Nine New, Upcoming And Revamped Airport Lounges
Bangkok Airways opened two new lounges at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport late last year – 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.
American Airlines opened the latest of its revamped Flagship Lounges at Los Angeles International Airport in January – a nearly 1,350 sqm space open to business and first class passengers on international routes as well as and non-stop transcontinental services to New York. Facilities open to all guests include showers, quiet rooms, a hot and cold buffet, and a “chef action station” where dishes are made-to-order. However, first class passengers can head to the Flagship First Dining area, which offers a full-service table-side dining experience. Dishes include the Flagship Burger, while New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer designed the cocktail menu.
Lufthansa opened its new lounge at Milan Malpensa airport early last month, located in the airport’s Departures Area A, Terminal 1.The 550 sqm facility has seating for 117 guests, with furniture designed by Swiss firm Vitra and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views over the airport apron. Guests looking for a coffee can head to the central bar, which serves barista-brewed coffee, or the Coffee Corner located at the lounge entrance for travellers with limited time to spare.
Food at the lounge, meanwhile, comprises Italian aperitifs, finger food and made-to-order dishes from the open kitchen including pasta.
Austrian will open two new-look Senator lounges at Vienna Airport by this spring, and last month unveiled the first of the new facilities. The lounge notably features a number of Austrian touches, such as prints by artists including Gustav Klimt as well as Austrian beech trees. Aside from its Senator lounges, Austrian has also upgraded two of its business class facilities at Vienna Airport, with a third business class lounge set to be upgraded in the coming months.
France’s flag carrier opened its newest business class lounge in Charles de Gaulle airport in January this year. Located inside the Terminal 2E Hall L, the lounge is a flagship of the carrier’s new design, which Air France plans to introduce progressively throughout its network.
Embodying “well-being, French cuisine, design and digital”, according to the airline, the new 3,200 sqm facility has a new Clarins lounge and spa, an open “show” kitchen and a detox bar. A VIP room is also set to launch in the lounge in July 2018 with free cocktails during happy hours, as well as a children’s area.
Air France’s new lounge was designed by the Brand Image Agency, also responsible for the new Skyteam lounge at Hong Kong International Airport.
Malaysia’s flag carrier has been revamping a number of its lounges at Kuala Lumpur International Airport recently, including its Regional Lounge in the main terminal, which reopened in October last year. However the carrier’s latest lounge to open its doors is the International Golden Lounge in the Satellite Building. According to the airline’s website, the facility was set to open to guests on March 1, though the full media unveiling is due to take place on March 12.
Hong Kong’s flag carrier will be opening its new lounge The Deck – formerly the Dragonair G16 lounge – at Hong Kong International Airport on March 22 this year. The facility will be notable as the first of the carrier’s Hong Kong lounges to be managed by new operator Sodexo, after the airline announced former operator Plaza Premium Group would no longer manage its home-base lounges. Along with familiar favorites such as the Noodle Bar, the new lounge will have a unique offering among the carrier’s other Hong Kong lounges in the form of The Terrace – an open-ceiling, L-shaped veranda that overlooks the airport’s apron, taxi-ways and northern runway. Unfortunately, the opening of The Deck will be followed shortly after by the closure of its popular The Cabin on April 30, which will be returned to lessor the Airport Authority of Hong Kong. The future function of the space once it ceases operating as The Cabin is currently unknown.
Airline alliance Skyteam is set to open two new lounges by the end of 2018, including one in Santiago, Chile – the alliance’s first branded lounge in South America – and another at Istanbul New Airport, which is set to replace the city’s existing Istanbul Ataturk Airport on October 29 this year. Eligible passengers flying on Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines and KLM will be able to use the Santiago lounge, while those flying with Aeroflot, Air France, KLM, MEA, Saudia and Taron will be able to access the Istanbul facility. Both lounges will feature regional and international cuisine, such as local pastries in Santiago and meze and pide in Istanbul, local beers, wines and non-alcoholic beverages, a business area, shower facilities and power points at every seat.
Another airline that has been revamping a number of its lounges across its network recently, Qantas recently announced it would begin overhauling its international business class lounge at Sydney Airport in the third quarter of 2018.
Set to reopen at the end of next year, the revamped facility will offer 30 per cent additional seating along with a full-service bar, a dedicated family zone, “luxury bathroom facilities” and service experience by hotel brand Sofitel. On the F&B side, meanwhile, Australian chef Neil Perry will be developing a new dining experience at the lounge. The interior of the lounge, meanwhile, is being developed by designer David Caon, who was also behind the interiors of the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft as well as the new transit lounge at Perth airport. The new lounge in Sydney will be designed after “Sydney’s unique lifestyle and geography”.