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Lufthansa Can't Build Enough Airport Lounges


A Lufthansa lounge at Frankfurt Airport

Photograph by Frank Rumpenhorst/EPA via Corbis

A Lufthansa lounge at Frankfurt Airport

How many lounges does an airport need?

Lufthansa (DLAKY) appears intent on testing that question, opening its 15th lounge Tuesday at Frankfurt Airport. Yes, 15. Here’s a list of them all, minus the new 9,000-square-foot one.

The airport opened its 700 million-euro ($950 million) Pier A Plus terminal in October 2012, an expansion that’s expected to give Frankfurt an extra 5 million passengers annually. Lufthansa carries about 60 percent of the passenger traffic at Frankfurt. “Just try our lounges in Frankfurt and you will experience: they are very crowded,” Lufthansa spokesman Nils Haupt said via e-mail.

Frankfurt has 25 lounges in total throughout the airport. Another large hub, New York’s John F. Kennedy International, has 23 different lounges for all airlines across its eight terminals. Singapore’s Changi Airport, often heralded as the best of the best by the travel press and people who jet around the globe, has 14 in total and four operated by Singapore Airlines. London’s Heathrow, a global hub for the British Airways-led Oneworld Alliance, has seven lounges for use by BA and American Airlines. In Hong Kong, the dominant carrier Cathay Pacific has seven lounges to itself, and at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, there are five lounges for Air France.

In Frankfurt, however, Haupt warned that 15 lounges is unlikely to prove sufficient. Construction of a new Terminal 3 is set to begin in 2015 or 2016.

Bachman is an associate editor for Businessweek.com.

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