Come fly with me

Travel Posted 10/04/16
Travelling on business can be exhausting, particularly if it involves long-haul flights. Airport lounges can make the experience a lot more pleasant, but are they really worth the ticket upgrade? Here’s the lowdown on some of the most highly rated lounges at key commuter airports

Emirates Business Class Lounge, Dubai

As this opulent facility runs the entire length of Terminal 3, passengers can board directly from the lounge without having to mix with the crowds. Here, travellers can take a rest in the quiet rooms or lounge areas. When it comes to refuelling, there is a selection of international cuisines to choose from, while the bars – stocked with fine wines and premium spirits - are appealing places to pass the time until your flight boards. There is also a beauty spa for the adults and play areas where any young travellers can entertain themselves.

Who can use the lounge? Business Class passengers Business facilities? Free Wi-Fi, business centres, secure charging stations Opening times? 24 hours

Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge, London Heathrow

Highly rated in recent traveller surveys, the Golden Lounge in Terminal 4 is an elegant and tranquil space. Peckish passengers can tuck into a hot buffet or sit down to a meal, plus there is a mini spa available where you can indulge in a relaxing manicure or pedicure. Other facilities include washrooms, baggage storage and a Muslim prayer room.

Who can use the lounge? First Class & Business Class passengers* Business facilities? Business centre, free Wi-Fi, photocopier Opening times? Up to four hours before your flight

Icelandair Saga Lounge, Keflavík International Airport, Reykjavik

Many airport lounges, comfortable as they may be, can feel somewhat generic and completely removed from the country beyond the runway. At Keflavik, Icelandair’s lounge’s décor was conceived by designers Eggert Ketilsson and Stígur Steinþórsson, who have brought a real flavour of their nation to the experience. The warming fireplace is constructed of columnar basalt and there’s a cairn of local stones, along with Steinbórsson’s photographs of Icelandic waterfalls and people. Refreshments on offer include local specialities so you can literally enjoy a taste of Iceland before you leave.

Who can use the lounge? Saga Class and Economy Comfort passengers** Business facilities? Computer access Opening times? 24 hours from 1 May to 31 September; 5.30am to 5pm from 1 October to 30 April.

The Star Alliance Lounge, Los Angeles (LAX)

An outdoor terrace allows passengers to enjoy views towards the Hollywood Hills by day, while at night you can relax by firelight as you await your departure. After freshening up in one of the shower suites, a complimentary cocktail could help to make the wait more pleasurable. If that isn’t enough, a la carte dining is available in the separate First Class lounge, which is only open to First Class ticket holders. The lounge is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Who can use the lounge? Koru members and business class passengers travelling with 28 airlines, including Air New Zealand, United & Singapore Airlines* Business facilities? Free internet access, printer and fax machine Opening times? 9.15am – 00.15am (variable)

Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha

This superbly equipped lounge offers something for just about every traveller. Solo passengers can enjoy a high degree of privacy, thanks to the fact that the seats are all equipped with individual screens, device charging points, reading lights and refreshments. At 10,000 sqm in size, the cavernous lounge features quiet rooms in which to take a snooze and a variety of dining options. Those travelling without children will be relieved to know that there are private family rooms, games rooms and a nursery where younger passengers can be entertained.

Who can use the lounge? Qatar Airways First and Business Class passengers Business facilities? Conference rooms, business centres, free Wi-Fi, individual workstations Opening times? 24 hours

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK Airport, New York

Having fun in style is the focus of this luxurious Terminal 4 lounge, which features Virgin’s only airport spa outside of London. New York hairdressing brand Bumble & Bumble provide the pampering, along with skincare specialists Dr Hauschka. The lounge itself has a funky, slightly Space Age feel to it, with the sweeping lines of the complimentary cocktail bar, the ‘red ball’ sofa in the games area and the pod-like seats. There’s free food on offer in the Clubhouse, or you can retire to the brasseries for some a la carte dining.

Who can use the lounge? Upper Class passengers & Flying Club Gold members Business facilities? Internet bar, concierge team Opening times? 4.15am to 7.30am for early flights; 3pm to 9.45pm for later flights

Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney Airport

Relaxation is the name of the game here – from the lush greenery of the 30m living wall to the 48-seater open kitchen, passengers are made to feel very special indeed at this lounge on Airside. Take a shower, relax with a massage in the spa and then indulge in a nap in a private suite, all before sitting down to choose from a menu that includes Wagyu steak.

Who can use the lounge? Qantas First and Emirates First passengers* Business facilities? Internet access, Apple computers and meeting rooms Opening times? 5am – 10pm

British Airways First Class Lounge, London Heathrow

Inspired by the opulence of five star boutique hotels, this lounge in Terminal 5 is designed with luxury in mind. In the Concorde Room, passengers can dine in style in private booths with full waiter service, or retreat to their own personal cabana with day bed and en suite facilities. Fine views can be enjoyed from the terrace, while those who need to work can take advantage of the business suite. There’s even an Elemis Travel Spa to hand so you can feel refreshed when you board the plane.

Who can use the lounge? BA First, Club World and Club Europe passengers* Business facilities? Business suite with internet access, printers, copiers and fax machines Opening times? 5am – 10.30pm

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