Champagne bubble baths, in the airport…
Airport VIP lounges aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Overcrowded, warm, dull and full of nondescript chairs, many spaces hardly make you feel VIP, even if there’s an open bar. One size just does not fit all in travel, and to lure in customers of all interests, airlines are beginning to tailor their exclusive lounges to offer unique, functional and indulgent experiences, which make you feel as if you’re not in the airport at all. Here are a few of the coolest offerings in airport VIP lounges around the world…
Qantas just introduced an ultra long 17 hour flight from London to Perth. To help customers unwind and relax before or after this mega long flight, they’ve introduced a yoga studio in their Perth lounge. A yoga instructor is on hand to lead classes and shower facilities are available to help you freshen up for the journey.
Getting in: You’ll need to be a OneWorld Emerald or Sapphire member, or traveling in business class or higher.
Part of the jet set life is all about looking the part. Aside from complimentary massages, Virgin’s London Heathrow and New York JFK lounges offer snazzy complimentary hair cuts from Bumble & Bumble trained employees. From a quick blow dry to a nice buzz, you can step on or off the plane feeling like an A Lister, even if you’re not.
Getting in: You’ll need to be a Virgin Atlantic Gold member, or Delta SkyMiles Platinum or above, traveling to or from the UK. Otherwise you’ll need to be in business class on Delta or Virgin flights to or from the UK.
Lufthansa Whiskey & Smoking Room – Frankfurt, Germany
At their opulent Frankfurt First Class Terminal, Lufthansa offers a cigar room replete with rare whiskies and cognacs. Smoker or not, it’s worth the trip just to sample well aged single malts, single barrel and other rare and unique spirits. If you’re a cigar person, it may just be the greatest airside experience in the world.
Getting In: You’ll need to be flying First Class on Lufthansa only, or a member of the exclusive HON Circle Club.
Cathay Pacific takes privacy to an extraordinary level at their plush Hong Kong offerings. From a private suite with bubble baths to whisper quiet private nap rooms and cabanas, the airline makes time in transit rival the most comforting time at home. Just don’t doze off while sipping champagne in your private bath. You can do that by the way…
Getting In: You’ll need to be a OneWorld Emerald member traveling on a OneWorld operated flight, or flying First Class on a OneWorld airline.
Airplane food is rarely something to phone home about, whichever cabin you’re in but if anyone is doing it right, it’s Qantas. The airline absolutely nails it with their Neil Perry chef curated menus, executed to absolute perfection. This author must admit, he may or may not have booked flights just to dine in their lounges in the past.
Getting In: You’ll need to be a OneWorld Emerald member flying OneWorld, or flying First Class with Qantas. American Airlines members do not receive LA access on domestic US flights.
Delta made an innovative move with their SkyClubs in recent years, offering outdoor seating decks for beautiful days. On a perfect spring day, it’s a great way to escape the airport while staying at the airport. And if you’re a plane geek, which many of you undoubtedly are, what better way to pass time than watch jumbo jets land.
Getting In: You’ll need to be flying business class on a Delta transcontinental or international flight, a Delta SkyClub member or have an Amex Platinum card.
If you couldn’t tell from the $350 a bottle Dom Perignon P2 2000 the airline is currently serving in first class, Emirates takes champagne seriously. Their partnership with Moet Hennessy allows lucky flyers to sample a range of Moet champagnes, from rich vintage to zingy Brut.
Getting In: You’ll need to be flying business class with Emirates, or have Emirates Silver or above Skyward status. You can also pay your way in, even if you’re a general member or flying economy.