Eurowings is part of the Lufthansa Group but not a member of Star Alliance. How does lounge access work?
The rules are a bit quirky, with good news for Lufthansa, United and ANA Star Gold members and bad news for everyone else.
Here are the lounge access guideline from Lufthansa—
- Passengers have free access to the Lufthansa Senator and Business Lounges in Germany provided they have a Miles & More HON Circle Member or Senator Card.
- Passengers who have booked the Eurowings BEST fare and Frequent Travellers who have booked the SMART fare are entitled to use the Lufthansa Business Lounges on the day of their flight.
- Passengers who have a Star Alliance Gold Card, however, do not have access to the Lufthansa Lounges. Exceptions to this are the Star Alliance Gold Card customers of the airlines United Airlines (UA) and All Nippon Airways (NH), who receive access to Lufthansa’s Senator and Business Lounges.
Note the bolded exception for United and ANA Star Gold members: access to Senator Lounge on all fare types. Lufthansa’s rules also do not exclude Senator and HON Circle Members from access when flying on BASIC fares.
But here’s the access rules from Eurowings:
- Passengers who book our BEST fare are entitled to lounge access at selected airports.
- HON Circle members and Senators are entitled to lounge access on Eurowings flights when they book SMART or BEST fares. This includes all Lufthansa lounges and partner lounges in Germany and Europe as well as the lounges at the BEST departure points.
- If you have Frequent Traveller status and you book a SMART fare, you are entitled to use all Lufthansa lounges and Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS lounges in Germany and Europe.
Eurowings even provides this infographic specifying no lounge access on BASIC faes–
This is blatant policy contradiction when it comes to BASIC fares, the lower of Eurowing’s three fare classes.
What About UA and ANA Star Gold Members if New Rule Enforced?
Should that new rule be enforced, it will be interesting to see whether ANA and UA Star Gold members will also be excluded.
If parent-company Lufthansa will not even offer its own Senator (Star Gold) members access on BASIC fares, why would it allow ANA and United members such access? I analogize it to the way that United Airlines does not allow its own Star Gold members into United Clubs when flying on purely domestic USA itineraries. One of United’s concerns is overcrowding and Lufthansa likely has an identical concern in denying the growing influx of members traveling on its burgeoning low-cost Eurowings division. With Air Berlin joining the fray, crowding could become even more exacerbated without some controls.
Lufthansa does not have to pay itself when its elite members access Lufthansa lounges, but United and ANA must pay (rumored to be approximately $20-25 per visit). Perhaps that is revenue too valuable too turn down.
Warning: Some Agents Require a Reminder
Although I have never had a problem accessing the lounge with my United Gold card, others have been reported being denied. If necessary, use the link above to remind the Lufthansa lounge agent of your access rights. The Lufthansa access rules specifically single out Lufthansa, but I had no trouble accessing the Austrian Airlines Senator Lounge earlier today on a BASIC fare. I also accessed the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Cologne today. I have heard from others that SWISS is more likely to deny access, stating the “exception” only applies to Lufthansa lounges and not to the entire Lufthansa group.
Lounges are particularly nice when flying Eurowings or other no-frill carriers that will charge even for a glass of water onboard. Even if it is just a cup of coffee and quiet place to sit, lounge access is invariably beneficial.
I’m not certain I want Lufthansa to clarify this policy, as I believe once it finally does it will not come down in our favor. For now, we’re in a gray area but at least based on my experience today, lounge access is still possible on the cheapest BASIC fares with a United Star Gold card.