- More and more people are flying every year, which means more competition for high-quality airport lounges.
- You don’t have to travel overseas for a good lounge that meets the needs of business travellers – Sydney and Perth airports have some of the best.
- Stopping over in Singapore? We’ve got the best pick for business travellers at Changi Airport.
Airport lounges tend to split opinions. For the traveller who just wants to get to their destination – preferring budget airlines and early morning flights – it’s seen as an unnecessary indulgence for what is essentially an extended commute. But for frequent flyers and businesspeople who spend more time in airports than in their own cars, it can be an oasis in the midst of a stressful travel calendar.
Whatever your opinion of them, airport lounges are here to stay. And with the International Air Transport Association revealing that “global passenger traffic growth” is increasing year on year, there are more bodies passing through terminals that could be lured by the tranquillity and services of an airport lounge.
More importantly for the everyman, there’s been a democratisation of airport lounges in recent years. Far removed from the age when there were only elite lounges available – with wealthy passengers and those lucky enough to be flying First Class the only clients of a high-quality lounge – now there are more moderate lounge offerings (with fewer services at a lower price point), as well as the ability to enter a lounge with the points you’ve collected with your frequent flyer program. The bottom line: you no longer have to spend thousands of dollars every year just to enjoy a little R&R before getting crammed into a plane like a pack of sardines.
But this article isn’t about the humdrum lounges you can find in the Adelaide Domestic Terminal. Instead, we’ll explore some of the best airport lounges in the world to visit with your business credit card. That doesn’t mean they are the sexiest spots to put up your feet, but they are certainly worth it for weary businesspeople who need a place to hook up their work equipment, get a decent feed and drink, maybe even have a shower, and not have to worry about the same “Could Mister John Smith please visit the nearest customer service terminal, that’s Mister John Smith” announcement every five minutes.
So next time you’re jetting off to a client meeting on the other side of the world and think to yourself, “Maybe I’ll treat myself just this once…” keep these first-rate lounges at the top of your list.
1. Sydney International Airport – American Express Lounge
They say home is where the heart is, and we aren’t being biased when we say the American Express Lounge in Sydney Airport is one of the best in the country, whether you’re on a business trip or just an everyday traveller.
If you hold an eligible American Express card you can gain easy access to this supreme lounge before jetting off on your next trip. It’s open 6am to 11pm daily, has a great buffet, well-stocked bar and best of all (in our opinion) complete barista service – yes, please!
Yes, it gets busy at times, but when you plug in your headphones and settle into your seat you won’t care about the foot traffic. Also there aren’t any shower facilities – however, there’s no harm in asking the lounge staff if you can use the facilities in the nearby SkyTeam lounge.
2. Singapore Changi Airport T1 – SATS Premier Lounge
Anyone who’s flown internationally for business has probably stopped over in Singapore. And what can you say about Changi Airport other than “Wow!”? It’s seriously one of the coolest airports on this planet, with more stores, public lounge areas, bars and massage parlours than you can throw a stick at. There’s even a free movie theatre!
So when you’re travelling for fun, you might think it’s a waste of money to forgo all that in favour of paying for a lounge pass. But businesspeople know it’s more important to get your rest when you can get it. Because you sure aren’t getting into your proper sleep cycle on those long-haul flights.
There are heaps of lounge options at Changi, but one of the best for those travelling for business is the SATS Premier Lounge in T1. There’s a hot and cold buffet (including a special DIY laksa station), a self-serve bar, complimentary Wi-Fi – the works. But what you really want to know is that there are showers and massage chairs for all lounge visitors. Perfect for a bit of downtime between flights.
3. London Heathrow Airport – Qantas International Lounge
Heathrow is understandably one of the busiest airports in the world, so it makes sense that there are lots of lounges to cater for the excess of business commuters.
With so much choice, sometimes a familiar face is what you’re after. In this case, the Qantas International London Lounge is your best bet – and it goes above and beyond in terms of meeting your expectations.
The giant lounge is spread across two levels, meaning you won’t have to endure the manic rush of passengers in a smaller lounge. It’s also great for all types of business passengers – even if you’re flying Economy, you’ll get exactly the same service and lounge access as First Class passengers.
Private showers? Check. Private bedding pods? Check. Waiter service in the dining room? Check. Complimentary lounge access for Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card holders? Check!
Receive up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points!
Receive up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (20,000 points per month for the first 6 months) when you spend at least $1,500 each month.
Reduced annual fee of $199 p.a. in the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter).
Enjoy 6 months interest-free on your first purchase of selected Qantas products and services.
2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Citigroup Pty Limited ABN 88 004 325 080 AFSL No. 238 098 Australian credit licence 238098, is the Credit Provider and Issuer of the Qantas Premier credit cards on behalf of Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901.
This credit card offer is subject to change and may not be directly related to the content of this article.
4. San Francisco International Airport – Air France KLM Lounge
No, you don’t have to fly to the land of cheese and baguettes to experience the top-quality service of Air France KLM. In Terminal A of the San Fran airport, you’ll find this ‘plain Jane’ lounge with a lot of heart.
It’s perfect for business travellers because there’s a maximum three-hour stay. And that’s all you’ll need with a full-service buffet, free Wi-Fi, coffee machines and plenty of pastries, wine and comfy seats to get you refuelled for your trip back Down Under.
Make sure you check out the opening hours as business cardholders won’t be admitted outside these times.
5. Perth Airport – Virgin Australia Domestic Lounge
Fair enough – Perth isn’t in the same league as San Francisco, Singapore or even London, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good place to unwind between work meetings at the Virgin Domestic Lounge.
Businesspeople will appreciate the spacious seating areas, as well as the round-the-clock salad and sandwich bars. You’ll have to wait for mealtimes to get hot food, but there’s still lots of beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks at your beck and call.
The best part about this lounge, though, is its Business Centre. You can really knuckle down and get work done with desks, printers, PCs, charging stations and more – all in a quiet, secluded area of the lounge.
6. Muscat International Airport – Primeclass Lounge
With rapid globalisation hitting every corner of the planet, it’s no wonder people are doing business in exciting new regions like the Middle East. So if you’re travelling to Oman to wine and dine some new clients, make sure you stop in at the Primeclass Lounge in the Muscat International Airport.
It’s open 24/7 and has all the staples like great food, good booze and free Wi-Fi. There are also conference rooms, showers, luggage storage and even bedrooms for the tired businessperson. And for working parents who’ve brought the kids along for the trip, there’s even a children’s play area, family room, games zone and cinema.
The best part about this lounge? It’s one of the latest additions to the Priority Pass network. That means you can sign up and get free access to an incredible amount of airport lounges around the world. There’s even a special Priority Pass for Business that can make your life – and your employees’ lives – so much more relaxing when away on business.
Find cards with complimentary Priority Pass membership here.