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5 Airport Lounges You Need to Know About – and How to Get Inside
A primer on premier lounges where top-tier amenities and preflight perks await.
Enjoy added privacy and replenishing spa treatments before your next flight.
Lufthansa First Class Terminal, Frankfurt Airport
When it comes to first-class lounge experiences, Lufthansa is unrivaled, says Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of The Points Guy. Fliers "have access to a sit-down restaurant, shower rooms with full bathtubs, a fantastic whiskey bar, loads of seating options and a car service to the plane," he adds. Other coveted perks include a cigar lounge and meals curated by Michelin-starred chefs. And in terms of service, Lufthansa's lounge offers an effortless experience, complete with a porter to check you in, take you through immigration and collect you when it's time to board, adds Gary Leff, author of frequent flier site View from the Wing.
Emirates First Class Lounge, Dubai International Airport
Spanning the entire length of the terminal, this first-class lounge offers few crowds and superior service, Leff says. Plus, you can pick from a variety of cuisine options and duty-free shops, he adds. Other standout features include shower spa areas appointed with lavish toiletries, a vintage wine cellar, a cigar lounge and quiet areas outfitted with blankets and pillows to catch a preflight nap. And while you typically can't gain access to lounges without purchasing a premium-class ticket, "Emirates recently began offering buy-up access for its first-class lounge in Dubai," Honig adds.
Air France La Première Lounge, Charles de Gaulle Airport
In this first-class lounge, fliers can enjoy a private check-in and porter service, menu items curated by Alain Ducasse, a spa treatment center and chauffeured transportation to or from the airport. What's more, if you have time to spare, you can get pampered with a soothing facial or body treatment, browse an extensive collection of books in the library or download the latest news on your tablet (for free) with the Air France app up to 24 hours before your flight. Plus, you can enjoy priority boarding access upon arrival to Charles de Galle to get to baggage claim quickly.
The Pier, First Class, Hong Kong International Airport
Cathay Pacific's terminal in Hong Kong is sleek, with walnut wood accents that create a calming atmosphere, says Brian Sumers, an airline business reporter at Skift. "A lot of the best lounges are first-class lounges," he says. Coveted amenities include first-rate services such as massages at the on-site spa, globally inspired cuisine at the upscale dining room (or the Pantry for more casual fare on the go) and quiet areas for catching up on emails. Plus, the area boasts spacious private suites that offer a tranquil place to unwind before your flight. As a bonus, you don't have to fly with Cathay Pacific to access its lounge: When you're flying with American Airlines from Hong Kong, you can gain entry thanks to their partnership, Honig explains.
Thai Airways' Royal First Lounge, Suvarnabhumi Airport
When you fly first class on Thai Airways, you'll enjoy a relaxing, hassle-free experience from the moment you arrive, with a personal escort to accompany you within the terminal, Leff says. Aside from a smooth, stress-free check-in process, you can unwind with indulgent massages at the Royal Orchid Spa. "Nobody matches the quality of the spa that Thai Airways has at their spa in Bangkok," Leff says, adding that first-class guests can enjoy hourlong treatments. Plus, there are private rooms, shower suites, a la carte dining options and plenty of secluded areas where you can unwind before takeoff.
How to get access? Tip 1: Fly (or travel with someone) in business- or first-class.
How to get access? Tip 2: Carry the right card.
How to get access? Tip 3: Take advantage of alliance networks.
How to get access? Tip 4: Invest in a day pass.
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