Tag Archives: priority pass

Lounge Review: Oman Air Lounge Bangkok Airport (BKK)

I accessed the Oman Air lounge at Bangkok airport (BKK) via Priority Pass. This lounge is located in the E concourse, so it’s convenient for oneworld flights (which all depart from the E, F, or G gates).

Directions to all of the lounges once you pass security and immigration

Directions to all of the lounges once you pass security and immigration

Entrance to the Oman Air lounge

Entrance to the Oman Air lounge

Upon entering, I was immediately impressed by the decor of lounge. A lot of Priority Pass-accessible lounges can be a bit sad-looking, but this was nice and bright. The lounge has an appealing blue and gold color scheme, and there a variety of interesting decorations.

It’s not a huge lounge, but there’s a lot of seating packed in. To the right is a room full of seating with comfortable couches and chairs. To the back of this room are two recliners, and you can draw a curtain for some privacy.

Main seating area to the right

Main seating area to the right

One of the recliners with some privacy

One of the recliners with some privacy

Fruit display

Fruit display

The other room has more seating as well as the rest of the lounge’s amenities. The drink options were extensive, featuring Arabic coffee and dates as well as lots of different liquors and wines (including champagne). The fridge below had your usual assortment of sodas, beers, and water, but there was also Milo!

More seating and computers

More seating and computers

Coffee (including Arabic coffee)

Coffee (including Arabic coffee)

Dates

Dates

Alcohol selection

Alcohol selection

Refrigerated beverages

Refrigerated beverages

The food options are slightly less impressive, but still pretty decent for a Priority Pass-accessible lounge. There was dried fruit, mixed nuts, ingredients to make a salad, pickles and olives, canapes, sandwiches, breads, fruits, cupcakes, and a variety of hot foods. The hot food options when I visited included biryani, samosas, chicken puffs, chicken kebabs, and penne. The food that I sampled (a samosa, some fruit, and a cupcake) were all fine.

Canapes

Canapes

Breads and fruit

Breads and fruit

Hot food items

Hot food items

Wifi in the lounge was decently fast (3.79 Mbps down; 1.95 Mbps up), and there were some outlets available. There’s also a work table available with outlets, as well as a shower room that looked clean.

Work table

Work table

Shower room

Shower room

Please don't wash your feet in the bathroom sink

Please don’t wash your feet in the bathroom sink

If you’re using Priority Pass at BKK, I think that the Oman Air lounge is a better option than the Louis Tavern lounges, although not superior enough to make the trek to the E gates if your flight is leaving out of an A gate, for example. It was a super comfortable place to sit, it wasn’t very crowded, the wifi was fast, and the basics are all provided. Overall, quite a good Priority Pass-accessible lounge.

Lounge Review: Pura Indah Lounge Jakarta Airport (CGK)

It took me about an hour to get to the airport from the Grand Hyatt by taxi. I was flying JAL out of CGK, and at check-in, I was told that JAL uses the Pura Indah lounge.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

There were a lot of different lounges at the airport, including a Citibank lounge. I didn’t realize that Citibank has its own lounges, but I also remembered seeing tons of Citibank advertising and deals at Plaza Indonesia, the mall connected to the Grand Hyatt. It seemed that many of the lounges in the international area of the terminal I was in (Terminal 2D) were accessible via Priority Pass, including this lounge that JAL (and many other airlines) uses.

The lounge has separate first and business class sections, but first class is just a room that’s less crowded. There was tons of seating and not that many people using the first class side.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Japanese newspapers for JAL passengers

Japanese newspapers for JAL passengers

In terms of food, there were a number of sweet options like cakes, pastries, fried bananas, and desserts wrapped in banana leaf, but savory options were limited to some chicken curry puffs, penne with eggplant, and soups. I thought the fried bananas were pretty tasty, but I’m a fat kid at heart and a sucker for most fried and/or sweet things.

The food options overall looked a little sad. It’s still a better food selection that you’d get at many US domestic lounges (although that seems to be changing), but because there weren’t that many passengers on the first class side, the food turnover was slow. So it was a bit unclear how long some of the food had been sitting there.

Drinks and refrigerated foods

Drinks and refrigerated foods

Sandwiches

Sandwiches

Pastries

Pastries

Soups

Soups

Fried bananas and banana leafs

Fried bananas and banana leaf desserts

More hot food

Hot savory food (chicken curry puff and eggplant penne)

The wifi in the lounge was quite slow, and there weren’t enough power outlets in the lounge, so it’s not a great place to sit and do work. There is a shower in the bathroom that looked reasonably clean, but I didn’t see any towels, so you might have to ask for those. But it didn’t seem like the shower got a ton of use.

Shower

Shower

Overall, this lounge is disappointing for a lounge at the airport of a major Asian city, but it’s better than waiting in the terminal. It’s also nice that it’s accessible via Priority Pass.

Lounge Review: First Class Lounge No. 77 Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG)

I’ve previously reviewed the No. 69 and No. 68 (Cathay Pacific) lounges in Shanghai, but on my most recent layover in Shanghai, I decided to visit No. 77 because it had been recently renovated. I accessed this lounge via Priority Pass.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

My first impressions were that this lounge is really quite nice. There’s tons and tons of seating (I don’t know why there’s so much since I can’t imagine it getting even close to full), and the furniture all seems pretty nice. Lots of outlets near chairs and a variety of seating areas (e.g. if you want a table to work on, couches, lounger to rest).

Seating

Lots of seating

Dining area

Dining area

Lots of seating

So much seating

Seating

Open to the rest of the airport

Lounge chairs

Lounge chairs

Lounger

Lounger

The food options in the lounge aren’t as nice as the decor, in my opinion. While they have a decent variety of food options (some hot dishes, dim sum, salads, fruits, pastries, sandwiches), the food was not particularly appetizing. Part of this is due to the lack of turnover of the food, as the lounge was really not very busy, so it seemed like a lot of the food had been sitting out for a while.

Drinks

Drinks

Pastries

Pastries

Salads and sandwiches

Salads and sandwiches

Hot food

Hot food

Also, strangely, the desserts were in a glass case, but you couldn’t access them yourself. If you wanted a dessert, you had to ask someone behind the bar to get one for you. I’m not sure why this is.

Desserts

Desserts

Physically, this is a great renovation, and I think that this lounge is nicer than the No. 68 and No. 69 lounges. But it’s still not a particularly noteworthy lounge, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit.

Lounge Review: Le Anfore Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)

At Rome Fiumicino airport, the lounge options are relatively limited. Alitalia has a lounge, but most everyone else (i.e. not Skyteam) is sent to Le Anfore lounge, which is also accessible via Priority Pass. The lounges are right next to each other, and the entrance is near gate G11.

Entrance to the lounges

Entrance to the lounges

Airlines and access rules for the Anfore Lounge

Airlines and access rules for the Anfore Lounge

The lounge is a decent size with tons of seats. But there’s not a ton besides seats. There aren’t electrical outlets, and the things that look like windows are actually just illuminated wall panels to give you the impression that there’s natural light (the lounge is located below the main concourse).

Plenty of seating (note that those aren't actual windows)

Plenty of seating (note that those aren’t actual windows)

More seating

More seating

Work area

Work area

Magazines

Magazines

There’s a bar, and the bartender was super friendly. They also have a table of food, but the food was honestly pretty disgusting. I’d say that the savory food in this lounge is the worst lounge food I’ve ever encountered, which is kind of a slap in the face given how good food is in Italy. I can’t even imagine how they manage to make such bad food.

Pretty sad food options

Pretty sad food options

More sad food

More sad food

There is a shower in the lounge, although I did not use it. And the people working in the lounge were friendly, so there’s that. But otherwise, besides a place to sit and wifi, there’s not much that this lounge has to offer.

Lounge Review: Escape Lounge Manchester Airport (MAN) Terminal 3

Right next to the British Airways Terraces Lounge in Terminal 3 is the Escape Lounge. This lounge is used by Skyteam airlines, and it’s also accessible via Priority Pass, which is how I entered.

I really enjoyed this lounge, especially since it was accessible via Priority Pass. It felt super modern, there was lots of seating and natural light, and it was generally a pleasant place to spend some time. The lounge does not have showers, though, which is likely less of an issue for most passengers at MAN.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

The lounge has quite a bit of seating. There’s a main room, but also more seating near the circular window that’s also part of the British Airways lounge next door. The lounge also has large windows with views out onto the apron.

Lounge views

Lounge views

Seating

Seating

Seating

Seating

Dining area

Dining area

Views of apron

Views of apron

The lounge has both a buffet and made-to-order food, although you have to pay for the latter. They start serving lunch at 11am, and they had a number of options like sausage rolls, pasties, other carry meaty things, a couple of salads, a meat plate, a cheese plate, soup, and fruit. I ate a plum that was pretty ripe and sweet!

Menu

Menu

A la carte menu

A la carte menu

Food

Food

Food options

Food options

Tower of dessert

Tower of dessert

I’m always appreciative of lounges that try to serve more real food, and this lounge definitely hits the mark. There’s also a full bar, although it’s not self service. Overall, this is a very good Priority Pass lounge and a pleasant place to spend some time before your flight.

Lounge Review: No 1 Lounge London Heathrow (LHR) Terminal 3

This lounge is accessible via Priority Pass, and it’s one of the nicest Priority Pass lounges that I’ve been to. You can also buy access if you don’t Priority Pass.

The lounge has pretty swanky furnishings and a number of different rooms and seating areas. It feels more like a hip hotel than an airport lounge, which I guess is what they’re going for.

Seating

Seating

Funk seating

Funk seating

Private rooms

Private rooms

More seating

More seating

More seating

More seating

Children's area

Children’s area

Foosball

Foosball

Work station

Work station

Dining area

Dining area

There’s a buffet with pretty good food options, but there’s also a made-to-order menu. The made-to-order menu isn’t completely complimentary though: you get one item for free off the made-to-order menu, and you otherwise pay as you go. The items off the made-to-order menu are pretty small, so it’s not like one of those items by itself would make a meal.

Food and drink menu

Food and drink menu

Food

Buffet with real food!

Food

Muffins and juices

Carbs

Carbs galore

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

Eggs florentine with a twist

Eggs florentine with a twist

One thing that I appreciated about the buffet was that some of the options were like actual food that I might order at a restaurant. Kudos to this lounge for doing something slightly more upscale and refined. The made-to-order items that I’ve had, however, have been merely okay and not as good as one would expect from something that you ostensibly have to pay for in addition to lounge access.

The lounge also has shower rooms and a spa with treatments. I’ve used a shower room before, and it was perfectly acceptable.

Overall, this is a great option for people with Priority Pass or who otherwise don’t have lounge access via status. While the lounge can get a bit crowded, I’d probably choose this lounge above the American Airlines Flagship Lounge or the British Airways Galleries First Lounge, but not above the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge.

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.