Do arrival lounges still exist?

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  • Luc Jones
    Participant

    I’m a huge fan of business lounges (hey, who isn’t) before departure, but I confess to never having even tried to seek out a lounge upon arrival at my destination.

    Am genuinely curious as to whether they still exist? Personally I was always keen to just deplane ASAP and get to my destination; either my hotel, office/meeting or back home.

    Have I been missing out on something here ?!?!

    Luc

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    canucklad
    Participant

    Never fully understood the need for airport arrival lounges . Unless you’re transiting you’d surely want to get to your final destination as soon as .
    Suspect they exist only because the major hotels have been complacent in providing alternative options for those guests that arrive on early morning flights and can’t access their room until later on in the day. in all my years of travelling , I still find it strange that hotels still seem to live in a world where they believe that airports only open between the hours of 9 & 3

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    ViajeroUK
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    Not used any for a while, c20 years, but did so quite often at LHR after early morning arrivals on BA from US, a refreshing shower/shave and a relaxed breakfast worked wonders. Occasionally used the BA arrival lounge at JNB, which was at a hotel, (Intercontinental?) walking distance from the terminal. I seem to remember that the BA arrivals lounge at LHR was only open limited hours to cater for early morning arrivals. Haven’t flown BA for several years so no idea if theirs is still operating.

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    esselle
    Participant

    Never fully understood the need for airport arrival lounges . Unless you’re transiting you’d surely want to get to your final destination as soon as .
    Suspect they exist only because the major hotels have been complacent in providing alternative options for those guests that arrive on early morning flights and can’t access their room until later on in the day. in all my years of travelling , I still find it strange that hotels still seem to live in a world where they believe that airports only open between the hours of 9 & 3

    I think the problem for hoteliers at airports is that, given the high levels of occupancy (pre-pandemic at least), the rooms are occupied by guests who have been sleeping the night there at the times early morning flights arrive. Even allowing for a proportion of early departures (for those going to catch a flight), it can be unpredictable.

    Although my experience is from many years ago, there were some airport hotels which did hold some rooms for early arrivals, presumable based on some data history (Regal at HKG being one), and who knows how it will work post pandemic.

    Limited experience of arrivals lounges, although CX at HKG was good, and BA T4 in its day.

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    DavidSmith2
    Participant

    I rarely used them but, in the last 10 years or so, I have been to T5 (BA), Frankfurt (LH) and Washington (linked SAA). The only value really was when on an overnight flight and needed to go directly to a meeting. Then it is helpful to relax, freshen up, and enjoy a coffee.


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    I used to use them quite frequently when coming in from HKG or USA, before transferring to LGW for a flight to FAO or LIS so, yes, a good benefit.

    Full English breakfast was always very good!


    canucklad
    Participant

    I think the problem for hoteliers at airports is that, given the high levels of occupancy (pre-pandemic at least), the rooms are occupied by guests who have been sleeping the night there at the times early morning flights arrive. Even allowing for a proportion of early departures (for those going to catch a flight), it can be unpredictable.

    Yeah, was actually meaning that they manage their own lounges / area that aren’t rooms. Where you can leave your luggage , get a shower etc before you check-in or even a service after you check out. A late night flight out of HKG is terrible if you’ve been plodding about LKF/Wan Chai all day before heading to the airport .
    Sav es the swimming pool ruse : )

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    dhirenuk
    Participant

    The Virgin Revivals lounge at Terminal 3 LHR is fantastic…..there’s a full breakfast menu and showers allowing you to sleep longer on the flights particularly useful on those shorter flights from the US East Coast. There is also ironing services available


    ASK1945
    Participant

    I used the Arrivals facility provided by BA in the adjacent Sofitel Hotel a couple of times, a few years back.

    It was a great way to chill out after an overnight long-distance flight – shower and leisurely breakfast – before facing a a hazardous car journey around the M25, to back home. It also gave time for the inevitable rush-hour blockages to disappear.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I often arrive on long hauls flights very early morning (think 5 AM). Normally I am picked up by business associates or managers who have often travelled some distance to meet me and need to often travel a longish distance to office or factory after picking me up. It is unreasonable I believe to expect anyone to be at an airport to pick me up before 8 am. and thus where available I use arrival lounges for a shower, breakfast and newspapers. As an instance my favored CX flight from HKG gets in at about 5am and 3 or 4 times a year I use the BA arrivals lounge by virtue of my OneWorld status and find it a very useful resource indeed.
    BTW the Cathay HKG arrivals lounge is closed due to impending major building works on the terminal to accommodate future increased passenger numbers, check-ins and gates for when the third runway opens in 2 years time – but it will return I am told and much larger than the previous poky place.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    As an instance my favored CX flight from HKG gets in at about 5am and 3 or 4 times a year I use the BA arrivals lounge by virtue of my OneWorld status

    I don’t wish to say you are wrong, but that seems deeply improbable given that (a) the BA lounge is in T5 but CX (in normal times) is in T3, (b) CX (again in normal times) offers access to the AA arrivals lounge in T3 (which is excellent btw) and (c) arrivals lounges are specifically excluded from oneworld lounge access rules

    I am a huge fan of arrivals lounges. After a long-haul flight it is so nice to have a shower and change my clothes, have breakfast (most of the flights I take are overnight) and take a break from travelling before I go on to my final destination. It also helps that (like cwoodward) many of the long-haul flights arrive so early that if I am visiting family (often the case) it means I am not waking them up too early.

    I didn’t think the CX arrivals lounge in HKG (long since closed) was great – the showers were good, but it got very crowded, there were long queues for showers, and the “food” was dreadful. My favourites – all in LHR as that is where I primarily use them – are:

    1. AA (T3) – definitely top of the list – friendly staff, plenty of space, good showers, they will press your clothes while you shower (there is a “double door” – you put your clothes between the doors and press a button, they are taken away and pressed and ready for you to put on by the time you have finished showering), excellent breakfast and for those who like them (not me) they will give you Bloody Marys and at one time even (although I think that stopped because they used quarter-bottles and people kept nicking them) champagne
    2. BA (T5) – staff rather so-so (except in the dedicated First area where you get waiter service) and the showers aren’t great (as soon as you start showering you hear a sump-pump thumping away, and they are quite cramped) but the breakfast is very decent
    3. Plaza Premium (T4) – small but never crowded at the times I have visited, with good showers and a passable breakfast

    I will also give an honourable mention to the CX lounge in Frankfurt which you can (or used to be able to when I last went there) access on arrival

    I don’t know whether all these lounges are still operating. I am flying on Lufty tomorrow from HKG and there is not a single accessible lounge. *Every* *A lounge in HKG is closed…


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Ian, I am rather pleased that you did not say that I was “wrong” as even in my dotage I have a fair idea of where I am and why – at least most of the time!
    I don’t like the food in the AA lounge and the papers are better at BA – I just happen to prefer the BA arrivals lounge where fortunately I am able to access the First Class area and the showers are very good. At times also I am awaiting an onward BA flight.
    I had forgotten the CX Frankfurt lounge, always a great lounge that I used to use a lot, but not lately. I suggest that you ask nicely at the Cathay lounge if you have status – I normally find them very accommodating in times of need.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Ian, I am rather pleased that you did not say that I was “wrong” as even in my dotage I have a fair idea of where I am and why – at least most of the time!
    I don’t like the food in the AA lounge and the papers are better at BA – I just happen to prefer the BA arrivals lounge where fortunately I am able to access the First Class area and the showers are very good. At times also I am awaiting an onward BA flight.
    I had forgotten the CX Frankfurt lounge, always a great lounge that I used to use a lot, but not lately. I suggest that you ask nicely at the Cathay lounge if you have status – I normally find them very accommodating in times of need.

    Thanks, cwoodward. As I recall (although things may have changed) CX shared the Frankfurt lounge I mentioned with Lufty so I hope I will get access anyway as we are in business class. As a side note I remember on my last trip to that lounge I was sitting (on the flight) next to a young lady who was clearly in distress (family problems) and I invited her into the lounge as a guest. I think it helped 🙂 It certainly cheered her up. And I also had a Thai curry there that was (improbable as it may seem as we eat a lot of Thai food) one of the best I have ever had.

    You still haven’t given us full information about how you can access the BA First Arrivals lounge on the basis of status. oneworld rules clearly exclude arrival lounges

    Don’t hold out on us, this is valuable information!

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    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    In the current times I am not sure which of these are still open, as I’ve not used them since early last year, however:

    AA arrival lounge in LHR T3 is, I think, a very good arrivals lounge. One I’ve used when arriving on AA, CX and even long haul BA flights that used to use T3.
    Friendly staff, never a wait for a shower and decent range of breakfast items.

    BA arrival lounge in T5 is larger, as you’d probably expect. Always had a good breakfast, though shower rooms are older and can sometimes be a small wait.
    F section is small but nice, but only for breakfast, shower area is shared with J. Full table service as opposed to buffet section in main area.

    I’ve often used these before collecting my car and heading off for various appointments etc. From memory I’m pretty sure I’ve been able to use these lounges as BA gold even when not in J. F arrival lounge, I believe, is only when arriving in F cabin.

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    Ian, valuable information indeed but sadly not to be shared as a rather exclusive (rare these days) perk derived from past activities. I would gladly pass on the info if it would be of any use to others but it would sadly be useless. Perhaps I am indeed past-it as I don’t recall the Frankfurt lounge being shared by Lufty but I would not have been there for almost 4 years now and then only ever early morning and things change. The staff were always good and food decent although I have never tried the curry as the CX flight used to get in at about 6am and I am more of a Thai omelette man at that time of day.
    Alan, agreed the showers are not new (at least last time that I was there) but actually large enough to move around in. I don’t recall them being shared by business class but then I tend arrive so early that not many people around. I used the the business class arrivals lounge mid 2018 on a morning that many BA flights (including mine) were cancelled and it was horrible, like a zoo and very dirty with no tables cleared

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