My Personal Top Ten: Airline Lounges.

Around 18 months ago, I made a post on my Instagram account featuring the top ten lounges that I’d visited around the world. To get this site up and running I thought I’d make a similar post here, along with a little more info and thoughts. Do keep in mind that this is my own personal top 10 – what makes a great lounge to me, might not be the same for others.

10: British Airways First Lounge, Gatwick

Where Is It : South Terminal, London Gatwick 
Who Can Access it: BA Executive Club Gold, OneWorld Emerald and those departing on a OneWorld flight in First Class.
Key Features: Buffet and a la carte dining, a small business centre, great views across the apron and runway.
My Thoughts: A vast improvement over the previous lounge offering by BA in the North terminal. Just a shame the lounges at Heathrow aren’t up to the same standard! Only downside is that it can get a little busy during the morning rush and that the a la carte menu isn’t available until 7am.

Further Info:  https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=LGW 

 

9: Singapore Airlines Lounge, London Heathrow

Where Is It : Terminal 2B, London Heathrow 
Who Can Access it: Star Alliance Gold Card holders, and those departing on a Star Alliance flight in Business/First
Key Features: Buffet dining, a small bar area, shower facilities and reasonable views.
My Thoughts: The most recent of the lounges to open in Terminal 2, this one offers a decent enough buffet area with a comfortable enough lounge area as you progress through. Also a small bar where you can order a Singapore Sling!

Further Info:  https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/gb/plan-travel/local-promotions/heathrow-silverkris-lounge 

8: Thai Royal First Lounge, Bangkok

Where Is It : Concourse D, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Who Can Access it: Thai and Star Alliance First Class passengers, Royal Orchid Platinum Plus cardholders
Key Features: Buffet and a la carte dining, private rooms, seperate dining area, bar, on demand service
My Thoughts: Despite visiting back in 2015, the ground experience of a Thai First Class passenger remains at top of my list! Escorted through check in, security then on a golf buggy through to the lounge is something I’m yet to experience elsewhere. Once in the lounge, I was given my own private room with sofa’s, a TV and a computer. The only reason it’s so low on this list is that it was a little dated when I visited, and as far as I’m aware, hasn’t been refurbished in the meantime. 

Further Info:  https://www.thaiairways.com/en_GB/experience_my_thai/on_ground/royal_first_lounge.page? 

7: Emirates Business Lounge, Dubai

Where Is It : Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport
Who Can Access it: Emirates Business Class passengers, Emirates Skywards Silver card holders, and Economy Class passengers for $130USD, OneWorld Sapphire card holders travelling on Qantas. 
Key Features: HUGE space, buffet dining, shower facilities, direct boarding in some cases
My Thoughts: Probably one of the biggest lounges I’ve been in, sitting above the main terminal. The Lounge at the B gates has been recently refurbished and features some key areas – such as a champagne area, health and wellness area as well as a Costa Coffee stall. The lounge in the C gates is equally impressive, however it lacks those areas.

Further Info:  https://www.emirates.com/uk/english/experience/our-lounges/business-class/ 

6: Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha

Where Is It : Main Terminal, Doha Hamad Airport
Who Can Access it: Qatar Airways Business Class Passengers, and those departing on a OneWorld operated flight in Business Class – Note: Those who have upgraded or paid for their flights with miles are not permitted entry.
Key Features: Buffet dining (When I last visited, a la carte was available, however I’ve seen reports this has been discontinued), various separate lounging areas,
My Thoughts: Much like the Emirates lounge in Dubai, this is a pretty large space. It features two restaurants at either end of the lounge, an impressive water feature as you enter and plenty of seating. 

Further Info:  https://www.qatarairways.com/en-gb/lounges/al-mourjan.html 

 

5: British Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow

Where Is It : Terminal 5, London Heathrow
Who Can Access it: Those who are departing or arriving/connecting on a British Airways flight in First, BA CCR Card holders.
Key Features: A la carte dining in the Concorde Dining area, Barista style coffee, “outdoor” terrace, Bar with extensive cocktail menu, private cabanas
My Thoughts: Mainly on this list due to the fact that it’s a bit special! The only time I’ve visited is before a BA First flight, and on every occasion it’s been reasonably quiet, meaning it’s a pretty nice atmosphere. Otherwise, not too different to the First lounge next door, other than the lack of a buffet and a bar. 

Further Info:  https://www.britishairways.com/en-de/information/lounges/first-lounges 

 

4: Qantas First Lounge, Los Angeles

Where Is It : Tom Bradley International Terminal, Los Angeles Airport
Who Can Access it: Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Emirates Skywards Platinum members, Emirates First Class ticket holders OneWorld Emerald and Those departing on a OneWorld flight in First Class.
Key Features: A la carte dining from an extensive menu, on demand service.
My Thoughts: Been a few years since I visited this one, however I remember it being a positive experience. Pretty big a la carte menu, top quality food and a decent sized sitting area meant that this is one of the better ones out there. The one downside being I seem to recall there being a lack of natural light. 
Further Info:  http://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-experience/at-the-airport/airport-lounges/los-angeles-international-first-lounge.html 

 

3: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow

Where Is It: Terminal 3, London Heathrow
Who Can Access it: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class ticket holders, Delta One ticket holders, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold card holders.
Key Features: A la carte dining, a cocktail bar, an outdoor terrace, library, games area and even a hairdressers!
My Thoughts: Arguably one of the best lounges at Heathrow (The Qatar Lounge also gets good reviews, however I’m yet to visit that one). Considering this is a business class lounge, it rivals some of the First Class lounges out there. Tasty food, a good cocktail menu and plenty to keep yourself entertained while you wait all in that classy but cool environment that Virgin Atlantic is famous for. 

Further Info:  https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/at-the-airport/clubhouses-airport-lounges/london-heathrow-clubhouse.html 

 

2: The Pier, Hong Kong

Where Is It : Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport
Who Can Access it: Marco Polo Club Diamond card holders, OneWorld Emerald and Those departing on a OneWorld flight in First Class.
Key Features: A la carte dining in a restaurant area, buffet dining, bar area, shower facilities, day suite resting areas, great views!
My Thoughts: When I first visited this lounge in 2013, it was pretty run down. However before my second visit in 2015, it had a major refurbishment. The difference was night and day. Gone was the dark basement style area and in was a bright living room type area, much like the airlines’ lounge at Heathrow. The restaurant in this lounge is also top quality, with an extensive menu. This held top spot of my lounge list until it was pipped in 2017 by the Qantas Lounge in Sydney. 

Further Info:  https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_GB/travel-information/flying-with-us/all-lounges/hong-kong-international-airport-lounges/the-pier-first.html 

 

1: Qantas First Lounge, Sydney

Where Is It : International Terminal, Sydney Airport
Who Can Access it: Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Emirates Skywards Platinum members, Emirates First Class ticket holders OneWorld Emerald and Those departing on a OneWorld flight in First Class.
Key Features: A la carte dining, spa area, great views across the airport and to the Sydney skyline
My Thoughts: Most reviews seem to rave about the spa in this lounge, however that’s not really my thing. Plus when I visited, it was closed anyway so I cant comment on that aspect. What I can comment on however is the rest of the lounge, featuring a great and extensive menu, comfortable seating, high ceilings, plenty of natural light and some great views across the airport and to downtown Sydney. 


Further Info:  https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/lounge-locations/sydney/international-t1/international-first-lounge/global/en 

Also worth a mention:

Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki
This one was on my original list back in 2017, however that particular lounge been refurbished since my last visit, so I’m unable to comment on what it’s like now.
 
BA Galleries First, London Heathrow T5
Probably my most visited lounge! Improved over the last few years with the First Wing offering private security from check in to the lounge, plus various other enhancements including new furniture. Although I find it somewhat lacks a real wow factor.
 
Cathay Pacific First, London Heathrow T3
One of the most hyped lounges of recent times, I’ve found that it can get very busy when there’s a Cathay Pacific flight due to depart. Not the biggest space, therefore can be difficult to find a seat. A great restaurant area makes up for this though. It’s slowly growing on me however.
 
American Airlines Flagship Lounge, Chicago
Much like the Cathay lounge mentioned above, it would have been made much better if it wasn’t so busy! Great views across the apron and an extensive buffet make it a pleasant enough space to wait for an hour or two.

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