Want to get ready for a flight in style? Book yourself into the airport lounge. I, like most people, thought that the lounge is only for those flying first class and if didn’t happen to be flying comfortable that day, I would be sat in Starbucks sipping on my coffee until my flight. I would try to time it perfectly so that I would arrive at the airport with only enough time to get through security and to the gate before my flight. However, it doesn’t have to be like that! Book yourself into the airport lounge, either each time you go or get yourself a Priority Pass for continued year round use of the airport lounges.
Depending on the airport you’re going to have good or bad lounges. I think the worst I’ve ever been to is Stuttgart Germany which was literally a back room with a few packeted cheese and instant coffee - only worth the free wifi. However, the best like stepping into a different world! From London Heathrow with an included a la carte menu to Hong Kong’s noodle bar - I promise you that you will be able to relax before that flight. I’ve outlined what you can expect in some of the world’s top notch airport lounges that I’ve been to over the last few years.
In your best lounges, the food is second to none. From a la carte service in certain lounges to a world buffet in others! All of the meals and snacks provided are included in your lounge visit but do vary depending on the lounge. Most lounges will serve a range of western foods all the way to their local dishes, so if you didn’t get round to trying them all while you were there you can always have a small taste while you’re waiting for that long haul flight back home or to the next destination. Breakfast is also a treat when you’re waiting with fruit and yogurt to eggs benedict with salmon in certain lounges (thank you Qatar).
While the food is a highlight, I cannot forget drinks. Fully stocked bars in 90% of these lounges it basically equals unlimited alcohol no matter what time it is - perfect for your nervous flyers! Nothing calms you down like a gin and tonic ‘double the gin and hold the tonic - thanks’. There’s also a self serve section in most lounges so you don’t have to worry about that bartender judging you at 5am. Not to worry though if this isn’t you, and drinking before midday is an abomination (but you are on your holiday my friend), there is a range of soft beverages that will suit every taste!
The service in airport lounges can only be said as excellent. The staff are friendly and quick to serve you and clear everything as soon as it’s finished. You want more ice? You have it. You need a phone charger, they generally can lend you one during your stay. While you wait you will have everything you need to relax and get ready. I’ve only had one experience below par service from an airport lounge which was most recently at London Heathrow Terminal 5 lounge when being checked in (unbelievably rude questioning my ability to afford my priority pass).
A lot of lounges now include a spa area for a massage before or between flights if you’ve got a stopover. They come with some of the best massuers you can find just ready to relax those muscles before you hop on that flight keeping you nice a relaxed - there are worse ways to spend your time waiting right? For me, I find them great if I haven’t had time to get my holiday nails ready in advance and can get myself set up with some bio sculpture and shellac nails to last my trip, or at least part of they way!
Now if none of the above hints that you will be comfortable in the airport lounge, the clue is also in the name - a lounge. From dining tables, to sofas and lounge chairs all the way to private bedrooms you can have a snooze in between your flights if you’ve got a long stopover (This was a lifesaver for me in Delhi between my 3 stop flight back to London from Udaipur). If you don’t have time for a full sleep though you can also grab a nap pod at most places, complete with charging station and a TV for catching up with your favourite shows. If, like me, you hate feeling ‘airplane’ and just want to be fresh again, you can grab a shower here too between your flights to feel a little better. You generally get a good view of the runway too so can just watch the world go by in your chair if you prefer!
You normally get an hour free wifi in the airport - great if you’ve got a quick changeover or a short wait before you flight, not great if you’ve got 5 hours to kill. Here you’ll get unlimited free wifi and can use it to stream your favourite movies ready for the next flight or to watch while you wait!
Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.