Amsterdam Schiphol is one of the world’s largest airports, with more than 71 million annual passengers yet despite this, the airport features few airport lounges and even fewer worth arriving early for. That’s changing.
In the modern world, travellers expect the best from their preferred airlines wherever they fly, and now Star Alliance passengers have a serious upgrade at Amsterdam Schiphol. Today, March 9th, the brand new Star Alliance lounge at Departures 2 is open for business, and yesterday we were on hand to take a sneak peak ahead of the grand opening. Here’s everything you need to know…
Star Alliance Lounge Amsterdam Location: Airside in Departures 2, Schengen Area on the Panorama terrace level, next to Aspire Lounge. It’s available to non-Schengen, but note you’ll need to clear passport control after your visit. Hours: 5:30AM to 9:30 PM daily.
Star Alliance Lounge Amsterdam Entry: The lounge is reserved for departing business class passengers on Star Alliance flights, Star Alliance Gold members in any cabin and Air Canada Maple Leaf or United Club lounge members.
From the start, it was immediately evident that this new lounge is a major upgrade for Star Alliance travellers at Schiphol. The lounge caters to up to 150 guests at a time, with a wide variety of areas for every need, and most importantly – connectivity at every seat. There are power ports, with USB ports at every seat.
But most importantly: there’s a Heineken tap allowing you to pour your own draught. The lounge receives natural light from semi exposed ceiling and from floor to ceiling windows along the entrance. According to the architects on hand, this is a tribute to the constantly shifting, ever famous clouds of Amsterdam. Whatever its a tribute to, it’s nice to have actual light in an airport space.
As you move into the lounge, I feel as if the space gets more refined with every step. First initial impressions are positive, but the the more refined and secluded areas unfold at every turn. The first nook to the right is where you’ll find your beer and cozy sitting areas along the wall.
All the way in the back which I’d be eyeing up on a future visit. If you enter and walk all the way to the end of the lounge you’ll find work nooks on the right, and excellent social space with televisions on the far left. Between there and the buffet bar area, artsy partitions help create welcomed privacy.
Bathrooms can be found to the far rear of the lounge and are of extremely high quality, even featuring Rituals “Black Oud” scent diffusers. One downside: there’s no showers. Speaking to executives on hand, it was made clear that had this been a lounge catering to long haul passengers, showers would have unquestionably been a part of the experience, but short haul passengers are less concerned.
On that note, rumours of a long haul non-Schengen lounge at AMS from Star Alliance were being teased in every speech.
The new Star Alliance Lounge at Schiphol is directly next door to the new and improved Aspire Lounge and both share a kitchen in between them. Lounge guests will find hot food displays near the dividing wall and cold a la carte “grab and go” style food in the buffet area.
On this visit, there were sandwich wraps, cold cuts and Dutch cheese at the buffet, while the hot food included beef in a red wine sauce. Wine racks can pretty much be found everywhere, which is handy.
This is a huge lounge upgrade at an airport with shockingly few airport lounges! It will be exciting to see if Star Alliance manages to open a lounge catering to long haul international guests in the next year, but for now – this is definitely the lounge to shoot for in Amsterdam. It’s worthy of adding a little extra time at the airport before your next flight.
I couldn’t help but ask Star Alliance VP of Customer Experience, Christian Draeger, about next steps for Star Alliance lounge innovation and the hot topic on his mind: concierge services. Wouldn’t it be cool if the lounge could book your Coldplay tickets or onward airport transfers?