5 of the Top Airport Lounges in the world

November 3, 2016
Sara Ezra Fulton

Top Airline Experiences from First to Business Class Lounges. 

Love to travel luxuriously? These top airport lounges have it all, from silky beds to work-spaces and more, so that you have a pleasant preflight or transit.

We are determined to help you fall in love with airports again. They are commonly chaotic and stressful; invoking a reflex within passengers that usually goes against our natural travel-loving nature. With the help of our guide to five-star exclusive airline lounges, we will make sure you know where to go for a relaxing experience filled with delicious food, showers, and sometimes even a movie theater.

Between security checkpoints, taking shoes off, and fumbling through papers: air travel is stressful. Here are the top 5 First Class and Business Airline Lounges around the world that will help you take the edge off. From expedited security to door-to-door boarding services, it helps to have connections. Not to mention that these lounges provide you with all travel accessories, fine dining experiences, and bars worthy of any world traveler.

The easiest way to gain access to airport lounges is to buy either First or Business class airline tickets. Be aware that sometimes there are different lounges for varying ticket levels, and therefore a business class ticket will still not get you into the first class lounge.

Some airlines will let an economy passenger pay a fee to use the lounge. Another option to be an awards member. Commonly high-level members of either travel credit cards or airline mile clubs will be awarded access to international lounges.

  1. Cathay Pacific Lounges within Hong Kong International Airport

Boasting seven different lounges throughout the terminals, Cathay Pacific is determined to keep you near your gate for easier mobility. The Wing is their flagship lounge open to both first and business class passengers. However, the first class lounge does include a separate, secluded area with a dedicated sit-down restaurant and servers ready to cater to your ever need. The Haven Restaurant offers an a la carte menu, including wine pairings, and be sure not to skip the Champaign bar.

If you are traveling in business class, do not worry. The business lounges still have access to buffet style restaurants that cater to both Asian and Western food preferences, a coffee bar with freshly made pastries, resting areas, and the shower suites complete with travertine stone and bamboo wood design. There is also complimentary high-speed wifi and storage for travel bags & luggage for all guests.

  1. Lufthansa Lounges within Frankfurt Airport

An image of the first class lounge at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany

Lufthansa First Class Terminal – Frankfurt, image by TravelingOtter,CC BY-SA 2.0

With First, Senator, and Business Class Lounges in Concourse A, B, C, and Z, along with a First Class Terminal, Lufthansa makes Frankfurt feel like a better version of home.

As you enter the First Class Terminal you will be greeted by your personal assistant to help you with anything you may need. The same assistant will also come and collect you when it is time for departure. Within the terminal, there is plenty of lounge space, a sit-down restaurant, private cubicles for work, along with private shower and Jacuzzi baths, and nap rooms. When the time comes to leave this oasis and get on your flight, you will be driven to your connecting flight for easy travel.

The First and Business class lounges throughout the airport offer passengers with lounge and entertainment area, business centers, a smoking lounge, and self-serve buffets. These smaller lounges offer a high level of care while being quicker to access than the first class terminal if you have a short layover or are business class. Do not fret; you will still have access to an authentic German pretzel and a plethora of water options. The Senator Lounge in concord C does allow you to board your plane without ever leaving the lounge. 

  1. Qatar Airways Lounges within Hamad International Airport

    An image of the ceiling of the almourjan qatar airways lounge at Hamad International Airport

    Doha, Hamad, Lounge, Ceiling, image by Detlef Schobert, CC BY-ND 2.0

Known for the Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Qatar Airways, provides exquisite care to first and business class passengers. Their flagship lounge offers an a la carte restaurant, along with buffet area where passengers can select between oriental, global deli, and patisserie. There is also a bar offering a wide selection of quality alcohol, include Krug Champaign. For your rejuvenation, choose between the lounge area and garden, conference areas, and family rooms. Showers are also available, along with a smoking room. Complimentary high-speed wifi is available throughout the lounge, along with reading materials. For Premium passengers there is expedited immigration available, along with a separate gate for boarding.

In addition to the Al Mourjan Business Lounge, the airport houses many smaller First and Business class lounges throughout the terminals, complete with food and lounging areas. There is also the Oryx Lounge, complimentary to first and business class passengers, and open to economy passengers for 200 QAR (equivalent to approximately 50 USD).

  1. Swiss within Zurich Airport

A view of the SWISS first class lounge in Zurich. One of the top airport lounges in the world.

SWISS First Class Lounge in Zurich, image by nakedsky, CC BY 2.0

With 9 lounges, the Swiss are ready to pamper their first and business class passengers. All lounges include some food options and lounge area. As for other amenities, it is easiest go through the lounges one-by-one. The letter at the end of each lounge’s name designates the terminal where it is located.

The SWISS First Lounge A is open to first class members and offers an a la carte restaurant; workstations, day rooms, and showers are also available.

The Senator Lounge A is open to first class passengers and offers extensive buffet options, along with a smoker’s bar. There are also workstations and showers available.  The same amenities are available to both first and business passengers in the SWISS Business Lounge A.

Senator Lounge D offers first class passengers with a buffet, spacious lounge space, workstations, and showers. The same amenities, except showers, are available to both first and business class passengers within the SWISS Business Lounge D.

The SWISS First Lounge E is their most luxurious space. Open to first class passengers, it boasts two hotel rooms, a VIP room from the ultimate privacy, an a la carte menu that is available throughout the day at both the Champagne bar and the terrace. There are also conference rooms and showers available.

Senator Lounge E is open to first class members. Its most unique characteristic is the whiskey bar, with over 120 varietals for your tasting pleasure. There is also a buffet that host cooking stations where you can watch your food being prepared. There are work lounges, although most people prefer the view from the terrace. Showers are also available.

SWISS Business Lounge E caters to both first and business class passengers. From the terrace, you can take in views of the Swiss Alps. There is also a buffet with cooking stations, workstations, and showers available.

SWISS Arrival Lounge, located just past customs, serves both the first and business class passengers. Offering a buffet breakfast, workstations, and showers it is the perfect place to freshen up in the morning.

  1. Air France Lounges within Charles de Gaulle Airport

    A view of the Salon Premiere Air France lounge at the Charles De Gaulle Airport

    Salon première Air France Paris CDG, image by Wikimedia commons

There are five Air France lounges within the airport. The La Premiere Lounge regales first class passengers with the attention to style and detail that has come to exemplify French hospitality. Enter the private check-in lounge at Terminal 2E, across from Gate 14, where Air France’s staff will take care of your check-in and airport security process. A porter will be assigned to handle your luggage. And do not worry about running late to your flight, since they provide door-to-door service via luxury cars. Once in the lounge, you will have access to the lounge area, bar, restaurant, and the Biologique Recherche spa and treatment center.

The other four first and business class lounges within the airport all offer local and international newspapers, refreshments including a selection of cold and hot meal options, and complimentary high-speed wifi. Additionally, ironing services and showers are available depending on the lounge.

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