Airlines love to roll out the proverbial red carpet for the passengers in the most premium of their cabins. For the most part, that red carpet does not exclude those of us who travel in those cabins on award tickets (except for things like limo service on Emirates and Etihad). One of those nice perks by Lufthansa is the ability to skip the passport control lines when flying first class. Except I missed it.
Passport Perk for Lufthansa First Class Passengers
It has been a while since I flew Lufthansa first class. The whole reason is that flying business class from/to Europe and the US is perfectly adequate for me given the time in the air (my flights from Germany to NY are only between 9 – 10 hours long). However, on a recent trip, I decided at the last minute to switch it to first class instead of business. It was no difference in the cash component and only an extra 15,000 miles difference.
Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich – Private Passport Control Desk
I flew through Munich on my way to NY. Apparently, the new Lufthansa First Class lounge in Munich is only about a year old or so (so I was told by an attendant). Out of habit, I made my way from my connecting EU flight to the terminal for my NY flight, going through a very quick passport control line en route. This is my normal routine and then I look for the signs for the lounge nearest my gate.
Since I was flying first class, I definitely wanted to take advantage of the first class lounge, even though it was only for a little while. I made my way upstairs and was met by a counter with a police officer who asked to see my passport. Apparently, similar to the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Lufthansa provides the nice perk of allowing passengers to leave their passports at the desk upon entering and picking it up upon exiting – and they are processed “out” of the EU while they are in the lounge. Certainly a nice perk to not have to wait in the lines!
I Missed It!
But, since I followed my normal routine, I had already exited the EU before getting to the lounge. I mentioned that to the police officer who took my passport because I did not want to cause confusion. That just caused more confusion as he looked through my passport and did not see a stamp and asked “are you sure you just passed through?”
I assured him I did and pointed out that I have an EU residence permit so I never get stamped. But, that also means they often do not even scan me into the computer so this poor police officer was still doubting my story and didn’t know what exactly what to do. After checking my permit for a minute, he gave me back my passport (which they normally keep) and I headed into the lounge.
And I Messed It Up!
When I went to leave the lounge, the attendant stopped me and reminded me to get my passport. I showed her that I still had it, thanked her, and said goodbye as I headed out. A few minutes later in the terminal, I hear someone shouting in English, “Sir! Sir! Please stop!” Since it was English, I instinctively turned around and saw the Lufthansa lounge attendant running toward me, out of breath. She explained that her supervisor said I could not leave yet since they had no way of knowing where I came from and my passport had not been entered in upstairs by the police.
Back to the lounge we went! Arriving at the passport officer’s desk again, I gave him (a new officer) my passport and showed him my permit. He smiled and said “have a good day!” while giving it right back to me and I left, with a ton of apologies from the attendant (I made sure to remind her that it was my fault for messing it all up in the first place!).
Going First Class Through Munich? Make Sure You Use This Perk to Save Time and Hassle! 🙂
Moral of the story? This is a great perk that Lufthansa provides their first class passengers but make sure you take advantage of it! This will eliminate the need for you to stand in a long line to go through passport control. Simply follow the signs for the first class lounge when you connect before clearing passport control and you will not find yourself messing it up like I did. At least I know now! 🙂
How to Get to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich?
According to the Lufthansa website, “The two entrances to the Terminal 2 First Class Lounge are located in the Departures area on the Schengen level 04 by Gate G21 and on the non-Schengen level 05 at Gate H21.”