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Lufthansa solves the ‘can I bring my whole family into the lounge?’ problem (or does it?)

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In airport lounges around the world over the Summer, the same scenario plays out time and time again.  Road Warrior Dad (or Mum) finally hopes to show the rest of the family that there is some upside to his constant travelling and time away from home.  He pitches up to the lounge, shows his Silver or Gold card, and asks if he can bring in his kids as extra guests.

In general, unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’.  Road Warrior Dad is humiliated, and he suddenly hates the airline very much indeed – so much for so-called ‘loyalty’ ….

(I am fully sympathetic, by the way.  We are a ‘two Silver card’ family, but in reality there are not that many of those about.  And if you’ve got three kids then you’re totally stuffed!)

Lufthansa has now launched its answer to the problem, although it is not one I would recommend.

Lufthansa lounge Frankfurt

When I log in to Miles & More, as a Silver / Frequent Traveller member, I get this message:

There is no better start to your holiday: with Lufthansa relaxation for the whole family begins even before your flight.

Because as a Frequent Traveller you have the opportunity of purchasing lounge access for the whole family to lounges in Germany, the USA and at Paris Charles de Gaulle until 31 August 2013.

Frequent Travellers and their families can buy a voucher before their lounge visit at the Lufthansa ticket counter at their departure airport, or at the business lounge reception desk at Duesseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich airports, for 40 euros or 50 US dollars.

This voucher will give them access to the relevant Lufthansa Business Lounge. The Frankfurt Business Lounge in Departure Area B, right next to Gate B46, is especially exciting for families with younger children.

Here the little ones can spend their time in a play corner in the ‘JetFriends’ area – which means the whole family can enjoy a relaxed start to the best time of the year.

(The Frequent Traveller’s family (wife or partner as well as an unlimited number of children under 18 years of age) are entitled to enter the lounge provided that they are flying with the Frequent Traveller on a Lufthansa-operated flight.)

Now, Euro 40 may – on first reading – not sound too great.  However, you need to remember that (unlike British Airways Executive Club) a Lufthansa Silver / Frequent Traveller member cannot take a guest into the lounge.  The Euro 40 therefore covers your partner and your children.

Is there Euro 40 of fun to be had in a Lufthansa Business Lounge?!  They are usually pretty awful, soulless places.  However, at least Lufthansa now has a response to everyone who tries to sneak in their family.

Is there a similar offer for Gold / Senator members which would let you bring your kids in?  (A Senator can already bring one guest in.)  Do let me know.

Comments (22)

  • BritBronco says:

    I find it unlikely that BA would start allowing paid lounge access, as it would undermine their ability to persuade people to upgrade to CE, which is the real solution to getting everyone in the lounge.

    If they did though, I hope they would also offer a mileage option at an extortionate ate to try to mop up some Avios from the system. However I would really like to see them offer seat selection paid for with Avios.

    • Sir Stamford says:

      Lounge access is obviously a perk which comes with premium class (Business & First) class travels. However as lounge access isn’t exclusive to these passengers, I am not sure if it a sufficiently strong incentive to persuade people to upgrade simply to gain access.

      You can get a CX Marco Polo Gold membership (equivalent to BA Silver) with your AMEX Platinum card and gain access to these lounges without travelling in these cabins.

      Similarly, you buy an outright Preferred status with US Airways for a fee and gain access to business lounges. US Airways is likely to exit Star Alliance and join Oneworld on 1 November 2013.

      Some of the third party lounges in other smaller outposts can be accessed using your Priority Pass or other equivalent programmes. For example, BA uses the Hugo Junkers lounge in DUS which you gain access with your Lounge Club membership as part of your AMEX Gold card package.

      Sir Stamford

  • Chris C says:

    I do believe part of the problem is the ‘blind date’ situation. I look on a number of airline fora and there are regular requests ‘to guest me in’ and many of these boards have dedicated threads to this.

    There are also regular threads along the lines of ‘ The lounge guardian wouldn’t let me have more guests – is there a way around this?’ Followed by a few weeks later by complaints that the lounge was so very, very busy and full of guests!. Many of these posts are from status passengers who should know the rules.

    I’ve also seen an increasing number of threads asking the question ‘once my guest leaves can I invite another one in?’

    Different airlines have different policies that cause confusion too, Fly Club World on BA with no status and no guests allowed but Upper Class on VS means I can guest one person in.

    Indeed Virgin Atlantic has recently changed its CH guest policy to more clearly state that the guest must be on the same flight as the host. I am sure this is down to the ‘blind date’ scenario and I think that VS specifically mentioned the use of social networks in this when they announced the change.

    Imagine the cries of anguish if BA changed it’s policy to that !

  • Sideysid says:

    Would anyone be able to clear up BA’s lounge access stance on infants?

    I am due to fly soon for the first time with our 1 year old, and previously my partner would enter as my guest. I am now wondering if we will be able to get in?

  • Olybeast says:

    Whether its a blind date or a partner, a guest is a guest. It will be crowded or not crowded no matter who the guest is.

  • creampuff says:

    I don’t know if I am in the minority here, but I just cannot get excited about lounges. I mean, they just aren’t that good. The sofa is ok, but it is less comfortable than my sofa at home. The food is so-so. The showers are good if you need a shower but otherwise lounges are “meh”. There is no way I’d pay 40 $/eur/£ to get into one. I’d rather walk around the airport and apply a couple of euros worth of face creme from the tester bottle at the Sisley stand 😉