Air France IAD Lounge

Author: Mange  |  Category: Air France, Lounges, Sky Team Lounges, Washington [IAD]

Today I visit the Air France IAD Lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport. I am greeted by two nice girls at the counter and is immediately struck by a fresh feel as I step into the lounge. Kind receptionist Isabelle M. Bauvir explains that this particular lounge opened up in may 2010.

Edibles include tuna, ham, cheese or vegetarian sandwiches. Snacks and fruits are available, the apples individually wrapped in transparent plastics that gives them an unnatural but tasty looking lustre. You can also find fruit salad, pastries and cups containing small portions of rice pudding.

I am also glad to find cheese among the snacks. This means that even LCHF fanatics can enjoy a piece of snacks.

Coffee is dispensed by a “WMF Bistro!” automaton but at least the espresso leaves room for improvement. Not really agreeing with me on that point, patron O. Malm says: “It tastes good, and if you are fond of rice pudding, then I can recommend the one served at the Air France IAD lounge.”

Facilities include showers (towels can be borrowed without fee) but no resting areas. Instead first class ticket holders can enter an exclusive area of the lounge where lights can be dimmed on request. In this area a hot meal can be ordered by the select few granted access. Even though my ticket reads economy, Ms Bauvir is kind enough to let me have a peek.

A manned bar serves you stronger liquor. I reject the first couple of cognac suggestions but accepts a glass of Curvoisier. The soft sweet taste feels like cotton in my mouth.

Reading material is dominated by french magazines and encrypted WiFi is freely available. One thing I miss are power sockets. There are some sockets available in certain areas but none in others, eg the dining area. “Our parents raised us not to work while eating” , a member of the staff claims. I smile at this amusement and let my laptop continue drain its battery.

As I am about to leave, Ms Bauvir grants me one more favor by upgrading my seating. Thank you very much!

Full house at the Crown Lounge

Author: Mange  |  Category: KLM, KLM Crown Lounge

I was surprised to see so many people in the lounge today. I thought that the volcano ashes were to blame but according to supervisor Marijke Rietveld – Nederveen, this is normal for this time of day and day of week.

There are two KLM Crown Lounges at Schiphol, Marijke explains. One european and one international. Apparently the international one is bigger. This lounge remains to be explored though.

Today I kindly asked permission to take a picture of the girl sitting at the front desk and Mascha was kind enough to consent.

Sala Pau Casals at Barcelona [BCN]

Author: Mange  |  Category: Barcelona [BCN], Sala Pau Casals, Sky Team Lounges

Barely visible behind a tall counter sits Sara to greet the guests of the Sala Pau Casals. The temperature is a bit too warm for my taste but probably comfortable to natives in Barcelona.

Aeroport del Prat means the airport on the field where Prat apparently is the name of the area which literally means plain or field.

Sara is a little bit shy and reluctant to have her picture taken but after a few tries I manage to get a non fuzzy one that will fit this review just perfectly.

One nice feature I haven´t seen before are real cosy rest places where you can lie down for a little nap. Nice!

Small bread rolls are served along with snacks such as chips and peanuts. Cold beverages can be found in the fridge. The coke is served in cute 250 ml mini cans.

I go grab a Cafe Cortado and a bottle of water and ask Sara if there are showers in the lounge. She says yes and immediately offers to rent me a towel in case I have none of my own. Nice!

Another nifty thing is the mobile charger station where you can lock up your cell phone in a small compartment containing the power outlet. There are different compartments for different types of phones. Very nice but obsolete once the micro-USB becomes the standard form factor of chargers. You can pay with one or two euro coins.

The stationary computers are really good with a splendid Vaio keyboard and a very sharp high resolution Vaio screen. Nice! Your internet session lasts for an hour and then you can request a new one.

The restrooms are adequate however not as clean as one had hoped. Male guests are dripping on the floor…

The small breadrolls are exchanged for cinnamon rolls and I just have to try the ginormous olives. I eat them “sole” but they are apparently meant for martini condiments. They taste good nonetheless.

I found apples! Nice!

Through the panorama window wall you have a great view of the runway where you can see planes land and take off. A television quite loudly shows Spanish news. The rest area is recommended for some peace and quiet.

Now its time for another Cafe Cortado and a cinnamon roll.

KLM Crown Lounge at Schiphol, Amsterdam

Author: Mange  |  Category: KLM, KLM Crown Lounge, Schiphol [AMS]

Gold members are being granted access to the KLM Crown Lounge. Boarding card was required but non-affiliated airlines did not qulify. For instance, my trip booked from Linköping to Florence had first leg under KLM wing but second leg under Meridiana. The latter boarding card not accepted since Meridiana being non-affiliated.

Multimedia: the lounge offered WiFi, TV, stationary workstations with free 30 minute internet sessions (no limit on the number of sessions) and magazines. Unfortunately most of the magazines were french, only a few in english (could have been even only one [TIME Magazine]).

Board: basic snacks, soup, bread rolls and condiments. The offered edibles varied over time. At lunch, a bowl of nacho chips and sallad appeared. An assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included nice cognac, coke, juice, milk and water.

Staff: the staff offered flight information as well as lounge information.

The most comfortable seats were found in the TV area where the sound was coming from speakers built into the head rests.