Lounge Options in Frankfurt

knick1959

Level 2 Member
#1
Hi,

The chances I get to actually use an airport lounge are rare. But tomorrow, well, actually Wednesday will be one of those times. Not having done this much, I am looking for someone who knows there stuff to hopefully answer a simple question.

We have a 4 hour layover in Frankfurt. We're flying in on a UA flight on a UA award ticket in J ("BusinessFirst"). We then fly out to Venice in J on an LH flight.

Is there a lounge we can use just because of our ticket? We tried to use passes once in Boston but the clerk saw our AerLingus J boarding passes (flight we just got off of) and said that entitled us to free entry (United club). Any chance of this here?

We have United passes and a Priority Pass card (I think that's it, it's packed ... from the Amex Platinum).

Does anyone know this airport well enough to provide insight into possibilities? TIA.
 

knick1959

Level 2 Member
#2
The chances I get to actually use an airport lounge are rare. But tomorrow, well, actually Wednesday will be one of those times. Not having done this much, I am looking for someone who knows there stuff to hopefully answer a simple question.
Well, nobody responded so we went off to discover on our own. Except that my plans got totally screwed up and this information would have been mostly irrelevant. To me. I'll call this a learning experience.

We had United award tickets in Business. CLE->IAD->Frankfurt->Venice. The layover in IAD was short ... a little over an hour, so this was just inviting trouble. Our first flight was way late and the entire itinerary was thrown out the window.

Lesson: Never pick the itinerary with a 1 hour layover in its critical path.

Also: When your first flight gets slightly delayed, get to the airport on-time anyway and start researching alternatives. Because we delayed our drive to match the tardy flight, we missed an opportunity to get to IAD on a different flight.

The United CSR was quick to book us on AA, CLE->ORD->LHR->VCE. In coach, where we WERE planning on sleeping in lay-flat seats on the long leg. We semi-slept poorly in coach, instead.

When we got to London, we checked in with BA for information on our final leg. They informed us that the flight we needed was out of Gatwick and there was no way we were going to catch it in the 1:45 we had available. Perfect. I was NOT handed any notation of our changed itinerary ... just boarding passes to London and told to check with BA when we got there. I was NOT told that the last part as scheduled was not at all possible to complete!

Lesson: Always get the details of an alternate itinerary and make sure I understand it before running off.

In London, it was actually a very nice AA CSR who called United for us and worked out a new plan. LH to Frankfurt then on to VCE. Again, all in coach. We made it there, only 5 hours later than planned but with no worthwhile sleep under our belts. We had some other logistical issues, but the trip worked out very well overall.

I wrote to United's MileagePlus support and was refunded the difference between the business and coach awards. Really?? I thought I might get a bit more sympathy and generosity from them, but no! I may escalate just to see if there is more to leverage out of our pain.

Marriott totally screwed up an award reservation, but didn't let us know we actually didn't have one until 2 days before our Florence "reservation" was needed. I fixed this with cash and sent another email to their award support yesterday.

We rented a VW Polo that did well for us until it got into heavy city traffic, then it started overheating. It never did die, but stress was high on 3 different occasions. Fortunately this was mostly a "between city" transport.

Everything else went well, except for almost missing our AA business flight home. I owe our shuttle service a bad review. But we did make it. The trip itself was wonderful. Parts of the transport and lodging were not!

Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.
 
Last edited:

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#3
The lounge in FRA is wonderful, they have free coffee and free beer. We stayed inside it for a good 13 minutes before deciding to leave again due to owning a slightly excitable child.
 

FlyerMarc

Level 2 Member
#4
Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.
Wow this sounds like a trip from hell. I wonder if you are allowed any additional compensation. I remember I was flying ORD>PHL>LHR>CPH and my PHL flight was delayed 3 hours, causing me to miss my next flight. I was able to rebook via dublin and only got in 2 hours later than I planned but still got a 500 euro voucher from SAS out of it.
 

Maverick17

Level 2 Member
#6
Sorry no one replied originally. I saw this just now. Sounds like a rough trip. The UA people on FT are quite knowledgeable, and there are quite a few discussions about who is entitled to what after mixups. I'm not sure I would know much more than you get your miles refunded and you might earn some sympathy. Maybe someone else here is an expert on award downgrades and all that.

When I used to fly through FRA pretty regularly, the lounge attendants were a bit grumpy if I was in Y but entering on *gold status, but usually let me in. But if in J they were always ok. I thought the lounges were a bit small/crowded, but yes on a J ticket you should have access to the LH lounge.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Mostly, when they rebooked you, I hope you gave AA your frequent flier number. You get miles for that, you know. My best play on that was when my flight in first on an AA Award to Japan was cancelled and they rebooked me on United first. I got United miles. I had to race across Ohare to make the flight. I made it. My luggage did not. Got the miles and eventually while sitting in a restaurant a few days later, my luggage too. And yes the lounges in FRA for LH are quite nice and you always get lounge passes (if there is a lounge) when you are flying J for pretty much every airline I have ever flown.
 

knick1959

Level 2 Member
#8
Mostly, when they rebooked you, I hope you gave AA your frequent flier number. You get miles for that, you know. My best play on that was when my flight in first on an AA Award to Japan was cancelled and they rebooked me on United first. I got United miles. I had to race across Ohare to make the flight. I made it. My luggage did not. Got the miles and eventually while sitting in a restaurant a few days later, my luggage too. And yes the lounges in FRA for LH are quite nice and you always get lounge passes (if there is a lounge) when you are flying J for pretty much every airline I have ever flown.
Thanks. I did not even think to provide our AA numbers, but I'll chase that after-the-fact now. Thanks for the tip!

To answer all of the above in one post, the trip was actually an excellent trip. Getting there was stressful, but once there we managed pretty well. The car was a minor thing. The lost Marriott booking was fixed easily enough (and they still haven't explained how my arrangements, discussed directly with a phone agent, went wrong). And the shuttle service from the Radisson Blu Rome (the last of my last-night-free bookings; 2 free nights in this stint) to the airport sucked, but we did make the flight.

In between we experienced Venice, Verona, Padua, Florence, Pisa, Solerno (Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum) and finally .... Rome.

Let me go shoot for some AA miles! Thanks again.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Thanks. I did not even think to provide our AA numbers, but I'll chase that after-the-fact now. Thanks for the tip!

To answer all of the above in one post, the trip was actually an excellent trip. Getting there was stressful, but once there we managed pretty well. The car was a minor thing. The lost Marriott booking was fixed easily enough (and they still haven't explained how my arrangements, discussed directly with a phone agent, went wrong). And the shuttle service from the Radisson Blu Rome (the last of my last-night-free bookings; 2 free nights in this stint) to the airport sucked, but we did make the flight.

In between we experienced Venice, Verona, Padua, Florence, Pisa, Solerno (Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum) and finally .... Rome.

Let me go shoot for some AA miles! Thanks again.
Glad to help. Being in Italy makes up for most things. What great destinations you hit. Sounds terrific!
 

knick1959

Level 2 Member
#10
Just for fun, I'll finish the nightmare part of the story ... :)

We drove all through Italy ending at the airport in Rome where we ditched the car. All tips said not to drive in Rome and I didn't want to! We did little driving in any of the other cities, other than getting between them.

I found a airport shuttle company via TripAdvisor reviews that sounded good. A couple of negatives, but mostly solid positive reviews. So I signed up. 29E each way to and from the airport for 2 people w/bag. I signed up to be picked up and driven to our Rome hotel, then from the hotel back to the airport 5 days later.

At the airport meeting place at 2:52, way too close to the 3:00 time we had set up, but we were there. Our driver didn't show until 3:30. Ok, we were in no hurry at this time ... we were to do dinner and make our plans, and perhaps explore the immediate hotel area. 30 minute drive to the hotel and we were set.

I did discuss an alternate plan with my wife, in case the drive taking us to the airport was 30 minutes late. We had arranged to be picked up at 8am for an 11:15 flight. We checked, and if by 8:20 or so our driver wasn't there it was easy and quick to get a taxi.

On leaving day, we were excited to see our driver at 7:55am. What a relief! Well, so we thought.

Not much English, and we had 5 words of Italian to use. Quiet ride. We drove past all the sites we had experienced the past 4 days ... the Colosseum, Forum, Vatican walls. It had been about 30 minutes, so I expected to break out of traffic and get to a highway ... even with heavier traffic, we should be close, no? No.

He picked up another couple. Another couple that wasn't quite ready and/or he couldn't find. NOW I was stressing.

Back on the road, it turned out we worked back over the route we had just came. We had made NO progress towards the airport. But we were on our way now. Stuck in a line of traffic. Perfect. We pull into an airport ... ok, we will make it. Guess what? This was NOT FCO, but something else (Ciampino or some such?). Well, the other couple was going to make it. We were screwed.

To ease up on the detail, we saw a sign that said FCO was 13km away estimating 25 minutes. Yikes. The driver sped like crazy on the highway and apologized twice, which was not reassuring. We arrived at the AA check-in counter at 10:10. I told my wife we were probably too late to check in being at the back of a non-trivial line of people. But there it was, the CSR called for people headed for Chicago! That was us, and we had made it. Barely.

Previous trips have not been this "exciting". So many learning experiences. I could do with fewer next time! :)
 
Last edited:
#11
Oh my gosh, knick1959. I can't help but wonder what experiences we'll have on our trip. We'll be at some of the same places: Rome, Venice, Pompeii, Florence. My major concerns are some train trips and making the flight from Venice to FRA.
 

Suzie

Level 2 Member
#12
He picked up another couple. Another couple that wasn't quite ready and/or he couldn't find. NOW I was stressing.

I've had this happen. I now ask at least 6 times if it is a private car/pickup. Our van picked up a woman who couldn't seem to just say goodbye to her friends and get in the van. Nothing like stressing to catch your flight.

Thanks for sharing all of this. And so glad you still had a great trip!
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
#14
It's obviously too late for this trip, but if you are booked in J, and being switched to another airline, tell the airline clerk you expect to be booked into J on the alternative itinerary. It's fairly common for J to have empty seats. You may not have been able to sit together, but actually sleeping is worth a little loneliness, yes?

They might have told you no. But you'd have been no worse off than you were, right? Always be pleasant, always expect what you paid for.

And, yeah, always show up on time, no matter what. Worst case scenario is that, because you ARE booked in J, you'll have to wait a bit in the lounge at your departure city.

Now you know...

My first flight in J was a return flight from Gatwick. I was earning miles on NWA, from business flights, and I secretly booked us in J on the way home.

We got lost in London traffic, leaving the hotel on a Monday morning. The directions I got at a petrol station were unintelligible. But then...I saw a sign for the White Cliffs of Dover. And realized that we'd HAVE to cross the eastern ring road before we got there.

Kept following the signs, hit the ring road, drove like a madwoman on the no-speed limit motorway, and made it in time to have a bit of Irish whiskey in the lounge before our flight.
 
Top