Rating lounges, is bigger better and how important is service?

7 replies


Member since 30 Mar 2015

Total posts 9

Hi there, just completed what I hope is my last business trip for the year. On this trip I visited the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha for the first time, its certainly impressive but for me I prefer being able to find a smaller more intimate space with a comfortable chair and desk to work from if needed like the ones in QF First Class lounge in Melb. If I don't have too much work to do I still prefer a smaller area such as the Red Suite Library room at Haneda which is one of my favourites. In the Dubai First Class Emirates lounge I will sometimes go to the cigar bar even though I am a non smoker. Service wise I find the QF lounges excellent with particular standout service from Ronald and his colleagues in Singapore. 


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Lounge features - In order of importance (IMHO)

  1. Wifi - Decent speeds - Ease of use - Unmetered
  2. Clean and continuously being cleaned as people vacate and new guests arrive
  3. Generally well appointed - Timeless furniture (no I do not mean Rococo) or decade-appropriate furniture
  4. Comfortable seats and a selection of seats (armchairs, chaise lounge, sofas, hard benches etc. etc.)
  5. Adequate tables for meals
  6. Adequate quiet corners
  7. Appropriate lighting (orange/dim lighting - white lights feels like a prison)
  8. Gracious service - Engaging but not too servile
  9. Time appropriate meals
  10. Decent snacks outside meal times
  11. Decent (internationally minded) selection of hot and cold beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic
  12. Other options on television besides sports, if televisions are in place
  13. Adequate screens to show gates and departure information

Last editedby TheRealBabushka at Dec 08, 2016, 03:04 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 456

Good list TRB - but...rather than a list in order of priorities, maybe buckets or categories of priorities would be a better way to look at it...

  • Not Negotiable bucket - lounge must have or its a no-go
  • Seriously Important - lounge should have but some wiggle room is allowed
  • Nice to have - the lux stuff
  • Meh - whatever...


Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 1,016

That's a very interesting question...

Obviously the size of a lounge is a key factor if it's going to be popular: the Sydney AMEX lounge is a good example, I actually like that it's small, which gives it an 'exclusive' feel, but the flipside is that the lounge can (and does) get very crowded very quickly. And an overly large lounge can be a bit of a bother for getting around and finding your own 'space'.

Cathay Pacific's The Pier First Class is a large lounge but wonderfully laid out, so there is an easy sense of 'place' due to the different zones. And totally agree on JAL's The Red Suite at Haneda, it's a hidden gem!

But always, always, service is what seals the deal. Ronald from the Qantas Singapore Lounge is a rock star (he's an amazing bartender, does his own creations at home to experiment) and the whole team there are wonderful, same applies to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge IMHO.


Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 268

I prefer large lounges but agree re them being segregated into zones.

For me wifi and cleanliness are the must haves, though it is all relative - Kolkata airport lounge is awful but I was damn happy to have access!!
Natural light is very important (hence my dislike of QF Melbourne, but I'll still go in there once I lose P this year). 
Food and drink takes on a higher priority depending on flight times and class. If flying overnight or in economy then having a great meal beforehand is excellent, if in business during the day then not as fussed.
Plenty of papers and other reading materials is also important to me.


Member since 06 Jan 2016

Total posts 29

Good list. 

One thing that bugs me are long waits for showers. So an adequate guest to shower ratio would be high on my own list (I'll leave it to the experts to determine what that is).

Another one that is worth considering is location. Obviously this can be beyond an airlines control, but at ones hub a short walk between lounge and gate is big plus. This can also be done in the style CX and JAL who both employ multiple lounges for various wings and satellite terminals. On the other side of this is SQ at its home where a single, centralized, lounge in each terminal can leave one with a hike (I know SIN is a great aiport with many things to recommend it, just an example of this one point).

Happy lounginkg to all this holiday season!


Member since 18 Nov 2013

Total posts 61

I prefer small as it's more manageable and intimate. Large spaces can become like barns, Qantas Club in Sydney comes to mind. If they're divided into zones, then more like a rabbit warren, and I move around a bit too find my space.

The Cathay arrivals lounge in HK is small, but to their credit I've never waited more than a minute or two for a shower, despite sometimes struggling to find a seat or space to store my luggage.

Chris C.

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,116

A number of readers also shared recently that natural sunlight was practically a 'must have' for them (during the day, of course), as opposed to artificial lighting. TRB, it's interesting to see that lighting also rates higher on your list than appropriate meals, service and flight information etc. :)

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