Introduction: Journey To Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, And Kuwait
Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul
Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu
Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Review: Kathmandu Airport Lounge
Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro
Review: Le Meridien Thimphu
Review: Le Meridien Paro
Hiking To The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
How We Spent Our Time In Bhutan
Review: Drukair Economy ATR42 Paro To Dhaka
Review: Presidential Suite At The Le Meridien Dhaka
Review: Dhaka Airport Lounge
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait
Review: Sheraton Kuwait
Review: Kuwait Airways Lounge Kuwait Airport
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York
Our Kuwait Airways flight from Dhaka to Kuwait City was departing at 8:55AM, and we got to the airport at around 6:45AM. Our driver pulled up to the airport and signaled for us to go through the staff entrance. I wasn’t sure whether we were really supposed to do that, but he insisted, so we did. Sure enough, the officers waved us through.
Security at Dhaka Airport is very high. Probably the highest I’ve seen at any airport. There were guards with machine guns everywhere. First there was a security and passport check to get into the terminal.
Then we tried to find the Kuwait Airways check-in counter, which proved a bit of a challenge. There was a lack of signage indicating which airline used which counters, and on top of that the terminal was crowded. Eventually we found the Kuwait Airways check-in counter, located in row “E.”
We handed the agent at the business class counter our passports, and before she opened them she said “you have a long transit before connecting to New York, are you entering Kuwait, and do you have visas?” Hmmm, that was bizarre. I’m not sure if they specifically looked up our reservation before check-in because we were the only business class passengers, or what. Since I’m sure some people will say this in the comments section, I don’t think we got any “special treatment” or that they flagged our reservation in any way because of my blog — at least if they did, I imagine they would have probably tried harder on the flight. 😉
Within a few minutes we had our boarding passes and lounge invitations, and headed to the immigration checkpoint. There was a separate checkpoint for first and business class passengers, though they didn’t seem to enforce who used the line. Fortunately the wait wasn’t too long. We had just enough time to fill out our departure cards, and within about 10 minutes we were through.
Security is at the individual gates at Dhaka Airport, so we already found ourselves “airside” after immigration. Once through immigration we turned left, and then the signage towards the executive lounges pointed us right.
There was a staircase leading up a level, which is where lounges are located.
As much as Dhaka Airport is outdated and could use a renovation, there’s something I like about the funnel-looking beams supporting the building.
There are several lounges located on this level.
As Kuwait Airways business class passengers we had access to the Balaka Executive Lounge, located to the very right. The Balaka Executive Lounge is also a Priority Pass lounge, along with the Skylounge. If you’re not flying in a premium cabin, keep in mind that the following cards get you a Priority Pass membership:
|Card||# Of Guests Who Get Free Access||Authorized User Access||Cost To Add Authorized User|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||2||Yes||$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express||2||Yes||$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||2||Yes||$75 Per Person|
|Citi Prestige® Credit Card||2||Yes||$50 Per Person. ($75 Per Person for Cardmember Anniversary dates after September 1, 2019)|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||2||No||$0|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||2||No||$0|
Inside the entrance we presented our invitations and were admitted without them even verifying our boarding passes. The lounge was a pretty typical contract lounge for the region. There was one main room with quite a bit of seating. It mostly consisted of individual chairs arranged around coffee tables.
I couldn’t help but notice the amount of advertising for the InterContinental Dhaka. There’s signage for the hotel outside the lounge, all over the walls of the lounge, etc. I’m not sure if they’re just paying a fee for the advertising or have some connection to the lounge.
The lounge also has a second room, which is where the reception desk is located. This one is quite a bit smaller and also darker.
The buffet was back in the main room, and consisted of a variety of hot and cold options.
I’ll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves — we had breakfast at the hotel, so didn’t try any of the food.
There was also a selection of soft drinks and bottled water, as well as coffee and juice.
The bathrooms were located towards the back of the lounge, and were surprisingly decent. I know some people find my photographing of lounge bathrooms to be odd, but this is an area where there’s a huge variance in quality among different contract lounges, and I try to be thorough. 😉
We spent a bit of time in the lounge on our laptops. The wifi worked, though was on the slow side for sure. On the plus side the lounge was pretty empty and quiet.
Our flight was scheduled to board from gate 1 at 7:55AM (that’s a full hour before departure), so we decided to leave the lounge at around 7:40AM. Gate 1 was located at the far left of the terminal, about a five minute walk from the lounge.
I enjoyed the planes we saw enroute to our gate, including a Qatar Airways A330, Biman Bangladesh 777, and Saudia 777.
Security at Dhaka Airport is at the individual gates, and there was virtually no line at our gate — I guess most other passengers had already cleared.
I was super excited to fly Kuwait Airways, especially since our flight was operated by one of their new A330s.
Security at the gate was thorough. First there was the typical x-ray and metal detector, and then on top of that each passenger had their entire bag searched, and received a full pat-down. I’m all for thorough security, and this seemed like it had substance, rather than just being for show.
At that point we found ourselves in the gate area, where we no doubt stood out like sore thumbs. I’m pretty sure every single other person on the plane was male and from Bangladesh, largely probably going to work in the Gulf.
Boarding was called at 8:05AM, starting with business class.
Dhaka Airport Lounge bottom line
While not the most modern or impressive airport, I found Dhaka Airport to be pleasant. Lines at immigration weren’t long, and I appreciate that security is at individual gates, and also thorough. The lounge itself was fine, though we were only there briefly.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).