Love it or hate it, there is no denying that the Lufthansa rubber duck is a unique selling point and is a big part of the first-class experience. Sure there is the Porsche that takes you to the plane or the fact that there is a literal first-class terminal – the rubber duck however is one of those items that is unique to the carrier.
You have to give it to Lufthansa, for those who know, the relatively secret amenity is so synonymous with first-class travel that the overwhelming majority of reviews you see about the first-class experiences will always mention the duck. While it is just a piece of plastic, It’s not unheard for people just to go to the lounge to get a duck – I mean the food and drink options are exceptional, but the duck is what people really want.
History Of The Lufthansa Rubber Duck
According to Lufthansa, as preparations for the First Class Terminal were underway back in November 2004, Lufthansa wanted to add a touch of personality and warmth to the first class experience. Having looked around, they eventually settled on the idea of a rubber duck, which was to be placed on the side of the bath, would be the right fit.
The original run commemorated the launch of the terminal with the lounges branding striped across the front of the duck. Soon after, and I suspect someone in Munich Airport must have caught on, as they decided to launch their own rubber ducks with their unique branding.
In more recent times, the ducks have morphed into collectors’ items with the introduction of special and limited edition version being made. However, their origins of being left in the bathrooms no longer occurs as the ducks have been known to go “missing” between uses.
How To Get A Lufthansa Rubber Duck
For passengers who visit a Lufthansa First Class Lounge in FRA or MUC, or the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, you can get a duck by either using the private bath or simply asking the bathroom/spa attendant for one.
However, keep your expectations tempered as ducks are becoming harder to acquire. You can still ask someone for a duck but the only guaranteed way to get one is to take a bath in the lounge.
On special event ducks, you are limited to a one-per-person and some can even be seasonal like the Christmas or football world cup ducks.
You really have to give it to Lufthansa’s marketing team what was mostly just introduced to be a quirky differentiator and add a little bit of unexpected fun to the travel experience has now become a something quite a following to it.
Undoubtedly the carrier has created a product that is an icon for the first-class experience. Some airlines have unique signature drinks or signature beers, some have a unique hard product and Lufthansa has a rubber duck.