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.

New Senator Lounge at Munich airport

Author: Nick  |  Category: Lufthansa, Lufthansa Lounges, Munich [MUC]

I noticed this week that Munich has got a new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in their Schengen terminal. It was just luck I learned, as I was original on my way to the normal lounge I go to, just on the right side after the security check. As they are re-constructing part of the lounge, which happens to be the Star Alliance Gold card side I was told by the personnel that there was a much nicer lounge further down the terminal.

I thought they just wanted to make sure to spread the load on the lounges, and that this lounge would be the same as all other Lufthansa lounges with gray and yellow interior, and the same kind of accessories. But to my surprise that was not the case. The lounge had a totally different interior, more relaxing, and modern. It has roughly the same kind of food. But they have a open bar with personnel that are more then happy to do you a nice cup of coffee, espresso or if you like me prefer a drink instead. Just ask them and the will be more then glad to help you.

The lounge also had computer stations, TV and shower rooms for does who want to freshen up a bit. I think the best of all was that the environment was much more relaxing then in then normal Lufthansa lounges, even though it was quite crowded at the time I was there. I have a feeling that this is one of the first lounges in a row of new upgraded senator lounges that we will see from Lufthansa.

I checked out Lufthansa’s new on the web and this is what the have to say about it:
“From the end of September 2009 Lufthansa Senators at Munich Airport can look forward to more room to relax in comfort and a welcoming ambience: an additional Senator Lounge with almost 700 m2 of floor area at Gate G24 will double the existing lounge offer in the Schengen Departure Area.

The stylish interior and more than 130 seats will create a welcoming atmosphere, whilst a generously sized comfort zone with TV area and comfortable Relax armchairs will give passengers a chance to unwind. The shower area, with its high-quality fixtures and fittings, will offer you the opportunity to freshen up. In the bistro zone you can enjoy a hearty breakfast or hot and cold regional specialties. Thanks to an extensive choice of work areas, you can use your free time to prepare for your next meeting.

With the opening of the new Senator Lounge, you will have a total of three Senator Lounges, the Senator Café and two Business Lounges available to you at Munich Airport.”

I took the chance to take a couple of pictures just to give you some ideas of how it looks like.

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.

Big but not that good at SFO…

Author: Nick  |  Category: Red Carpet, San Francisco [SFO], United Airlines

The United Airlines Red Carpet lounge at San Francisco airport is big, but I wouldn’t say that it’s good because of that. I guess my feeling is based on the fact that I’m used with European and Asian lounges, which is offering a lot more then North American lounges.

The lounge in Terminal 3 is a quite nice looking big lounge, and it has a bar. But it doesn’t offer any real food, the only thing you can get here is some light snacks, as well as coffee and non-alchoholic beverages. If you like to have something stronger you have to buy it, and a beer cost from 5 dollar. So it is a little bit disappointing when you are used to lounges in other parts of the world where everything is free.

United Airlines seems to have a strange policy for Star Alliance members. Normally a gold member would be allowed to bring one guest to the lounge, but United states that they have a non-guest policy. So don’t be supprised if you can’t bring a guest into their lounge even if you think you should be allowed. But it is one thing this lounge have, and it is a good view over what is happening at the airport, everything, even a single bag they drop, can be seen from the windows here.

If you still like to get to this lounge you will find it here.

Lufthansa Lounges

Author: Tom  |  Category: Lufthansa, Lufthansa Lounges

Looking for Lufthansa lounges? Check out this link

Lufthansa Lounge Search

Leaving for Madrid…

Author: Nick  |  Category: Copenhagen [Kastrup], Spanair, Stockholm [Arlanda], Travel Stories

I woke up this morning, slightly late, looking forward to a short business trip to Madrid, at least short from a distance perspective. My route was based on a train journey from Linköping to Stockholm, then to catch a flight to Copenhagen and transfer in Copenhagen to a flight to Madrid, pretty simple. Well, it didn’t start out that good.

My first mistake was trying to change my train ticket in the last minute. I noticed that our travel agency didn’t book the kind of ticket they was suppose to do. So I called them up about 15 minutes before the train was about to leave, and asked them to change the ticket. The finally did, and I picked up a new ticket in the machine at the train station.

The train to Stockholm was 30 minutes late before even leaving Linköping, and this was just the beginning. When the train finally arrived, 30 minutes late I was freezing after having waited outside in 2 degrees Celsius. I got on the train and was looking forward for a nice ride up to Stockholm, spent with a book. Unfortunetly it turned out to be someone already occupying my seat. I thought he was on the wrong seat, but it turned out that the travel agency re-booked my ticket to the wrong date; my new train ticket was for tomorrow.  Well, not much to do, just to try to find an emtpy seat, which wasn’t possible. I spoke to the personnel on the train, explained the situation, and it turned out to be a fully booked train, so guess what, I had to spend my time in the train restaurant. Not what I was planning. 

Before even getting to the next train station, in Norrköping, we had increased the delay with about 20 minutes. Well this kept happening during the whole journey, up to the situation where the train was 1 hour and 20 minutes late. I was quite bored of drinking coffee and trying to read in a crowded train resturant by the time the train got to Stockholm central station.

Well, I managed to catch a train just 15 minutes later to Arlanda. Checked in and exchanged some money in a hurry, just to be able to get some breakfast at the SAS lounge. The had some really good salmon, which did make the day slightly better. Got me some drinks as well, and then about an hour later I cught the flight to Copenhagen. This went without any bigger problems. FInally I Copenhagen I didn’t have much of time to do something, but I hate to wait, so instead I run by the Diners lounge, which was the closest one. Got me a beer and the straight back, had about 30 minutes in between the flights.

Got on the flight to Madrid, which was with Spainair, not my favourite. The flight was really boring, and it takes almost three hours. The weather in Madrid was poor, so on the way in to Madrid airport we caught some turbulence, which was really bad. The plane was going back and forth, up and down. The pilot was on the way to touch down with the plane when we it caught a really bad side wind, and just with like 20 meters before touching down he had to interrupt the landing and put the enginees on max just to avoid hitting the ground with one of the wings. The plane went very steep back up again in the sky, and we had to make another try, which took about 30 minutes. This time it went better, eventhough it didn’t feel like the pilot had much of margins this time either. This was one of the few times I have heard the crowd cheer and applaud a landing.

Well, after all I got there eventhough it was not a short trip and not an easy one either.

LifeAtAnAirportLounge.com is launched…

Author: Nick  |  Category: Airlines, Airports, Lounges, Uncategorized

Welcome everyone,

Finally this page has been launched, after years of talking about setting up a web page to share stories about airports, airport lounges and airlines. Well, here it is.

We hope to be able to provide some interesting stories, as well as some facts about airports and lounges that could be of use for you who travel.

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