Luxury touches at airport lounges
Let’s be honest - travelling business or first class is still an aspiration for many travellers. However, if the opportunity presents itself ‘to turn left’ at least once, maybe due to a special occasion or celebration, then it’s a great excuse to treat yourself and experience how the other half fly.
It’s not just in the air that you’ll benefit from upgrading either. With lots of competition around, airlines aim to lure highflying customers with great additional features including lounges that offer decadence that wouldn’t be out of place at a five-star hotel.
No longer do pre-flight facilities stop at newspapers, a snack bar and drinks station. Instead, services range from gourmet dining to a unisex sauna. Here are five unique touches that the Flexicover team think put the extra into extraordinary.
A tea garden: Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul Ataturk Airport
While most lounges are diplomatically neutral territories, with a generic world news service on the television screens and international-friendly snacks, the national carrier of Turkey takes pride in its heritage, as proved by the Turkish Tea Garden contained within its Istanbul flagship lounge. In the atrium of the 5,900sqm space, guests can enjoy three types of Turkish tea with simit, a type of sesame seed bagel. For those who prefer to kick back with a global feel, there’s also a miniature racing course, a cinema and a library. Best of all, it’s not just open to Turkish Airlines Business Class travellers or Elite members of their loyalty programme – it’s open to Star Alliance Gold members too.
A unisex sauna: Finnair Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport
When it comes to relaxing, the Finns know how to do it in style. While two of their three lounges offers access to all for €48, the third is exclusive to Finnair Plus Platinum or Gold members, and oneworld Emerald cardholders. It’s a space to induce lounge envy, with a gourmet range of comfortingly warm food, top-end drinks and a fully operational Finnish sauna. After some pampering with the heat of the sauna and a bracing cold shower in the private shower suites, guests can prep for their flight in one of their custom-made relaxation rooms. If that doesn’t get you flight-fit, we don’t know what will.
First class cocktails: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, JFK, New York
Virgin Atlantic’s lounge at JFK is aptly renamed as a clubhouse, reflecting the sociability of the space. Every Virgin Atlantic flight from JFK leaves at night, so the natural focus is The Central Park bar. It’s where you’ll find most of the Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members, whether they’re catching up with work emails, flicking through the papers or relaxing with colleagues. On offer are high-end drinks, craft beer from the independent breweries of New York and an impressive cocktail list that reflects the skills of the mixologists behind the bar. Handy, as no visitor should leave New York without enjoying a Cosmopolitan, even if it is at the airport.
Gourmet dining: The Qantas Lounge, Sydney
With many visitors only making a pit-stop at airline lounges, dining is one of the most important calling cards – and few are more talked about than Qantas. Their menu is created by celebrity chef Neil Perry, who’s scoured the globe for the finest ingredients. It means that you can sit back and enjoy dishes like crispy duck with broccolini, Angus steak with smoky butter and chips or sustainable black cobia crudo – all washed down with free-flowing Perrier-Jouët Champagne. The treat is open to Business and First Class travellers, the higher echelons of their loyalty programme and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.
Chauffer transfer to the plane: Lufthansa First Class Lounge, Frankfurt
Not only do Lufthansa’s First Class and highest loyalty tier passengers get a terminal of their own at Frankfurt Airport, but their luxury service includes a transfer direct to the tarmac, making every elite customer feel like a celebrity. It means the lounge can be enjoyed for longer, be it taking an extra bite in either the buffet or a la carte dining areas or forty more winks in their sleeping rooms.
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.