Tucked away from the hustle and bustle at one of Europe’s busiest airports is a green-filled sanctuary. No, it’s not a rainforest – or a butterfly garden, as you’d find at Singapore’s Changi Airport. I’m talking about Frankfurt’s Emirates Lounge.

Sure, the space looks familiar – even if you’ve never been to Germany before. It follows Emirates’ branding cues and design style. And even though these don’t reflect the latest of those trends (seen most recently in Brisbane), it’s still quite relaxing. There’s just something calming about escaping the buzzing concourses of a busy airport terminal and settling for a glass of Champagne among the trees. That’s exactly what I do here.

Lounge location, layout and seating

Emirates’ lounge resides after passport control within Terminal 2 of Frankfurt Airport. Its location puts it near gates E5 and E6, with other ‘E’ and ‘D’ gates within easy walking distance. As it happens, it’s about a five-minute walk to the gate I’ll be departing from. Security also takes place at the gate, so allow a little extra time. Keep your eyes peeled for the priority screening lane though – it gets me through quite quickly.

The lounge faces towards the public roadways, so there aren’t any airside views. But those windows still allow plenty of natural light to flow through. Given my morning departure, I rather appreciate that when sipping my coffee.

I quite like this space. It’s essentially a large rectangular room, but its design separates the feel of each nook into something different. There’s a TV suite at one end, a zone for groups after that, and various pairs and seating quads.

What really makes the lounge ‘pop’, though, is the extensive greenery in the middle. For one thing, it helps divide the space – avoiding a cavernous vibe. Given the extensive natural light, it instead brings more of a ‘rainforest’ feeling if you’re right up against it. But even from further away, it just helps with the zen of relaxation.

Proceeding to the far end of the lounge uncovers the dining room, offering more of a formal space in which to enjoy a meal. Those who’ll need to be glued to a laptop could also pull up a stool alongside the windows. Even if the view isn’t of planes taking off, it’s still nice to have that connection to the world outside.

Emirates’ Frankfurt lounge opens and closes throughout the day in line with the airline’s flight schedules. At the time of writing, it’s open from 6:40 am to 9:10 am, then again from 10:30 am to 2 pm. In the evenings, it opens from 5:10 pm to 8:30 pm.

Lounge amenities

I’ve mentioned the greenery, but I’m going to say it again. The calming colours create a very nice contrast against the more muted tones of the furniture and fixtures throughout the rest of Emirates’ Frankfurt lounge. You can also follow a path right through the middle of it to soak it all in. Hey, when you’re inside an airport building, it really stands out!

On the more practical side, though, there are some power outlets here – although the lounge could certainly use more of them. Keep an eye out for silver poles by the seats or a hatch by your feet that can open to reveal an outlet.

There are shower suites available too, and I appreciate the attention to detail with the hand towels stacked like a pyramid.

For any serious work, look for a separate room just past reception. It’s a very quiet place to click away on your laptop – or use one of the computer stations for something different. This room does miss out on the great lighting of the main space, so personally, I’d rather take one of those stools against the window if the laptop needed to come out. Wi-Fi speeds here are excellent. My tests reveal both downloads and uploads hovering around the 80Mbps mark.

With time to relax, there’s also a very solid selection of reading material. Many other airlines have cut back on print newspapers and magazines, so it’s nice to see this trend continue with Emirates. (In fact, there was also plenty to read on board, with dedicated racks on the plane stocked with magazines). A Rolex clock on the wall is a handy reference when keeping an eye on your flight, although staff will make an announcement when boarding is ready.

Food and beverage in the Emirates Lounge, Frankfurt

Like all of Emirates’ outstation lounges, the space in Frankfurt is shared between all lounge-eligible travellers. This includes both Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, as well as Business Class and First Class customers. This finds the lounge as being a little better than a more ‘typical’ Business Class lounge, but not quite on par with a standalone and distinct First Class lounge.

For instance, dining is all via the buffet rather than also having the option of à la carte, as in Emirates’ First Class lounges in Dubai. But rather than only having items at bulk serving stations, many dishes come individually plated and ready to take. As an example, I quite enjoy a salmon bagel with cream cheese – and here, I don’t have to prepare it myself: I can just take the whole plate.

There’s a respectable range of hot food, but I have a meal waiting for me in Emirates Business Class, so I stick to light bites instead. Even so, it’s hard to pass up a pretzel – one of the things I love most about visiting Germany. But because this is a lounge, and it’s the end of a successful business trip, I pair it with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

I do appreciate the well-stocked buffet, though. Even if you’re flying up the front, you might be hoping to get on the plane and go straight to sleep – and dining on the ground allows you to achieve that without an empty belly. Those flying Economy and accessing the lounge via status will no doubt appreciate the fare even more.

The biggest gap for me, though, is the absence of barista-made coffee. Sure, there’s a push-button machine for an easy latte, and it’s fine. But a hand-crafted brew would push that ‘fine’ to ‘great’.

Accessing the Emirates Lounge, Frankfurt

Speaking of flying up the front and of shiny frequent flyer cards, these are the main ways to get past reception at Emirates’ Frankfurt lounge.

Reception desk at the Emirates Lounge, Frankfurt
Welcome to Emirates’ lounge here in Frankfurt.

Here’s who makes the cut for complimentary access:

  • By class of travel:
    • Emirates First Class (+1 guest), including Qantas (QF) codeshare flights operated by Emirates.
    • Emirates Business Class, including reward tickets and all QF codeshare bookings, but excluding passengers booked on Emirates’ own Business Class Special fares.
  • Courtesy of elite status:
    • Invitation-only Emirates iO members (+ guests), regardless of airline or flight number.
    • Emirates Skywards Platinum (+1 adult guest and +2 children), departing on Emirates.
    • Emirates Skywards Gold (+1 adult or child guest), departing on Emirates.
    • Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge (+1 guest), with an onward Emirates flight booked on a QF or EK flight number.

If you’re not covered by the options above, you can also purchase access at the door when flying on Emirates. Expect to pay the local equivalent of US$184.45 (including German VAT) or US$148.75 if you’re a Skywards member. Given Skywards is free to join, that’s an easy way to save a chunk of change.

Paid access is a handy option to keep up your sleeve, especially if you’ve saved a lot more by booking a cut-price Business Class Special fare. Or perhaps, if you have an extra guest with you, over and above what’s covered by your fare or status. Remember though, Business Class and First Class flights booked using points have the same access entitlements as full-fare paid tickets. This includes journeys booked using Qantas Points.

As with all of Emirates’ lounges outside of Dubai, complimentary access is not provided to Qantas Club members. This is true even when travelling on a Qantas QF flight number. Qantas Club members would only gain entry if covered by another method, such as by travelling on an eligible premium cabin ticket.

Summing up

Emirates’ network of outstation lounges is quite comprehensive. This allows the airline to take full control of the passenger experience. And not just from when the doors close on the plane, but before boarding too. In fact, with Chauffeur Drive available to many of the airline’s premium cabin flyers, the Emirates service really begins before leaving home or your hotel.

As for Emirates’ lounge in Frankfurt, it’s a peaceful space and one that I’ve enjoyed visiting on previous trips as well. Once you’re inside though, status and cabin class matter not. Here, you’ll have the same experience whether you’re jetting out in First Class, or are flying down the back in Economy (with a Gold card to get you inside, anyway).

Enjoy a bite to eat, a glass of Champagne, and before long, you’ll be ready to fly.

Also read: How to hack your way to Frankfurt with points

All photography by Chris Chamberlin, who travelled to Frankfurt as a guest of Emirates.

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Emirates Lounge, Frankfurt was last modified: March 20th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin