Elite travelers are normally immune from the travails of flying commercially day to day. The pleasure of being driven to your jet and bypassing the masses jammed in winding lines at screening check-points and those endless immigration waits are of course perks of flying privately.
Noticing that many private jets just don’t have the range for long intercontinental flights a number of commercial airlines have been expanding VIP grounds services to make flying commercially a more private jet like experience.
Lufthansa has been a leader with its First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, a separate facility broken off from the main terminal with a private driveway, valet parking, a private security channel and immigrations, its own dedicated duty free store, an a la carte dining room catered by Do & Co, a stunning bar, sleep rooms, showers, bath tubs and other amenities that make you want to stay longer in the ‘airport.’ There is even a Cigar Room.
When it comes time to board your flight, you are whisked to you plane by Mercedes or Porsche sedans or SUVs. Elements of the service are now found at other Lufthansa First Class lounges in the main terminal as well as Munich and New York JFK, and across the U.S. where personal assistants are on call to assist First Class passengers.
All the focus on elite travelers is paying off: The recent Skytrax survey encompassing feedback from over 18 million fliers from over 100 countries named Lufthansa’s First Class lounges as the best in the world. The airline has also been voted “Best Western European Airline” and “Best Transatlantic Airline.”
In a press release touting the honor, Senior Vice President Reinhold Huber noted the focus on making flying nicer is to continue: “We are investing around one million Euros a day in the refitting of our new Business Class alone. We have made significant improvements to our in-flight meals and have opened a large number of new lounges.
“We are currently in the process of expanding our entertainment service and innovative products such as FlyNet wi-fi service – for which Lufthansa is the only airline worldwide to offer on long-haul flights.
“We have a clearly defined goal: to become the first Western Five Star Airline by 2015. We still need our fifth star in Business Class to get there, and that is what is driving us forward.”
And if you still need your dose of private jet flying when you get to Europe, of course there is Lufthansa Private Jet.