What's the best airport lounge in the world?

By John Walton, April 14 2011
What's the best airport lounge in the world?

The Finnair Lounge in Helsinki Airport's Terminal 2 has been voted the Lounge of the Year for 2011 by members of Priority Pass, the global lounge access program.

40,000 ratings for over 600 lounges in the Priority Pass network were totted up and Helsinki came out on top. 

However, many of the world's top-notch lounges aren't members of Priority Pass, so they aren't included in the rankings.

We reported on the Helsinki Finnair Lounge's revamp a couple of months ago, when the Finnish airline added a sauna and spa to its home base lounge.

Access to the spa is €45 (just over A$60), but is included in the price of treatments, which range from €50-141. It's free to Finnair's top-tier frequent flyers, though.

With Finnair and Qantas starting to codeshare via Singapore from next month, Helsinki is increasingly looking like an attractive transfer hub option for European flights. 

Since Finnair doesn't have a First Class, its business class lounge is its top offering -- and a popular one.

Priority Pass's Jonathan French certainly thinks so: "The Finnair Lounge is a deserved winner with innovative design and facilities matched by high standards in refreshments and an excellent, peaceful atmosphere."

Amongst Priority Pass lounges in the Asia-Pacific region, the Asiana Lounge in Seoul's Incheon Airport was given the top spot by the survey.

Closer to home, Priority Pass grants lounge access to Virgin Blue's domestic lounges in Australia -- at less than half what the airline itself charges.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


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