Which is better? Lufthansa First Class Terminal or Thai Royal First Lounge


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Whenever you ask a room full of frequent flyers to name the best first class lounge in the world, two of the names you may hear the most are Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and Thai’s Royal First Lounge in Bangkok.

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I recently completed a rapid fire First Class around the world trip where I had the opportunity experience both lounges for about 4 hours each on the same day (technically) as I flew from Bangkok to Frankfurt to Washington. The quick succession made it easier for me to compare the products because my memories of each were fresh as I was experiencing the next. The other “First “ impression posts can from the trip can be found here.

Lounge design and comfort

Similar to their First Class products inflight, the Lufthansa FCT design is modern and sleek throughout while the Thai lounge has a bland color scheme and looks dated.  Spatially they feel about the same size.  Because of how restricted access is to both, neither lounge should ever fill up to the point of not getting a comfortable space to yourself.

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Thai has several semi-private rooms which I really enjoyed.  I actually wish they would add a half door to make them further enclosed.  You almost feel like you are on display in the rooms since everyone entering is checking each room to see if one is unoccupied.

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Food and Drink

Both lounges offer a restaurant and a buffet.  The Lufthansa lounge has a wide selection sitting out for self service or one can dine in the seated area with a server.  The food is excellent all around.  I was in the lounge during breakfast where pretzels are not typically served though the chef approached me and offered to make one.   The Lufthansa bar is top shelf with excellent bartenders.  There is a cigar bar though I have never visited.

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Thai has a sit down restaurant, a buffet where you point to what you want and an iPad where you can order food at your seat.  Call me old school but I do not like over-technologizing food.  The iPad concept is neat except I spent an extra ten minutes figuring out how to navigate the menu to ensure I was seeing every item they were offering.  Even once you’ve made your selection you simply point it out to the server so they can go tell the kitchen.

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I found both the Thai sit down restaurant and the point-only buffet to be unappealing.  I was in one of the semi-private rooms near the restaurant and noticed no one actually used the restaurant.

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I appreciated that all of the dishes were small so you could try a few different options without filling up.

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Service

Service is excellent in both though I found the styles to be a bit different.  Lufthansa’s service is very refined but not over the top.  They approach you at appropriate times for refills or other requests without feeling like they are watching over your shoulder at all times.

The Thai lounge has that over-the-top style service where they treat you like royalty and you won’t spend one second with an empty plate or glass.  The staff seemed to match if not exceed the number of guests in the lounge at all times so they were always available to help you whether you needed it or not.

Security and Access

The Lufthansa First Class Terminal is not connected to the main terminal so if you are connecting you may have an uncomfortable winter walk over to the terminal. Once there, security and customs are performed quickly and comfortably.  If you blink you may not even notice you went through.

If you use the First Class check-in at Bangkok, they escort you through a standard security and customs checkpoint and then walk you to the lounge where they then drive you on a golf cart to the First Class Lounge.  Comically the drive takes you through the Business Class lounge which draws a few funny looks.

I did find it frustrating that we had to clear security a second time after leaving the lounge to head to the gate.  The communication was very poor as we were rushing through the airport in golf carts towards our plane so I am not sure if it had to be done that way.  Interestingly this second security checkpoint confiscated a few additional items from my bag that the first security passed through.

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Special Features

The real differentiation between these two lounges and the rest of the pack is the extra services they deliver to guarantee your experience is memorable.

Once you have arrived at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, you don’t have to worry about anything else.  When your flight is ready, your personally assigned agent will come find you and escort you downstairs to Chauffeur Services where you will be driven to your plane in a fancy German vehicle.

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The Thai First Class Lounge allows you access to a one hour massage at the Thai Spa.  While the actual price of a massage is not too high in Bangkok, it is a unique airport experience nonetheless.  Just for the record, you can hear boarding announcements over the top of the soothing bird chirping soundtrack they play during the massage.  It is quite humorous.

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The bottom line

While both are fantastic lounges, my personal favorite is the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.  The space is beautiful, the service is excellent without being over the top and I love how easy they have made travel.  Thai offers an excellent though slightly different experience.  I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for preferring the royalty treatment offered by the Thai lounge.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting, offer may be unavailable on this site at a later time. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at pmmalex@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. Great report. We enjoyed the Thai First Lounge in BKK about 3 years ago but we have not had an opportunity to enjoy LH’s F Lounge. We were able to bring in a guest each and we enjoyed a wonderful sit down lunch in the private dining room in BKK.

  2. I prefer the LH FCT. I agree that the food in the TG lounges isn’t all the appealing. And an hour-long massage can be had in Bangkok for about $15!

  3. Great photos
    Booked first class Singapore trip thru united one way who booked me on air chinas 777-300ER and SQ. Return… I booked first class with British airways avios who put me on Cathay. (Yeah) question: whose lounge do I enter? Will it say on my ticket? Appreciate help 🙂

  4. I could fly to Bkk, have a massage, and fly home before ever seeing availability open up for an award in LH F. I prefer what is readily available without jumping over hurdles or through rings of fire.

  5. I was at the Thai Royal First lounge a couple weeks ago and didn’t even know they had a restaurant. The whole iPad menu is a bit overwhelming, “here is a menu with 110 items, make your selection and I’ll be back in 1 minute to take your order.” I didn’t even order anything because there was so much pressure, although that probably wasn’t such a bad thing because my meal on Thai (rack of lamb) was great.

  6. A few weeks ago, I did FTC and TG F lounge a few days apart. I wasn’t super impressed with TG. TG food was gross and they never brought a cart bring us the 10 min walk to the gate, Even saw 2 empty carts along the way.

  7. Oh and my trainee at TG lounge or whatever was assisting me forgot about me. Also led me to some couch when the rooms were open. Not sure why i didn’t move to one of the rooms. Spa was the only nice part

  8. I totally dropped the ball on both of these. I made reservations to fly from the US to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa A380 and then to Bangkok on a Thai A380. Then from Bangkok to Singapore in Business class (2 class flight). According to what I have read, I will not be eligible to use the FCT or FCL in Frankfurt or the Royal Silk lounge in Bangkok because my ticket departing from those airports is not a First class ticket on Lufthansa in Frankfurt or Thai in Bangkok. I wish I had known that First Class arrivals were not treated to the First class Lounges.

  9. If you had to choose between the new F and no FCT or old F and FCT, which would you choose? The would be a first experience for all of the above.

  10. @Chris – If it were mostly overnight flight like East Coast to Germany I would go old F and FCT. If it were a flight where you planned to be awake for most of it I would go new F, no FCT.

  11. That’s exactly it: BOS 1745 – FRA 0545. So your opinion is that old F is better for sleeping or FCT is better for being awake?

  12. @Chris – My opinion is that sleeping is pretty similar on old and new F so if you are going to sleep anyways you should enjoy the FCT awake. Plus if it is your first Lufthansa First Class experience, Old F will be fun and make you want to come back for New next time. 🙂

  13. There are something incorrect that you had mentioned about TG F lounge at BKK, first you actually go to the first class checkin area, there you actually hand in all your documents, sit down on a couch and wait, an agent will give you a towel and a drink. Then when they escort you to immigration, it is not the standard security and customs check point where everybody goes, it is actually the separate one only for diplomats with 2 officers working there. Third, I am not sure what you meant by you have to clear the security the second time when you leave the lounge, perhaps a particular flight head to a particular country ? As I had never experienced that, once they are ready to board, either golf cart if the gate is far away, or walk if the gate is close by.

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