15 new airport lounges16/04/2018
Seatplans rounds up some of the latest airport lounge openings, from carriers including BA, Qantas, Lufthansa, Air France and American Airlines.
British Airways – Rome Fiumicino
British Airways has opened a new lounge at Rome Fiumicino airport, following a new design concept which the carrier says features “the very best of British and European design and delivering a luxurious and contemporary look and feel”.
The 460sqm lounge can accommodate up to around 140 guests, and features a centre-piece granite-topped bar, which is hosted by a mixologist during peak times, and allows for self service use during quieter periods.
Other facilities include wireless printing, power and USB charging points, marble tables, and artwork from the carrier’s collection including pieces from Patrick Caulfields’s 1973 series “Some Poems of Jules Laforgue”.
The lounge’s windows also have smart electronic blinds, which “are programmed with sensors to react to light and heat throughout the day, ensuring that the lounge is always a comfortable environment for customers to relax in”.
The new Rome lounge is located within Terminal 3 at Rome Fiumicino, and according to the Oneworld website is open daily from 0515 to 2030.
Lufthansa – Milan Malpensa
Lufthansa has officially opened its new lounge at Milan Malpensa, the design of which it says will “set the way for Lufthansa Group lounges in the future”.
Features of the 550sqm facility include seating for 117 guests, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the airport apron, and furniture designed by Swiss firm Vitra.
A central bar offers barista-brewed coffees, Italian aperitifs and finger food, dishes including pasta can be prepared to order from an open kitchen, and there is a Coffee Corner at the entrance to the lounge for those in a hurry.
The new lounge is located within Departures Area A, Terminal 1 at Milan Malpensa.
Air France - Paris Charles de Gaulle
Air France has opened a new business class lounge in Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Terminal 2E Hall L.
The lounge is a flagship of the new design, which will be introduced progressively throughout the Air France network, and is intended to embody “Well-being, French cuisine, design and digital”, according to the airline.
The new 3,200 sqm lounge has been designed by the Brand Image Agency, also responsible for Joon and the new SkyTeam lounge at Hong Kong International.
It has a Clarins lounge and spa, new furniture and design, a detox bar and a new concept of an open “show” kitchen.
Further development will see (by July 2018) a VIP room, a bar by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur with free cocktails during “happy hours”, and a new children’s area.
There is also the intention to allow paid access to the lounge for lower tiers in the Flying Blue programme (Ivory and Silver) for €45 per person, per visit.
Iberia – Madrid Barajas Airport
Iberia has unveiled its revamped Velazquez lounge within Madrid airport’s T4 satellite building, which is now 25 per cent larger and can accommodate up to 500 guests.
The refurbished lounge features USB charging points at lounge chairs and dining tables, and an “open work area where meetings can be held while awaiting flights”.
Tablets in the buffet areas will supply information about the lounge’s food and beverage offering, with guests able to choose between a conventional sit-down restaurant concept, or self-serve hot and cold buffet.
A 70 sqm vinotheque offers 22 Spanish wines – 13 red, eight white and one rose, and there will also be a new “Health Point” (coming soon), “for customers seeking the most wholesome food”.
Other facilities include six shower booths, a rest area with chaise-longues, and a children’s entertainment zone.
The lounge is open 24/7, and is located by boarding gates S in the satellite terminal at T4, which serves all long-haul Iberia flights.
Cathay Pacific – Hong Kong International Airport
Cathay Pacific has opened a new lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, following a complete renovation of its former Dragonair G16 Lounge at the same location.
The Deck is situated on level 7 of Terminal 1 – a five-minute walk after passing through immigration – with lift and elevator access.
The facility accommodates up to 186 guests in four main seating areas that are divided by elegant Japanese-style wooden partitions.
Features include a dining area with booth style seating similar to that found in Hong Kong’s local “cha chaan teng” eateries, a noodle bar, a terrace area, and seven shower rooms
The lounge is open daily from 0530 to 0030, for first and business class passengers, Marco Polo Club Silver members and above, and Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.
Qantas – Perth Airport
Qantas has unveiled its new International Transit Lounge at Perth airport, to co-incide with the launch of the carrier’s new nonstop Dreamliner services between Perth and London.
The new lounge has been designed by Australian Industrial designer David Caon and SUMU design, and as with the new inflight menus on the Perth-London route, the carrier has consulted with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre “using an evidence-based approach to wellness”.
In practice this mean features including a wellbeing studio, offering stretching and breathing classes “focusing on mindfulness and getting the body moving”. These will be held every 15 minutes pre and post flight, with a yoga teacher from Perth based Bodhi J Wellness Spa Retreats.
The lounge’s 15 shower suites will also offer bright light therapy, which aims to “accelerate the adjustment of the body clock to the destination time zone, increase alertness and combat the effects of jetlag”.
Other features of the new lounge include:
- Seating for 141 guests
- USB and plug points, wifi and wireless printing
- An outdoor open-air terrace, with a BBQ service offering sausages from local Perth butcher Princi Smallgoods, and vegetables including grilled mushrooms and sweetcorn on the cob
- Seasonal dining menus by Qantas’s creative director of food, beverage and service Neil Perry, including a hot and cold buffet, full service bar, barista coffee, and a Quench Hydration Station with fruit-infused water and tisane herbal teas
- A neutral colour palette “inspired by the white sands of the Western Australian coastline”, and a “unique curved ceiling” which “promotes the infiltration of natural light”
The Perth International Transit Lounge is located in the new T3/T4 hub at Perth airport, and will be open to passengers flying between Perth and London, and those transiting in either direction on the carrier’s London-Perth-Melbourne service.
Eligible customers include those travelling in business class, as well as Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members of the airline’s Frequent Flyer programme, Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire cardholders, and Qantas Club members and their guests.
Austrian Airlines – Vienna International Airport
Austrian Airlines has unveiled the first of two new-look Senator lounges at Vienna airport.
The space now features “themes of Austria and individuality”, including prints of works by Austrian artists including Gustav Klimt.
There are also “real” Austrian beech trees, which the carrier says have been “preserved using a special preservation technique”.
The refurbished lounge is part of a wider revamp of the carrier’s lounge facilities at Vienna.
Two business class facilities have also been upgraded, with a third business class lounge, and a second Senator lounge due to completed this spring.
Austrian said that a total of 630,000 passengers used its lounges at Vienna airport last year.
Middle East Airlines – Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport
Middle East Airlines has unveiled its redesigned Cedar Lounge at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport.
The 3,000 sqm facility can now accommodate around twice as many travellers as previously, with seating for 450 guests.
Features include at-seat USB ports and power outlets, and zones for families, business, general seating, dining, smoking, spa and beauty services, all linked by a central sky-lit communal space.
MEA says that the lounge also features smart lighting which changes according to the amount of natural light available, and departure screens visible in all areas of the lounge.
For dining there are two buffet stations, four coffee stations and two drinks bars.
Skyteam member Middle East Airlines offers a twice daily service between London Heathrow and Beirut, with departures from London at 1210 and 2200, and from Beirut at 0810 and 1725.
American Airlines – Los Angeles International Airport
American Airlines has officially opened the latest of its revamped Flagship Lounges, with a 14,500 square foot facility at Los Angeles International airport.
The lounge is available for business and first class passengers travelling on international flights, or on nonstop transcontinental services to New York’s JFK, and features showers, quiet rooms, a hot and cold buffet station, and a “chef action station” for freshly made-to-order dishes.
In addition those travelling in first class can access the Flagship First Dining area, for a full service tableside dining experience, with dishes including the Flagship Burger, and cocktails designed by New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer.
American Airlines opened the first of its new Flagship Lounges at New York’s JFK in May last year, and has since added locations at Miami and Chicago O’Hare, with Flagship First Dining facilities at Miami and JFK.
Skyteam – Vancouver International Airport
Skyteam has officially opened its latest airport lounge at Vancouver International airport.
The alliance’s seventh branded lounge worldwide, and first in the Americas, is located by gate 53 in the new Duty Free area of the international terminal.
The 528 sqm lounge features two separate wings, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and facilities including seating for 128 guests, showers, a dedicated business area and a TV room.
Food and beverage includes a noodle bar, buffet offering dishes such as West Coast smoked salmon, micro brewery beers, and wines from local vineyards.
The lounge is open to Skyteam Elite Plus members, as well as business and first class passengers travelling with Skyteam member carriers.
The Vancouver facility joins existing Skyteam lounges in Dubai, London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Sydney, Istanbul and Beijing, the last of which opened in late 2016.
Plaza Premium – London Heathrow
Plaza Premium has opened a new lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.
The new lounge, which is located on Level 2 of the departures area next to gate A7, will be welcome news for those flying economy and without tier status with British Airways.
The new lounge has a location overlooking the runway, and is open to all travellers for payment of a fee starting from £40 for two hours.
The 465 sqm lounge is Plaza Premium’s sixth at Heathrow. It offers hot and cold food, a fully serviced bar, high speed Wi-fi, shower facilities and newspapers and magazines. The opening hours are 0500 – 2200 daily.
SAS – Newark Liberty International Airport
Scandinavian Airlines has unveiled its renovated lounge at Terminal B of Newark Liberty International airport.
The space is 100 sqm larger, measuring 440 sqm, and features stylish Scandinavian décor. New additions include a serving area with cold and hot dishes, a secluded work space, more power outlets as well as free wifi and reservations assistance.
Commenting on the opening, head of SAS USA, Max Knagge, said:
“We are pleased to be able to welcome more travellers to our new lounge in New York, where we fly directly to and from Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. We have in recent years launched several new destinations between Scandinavia and the United States, and next up is Miami from Stockholm, which opens in October.”
American Express – Melbourne Airport
American Express has opened its second lounge facility in Australia, located in the Satellite Level Departures area within Terminal 2 at Melbourne airport.
The 2,800 square foot lounge features food and beverage including a barista coffee service, wifi, computer and printing facilities, local and international newspapers and magazines, and flight information screens.
The new facility is located next to the new Plaza Premium lounge, with which it shares bathroom facilities. There are currently no shower facilities, but it is understood these are being added and will open later this year.
The new Melbourne lounge joins the existing facility at Sydney airport, located next to Gate 24 within the International Departures area at Terminal 1.
Both lounges are open daily between 0600 and 2300, for eligible American Express cardholders. Platinum and Centurion cardholders get unlimited access, and can take two guests in with them.
The lounges are part of the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes over 1,100 lounges across 120 countries – more information on the collection can be found at americanaexpress.com/findalounge.
Malaysia Airlines – Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Malaysia Airlines has reopened its Satellite Golden Lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport following months of renovation works.
Located on the Mezzanine Floor of the airport’s Satellite Building looking out onto the tarmac, the 4,000 sqm space is divided into business class and first class areas, with space for 330 guests in the former and 125 in the latter.
Both spaces have been designed with a similar Malaysian heritage-inspired concept that debuted in the recently airline’s recently reopened Regional Lounge at KLIA’s main building last October.
New facilities include more showers and enhanced washroom facilities in both the business and first class areas, along with designated Nap Areas. Sofas with in-built USB points and universal power sockets have also been added and both areas have a cloak and luggage room.
The larger business class area has a wider array of facilities than the first class area, many of which comprise F&B offerings. These notably include a Laksa Bar serving regional variants of laksa noodle dishes, local and international buffet counters, a barista and a sports bar. The business class space also has a meeting room, Muslim prayer room, a family area, a nappy room and a smoking room.
The smaller first class space, meanwhile, has a dining room with a la carte service along with a gallery with lounge seating, servery counters and a private suite available by invitation only.
Bangkok Airways - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Bangkok Airways has opened two new lounges at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport – the Boutique Lounge and the Blue Ribbon Club. Both spaces are located opposite Gate D7 at the airport’s concourse D and follow the closure of the carrier’s International Passenger Lounge on level 3 of the Terminal A building in mid-December.
The Boutique Lounge is the larger of the two, offering 120 seats and featuring a computer room, newspapers and snacks such as popcorn. Meanwhile the smaller Blue Ribbon Club has just 50 seats but also features a selection of hot foods, a private shower room and a massage service.
By Mark Caswell