100 Best Airport Lounges worldwide

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  • Tom Otley

    We are planning a feature on the 100 best airport lounges.

    These will be both airline-associated ones, alliance-associated, and independent ones.

    I’d welcome any recommendations you have of ones that have suprised you.

    We’re pretty strong on the airports we pass through and I’d really love it if this thread wasn’t about BA lounges at Heathrow etc, because we’re looking to shine a spotlight on great lounges that we might not know about.

    For instance, I visited the American Express Centurion Lounge at Houston Intercontinental before Christmas and was very impressed.


    I also think the new Qantas Lounge at Heathrow is good – but then I haven’t visited its lounges in Sydney


    So I imagine the Sydney one would be the pick of the bunch for Qantas, but let’s see.

    It might also be fun to list the worst you’ve visited (recently).



    My TOP three:
    1. Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge at Doha for sheer space and variety.
    2. Singapore Airlines First lounge at Changi for discreet luxury.
    3. Virgin’s Clubhouse at Heathrow for Maverick concept.


    In 2017 I visited two Aspire lounges (amongst others):

    The BEST: Larnaca Airport (twice) – definitely in my top three ever. Good food and drink, in quality, variety, replenishment and quantity; plenty of space, comfortable seating, nice view, clean toilets, good internet and lovely staff etc, etc.

    The WORST: LHR T5 – absolutely the opposite to the above, in every department.


    Have to say, the lounge that exceeded my expectations is the British Airways domestic lounge at Johannesburg. Great selection of fresh(!) food including fruit. Free massages, good wine selection, good coffee, lovely staff. For domestic flights this was quite astonishing (and a sharp contrast to the international and BA UK lounges).

    Used the Quantas First Lounge at LAX recently. Also very nice.


    I’d go along with the above comment re BA domestic lounge at JNB, and it has a great view of the runways. The only downside is that both times I’ve used it, at around midday, it was very busy and many users don’t know how to behave in a civilised manner, sitting with feet up on seats, ‘man-spreading’, bellowing into phones, and making pigs of themselves with the food and drink.

    Worst for a premium airline and class, BA at CPT. Overcrowded, scruffy, very poor selection of food and drink, and generally just tacky.

    Worst generally, the ‘business class’ lounge at KTM. Just a few scruffy threadbare couches to sit on, covered in food remnants, and some drinks in a fridge that wasn’t working. Not indicative of Nepal where generally we found service and cleanliness of a very high standard.

    Best, probably the main Swiss Business lounge at ZRH.


    Have to agree with ‘Inquisitive’ that the Qatar Lounge in T4 LHR must also take some beating.
    Spacious, great Deli,Separate Restaurant, Excellent wine list, Showers etc. AND directly opposite the departure gate.
    My main dislike is the Thai Lounge at BKK for apposite reasons. Its cramped, the food is mediocre and the lounge is poorly located.
    Have used the Qatar First Class ‘Al Safwan’ lounge in Doha on two occasions. Vast place, looks wonderful but like a morgue, far more staff than passengers.



    Star Alliance Lounge at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal is one of the best I’ve been in lately.
    Open terrace,ramp views, good food, wine, what’s not to like…


    Worst I’ve seen was in Kabul this week. A room with half a dozen chairs, flight info screen and carpet! No one managing it, food or drink.


    Cathay Pacific “The Pier” at CLK Hong Kong is First Class literally in my opinion

    Tom Otley

    It is good, that one. I went there shortly after it opened.

    Lounge review: LAX Star Alliance lounge

    Some of the Delta ones are very good as well – I’ve visited the New York and Seattle ones…


    From my recent visits I enjoyed:
    1. Cabin lounge at Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) – but all the other lounges are very good also.
    2. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow
    3. Qatar Al Mourjan – (my husband’s favourite lounge)
    4. Finnair Schengen Business Lounge, Helsinki – bright with plenty of seating

    but we also enjoyed our visit to the small Jersey Executive lounge

    Tom Otley

    Thank you.
    The Finnair non-Schengen lounge is good as well, but it gets very very busy.


    Hi Tom

    My top three are

    1) Qantas first Lounge at LAX
    2) Cathay ‘The Pier’ First lounge at Hong Kong
    3) Qantas first lounge at Sydney.


    Hi Tom

    My top 3

    1 United Lounge Heathrow Terminal 2 – Classy, good range of food and a long bar
    2 Turkish Airlines lounge Instanbul – Nice sanctuary from the Motorbikes and Goats in the terminal!
    3 BA Lounge Gatwick South – Surprised me this summer and we found nice spot upstairs with Idris Elba for company.

    Been to lots of average lounges, but 2 bad ones – St Lucia which was too small with no windows, and the Etihad lounge at Abu Dhabi which at 3am in the morning was way too bright!


    I would add the new Cathay Lounge at Changi T4, Qantas in T1 Singapore. I would also agree with the Qantas lounge in Sydney, Qatar in Doha. It’s been a while but I also quite like the Oman lounge in Muscat.

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