Tag Archives: priority pass

Lounge Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Penang Airport (PEN) Domestic Terminal

The Plaza Premium lounge in the domestic terminal of Penang airport is accessible via Priority Pass, and it’s located just past where you clear security.

Entrance to the lounge

It’s a relatively small lounge, but there’s a fair amount of seating, and it wasn’t crowded at all when I was there.

Seating

Work stations

Tables

For a domestic lounge, I thought there was a surprisingly decent food selection. There was fish ball noodle soup, curry, mixed vegetables, pasta with Alfredo sauce, barley soup, and congee. Definitely enough to have a filling snack before a flight.

Fish ball noodle soup

Hot food

Cold foods

Desserts and drinks

Soup and porridge/congee

The wifi worked okay, and the lamps scattered throughout the lounge had USB chargers, but I couldn’t seem to find any normal outlets, which I found confusing. But overall, I found this to be a very pleasant domestic lounge with pretty good food options and comfortable seating.

Lounge Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong Airport (HKG) East Hall

My flight from Boston landed just before 5am, so the first lounge I checked out was the Plaza Premium lounge in the East Hall, which is open 24 hours and was one of the few lounges in the Hong Kong airport that I hadn’t been to before.

Entrance to the lounge

Now, I’m not sure if it’s normally this dark or if it was just this dark because it was just past 5am, but this was the darkest lit lounge I’ve ever been to. Also, because I was there at just past 5am, there were very few people there, but it also meant that there was very little food out. So even though the lounge is technically open 24 hours, there might not be much stuff going on.

Seating

Center bar/food area

More seating

Seating

That being said, there was a ton of seating. The lounge is quite large, although there aren’t really any places for someone to take a nap. You could move two chairs together, but there’s no designated relaxation area like there are in other Plaza Premium lounges (including those in HKG).

Instant noodles and snacks

Snack mixes

Drink fridges

Hot food area (but none at this time of day)

Again, at the time of my visit, there wasn’t really any food out, but they did have malted soy milk to drink, which I enjoyed.

Eating area

Closed seating area

In general, I think I enjoy the Plaza Premium lounge in the West Hall more than this one, although that could just be because I visited this lounge when nothing was going on. But this lounge is also pretty dark and closed to the outside (i.e. no windows), while the other Plaza Premium lounge is not a cave. But both are accessible via Priority Pass, so you could go to whichever you like if that’s how you get lounge access.

Lounge Review: Platinum Lounge Non-Schengen Budapest Airport (BUD)

To get to this lounge, you need to go up a floor from the gates. It’s accessible via Priority Pass, which is how I entered. It’s worth noting that this is the only lounge in the non-Schengen area of the airport.

The lounge was a pleasant place to sit for a little bit. There were proper tables if you wanted a place to sit for eating or working, but unfortunately, there was no bathroom in the lounge.

Entrance to the lounge

Entrance to the lounge

Seating

Seating

Work station

Work station

In terms of food and drink, I think there was a marginally better food selection at breakfast than compared to the other lounges I visited at the Budapest airport. Or at least the food was vaguely healthier. For example, there was yogurt, muesli, and fruit on offer, instead of just pastries. But there was also the unhealthier desserts like turo rudi and sport bars if you wanted your fill.

Wine, alcohol, water

Wine, alcohol, water

Soda dispenser

Soda dispenser

Yogurt, turo rudi

Yogurt, turo rudi

Packaged snacks

Packaged snacks

Pastries, olives

Pastries, olives

Meats

Meat, bread

Since this is the only lounge in the non-Schengen region, you don’t have much of a choice of whether you want to come here, but it’s solid for a Priority Pass lounge in Europe.

Lounge Review: Korean Air Lounge Osaka (KIX)

The Korean Air lounge at Osaka Kansai (KIX) airport is located outside of security and is accessible via Priority Pass. Go down to the third floor, and look for the lounge sign near Uniqlo. Given that the lounge is located outside of security and immigration, make sure to leave plenty of time to get to your gate on time. On this visit, it took me about 30 minutes to get through security and immigration after leaving the lounge.

Signs to the lounge

Signs to the lounge

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

The Korean Air lounge offers some seating and some food (theoretically).

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

Alcohol

Alcohol

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

At breakfast, there were pastries, onigiri, instant soups, and instant noodles. But all of the food would disappear very quickly. As you can see from the below pictures, there was only one left of many of the items.

Sparse food options

Sparse food options

Some packaged snacks

Some packaged snacks

There’s also a meager assortment of beverages, but this lounge is really not worth a stop. It’s hard to find, the offerings are scant, and it’s located outside of security, so you can’t really relax until your flight.

Lounge Review: Platinum Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

The third lounge that I visited in Budapest Airport was the Platinum Lounge serving Schengen flights. This lounge is located amongst the A gates, so you can only get to it if you’re flying somewhere in the Schengen region. Again, I accessed this lounge via Priority Pass.

Entrance to the Platinum Lounge

Entrance to the Platinum Lounge

This lounge was the saddest of the three that I visited. It wasn’t well lit given that it has no windows to the outside world, and it’s just a large room with some sad food options. There were only three other people in this lounge while I was there.

Also, I just walked into this lounge. When I entered, there wasn’t anyone at the front desk, so I waited for a couple of minutes. I got tired of waiting, so I just sat down, and then only maybe 5-10 minutes after that did two women come out of the back room and go to the front desk. Neither of them said anything or ask me for credentials to enter the lounge.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Work stations

Work stations

There is a salad bar with cheese slices, salami, corn, iceberg lettuce, and mayo packets. Given the lack of traffic in the lounge, I’m not sure I’d want to eat any of those things (then again, cheese and cured meats can sit at room temperature for a while). They also had Sport bars and Turo Rudi (another Hungarian chocolate bar; it’s like a curd with a chocolate coating), and the breakfast options were perhaps better because they did have yogurt and cereals.

Salad buffet?

Salad buffet?

Dairy products and turo rudi

Dairy products and turo rudi

Fruits and cereals

Fruits and cereals

Drinks

Drinks

More drinks

More drinks

Bar snacks

Bar snacks

Turo Rudi and some sparkling water

Turo Rudi and some sparkling water

That being said, I would not recommend coming here. Just spend more time at the other lounges and budget a smidgeon more time to get to your gate. This lounge was sad and depressing. I guess if you really want some Turo Rudi or some yogurt, then it might be worth a visit.

Lounge Review: SkyCourt Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

The second lounge that I visited at the Budapest airport was the SkyCourt Lounge. This lounge is also accessible via Priority Pass, and it’s also above the main entrance right after you pass through security.

Entrance to the SkyCourt Lounge

Entrance to the SkyCourt Lounge

One notable feature of this lounge versus the Menzies lounge is that this lounge has toilets! No need to pee with the common people. The lounge is also a bit larger than the Menzies lounge with a variety of different seating areas. I’d say the furniture was less interesting but more comfortable compared to the other lounge.

Seating

Seating

Tables

Tables

More seating

More seating

Charging station

Charging station

Coffee and milk

Coffee and milk

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

Alcohols (with Unicum)

Alcohols (with Unicum)

This was the first time I’d ever seen a sandwich fridge in an airport lounge. So many packaged sandwiches. But the sandwiches did not look or smell very appetizing, and it seemed a little excessive given how few people seemed to be using the lounge. But I guess it’s nice to have if you’re super hungry. Beyond the sandwiches, there were also a variety of pastries (both sweet and less sweet) as well as some cereal crackers. There was also a typical assortment of drinks with Unicum making an appearance.

Packaged sandwiches

Packaged sandwiches

Food

Food

Desserts

Desserts

Packaged sandwich

Packaged sandwich

The wifi was blazingly fast for an airport lounge. I got something like 15 mbps both up and down. Some of the signs also say Malev Ground Handling, so I wonder if this space used to be the old Malev lounge before they went under?

Again, this is a solid Priority Pass lounge, but I might hit up the Menzies lounge instead if I wanted some Hungarian chocolate bars.

Lounge Review: Menzies Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

There are a number of Priority Pass-accessible lounges at the Budapest airport. The first I visited was the Menzies Lounge. This lounge is located above the main entrance area when you pass through security.

Signage for the lounge

Signage for the lounge

Menzies Lounge entrance

Menzies Lounge entrance

The lounge is just a simple, relatively small room, but there’s plenty of seating. I thought the furniture was cool and funky, and electrical outlets were plentiful. There were a variety of seating options whether you wanted to sit by yourself, stare out the window, or eat or work at a table.

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

Interesting furniture

Interesting furniture

Some views of apron

Some views of apron

Cubbies to charge your phone

Cubbies to charge your phone

Alcohol in the fridge

Alcohol in the fridge

In my opinion, the most notable feature of the lounge was the giant bags of Cheetos that were peanut butter flavored and ketchup flavored. I had never had either, so naturally I had to try them. I love ketchup, but the ketchup-flavored Cheetos tasted like ketchup that’s dried up from sitting out too long. The peanut butter ones were more palatable, but not worth the calories. Interestingly, I thought that they tasted better when eaten together.

In terms of other food, there were some packaged Hungarian chocolate bars (including Sport and Balaton bars–try them!), some cereal-ish bars, and some muffins. There was beer and wine on offer, as well as Unicum, a Hungarian specialty.

Snacks and drinks (including Unicum!)

Snacks and drinks (including Unicum!)

More drink options

More drink options

The wifi was decent, and there are no bathrooms inside the lounge. This lounge is nothing fancy, but it’s perfectly serviceable for a Priority Pass lounge.

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.