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The World’s Best Airport Lounge Amenities
For the average economy traveler, the idea of a long layover might evoke images of cramped naps in uncomfortable terminal chairs or hasty snacks at duty-free shops, as well as an overwhelming sense of boredom. There is, after all, a reason nonstop flights are considered superior to multi-leg trips.
For business and first-class flyers, however, the travel experience is a little more high brow. In recent years, airlines have stepped up their offerings for their most prestigious customers, and one of the biggest draws has become the amenities available at certain airport lounges.
Once upon a time, an exclusive lounge might have offered a handful of semi-upscale dining options and an open bar, but these days, luxury travelers expect–and get–more.
Emirates Champagne Tasting
It should come as no surprise that an airline that takes its in-flight libations as seriously as Emirates does would offer champagne tasting in their lounge at Dubai International Airport. Emirate’s partnership with Moet Hennessy allows travelers to sample a selection of champagnes, including Moët’s Rosé Impérial, Nectar Impérial and Grand Vintage 2008. Each drink is paired with a complimentary canapé, although if you’re in the mood for something more substantial, you’re welcome to pick up something from the lounge’s buffet zone to enjoy with your champagne.
To get in, you’ll need to be flying either Qantas or Emirates business or first class, or have Emirates silver or above Skyward status. And if you’re traveling economy, you’re not out of luck–you’re welcome to repose in the lounge for a fee.
Thai Airways Massages
While the lounge at Bangkok Airport leaves much to be desired, their spa offerings and massages are the best lounge treatments in the world. At the Royal Orchid Spa, first class travelers on Thai Airways international flights can enjoy one-hour full-body massages. Business travelers may choose between a thirty-minute neck and shoulder massage, or a thirty-minute foot massage. However, the Royal Orchid Spa does not take reservations for either business or first class travelers, so if you’re interested in catching a massage between flights, you’ll want to make sure you get there early to get your name on the list.
To get in, you’ll need to be flying first class or business class on Thai Airways. Guests are not allowed.
Virgin Atlantic Hair Salon
For travelers who enjoy getting pampered, the luxury doesn’t have to stop at Bangkok Airport. At the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London Heathrow Airport, business and first class travelers can stop in at the spa/hair salon for a relaxing facial or haircut. The salon is stocked with Bumble & Bumble products and highly-trained stylists, for both travelers who want a quick trim and travelers who are looking for a complete style update. This is by no means the only offering (the Clubhouse also including pools tables and a hot tub), but it does set this lounge apart from others.
To get in, you’ll have to be traveling in business or first class with Virgin Atlantic.
Lufthansa Whiskey Tasting
Emirates isn’t the only airline that understands that sometimes, after a long flight, all travelers really want is a drink. For first-class travelers passing through Frankfurt on Lufthansa, the lounge offers a cigar room replete with hundreds of choices of spirits to choose from. The real draw, however, is the option to taste-test different whiskeys. First class passengers are welcome to try as many as they like, and should any be of particular interest, the duty-free liquor store around the corner from the lounge keeps most of the lounge’s offerings in stock.
To get in, you’ll have to be traveling first class on Lufthansa.
Qantas Yoga Studio
Qantas operates one of the world’s longest flights, between Perth and London, so they understand how much travelers appreciate the chance to unwind. Which is why the Qantas Lounge at Perth International is equipped with a “wellbeing studio”, which offers classes in breathing, stretching and yoga every fifteen minutes before and after flights. The classes are run by trainers from Australia’s premier yoga studio, Bodhi Wellness, and the lounge wellbeing studio is the first of its kind. Other wellness features include light therapy in the restrooms, in order to help travelers re-adjust their body clocks and reduce jetlag after long-haul flights, and an outdoor terrace for a burst of fresh air.
The lounge is open to business and first class travelers on Qantas, as well as OneWorld status members.