Tag Archives: priority pass

Lounge Review: VIP Club Lounge Lima Airport (LIM)

After taking a sip of Inca Kola and abandoning it, I made my way to the VIP Club lounge next door to the Sumaq VIP lounge to see if it was any different. While the amenities were basically the same, I’d head straight to the VIP Club lounge next time given that it had approximately one tenth the number of people in it and yet was much more spacious.

So much seating!

So much seating!

Ample space with no one occupying it

Ample space with no one occupying it

Enclosed room

Enclosed room

Such seating

Such seating

And more

And more

In general, the VIP Club lounge felt more modern than the Sumaq VIP lounge, and there were so many empty seats! A great change from the crowded room where you have to share a table with a stranger.

The food and beverage options were essentially the same as the other lounge: room temperature drinks, salty snacks, and desserts. Given that there were fewer people in this lounge, things were much better stocked, so the offerings didn’t look quite so meager.

Drinks

Drinks

Snacks

Snacks

Desserts

Desserts

Orange juice machine with oranges!

Orange juice machine with oranges!

Best of all, there was a massage chair! Not a super fancy massage chair like you find in Asian airport lounges (like the ANA business class lounge in Tokyo Narita or the Thai lounge in Hong Kong), but I still like it.

And a massage chair!

And a massage chair!

Anyway, if you have Priority Pass or another way to have a choice between the Sumaq VIP lounge and this lounge, definitely choose this one.

Lounge Review: Sumaq VIP Lounge Lima Airport (LIM)

My first lounge stop at the Lima airport for my flight back to the US was the Sumaq VIP lounge, which can be accessed via Priority Pass or via status or class of service on American (as well as many other ways, but those were what was applicable to me).

Entrance to the Sumaq VIP lounge

Entrance to the Sumaq VIP lounge

My flight departed at 2:35am, and this lounge was quite busy. It’s essentially one medium-sized room with an outdoor smoking area, but there weren’t that many available seats. Definitely not a place where you can spread out or have much personal space. I generally feel comfortable leaving my stuff unattended in a lounge when I go to the bathroom and such, but I didn’t feel that way here.

Blurry photo of seating

Blurry photo of seating

Crowded business room

Crowded business center

Outdoor smoking area

Outdoor/smoking area

The food options were pretty sad, but the snacks were reasonable. Lots of unhealthy sweet and salty things to eat. They also have showers, although I didn’t check those out, and Inca Kola, which I did try. The refrigerator wasn’t cold, though, so my drink was served at room temperature.

Meager food offerings

Meager food offerings

Orange juice machine!

Orange juice machine! Lacking oranges, though

Snacks

Snacks

More food

Desserts

Bar

Bar

As for basic requirements of a lounge, the wifi was very slow, and I didn’t see many power outlets, so I imagine it’d be hard to get any work done. Although there weren’t many business-looking types in the lounge, so I don’t know if it matters to people that much. There were manual announcements made by an agent who would walk around the lounge and announce departures.

All in all, it’s fine, but the VIP lounge next door was significantly better because it had many fewer people and essentially the same offerings, so definitely go next door if you’re getting access via Priority Pass.

Thailand 2014: Louis’ Tavern First Class CIP Lounge at Bangkok Airport (BKK)

Introduction
Cathay Pacific Lounge San Francisco
Cathay Pacific First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge The Pier Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Millennium Hilton Bangkok
Cooking with Poo
Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Patara Elephant Farm
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai to Ko Samui
Conrad Koh Samui
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui to Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Check-in and Lounge Bangkok
EVA Air Evergreen Lounge Bangkok
Louis’ Tavern First Class CIP Lounge Bangkok
Singapore SilverKris Lounge Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines Lounge Hong Kong
Thai Airways Lounge Hong Kong
Asiana Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana Airlines First Class Suites Seoul to New York
United Airlines Business Class PS Service New York to San Francisco


BKK has a lot of different lounges, including 4 locations of the Louis’ Tavern CIP First Class Lounge. The one that I visited was near the G gates, and I used my Priority Pass Select membership to get access.

Louis' Tavern CIP Lounge Entrance

Louis’ Tavern CIP Lounge Entrance

The lounge that I went to was just a single room, and it felt relatively small. Given it’s location in the airport, there weren’t any views to speak of, and the room felt pretty dark.

Seating in the lounge

Seating in the lounge

The food options consisted mostly of various kinds of sandwiches, along with some pastries, one hot item, one soup, fresh fruit, Nestle ice cream, and yogurt. There was also the typical selection of beer and liquor, as well as a drink called miracle water.

Sandwiches and pastries

Sandwiches and pastries

Hot items

Hot items

Fruit and food area

Fruit and food area

Booze

Booze

Other beverages

Other beverages and ice cream

The lounge itself wasn’t very crowded, which is possibly due to the fact that they have 4 of them throughout the airport. Each lounge is open 24 hours, which can be helpful for those odd itineraries, but there’s not really any where to stretch out, so I wouldn’t recommend these lounges if you’re looking for a place to sleep.

Another view of the lounge (it's not that big)

Another view of the lounge (it’s not that big)

Overall, it’s definitely better than waiting in the airport, and it’s a solid Priority Pass-accessible lounge, but it’s nothing special. I would also probably not recommend these lounges for people who are trying to overnight at the airport, as I imagine it wouldn’t be very comfortable.

Tokyo for the New Year: Oneworld Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Austrian Airlines Business Class Chicago to Vienna
Austrian Airlines Business Class Schengen Lounge Vienna
Austrian Airlines Regional Business Class Vienna to Prague
Turkish Airlines Regional Business Class Prague to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul to Tokyo Narita
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Shinjuku Kuyakushomae Capsule Hotel
Ushigoro
Hilton Narita
Narita-san Shinsho-ji
Swiss Business Class Tokyo Narita to Zurich
Park Hyatt Zurich
Oneworld Lounge Zurich Airport
Swiss Business Lounge Zurich Airport
Austrian Airlines Regional Business Class Zurich to Vienna
Austrian Airlines Business Class Vienna to Chicago


Through Priority Pass, you’re supposed to have access to the oneworld, SkyTeam, and Dnata lounges at the Zurich airport. All three lounges are right next to each other, and it seems like they share a lounge dragon. Since I had a little bit of time to spend at the airport, I decided to check out these lounges, although the lounge agent was very reluctant to let me use these lounges when I held a business class ticket on Swiss Airlines.

Sign to the lounges

Sign to the lounges

Eventually, she relented, and she let me into the oneworld lounge (the three lounges seemed pretty much identical). You’re supposed to get a wifi code at the desk, and it’s only valid for one hour, but the lounge dragon didn’t give me one, and I didn’t want to annoy her further, so I just  went into the lounge to check it out.

Seating in the oneworld lounge

Seating in the oneworld lounge

The lounge isn’t huge, but it had tons of seating, which is always appreciated in any lounge. There were a couple of different seating options, and it all seemed clean and well-designed.

More seating

More seating

More seating

More seating

I was there quite early in the morning, and I didn’t eat anything before getting to the airport, so I was hunting for food. There were two holders for hot food, but there was nothing in them during the time that I was in the lounge. I’m not sure what they get filled with later in the day, if anything.

Empty hot food holders

Empty hot food holders

Instead, I satisfied myself with some breads and jam, but I really wanted Nutella, which was nowhere to be found.

Breakfast foods

Breakfast foods

Breakfast foods

Breakfast foods

They did have a reasonable drink selection, but I just stuck with water given the early hour.

Drinks

Drinks

Liquors

Liquors

Wines

Wines

Overall, the lounge was good for a lounge accessible via Priority Pass, but the biggest issue I could see with the lounge was the limit on wifi use. What kind of airport lounge doesn’t offer free unlimited wifi? Otherwise, it seemed like a nice place to rest and catch up on some work, provided that you only need 60 minutes of internet.

Review: Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

On my way back from Hong Kong, I had about a two hour layover in Tokyo Narita, so I decided to check out two lounges I hadn’t yet reviewed, as I had already been to the ANA Suite and Business Class lounges a couple of weeks prior.

My first stop was the Korean Air Lounge, which is accessible via Priority Pass. This lounge is located near Gate 26 in Terminal 1.

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

The lounge is just one large room. It’s a pretty spacious room, and it was only sparsely populated while I was there. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s pretty functional with lots of seating.

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

There was a separate first class section, although for the 45 minutes I was in the lounge, I didn’t see anyone use it.

Designated first class section

Designated first class section

Seeing as this is Tokyo, there were the famous beer machines, which are supposed to pour a perfect glass of beer every time. There was also a sparse selection of other alcoholic beverages.

Beer machines

Beer machines

Booze

Booze

I was mostly interested in the food. Although everything was pre-packaged, I thought the food was decent for a business class lounge. They had lots of onigiri (rice balls stuffed with things), cups of noodles, and pastries, and I took a couple of things for the road, which was made easier by the fact that everything was pre-packaged. In retrospect, I was super, super glad that I had taken some stuff from this lounge, as I ended up being delayed for 7 hours on arrival into the US (most of that time stuck on a plane in Portland) and was so happy to have had some food in my bag.

Food options

Food options

More packaged foods

More packaged foods

All in all, not a fancy lounge by any means, but the wifi was fast, there was plenty of seating, and the fact that all the food options are packaged means it’s very easy to take a snack for the road (even if you’re not technically supposed to take food out of airport lounges…). It’s definitely much less crowded than the United Club or ANA Lounges, so it can be a good alternative if you just want a quiet place to sit.

Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong (HKG)

The Plaza Premium Lounge at Hong Kong airport is Plaza Premium’s flagship lounge, and it’s quite nice. The lounge is located amongst many of the other lounges like the Thai and Emirates lounges, and it’s just a short walk from the United Club. The lounge accepts Priority Pass, which is how I got access.

Entrance to the Plaza Premium Lounge

Entrance to the Plaza Premium Lounge

Food options at the Plaza Premium Lounge were definitely superior to the United Club. The noodle and congee bars were legitimately tasty and of significantly better quality than the hot food options at the United Club, and I enjoyed that they offered boxed soy milk as a beverage.

Snacks

Snacks

Lots of cold drinks

Lots of cold drinks

Food options

Food options

Noodle and congee bars

Noodle and congee bars

There was also quite a bit of seating of various types. There was a bar area that was completely empty, there were tables for eating, there was a relaxation/lounge area that was quite crowded, and finally, there was the area with single-person seats that was completely roped off for an unknown reason (possibly because they didn’t want to clean up a separate area when the lounge wasn’t that crowded).

Bar seating with ample power ports

Bar seating with ample power ports

Relaxation area

Relaxation area

This area was roped off when I was there

This area was roped off when I was there

Overall, I enjoyed this lounge quite a bit. The food and drink options were good and local, there was ample seating, wifi was fast, and the lounge was clean. This is a great option for a long layover, and I’d happily choose this lounge over the United Club in Hong Kong.

Review: Almost@Home Lounge Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL)

The Almost@Home Lounge is located near Gate 32 in the non-Schengen area of Helsinki airport. It’s accessible via Priority Pass, and it’s one of the nicest Priority Pass lounges that I’ve been to.

Sign to the Almost@Home Lounge

Sign to the Almost@Home Lounge

When I checked in, the lounge agent was nice and welcoming, and she asked if I had ever been to the lounge. I told her that I hadn’t, and she explained the concept of the lounge, which is supposed to be like visiting someone’s home.

To the left of the entrance, there are some booths, workstations, and amenities focused toward younger travelers such as children’s books and a video game console.

Children's books and toys

Children’s books and toys

Games

Games

Work stations

Work stations

The food area was designed to look like someone’s kitchen, complete with kitchen appliances like a stand mixer and cutlery in drawers that you had to open. The food options were slightly better than the food options in either the Aspire lounge or the Finnair lounge, but perhaps only marginally so.

Two soups

Two soups

Lots of dessert

Lots of dessert

Salad

Salad

Wines

Wines

Breads

Breads

Coffee

Coffee

The main seating area is made to look like a living room.

Seating area

Seating area

All in all, this is perhaps my favorite Priority Pass lounge I’ve been to. It feels cozy and comforting, it never got too crowded, the food options are decent, and there are some interesting amenities like having a PlayStation.

Review: Aspire Lounge by Servisair Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL)

The Aspire Lounge by Servisair is accessible via Priority Pass and is located near Gates 27 and 28 in the Schengen region. If you’re flying to a non-Schengen destination, you can still access this lounge, but you’ll need to leave a little bit of time to clear immigration to get to your flight.

The lounge is located on the second floor of the terminal, along with a restaurant and the Helsinki airport Book Swap, where you can take and/or leave a book.

Helsinki airport book swap in front of the Aspire Lounge

Helsinki airport book swap in front of the Aspire Lounge

The lounge isn’t particularly large, but it also wasn’t very crowded. There were some interesting seating options like hanging chairs and tiny wall cubbies.

Seating

Seating

Funky seating

Funky seating

More seating

More seating

There was a small island with drinks and food options, but the options weren’t particularly good. There was a hot soup available as well as karelian pasties, but the pasties were pretty cold and bad and not representative of what they can taste like. Otherwise, there was a meager alcoholic drink selection and things like cookies and pastries.

Sparse alcohol selection

Sparse alcohol selection

Cold/stale karelian pasties

Cold/stale karelian pasties

Other snacks

Other snacks

Overall, the lounge was fine to stop by in and had some interesting furniture, but assuming you have access to the non-Schengen area, the Almost@Home Lounge is also accessible via Priority Pass and offers better amenities.

Burn, United (Miles), Burn: Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)

Introduction
Planning
United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco


I wasn’t originally planning on stopping by this “lounge”, but I saw in the Priority Pass mobile app that there was something called the Business Traveler’s Lounge that was just one gate over from my next flight, so I decided to head up.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge near gate E10

I say “lounge” in quotation marks because it’s really just the reception area of a transit hotel. The space is primarily used as an hourly hotel where you can stay if you have a lengthy layover, and it’s clear that they don’t get many Priority Pass visitors because even though they had a sign, the people at the reception desk had a hard time figuring out what to do with me.

Very odd choice of decor

Very odd choice of decor

The lounge area is just a seating area consisting of kitschy, old-fashioned decor and a small food area. As opposed to the open-air, light-filled lounges that I had already visited, this lounge was sad and depressing as there were no windows or natural light.

I was curious about the food and drink options, but besides a large number of packaged snacks, there wasn’t much on offer. While there was a purported menu, most of the hot food trays were empty. I’m not sure if this was just because of the time of day that I was there, or if it was more due to the fact that this lounge area probably doesn’t get much traffic so they don’t stock it regularly.

Supposed food menu

Supposed food menu

Lots of packaged snacks

Lots of packaged snacks

Not much hot food

Not much hot food

The lounge has its own wifi, which is slightly novel as the other lounges relied on the airport’s wifi which requires you to use your passport to get a code if you’re a foreign national. But after sitting for less than 5 minutes and overhearing an irate hotel guest yelling at the reception agents about a non-working TV, I decided to leave and just go to the gate. Overall, not a place I’d recommend going, and I’m not sure why it’s even part of the Priority Pass program.

Burn, United (Miles), Burn: BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)

Introduction
Planning
United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco


The next lounge that I visited in the Beijing airport was the BGS Premier Lounge, which I accessed via Priority Pass. Like the Air China First Class Lounge, the lounge is up some stairs and open to the rest of the terminal, so it feels spacious and bright.

Stairs to the lounge. Not as many airlines use this lounge.

Stairs to the lounge. Not as many airlines use this lounge.

The food options were largely similar to the Air China lounge, with hot food options of items like dim sum, congee, and hot soy milk with Chinese donuts. One extra that this lounge had beyond the Air China lounge was a noodle bar with a dedicated chef, which looked good.

Hot food options

Hot food options

More hot food

More hot food

Dim sum

Dim sum

Noodle bar

Noodle bar

Limited alcohol selection

Limited alcohol selection

Cold drinks

Cold drinks

The lounge itself had plenty of seating, as they crammed a lot of seats in a decently large space. I was there pretty early in the day, so it wasn’t very crowded, but it seemed like even at more crowded times there would still be plenty of places to sit.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

There was also a small business center, and the lounge advertised showers, but I did not utilize either.

Computers for use

Computers for use

Overall, the lounge was good for a Priority Pass lounge and comparable in many respects to the Air China First Class lounge with the main differences being the addition of a noodle bar and the lack of sleeping rooms.