The Definitive Guide to Star Alliance Arrivals Lounges (2020)

Updated July 2020

Once a haven for the lucky few, airport lounges are gaining in popularity, and are more accessible than ever thanks to a flurry of premium credit cards, affordable membership schemes such as Priority Pass, and an ever-increasing number of pay-in clubs available to all travelers.

Arrivals lounges, however, remain relatively exclusive. Seldom advertised, and available at a handful of worldwide destinations, the clubs help travelers maximize sleep on board, with the promise of a rejuvenating breakfast and shower on the ground—a real treat especially after a short flight between the East Coast of the United States and western Europe.

Beyond showers and breakfast, arrivals lounges provide a quiet environment to wait for transportation, prepare for a morning meeting, or simply pass time when it’s too early to check in at a hotel. Some arrivals lounges also offer luxurious touches such as clothes pressing services or slumber rooms.

How to access Arrivals Lounges

Star Alliance member airlines run arrivals lounges around the world. However, access to arrivals lounges is not an alliance-wide benefit—so Star Alliance Gold status won’t get you in. Neither will a business class ticket on just any Star Alliance carrier: arrivals lounges are operated by individual airlines, typically exclusively for their own Business and First Class customers. And guests generally aren’t allowed either. The tight rules help ensure that passengers don’t have to wait too long, or at all, for a shower.

If this sounds cryptic, just head over to our Lounge Access Wizard, plug in your itinerary, and we’ll tell you what lounges you can access.

Then, enjoy your flight, and go through immigration, baggage claim, and customs. Arrivals lounges are typically located just outside security. Be sure to hold on to your boarding pass for expedited access.

Star Alliance Arrivals Lounges

We’ve visited every Star Alliance arrivals lounge worldwide, so join us for a tour!

Note: The United Arrivals Lounge at San Francisco airport has closed due to terminal construction, and United has not announced any plans for a new facility. The Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk airport has closed along with the airport. A new club was slated to open at the new Istanbul airport but has yet to materialize.


United Arrivals Lounge – London Heathrow (LHR)

United Arrivals Lounge - London Heathrow (LHR)
United Arrivals Lounge – London Heathrow (LHR)

United’s modern and well-appointed London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge at Terminal 2, “The Queen’s Terminal”, offers passengers arriving in the morning the opportunity to enjoy a full hot breakfast on the ground and a refreshing shower.

The Arrivals Lounge is located immediately after immigration and follows the design language of United’s latest clubs, with Ann Jacobson egg chairs, shared work spaces, and power outlets at every seat.

Guests will find a dozen shower suites featuring a spacious changing area, a rain shower, plush towels, and Polaris-branded amenities. Pressing service is also available: just hang your clothes inside the double door, and they’ll be ready by the time you are done showering.

The compact but ultra-functional dining room is home to a generous buffet sporting smoothies, pastries, hot sandwiches, cereal, and fruit salad. A delectable cooked-to-order selection rounds up the offering with treats such as smoked salmon, eggs benedict, porridge, pancakes, and a full English breakfast.

United Arrivals Lounge – London Heathrow (LHR)

The United Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • Passengers arriving on a same-day United international flight in United Polaris business class (no guests.)
  • United Global Services members arriving on a same-day United international flight in any class of service (no guests.)
  • Passengers arriving on a same-day Air Canada flight in Business Class.
  • Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K or Elite 50K members arriving on a same-day Air Canada flight (+1 guest.)
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide cardholders arriving on a same-day Air Canada flight (+1 guest.)
  • South African Airways Business class passengers, Voyager Life Time Platinum & Platinum cardholders arriving on a same-day flight (no guests.)
SEE ALSO:  New United Club to open in Boston (BOS)

Read our detailed review of the United Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow airport.


Lufthansa Welcome Lounge – Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)

Lufthansa Welcome Lounge - Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa Welcome Lounge – Frankfurt (FRA)

Lufthansa‘s only arrivals facility worldwide—aptly named Welcome Lounge—is situated at Frankfurt airport in Terminal 1, zone B, near the baggage claim area.

The Welcome Lounge spreads across two levels. On the ground floor is a seating and dining area, along with a full breakfast buffet featuring hot fare, fresh pastries, smoothies, and other treats. There is also a (rather basic) slumber room with a few recliners, a business center, and a smoking room.

On the lower level is an elegant reception area leading to no less than 28 shower suites. While hardly luxurious, the showers are spacious and functional, and amenities such as combs and toothbrushes are available. Lufthansa Senator and HON Circle members can make use of the complimentary clothes pressing service.

Lufthansa also offers a little extra that we’d love to see at more lounges: guests can leave their bags with the reception staff during their visit and enjoy the lounge without baggage in tow.

Lufthansa Welcome Lounge - Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa Welcome Lounge – Frankfurt (FRA)

The Lufthansa Welcome Lounge at Frankfurt airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • Lufthansa and SWISS First Class passengers departing or arriving on the same day.
  • Miles & More HON Circle Members, arriving on a same-day Lufthansa or SWISS flight, or arriving on any same day Star Alliance flight and departing on a connecting Lufthansa flight on the same day.
  • Miles & More Senator members arriving on a same-day Lufthansa intercontinental flight.
  • Lufthansa Business Class passengers arriving on a same-day intercontinental flight (arriving in Frankfurt, or via Dusseldorf or Munich.)
  • Lufthansa Premium Economy passengers holding a voucher.
  • Lufthansa Frequent Traveller members arriving on a same-day intercontinental flight.
  • United Polaris business class passengers arriving on a same-day flight.
  • United Global Services passengers arriving on a same-day United flight.

Read our detailed review of the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge at Frankfurt airport.


SWISS Arrival Lounge – Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)

SWISS Arrival Lounge - Zurich (ZRH)
SWISS Arrival Lounge – Zurich (ZRH)

The SWISS Arrival Lounge at Zurich airport is conveniently located at the junction between Terminals 1 and 2, after immigration and customs. (Follow the signs from the baggage claim area.)

The design of the SWISS Arrival Lounge mimics the airline’s departure clubs: guests will feel at home the airline’s signature wall made of Jura stone, hardwood floors, individual lamps, and exquisite Vitra furniture. In the main lounge area, the buffet features hot entrees, fruit smoothies, and other treats. Handcrafted espresso drinks are available at peak times.

The Arrival Lounge features 20 shower suites, each equipped with a sink, a toilet, a heated towel rack, and a shower cabin with a glass door and rain and handheld showers. The rooms are smartly furnished, with a storage box for shoes, and a table that unfolds above the toilet to the counter space. Pressing service is available at the touch of a button. In a display of Swiss efficiency, patrons get automatically assigned a shower suite when they check in, and receive a contactless entry card.

SWISS Arrival Lounge - Zurich (ZRH)
SWISS Arrival Lounge – Zurich (ZRH)

Other amenities include a quiet area with privacy dividers and a water feature, and a business center.

SEE ALSO:  Air Canada opens new lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2

But the cream of the crop is the three private hotel-style rooms furnished with a single or double bed. These luxuries are are seldom advertised, and available solely on a first-come, first-serve basis to passengers who need to rest for a few hours.

The SWISS Arrival Lounge at Zurich airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • First Class passengers arriving on a same day international flight operated by SWISS or Lufthansa.
  • Business Class passengers arriving on a same day international flight operated by SWISS, Lufthansa or United.
  • Miles & More HON Circle members arriving on a same day international flight operated by SWISS or Lufthansa.
  • Miles & More Senator members arriving on a same day international flight operated by SWISS or Lufthansa.
  • Miles & More Frequent Traveller members arriving on a same day international flight operated by SWISS or Lufthansa

Read our detailed review of the SWISS Arrivals Lounge at Zurich airport.


ANA Arrival Lounge – Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT)

ANA Arrival Lounge - Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
ANA Arrival Lounge – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

The ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Narita Airport, located after immigration and baggage claim, serves a dual purpose: it is an international arrivals lounge as well as a domestic departure lounge—a unique and cost-efficient combination, which works well for the airline but translates into a less-than-optimal experience for passengers.

The seating area is ultra-functional, with modern clean lines and indoor plants—but compact, busy, and with little privacy overall. A small business center is equipped with a fax/copier. Several shower suites are available.

The food selection is underwhelming, so we strongly recommend eating on board. Offerings are limited to a few shrink-wrapped snacks, espresso is available, fruit juices.

The ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Narita airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • First Class customers arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only (+1 guest)
  • Business Class customers arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only (no guest)
  • ANA Diamond Service members, ANA Platinum Service members and ANA Super Flyers Card members arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only  (+1 guest)

Read our detailed review of the ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Narita airport.

ANA Arrival Lounge – Tokyo-Haneda, Japan (HND)

ANA Arrival Lounge – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) | Photo courtesy of ANA

The opening of the ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Haneda airport in 2020 marked the dawn of a new era for Tokyo’s “second” airport. Formerly a domestic airport, HND is gaining popularity as an international gateway due to its convenient location close to the city, and ANA’s investments in ground services underscores the airline’s commitment to the airport.

Much more elaborate than its sister location at Narita airport, the ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Haneda airport features a luminous seating area with tarmac views, work cubicles, changing rooms, 16 shower suites, and a footbath—a typical Japanese experience—overlooking the runway and ocean.

The relatively modest breakfast offerings include onigiri rice balls, sandwiches and soups, as well as alcoholic beverages—despite the fact that the club closes shortly after noon.

ANA Arrival Lounge – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)| Photo courtesy of ANA

The ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Haneda airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • First Class customers arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only (+1 guest)
  • Business Class customers arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only (no guest)
  • ANA Diamond Service members, ANA Platinum Service members and ANA Super Flyers Card members arriving on ANA operated international flights on the day of arrival only  (+1 guest)

Read our detailed review of the ANA Arrival Lounge at Tokyo Haneda.

SEE ALSO:  New United Club and United Global First Lounge to open at London Heathrow

South African Airways Arrivals Lounge – Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)

South African Airways Arrivals Lounge - Johannesburg (JNB)
South African Airways Arrivals Lounge – Johannesburg (JNB)

A beacon of hospitality by one of Star Alliance’s lower-profile members, the South African Airways Arrivals Lounge is located in the international arrivals area on the upper level, immediately before the exit to the public concourse.

The lounge is comprised of a single room with a buffet zone, a dining area, and a small business center.

Four elegant shower suites equipped with rain showers await arriving passengers. Pressing service is available upon request—just hang your clothes inside the designated compartment while you shower, and they’ll be ready by the time you’re done.

Breakfast is a simple affair. The selection includes yoghurt, toast, cereal, and one hot option such as oatmeal or scrambled eggs. Beverages include espresso, tea, as well as excellent fresh fruit juices.

Other amenities include a bag storage area, a selection of newspapers and magazines, and a smoking room.

Note that passengers connecting onto domestic flights operated by South African Airways may consider showering at the Arrivals Lounge then heading to the excellent domestic VIA lounge for a much more substantial breakfast selection.

South African Airways Arrivals Lounge - Johannesburg (JNB)
South African Airways Arrivals Lounge – Johannesburg (JNB)

The South African Airways Arrivals Lounge at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo international airport welcomes the following passengers:

  • South African Airways Business Class passengers arriving on a same day South African Airways international or regional flight.
  • South African Airways Voyager Lifetime Platinum, Platinum and Gold card holders arriving on a same day South African Airways international or regional flight.

Read our detailed review of the South African Airways Arrivals Lounge at Johannesburg airport.


Star Alliance Lounge – Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) (Priority Pass)

Star Alliance Lounge – Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)

The Star Alliance Lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport Terminal 1 is not officially an arrivals lounge. No airline flying into Paris offers access to incoming passengers, regardless of class of service.

However, the club happens to be located before immigration and to welcome Priority Pass members, so it makes for a great unofficial arrivals lounge, as long as you hold a Priority Pass membership, and either don’t have bags or don’t mind leaving them unattended while you use the lounge. (The silver lining is that baggage delivery at Charles de Gaulle airport is often slow, and thus it is perfectly reasonable to stop briefly by the lounge.) Access can be hit or miss; arriving passengers may be turned away at peak times, but the lounge is typically quiet early in the morning.

To make your way to the Star Alliance Lounge, take the subterranean people mover from the satellite to the terminal, then the elevator to level 10 as soon as you hit the Duty Free area. Do not go through passport control.

The Star Alliance lounge features two shower suites, a comfortable seating area, a small outdoor patio, a hot breakfast buffet with tasty cheese and pastries, and even a selection of alcoholic beverages.

Star Alliance Lounge - Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Star Alliance Lounge – Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)

Read our detailed review of the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.


Bottom line

The ability to shower and enjoy breakfast on the ground upon arrival is a convenient yet rare and seldom-advertised benefit of premium cabins.

Star Alliance arrivals lounges are located in London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Frankfurt, and Zurich. Access rules are restrictive—arrivals lounges are off-limits to Star Alliance Gold members and only available to passengers of specific airlines—which makes them pleasantly exclusive.

The Star Alliance network has more arrivals lounges worldwide than any other alliance. Before your next trip, check out the loungereview.com Lounge Access Wizard for details on arrivals lounges at your location, and don’t miss out on a valuable benefit!

11 Comments

mgason

Very odd that United Heathrow lounge in fact allows far more levels of access for Air Canada customers than its own passengers?

Carmen

Thanks for the innformative post :)!

If the CDG Star Alliance Lounge is technically considered a departure lounge, have you been able to confirm that Priority Pass members have been granted entry even though they are an incoming passenger on a arrival flight at this particular lounge? I’m just curious about how lax they really are about allowing incoming passengers with Priority Pass cards into the lounge (after we land, we have 2 hours to kill before our train departs CDG).

Gillian

Thanks for great information, was unable to find any proper detail anywhere else. Am flying Business on SAA to JFK and then overnight train to Orlando, was hoping to find somewhere to shower before moving to train. Looks like no option available?

loungereview.com

@Gillian, unfortunately, there is no Arrivals Lounge at JFK for Star Alliance passengers, and there are no alternative airside options since you’ll be arriving as an international passenger.

susan williams

arriving heathrow T2 with lufthansa business class ticket. is there an arrivals lounge i can use?

rk

Strange that the United arrivals lounge closes at 2 p.m. when our flight from SFO is scheduled to arrive at 2:10!

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