Five tips for your stay in a 'silent' airport lounge

By David Flynn, March 25 2017
Five tips for your stay in a 'silent' airport lounge

While most airport lounges buzz with boarding announcements – something which I find quite enjoyable, with each flight whisking fellow travellers on their way – every now and again you stumble into a 'silent lounge'.

That's a lounge where no flight announcements are made.

The upside is blissful silence, without the constant barrage of boarding calls and notification of of delayed flights

The downside: it's your responsibility to be at the boarding gate on time.

You can't rely on that "final boarding call" or even the "personal boarding call" (also known as "Would Mr so-and-so please proceed immediately to gate number such-and-such").

Here are five simple tips to avoid being that person frantically dashing through the airport to make their flight.

1. On your first visit to a new lounge, ask at the service desk if they make boarding calls. It doesn't get any easier than that. 

2. Also ask how long it will take to get from the lounge to the boarding gate for your flight. Allow extra time if you've got to wheel a trolley bag through the crowds, and if you'll need to take a ride on people-mover shuttle (as is often the case at Hong Kong International Airport, for example).

3. Now that you know how much time it'll take to get to the gate, set an alarm on your smartphone for the appropriate time to leave the lounge.

4. As an added precaution, download the smartphone app for the airline or airport and use the lounge's WiFi network to sign up for boarding alerts as well as keeping tabs on changes to the gate or departure time.

5. A more low-tech approach is to sit near one of the video monitors which list each departure and keep an eye on it as your flight gets nearer.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Mar 2013

Total posts 8

I realised almost too late that Cathay Pacifics lounges at HKIA are silent. I was last through the plane door. My colleague wasn't so lucky. He caught up eventually ...


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 8

You forgot to mention to ask if there is further security between the lounge and gate eg Singapore (usually not a problem) and Kuala Lumpur (can be a zoo). I'm sure there are many others.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2541

Great tip, thanks!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 205

By all means get to board your flight in a timely manner, but remember, if you have checked luggage stowed on that plane, it will not leave without you being on board! The airline will make every effort to locate you; the personal call is just the start. Someone has to be the last on board after all, just better if you are not in Economy  seat 71G or the like dragging a wheelie case down that long isle of shame!

05 May 2016

Total posts 632

Airlines can and do offload luggage if they have to. Obviously they would prefer to avoid this but that's not always possible.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1272

"something which I find quiet enjoyable"

A deliberate pun or should that be quite instead?

Didn't think this was too hard to I missing something? 

Good tips, I always tell people to use #1 when they go to a CX lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 135

I remember the first time i was in the BA Galleries Lounge in Heathrow...missed my connecting flight to Frankfurt :(

Personally I like the boarding calls...


Air China - Phoenix Miles

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 106

Go to Amex lounge and take the lifts downstairs and enjoy the Skyteam lounge.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 445

Hate boarding calls at busy airports where the calls are every 60 seconds. I usually sit near a screen. If you cant keep your eye on the time/a screen you're probably not ready for international travel ; )

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1021

I've never had a problem. I normally keep an eye on the time and check screens as boarding time gets closer.
I'll often open a browser tab on my laptop to monitor the flight.

A lot of the lounges that say they are "silent", but are really only semi silent.
eg, the QF SIN lounge will announce QF operated flights, but nothing else.
The CX HKG lounges won't announce flights, unless there is a delay.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Five tips for your stay in a 'silent' airport lounge