless journey for us. Airports in Montreal and Munich were deserted, and our flights were pretty empty as well. It’s not always going to be that way, though — I’ve also heard of packed lounges and packed flights across the Atlantic, even during this time.

What do you make of Lufthansa’s current lounge setup?

  1. I actually think this lunch looks better than some of the intra-europe LH J meals I’ve gotten before.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience about the lounge in Munich and the Munich-Bodrum Lufthansa business class flight, I was looking forward for that. It’s good to hear that you were able to access a lounge and that the service in senator lounge was reasonably modified as you were still able to choose from a nice selection of snacks and drinks. About the flight from Munich to Bodrum, looks like the food is identical to what they used to serve on this route before Covid so I guess it’s not that bad. On top of that, you had a lot of room to yourself, which is a plus.
    Were you able to get a carry on inside the plane? In Turkish airlines, you can only bring a small bag to the cabin (less than 4 KGs) and you can only place it under the seat. Is that the case in LH?

  3. Don’t forget that this meal is on a 3 hour+ flight from Munich to Bodrum. Not really “intra Europe” as not many destinations in the LH network feature this kind of food. Only Cairo, Tel Aviv etc..

  4. Did you fly to Canada and then Germany? I thought both those countries were not letting Americans in even for transit?

  5. ‘All guests were directed into the Senator Lounge, as the Business Lounge was closed’ although limited audience travelling currently, but does the Business lounge being closed impact the AMEX access or they’ll be admitted to the Senator in lieu?

  6. Pretzels
    Pretzels with chili cheese, iceberg lettuce, and cucumber
    Pretzels with salami, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, and goat creme cheese

    Damn, that’s a lot of pretzels.

  7. This lounge experience looks pretty abysmal compared to BA in COVID conditions, who have I’d say a 2/3 of the normal hot food menu that you can order on demand (mushroom pie is the clear winner) – and a full bar on demand.

    The BA experience now is actually better than the normal BA lounge experience, and very un-BA in that regard of using a crisis to upgrade passenger experience. The IT even works very well from your phone without downloading!

  8. The inflight meals look delicious, the lounge offering subpar (e.g. worse than Aspire in ZRH, AY in HEL).

  9. I still don’t quite understand removing buffets. I mean, surely anyone’s afraid of them could simply choose not to use them, while keeping them available for the rest, right?

    I had similar experience with hotel in Prague recently. The hotel I was staying in decided to only offer a la carte breakfast so I ended up going to another hotel around the corner (ironically belonging to the same hotel group) just to get a proper buffet breakfast. I can’t wrap my head around this – what if so special about hotels, airports and planes that they can’t provide the same stuff that other businesses (in non-airport/hotel locations) can?

    This is just cost cutting in disguise.

  10. Were you questioned at any point about originating in Miami? Or did you have to declare that?

  11. Frankfurt was a lot busier a few days ago. They also had even less in tend of food in the lounge, which was extremely disappointing, especially as almost no restaurants were open at the airport either.

  12. Not including breakfast, a Lufthansa lounge requires three essential staples: beer, pretzels, and frankfurters. Are you telling us that frankfurters weren’t rolled out at 12:00 sharp?!? What time were you in the lounge?

  13. LH lounges are in a class of their own. I will not speak for the class of food offerings but refer to their ability to help.
    I do not digest typical milk well and use milk alternatives or Lactose free milk. When I meekly asked for a milk alternative in a LH lounge, thet stopped what they were doing, to show me a bottle of lactose free milk( similar to inspecting a fine wine, LOL) and proceeded to make the hot drink of my choice. Even the SWISS lounge in ZRH used to be helpful, on my last transfer they, with much begging, plunked a glass of cold milk before me, with no way to get a coffee with that. Sadly, I used to prefer SWISS to break up a 15 hour trip.

  14. The KL lounges at Schiphol currently have all of the same self-service drinks as always, without modification. Food is limited though and is served by a staff member making sandwiches To order and providing other items as requested (croissants, yogurt bowl, etc.).

  15. It is all manpower, no excuses
    Most of my airport lounges, Hotel Lounges and Hotel meals are Buffet based. In years past this was my preference.
    I still would prefer this but they must modify them to be point and eat, which is to say keep the food behind glass and have trained personnel plate.
    I have read that Israel (of all places) will not allow Hotels to reopen if they serve Buffet meals. The Hotels evolved to this style years ago and will change if they expect to reopen. I assume staff plating will be the new reality as other Countries see this and realize the cost might not be excessive.

  16. Ben, can you please write a report on your hotel and the restrictions you encountered there and in Turkey in general. Thank you.

  17. Here we try again with yesterday’s question (7/20/20) and still hope we receive a response from Ben:

    @ Ben: As far as I can tell, you didn’t respond to BLB’s question: “Just curious … does your travel medical insurance policy cover expenses for C19-related claims should you be hospitalized out of the USA?
    The fine print in all policies I’ve read clearly state coverage is excluded for foreign travel during a declared pandemic. You get C19 and rack up a huge medical bill when abroad, you pay.
    What insurance company do you use?”

    I believe it’s a great question and very important in this C19-time to have the right insurance policy.
    I cannot imagine you have an EU/Turkey policy since that’s only available as a local resident (as I have found out by trial and error).
    I am headed across the pond from the W-Coast in 10 days (EU pp) and still have to find an applicable (yearly) policy.
    Could you please enlighten us travelers from the US ? – it would be greatly appreciated !

  18. Kudos to LH for serving hotmeals in C Class and mantaining a better service than the other ‘cheapos cost cutting airlines’ out there!

  19. I think the medical insurance questions for international travel are highly relevant and should be addressed in detail. Are there any viable travel insurances that will cover you if you come down with COVID in a foreign country? If not that really needs to be disclosed to anyone even considering travel because we are talking potential massive liability.

  20. It will not be close to normalcy until a Covid-19 vaccine is proven and approved, and be made available to all.

  21. The reason there were no lines to enter the lounge is that this lounge is located at the Non-Schengen level. And since there still are very few Non-Schengen (especially inter-continental) flights, the demand is low.

    The situation is different at the Schengen Lounge which is usually quite full. That is why for some periods per day a second lounge is open on the Schengen level for HONs and First Class guests (if any).

  22. @MUGBEES: I strongly disagree, many European countries are essentially back to normal already.

  23. @ Bill: World Nomads provides coverage, at least for US residents: “Cancellations due to fear of travel are not covered under the plan. However, our plan does not exclude losses associated with pandemic or epidemic conditions; meaning that if you, your traveling companion or family member were to become sick (after you purchase the plan) as a result of the COVID-19 virus, you could still receive benefits for losses covered by the plan.”

  24. Re a previous post: AMEX currently allows its Platinum and Centurion members to enter the LH Senator lounge for the time being

  25. Canada allows transit and Ben is a German citizen. Germany allows all EU nationals and their spouse regardless of nationality to enter so not a problem for the two of them.

  26. Are they still serving those disgusting pretzels??? I do not know which planet they were on deciding on that, as opposed to providing useful real food like sandwiches and how about a yoghurt? Remember that very few food outlets are open in the airport, and when they are open, it is a queue …

  27. Disgusting pretzels?? The ones with melted cheese were delicious especially with some german mustard and either a weißbier or grey goose on the rocks with a seat by the window. The MUC LH Senator Schengen lounge in the outer terminal was one of my favorite places to relax.

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