Lounge access -the jewel in the airport experience and a battleground airlines know can sway customers interested in the most exclusive, luxurious start to their trip. Runway views, spa treatment, luxury showers, ultra-fast WiFi, bespoke cocktails, gourmet food and even private rooms – everyone is looking for something slightly different and the best lounges in the world cater for them all.
Access to a lounge before your flight or during a long layover can have a massive impact to your trip but not all lounges are created equal and in recent years, airlines have really invested in their lounges to compete for the luxury and business travel markets. These are our current top 5:
British Airways Concorde Room – London Heathrow and JFK
British Airways offer their First Class and Gold Guest List customers access to their flagship lounge, the Concorde Room, at Heathrow Terminal 5 and JFK. Their most exclusive and luxurious lounge offers private booth dining with waiter service, an excellent champagne selection and access to exclusive cabanas if you really value your privacy. The cabanas get booked up months in advance and offer a day bed, TV, shower and you can order food and drink to be delivered to you. James Beagrie, Meon MD, recently dined in the Concorde Room and was really impressed with the overall experience, especially with the quality of the food and the wine pairings.
Top Tip: First Class customers can use either the Concorde room or the First Lounge but we’d highly recommend The Concorde Room, unless you don’t have much time and want to grab something quick to eat, in which case you might be better off using the buffet style dining in the First Lounge.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal – Frankfurt
Lufthansa have their own private First Class terminal at Frankfurt which really focuses on luxury and exclusivity. Their entry policy is strict and they even refuse entry to partner airlines customers (they offer an alternative lounge, but it is unusual to be able to keep this level of exclusivity). The lounge includes personal assistants to guide you through the facilities, a Cigar lounge, 130 different varieties of whiskey, private sleeping rooms, and even a limousine that will take you directly to your plane when it’s time to board. If you are looking to get some work done, there are 5 separate office units you can use, or if you want to enjoy something to eat, you can choose from the buffet or a la carte menu, all designed by Michelin starred chefs.
Air France La Premiere Lounge – Paris
La Premiere Lounge in Paris is Air France’s more exclusive lounge. With access to complimentary spa treatment designed specifically to meet the needs of frequent travellers, quiet areas to get some work done or comfy sofas to read, relax or watch the news, the space is designed to meet the needs of customers wanting luxury and convenience.
The restaurant gets great feedback and offers customers the opportunity to experience fine dining cuisine and wine selected by chef Alain Ducasse. The Air France Play app enables customers to download their favourite newspapers and magazines at no extra charge beginning 24 hours before your flight and up to your departure time.
Swiss First Class Lounge – Zurich
One of our favourite features of the SWISS First Class lounge in Zürich is the centrepiece of the lounge -their extensive barista bar. Customers can sample various speciality coffees and choose from over 100 Swiss grappas and further fruit brandies.
To soak up some of those Swiss grappas before you fly, the lounge offers both an à la carte restaurant and a front cooking option. Every customer can decide whether they wish to be served their food and drinks or prefer to help themselves. Alternatively, the chefs in the 5-star à la carte restaurant are happy to cook exactly what you fancy at any time of the day or you can eat at the American Diner.
After you’ve sampled the food and drink, head to the ‘club’ with leather sofas to relax on, two hotel rooms if you need some sleep or the business zone with ‘mini suites’ for quiet concentration and a meeting room with a view of the airfield.
Tallin Airport Business Lounge
Our final lounge is the one that was voted Best Lounge in Europe by Priority Pass members and might not be one you’d expect to find on this list… Tallinn Airport Business Lounge, at the Lennart Meri Airport Tallin, Estonia. Tallinn’s Airport Business Lounge is designed to give travellers the feeling that they are waiting for their flight in the comfort of their own living room and aims to live up to the airport’s promise of being “the world’s cosiest airport”. Stand-out features include a massage chair and sleeping pods; a library where travellers can select an in-flight read; a curated selection of local food, beer, wine and spirits; a warming fireplace, and even an outdoor terrace.