Yes, kids, I am a hopeless romantic who just loves Valentine’s Day. I’m not a flowers-and-jewelry kind of girl, so the man had the fog light on my luxury vehicle fixed to show his love. Airports and airlines like to show the love to their best customers, and there’s nothing better than being comfortably nestled in a premium lounge.
Back in November 2008, I flew to London to take an insider’s tour of British Airways’ flagship Terminal 5. I didn’t get to take pictures, but I remember almost everything. Part of the tour was a visit (and use of) the Arrivals lounge and the first and business class departure lounges. I took full advantage of the Arrivals lounge, taking a shower, getting my clothes pressed and shoes shined and having a lovely breakfast in the Concorde dining room.
And it was even better on the departures side. You can read my story on airport lounges (including my time in T5) in the February 2012 issue of Airline Passenger Experience magazine here (it’s free, but you must register to see it). Suffice it to say that I still have dreams about my time in those lounges at London Heathrow.
When I last went to the Bahamas in 2004, there were photos and renderings of the new terminal at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, but the actual experience wasn’t much to write home about. Fast forward to now, and check out this article from our good friends at the Jaunted blog on the Graycliff Divan Airport Lounge in the departures area of the airport. You have to enter through a gift shop, but past that there’s an indoor and outdoor lounge with food, drinks and a smoking area.
Food/beverage concessionaire SSP consistently has some of my favorite airport concepts. And I’m really digging their latest one — enhancing the wine experience at London City Airport. The fun begins with weekly wine tastings every Wednesday, hosted by sommelier Ben Mulvaney and supported by Bars Manager Anthony Stanley. Passengers will be able to sample some of the world’s finest wines, learn of their origin and recommended food pairings, and receive complementary tasting notes. And travelers can now taste the world’s best wines without having to shell out for a full bottle thanks to a new Enomatic machine at the airport’s newest restaurant, City Bar & Grill.
I’ll end my offering my picks for the top five airline lounges I’d kill to visit. Enjoy!
- Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London Heathrow. I had the chance to visit this lounge back in the late 1990s, and it was fabulous then. But since then, the 12,000 square foot facility has been completely redone.
- Emirates First and Business Class Lounges, Dubai International Airport. I had no clue until I interviewed Nate Vallier on his experiences in these lounges in the February 2012 issue of Airline Passenger Experience magazine here (it’s free, but you must register to see it).
- Singapore Airlines Lounge, Changi Airport. Who wouldn’t want to sit in the world’s best airline’s world’s best lounge, located in the world’s best airport?
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt Airport. I flew on the German flag carrier in May 2001 on my way to Munich to do a story on the now-defunct Fairchild Dornier. The lounge was wonderful, but this is another carrier that has stepped up its airline lounge game since I was last there.
- ANA Lounge, Narita Airport. This place is a foodie’s delight, with a sake bar, a monthly featured donburi (rice bowl) and a noodle bar. Plus the lounge features personal rooms.
So what did I miss? What are some of your favorite airline lounges?