Royal Orchid Lounge, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, open since November 2019:
ROYAL ORCHID LOUNGE:
Thai Airways offers their First and Business Class passengers a separate check-in located at gate Door 1 on Departure Level 4 at Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport. Porters are available and separate areas for First and Business Class passengers are provided for check-in, security screening and Fast Track immigration.
After passing through immigration, an escalator takes passengers down to the lounge level near gate D1. The First Class lounge, and the former Business Class lounge (now used for Star-Alliance partner airline’s passengers), are located in the west zone on the left and the new Royal Orchid Prestige Lounge is located in the east zone on the right and is used exclusively for Thai Airways Royal Silk Class passengers.
The lounge was opened in October 2019 and is approx. 2000 sqm. The lounge offers various seating options (restaurant-style seating near the buffets) and lounge areas as well as rooms for child-care and showers.
There are two bars and a main buffet area plus 2 small corners with a more limited food selection. Comparing this new lounge to the “old” one, the food and drinks options are much more generous and more delicious items are available. Frequent visitors of the old lounge remember the triangle sandwiches and the hot dog sausages that were served for decades.
A fresher look and a wider choice of food offering is now available. This was urgently needed as there are plenty of excellent alternative lounges available at this airport.
I found the new lounge to be pleasant, even though it was a very busy night. This is not the most luxurious lounge that I have experienced but it serves the purpose well.
ROYAL ORCHID SPA:
Thai Airways offers a unique facility to its premium passengers which is the Royal Orchid Spa. This spa offers separate treatments for First Class passengers (full body massages in separate luxury rooms) Herbal Spa or Steam rooms and short neck/shoulder or foot massages are available for Business Class guests. There is a resting area where relaxing Thai music is played and healthy beverages are served. The relaxation and rejuvenation treatments offered a wonderful way to get in the mood before a long flight. I find this a fantastic place to visit, especially in the evening before long night flights.
The Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa is consistently voted number one airline spa by Skytrax and I find it a true heaven in the busy airport world. I always enjoy this special THAI experience.
The Primeclass Business Class Lounge at Riga International Airport is used by the airport’s major carrier, Air Baltic, and other airlines which offer a Business Class product to their passengers.
The lounge is always available for Prioritiy Pass holders and entry can also be purchased for 40 Euro per person.
The lounge is located in the Schengen departure area offering 100 seats (830 sqm) with open views of the tarmac and runway. A bar, food options, a shower and restrooms are available. Food quality and choice was mediocre, the bar was often unattended and people had to search for staff to be served. The tables were also not cleaned and cleared frequently and some were dirty for more than 20 minutes.
I found this lounge experience to be subpar and I would not pay the money if I had to. Sometimes it can be better to find a quiet and comfortable space in the airport restaurant to get a drink and a snack rather than using a poorly managed lounge.
The Pau Casals VIP Lounge at Barcelona Airport is located in the Schengen Zone Departure Area. It offers a modern stylish layout and a wide range of amenities.
There is a large self-service area consisting of a full bar, a coffee bar and hot and cold food items. There are quiches, sausages, cold cuts, soups and salads as well as a pasta dishes. I tasted a few items and they were all fine.
What I particularly liked is the very efficient staff working there. The food was replenished very frequently and the bar tables, as well as the lounge area of the lounge, were always kept tidy and clean.
The lounge is accessible for premium class passengers of airlines departing in the Schengen area and for Priority Pass holders.
I found my stay there more than pleasant and wish other lounges were kept so clean.
Sylt Airport is the airport on the German island of Sylt located in the municipality of the same name. The airport mostly caters for summer seasonal scheduled traffic serving major German cities as well as general aviation.
The airport is tiny and there is a maximum of about 6 departures during the summer season and even less during winter.
However, the airport features a small lounge which can be visited by passengers who have a status on the Lufthansa group, or their business class guests, or for a fee of EUR 10.
The lounge has some nice armchairs, a direct view onto the tarmac, and offers a limited amount of snacks such as nuts and protein bars. Coffee, tea and German sekt is available as well as ice cream during the summer season.
Despite the limited offerings, I liked the lounge. It was very relaxing, had free wifi and good coffee. Just shortly before general boarding of your flight the agent will personally escort the guests directly to the aircraft which is only a few footsteps away.
As I had already checked in online for my evening departure flight out of Warsaw’s Chopin airport, I proceeded directly to the Fast Track security line. This Fast Track line is not easy to find and is located on the right hand side of the terminal and provides Fast Track service to Star Alliance Gold members, LOT Business Class passengers and premium customers of various other airlines. There was no one else in line at security and within a minute I was through.
The LOT Polish Airlines Business Class Lounge is one level up from the main terminal, maybe a three minute walk from the security checkpoint. The lounge offers various seating options, including lounge chairs with or without tables and comfortable sofas. The lounge also has a mini business centre with some PC’s.
The food and beverage offerings where rather modest and made a bad impression. There was an area with snacks (chocolate bars and peanuts), a tiny plate with cold cuts and bread/crackers and two bowls with hot items. One contained overcooked rather unappetising looking broccoli and the othe contained small pieces of something which was probably once beef.I skipped both and went for a coffee only.
No calls for departing flights were made which I found pleasant and made the lounge a good place to spend a little time before departure.
I flew Alaska Airlines First Class from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Las Vegas to San Francisco. Both flights were on aircraft of the former Virgin America Airlines which was taken over by Alaska last year (2018).
Check-in at Terminal 6 was a breeze and Alaska sports a nice small premium-lounge which offers a bar, a few breakfast items (including their own branded pancake making machine). The lounge was very busy this early morning but offered plenty of seating, a nice tarmac view and super-clean rest rooms.
Both flights were very short so the food and beverage offering was limited. The was a pre-departure drink, a drink inflight and a snack basket. Flight Attendants were professional and charming and made it a pleasant experience. Early booking rates for First Class are very competitive, and were only US$ 40 more than tickets in the main cabin. (Bear in mind that you have to pay extra for each check-in bag on US-domestic flights). The flights departed on time and Alaska Airlines has a 20min baggage delivery promise.
I really liked the fact that First Class had only 2 rows and really comfortable recliner seats which makes even a short flight very comfy.
The Aspire Lounge ZurichAirportTerminal Eis operated by Swissport and hasa fresh and brightambiance. The loungeoffers various seatingoptions includinghigh bar tables,leather chairs, a dining area and a panoramic terracewithoutdoor seating.
The lounge offers a good variety of drinks but the food selection is rather limited, comprising asoup, a salad bar,hot dog style sausages with mustard and a choice of 2 warm items. Small packed cheeses and cookies are also available.
Newspapers are on display for lounge use and free wifi is provided for 2 hours.
The lounge can get very busy atcertain times of the day, depending on flight departures and airlines which use this lounge. I saw many dirty tables whichhad not beencleaned for a long time and that made the place look a little sub-standardcomparedto other lounges available at ZurichAirportin Terminal E.
The lounge is open for public use for a fee of 35 Swiss Francs. (I would recommend to check the occupancy of the lounge before paying the entrance fee)
The Puerta de Alcala lounge at Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 2 serves passengers traveling within Europe’s Schengen zone. The lounge welcomes elite and premium customers of a dozen airlines including Air France KLM, Alitalia, Lufthansa and SWISS as well as members of popular lounge access programs such as Priority Pass. All passengers, regardless of airline or class or service, may also purchase access.
The Puerta de Alcala lounge at Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 2 is located on the upper level, near gate D62. The spacious lounge boasts a long window wall and benefits from ample daylight and exciting views of the tarmac and airport grounds.
While the slightly industrial and old fashioned décor is unremarkable, the layout is open and spacious, with plenty of space to walk around. A single large room is home to a dining area, a seating area, and a business zone. The seats are located by the windows with a side table and power outlet at every seat. Immediately across is the buffet and dining area with both traditional café-style seating and table seating.
The buffet offers a selection of snacks, salads, sandwiches, yoghurt, and other packaged items such as fruit salads. There are also rotating hot entrees such as pasta dishes. The selection varies, and hot food availability may be hit or miss, but the spread is substantial enough for a quick meal on the ground.
The Puerta de Alcala lounge at Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 2 is a comfortable lounge, with a pretty strong line-up of amenities for short distance travel within Europe’s Schengen zone. I liked the panoramic window very much.
The new and XL-lounge from Etihad Airlines has been open for about a year now. It is located in Terminal 3 which is dedicated to Etihad flights. The lounge has a very modern design, with a large cocktail/wine bar, a small coffee bar and 3 buffets with hot and cold food items. There is a nice dessert and fruit section as well.
Coffee/tea making facilities are to be found in about 5 different locations so you never have to walk far to get a drink.
The lounge is kept very tidy and clean at all times and staff are is ready to help at any time.
Seating area is divided into a dining section, a sofa/rest area, and a Business Centre. A Six Senses Spa is available for guests who have longer transit stops.
I found the new Etihad lounge very pleasant and if you are lucky to catch a not-so-busy time this is certainly a good place to relax and unwind for a while.
Etihad Business Class guests get a separate bus transfer to the aircraft if parked on remote bay: