When a long-haul flight leaves you less than shiny, arrival lounges can apply some splash
you less than shiny, arrival lounges can apply some splash
For any business traveler getting off a red-eye flight, an arrival lounge can be something of a sanctuary – a place to catch a couple of hours of rest, freshen up and grab a bite before a busy day ahead. Most airports of any size have departure lounges that cater to outbound premium passengers with an array of services designed to make the time prior to flight as productive and painless as possible. However, the concept of an arrivals lounge as an independent offering is a relatively new one.
Most arrivals lounges are located after customs and immigration, on the land side of the terminal, in contrast to departure lounges which are usually on the airside post-security. Arrivals lounges are meant to provide passengers landing after long-haul flights with services such as a place to shower and have breakfast. Their hours are scheduled around arrivals and not departures, and the hours may be more limited depending on the carrier’s schedule.
The idea is to give arriving international passengers a chance to clear customs, pick up their luggage and get ready for the day ahead. The services available in the arrivals lounge speed them on their way so they can go about their business, avoiding the need to check into their hotel first.
These lounges are a relatively new trend, and certainly not as widespread as departure lounges. After all, the majority of travelers still prefer to leave the airport as soon as they’ve passed through immigration and collected their baggage.
But the services typically offered by arrival lounges are growing in popularity, particularly with business travelers who need to make the transition from plane to meeting without stopping. As a result, in addition to hot showers and the usual satisfying food and beverage, these decompression oases offer such out of the ordinary services as shirt-pressing, or even a wet shave at the Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge in Abu Dhabi.
Still largely the domain of the major international carriers, arrival lounges are becoming increasingly popular. So it’s not surprising that third-party providers such as Plaza Premium Lounge are
capitalizing on this lucrative market, introducing pay-as-you-go arrival lounges that are open to any traveler regardless of airline or cabin class.
But regardless of who is providing the service, weary business travelers can expect to be welcomed by more arrival lounges in the future. Here are a few of the current crop worth checking into the next time you step off the plane.
BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES ARRIVALS LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport
OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM ENTRY INFO First or Club World, Gold Executive Club member arriving on a BA long-haul flight
FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, spa, WiFi INFO BA has teamed up with British spa and skincare brand Elemis to offer complimentary 15-minute treatments to its premium customers. Pamper yourself after your flight with a deep clean aviator facial, or a muscle-ease power back massage. Male guests can opt for a first class power shave developed by shave guru Richard Anthony, while women can book in for a Sky High Brow Shape or Jet Set Power Polish.
It’s also worth noting that several other carriers, including American, Delta, United and Air Canada also offer arrival lounge services at Heathrow as well.
TURKISH AIRLINES ISTANBUL ARRIVAL LOUNGE
WHERE International Terminal, Istanbul Ataturk Airport
OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 1:00 PM ENTRY INFO Business class passengers, or Miles & Smiles Elite Plus members
FACILITIES Food and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, ironing service, charging station, newspapers and magazines
INFO The lounge measures 2,700 square feet and can accommodate up to 38 guests, and offers showers and changing rooms. Designed to welcome passengers from morning arrivals that are too early to check into their hotels, it is open daily from 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and stops welcoming guests at 12:30 PM. Facilities include “media walls” displaying useful flight information and TV shows. turkishairlines.com
ETIHAD AIRWAYS ARRIVALS LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 1, Abu Dhabi International Airport
OPENING HOURS Open 24 hours ENTRY INFO First and business class passengers only FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, clothes steaming, wet shaves, complimentary connectivity options, business center
INFO Located just after customs, the lounge boasts a convenient location and offers eligible guests an area to freshen up. Check out the new “Shave” concept, where male guests can have a complimentary wet shave from qualified barbers. There are also ten individual shower units and a complimentary clothes steaming service area where garments are ready in ten minutes. etihad.com
CATHAY PACIFIC ‘THE ARRIVAL’ LOUNGE
WHERE Central passage connecting Terminal 1 and 2, Hong Kong International Airport
OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM ENTRY INFO First and business class passengers, Gold tier or above members of Marco Polo Club, and Oneworld Emerald cardholders
FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, workstations with broadband internet access, WiFi, TV, international/local newspapers and magazines
INFO Cathay Pacific prides itself on its lounges – just take a look at The Bridge. The Arrival first opened in 2013, and is the perfect place for passengers flying into Hong Kong on the red-eye flights to catch a few hours rest, freshen up, or grab a bite before starting the day.
LUFTHANSA WELCOME LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 1, Concourse B, Frankfurt Airport OPENING HOURS 5:30 AM – 12:30 PM ENTRY INFO First class, Miles & More HON Circle, Senator, Frequent Traveler card members arriving on long-haul flights operated by Lufthansa
FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, suit pressing service,
INFO Lufthansa’s Welcome Lounge is reserved for the airline’s most valued customers, and everything in the facility is top notch. There are 28 shower suites, each equipped with powerful showerheads and stocked with L’Occitane toiletries. For guests who’ve worked up a long-haul appetite, a hot and cold buffet is available.
SWISS ARRIVAL LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal B, Zurich Airport OPENING HOURS 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM ENTRY INFO First and business class Swiss and Lufthansa passengers, HON Circle, Miles & More Senator and Frequent Traveler
FACILITIES Food and drinks, internet stations, shower suites INFO At 8,300 square feet, the Swiss Arrival Lounge is second only to the Swiss Business Lounge in size. With capacity for 86, there’s plenty of room for the airline’s premium travelers. Internet stations are also available, but it’s the 20 shower rooms that will probably prove the biggest draw for incoming passengers.
THE HAVEN BY JETQUAY
WHERE Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport
OPENING HOURS Open 24 hours ENTRY INFO From S$35 ($26) for two hours 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, or S$41 ($31) 10:00 PM – 10:00 AM
FACILITIES Food and drink, shower and nap facilities, meeting rooms, business centre
INFO The highlight here has to be the 18 nap rooms, where guests
can purchase a nap room package for S$71 ($53) for three hours, extendable at an hourly rate of S$15 ($11). The nap room package includes a shower, meal and lounge access. The two meeting rooms can accommodate up to ten guests when connected. Meeting rooms can be booked starting S$47 ($35) including light refreshments. thehaven.com.sg
AIR FRANCE’S THE ARRIVALS LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 2C, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM ENTRY INFO La Premiere and business class customers, Flying Blue Gold and Platinum cardholders, and Skyteam Elite Plus members. Other passengers can enter for a fee of € 50 ($56) before 10:00 AM, or € 35 ($39) after 10:00 AM.
FACILITIES Food and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, ironing service, newspapers and magazines
INFO This lounge may be starting to show its age, but it’s still your best bet in CDG Airport of finding a good place to shower and freshen up after a long flight, and the complimentary shirt pressing service is particularly welcome. Food and seating are basic, but there are plenty of charging stations. airfrance.com
PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 2, London Heathrow Airport
OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM ENTRY INFO £25 (US$39) per person per hour, or £15 (US$23) for use of the lounge’s shower facilities.
FACILITIES Food and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, spa, newspapers and magazines, TV, charging stations
INFO Located just next to customs in the arrival hall, the facility opened in December 2014. The first independent arrival lounge in Terminal 2 is open to all travelers, regardless of airline or travel class. The spa massage treatments are targeted to combat travel ailments. plaza-network.com
ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS ARRIVAL LOUNGE
WHERE Terminal 1, South Wing, Narita International Airport
OPENING HOURS 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM ENTRY INFO First and business class customers, ANA Diamond & Platinum Service members, ANA Super Flyers Card members. Applies only to passengers arriving on ANA operated international flights
FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, spa services, smoking rooms, Internet terminals, newspapers and magazines
INFO Located immediately after immigration and just above the train station, the lounge is easily accessible for inbound travelers. It can be quite crowded as it doubles as a departure lounge for ANA travelers connecting onto domestic flights. The shower suites are well maintained and equipped with bath amenities. The food may be basic, but the staff is helpful and courteous. ana.co.jp BT
From top: Plaza Premium Lounge, Heathrow Airport; Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge; Cathay
Pacific’s ‘The Arrival’ Lounge
Clockwise from top left:
Swiss Arrival Lounge; British Airways Galleries Arrivals Lounge; ANA Arrival Lounge; The Haven by JetQuay; Turkish Airlines ‘Istanbul Arrival Lounge’