Being one of three Lufthansa lounges at JFK Airport's Terminal 1, the Lufthansa Business Lounge is the go-to space for business class travellers jetting trans-Atlantic, or across to Asia and the Middle East from New York City.
Whether you're flying with Lufthansa or another Star Alliance airline, here's what the business class lounge has to offer.
Location & Impressions
Given its location, it's impossible to get lost trying to find this lounge: you'll spot the door to your left immediately after clearing security screening at JFK Terminal 1:
If you're flying in business class or first class, be sure to use the priority security screening lane at the far left of the checkpoint: then when you're through security, the lounge entrance is practically in front of you.
Wander through the entry lobby...
... scan in at the desk, and you're set. The Business Lounge occupies the lowest level of the Lufthansa lounge complex (the Senator Lounge and Wining and Dining facilities are upstairs), but you'll still find decent airside views with plenty of natural light flowing in...
... along with an array of seating, tailored to guests working, dining...
... and of course, relaxing, with no forgetting which lounge you're in:
The lounge is open daily from 7:30am until 1:45am the next day, when Air China's 2:30am Beijing flight is called for boarding.
As Lufthansa has multiple lounges in New York, this Business Lounge primarily caters for:
- Business class passengers flying with Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners Air China, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, EVA Air and Turkish Airlines* from JFK Terminal 1, who don't also hold Star Alliance Gold frequent flyer status.
- Miles & More Frequent Traveller (Star Alliance Silver) members booked to fly with the airlines above or on an eligible codeshare flight. This privilege does not extend to other Star Alliance Silver cardholders such as United Premier Silver.
- Lufthansa premium economy passengers who purchase a lounge pass at the check-in desks for US$35 p.p. (US$20 for children aged 2-12 years).
- United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members prior to Star Alliance flights.
- Eligible Japan Airlines guests by special arrangement, including first class and business class passengers and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers.
*Turkish Airlines uses the Korean Air lounge by default in New York, but eligible passengers can choose to visit the Lufthansa lounge in line with Star Alliance rules.
Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers travelling in any class of service with a Star Alliance airline, and Star Alliance first class passengers, can instead visit the higher-tier Lufthansa Senator Lounge, while Lufthansa's own first class flyers, along with Miles & More HON Circle cardholders, enjoy access to Lufthansa's Wining and Dining facility at JFK.
At JFK, the Business Lounge sits at the bottom rung of Lufthansa's 'lounge ladder', so the catering and service reflects that – yes, Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers travelling economy get access to a better lounge here than fare-paying business class passengers, unless they're also Gold cardholders.
In the Business Lounge, a central buffet station serves both food and drink...
... beginning with tea, machine-made espresso coffee, soft drink, beer on tap and the expected spirits...
... continuing with the ingredients to assemble a fresh salad...
... followed by a selection of hot dishes. From top left to bottom right: baked potato with black olives and sundried tomatoes, whole penne pasta, dark beer turkey bacon, mixed Asian vegetables, basil arrabiata sauce, and turmeric rice:
I'd planned to eat dinner on the plane so just had a few small bites. The beer turkey bacon wasn't to my taste, but the rest of the food was acceptable.
Towards the end of the counter, blueberry cheesecake, New York cheesecake (which I couldn't pass up, being in the city: yum), spinach wraps with grilled vegetables and romaine lettuce, and cheese with accompaniments.
Around the corner, you'll find the "candy station"...
... and aside that, juices, sparkling water and wine. I'm usually a Pinot Gris drinker, but the Chardonnay was still pleasant.
There are plenty of dining tables throughout the lounge, so you won't need to balance your meal on your lap:
While the buffet offered a bit of everything, I'd like to have seen some more protein: for example, chicken to put with the salad, or meat to mix in with the pasta, because aside from the turkey bacon squares, literally everything was vegetarian.
With power points accessible from most seats in this lounge, you're not tied to a specific location when there's work to do or a gadget to recharge, although for laptop work, the high benches below the world clocks are handy as you can type while facing the airfield and view...
... with power points on the wall behind: or built into the desk surface if you set up at the benches further inside:
Just note, there's only AC power, no USB ports: so for this, you'll need to keep your US travel adaptor handy: Australian and European plugs don't work here.
WiFi is available and doesn't require a password, with my tests showing upload and download speeds of around 2Mbps: ample for emails and web browsing, but not suitable for video streaming or transmitting large files or attachments.
Complimentary wireless printing is available too: you send a document to an email address provided in the lounge, and the server sends you back a printing PIN, which you type into the machine to have your document printed.
I don't often need to print in lounges but found this handy after purchasing a Frankfurt Card online ahead my arrival in the city (providing unlimited public transport, including on Frankfurt Airport trains which I'd be using after touchdown), as it needed to be printed for use rather than displayed on a smartphone screen.
Kick back in one of the many comfy seats towards the end of the lounge...
... watch news or entertainment content in the TV viewing area (which is larger than the photo suggests, but was occupied during my visit)...
... or lie back in one of the 'day bed' chairs: not pictured as these were also in use. You'll find reading material near the TV room as well, along with one shower suite: it's shared between the lounges, so ask at reception.
(Of course, if you're flying Lufthansa to Frankfurt in business class or first class, or hold Miles & More Frequent Traveller status or above, you'll also have access to the airline's Welcome Lounge upon arrival, equipped with 28 shower rooms.)
Overall, a respectable business class lounge – which you'll appreciate even more after stepping back into the hectic terminal to reach your boarding gate – but one that could use with some better dining options and faster WiFi.
Chris Chamberlin was travelling as a guest of Star Alliance and Lufthansa.