United Global Services Members Now Get Lufthansa First Class Lounge Access

Filed Under: Lufthansa, United

In December Lufthansa added a nice perk for their top tier HON Circle members. This status requires 600,000 status miles every two years. With this new benefit, HON Circle members receive access to United Global First Lounges when traveling in business class on Lufthansa or United. This includes the lounges in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Washington.

While admittedly United Global First Lounges aren’t all that nice, they’re better than the United Clubs for sure. My assumption at the time was that this wouldn’t be reciprocal, since I assumed Lufthansa was just paying United some amount of money to make the flying experience more pleasant for their top tier elites.

And I especially assumed that since Lufthansa is among the strictest airlines when it comes to first class lounge access rules. They only allow first class passengers on Lufthansa/Swiss and HON Circle members to access their first class lounges. So they’re much more difficult to access than United Global First Lounges.

It looks like I was wrong, and this benefit will be reciprocal… to some extent. Via a United January newsletter:

New Global Services benefit in Germany

Global Services members departing Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC) in United Global First now have access to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge. Lufthansa HON Circle members receive reciprocal privileges for United’s Global first Lounges. Applicable Global Services members will receive direct communication from MileagePlus about this new benefit.


So Lufthansa will now be allowing United Global Services members traveling in United Global First access to the Lufthansa First Class Lounges in Frankfurt and Munich. It’s worth specifically pointing out that Global Services members traveling in business class won’t get access to the Lufthansa First Lounge.

United Global Services members traveling in Global First now get Lufthansa First Class Lounge access

Furthermore, passengers traveling on United won’t have access to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, given that you can only get to your flight from there by car, and that’s a service that’s only provided for Lufthansa group flights.

Lufthansa First Class Terminal access isn’t included under the agreement

Bottom line

This is a nice new benefit, though admittedly it’s beneficial for a very narrow set of customers. Not only do you have to be a Global Services member, but you also have to be traveling in Global First, which really narrows things down, given that many of United’s flights out of Frankfurt don’t even have a first class cabin.

Still, as far as I know this is the first time Lufthansa has opened up first class lounge access to anyone other than passengers on Lufthansa/Swiss. And I guess that makes sense, given the transatlantic joint venture between United and Lufthansa.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. That’s very nice, but if they would make their freq flier program similar to AA’s I would actually think about flying United again. I rarely buy revenue tickets on United after Jeff S. gutted/ devalued their freq flier program.

  2. Ben, why is your website asking us to install a new version of Adobe Flash. This ONLY happens when I look at Boarding Area sites! I have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed on my computer! Also, this stupid ass ad or spam asking us to download the latest version of Adobe Flash is in no way affiliated with Adobe. The stupid ad/ spam is also asking to install a new tool bar on my computer to send future downloads of crap. Again, this ONLY happens when I look at Boarding Area sites. It NEVER happens when I look at other sites on the net. THIS GARBAGE SHOULD BE STOPPED. I sent you and Gary (at View from the Wing) several emails about this and you guys never even bothered to respond! Again, this spam type ad only happens when I look at Boarding Area sites!!!!

  3. This is disgusting. Narrowing it down to Global First AND Global Services. Not even Premier 1K? I mean, what is it? Heaven? It’s above-average lounge. That’s it.

  4. It is crazy how restrictive they are with the lounges, and how bad most of the lounges are.

    I’ve been to the UA First lounge at NRT many times. Not impressive. But for the fact that it’s so quiet because there are usually so few people there, there’s no reason to get excited about it.

  5. And why someone that can afford to fly paid first class would fly United First Class? Thy should be forbidden to call that first class.

  6. Ben- Also, note what I said above only happens when I use Windows computers and browse Boarding Area sites. It does not seem to happen when I use Apple products. Maybe because Apple does not support Adobe Flash. Regardless, these spam type ads should not be sold by Boarding Area.

  7. @ John:

    I agree with you that those types of spam ads should not be sold. Although they are likely showing up based on your browser history. (Not insinuating anything, but I’ve seen it myself on other websites). Most of the ads I’ve seen on BoardingArea blogs are targeted, based on other sites you’ve been viewing. Try clearing your cache and cookies… then see if those ads show back up.

    The ads I always see here on Ben’s blog come from travel/tourism groups/hotels/airlines based on whatever I’ve been looking at that day.

  8. I’m receiving fake and aggressive Adobe spyware attacks from Lucky’s site as well. Not sure why this is tolerated. I guess you have to make your money somehow.

  9. @John @Matt This happends to me as well, and only on these two blogs (OMAAT, VFTW). Annoying as it keeps downloading an “Installation.exe” file.

    Thanks Matt, I’ll try the cache/cookies and see how that works.

  10. I have to imagine that a decent number of GS members get there by flying United Global First so this probably benefits the targeted group. For those who find this stingy, there was absolutely no way that LH would open up their F lounges to 1K’s. LH F lounges are technically HON Circle lounges. In order to qualify for HON Circle status you need to fly 600k miles over two years in paid first or business class only on Miles and More Airlines (not just *A partners). It wouldn’t make sense for LH to open up those lounges to measly 1K’s from a different airline.

  11. @ Lantean — Invitation only, the criteria aren’t published. Or fly four million miles on United.

  12. “Have reported this to the tech team, it’s not supposed to happen. Sorry about that.”

    If it’s not supposed to happen then which part of the prevention process is failing?

    Is there someone besides the users who vets your advertising on a PC?

  13. I would have to disagree on your statement that United Global First Lounges aren’t all that nice. IAD agree, but I disagree on SFO. The United First lounge in SFO is top notch in my view. No massages or facials, but the food is good. SFO is likely UA’s top USA lounge in my view. In 2013 I traveled UA from SYD-SFO in GF and I used the terrible Singapore First Lounge in Sydney (yes – I had to pull out all the legal stuff for them to let me in) – but overall the Singapore F lounge in SYD is bad. To my delight, after using the UA Arrival’s lounge at SFO – I proceeded to the UA GF lounge – and I was pleasantly surprised. Good wine and food choices – sushi, shrimp, nice sandwiches, etc. I have to give UA credit for a great GF lounge in SFO.

  14. No way. SFO lounge might be decent by US standards but I rather even be in ANA NRT C lounge. Food offerings are pathetic for a F lounge.

  15. “SFO is likely UA’s top USA lounge in my view”

    That isn’t saying much. Heck, forget all the other dozen or more first class lounges that wipe the floor with UA’s SFO lounge, there are even business class lounges that trump UA’s SFO lounge. The lounge is good in a “it’s good for a US airline lounge in the US, but average/mediocre compared to many lounges outside the US” type of way.

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