6 Amazing Airline Lounge Amenities

6 Amazing Airline Lounge Amenities

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I’ve published my lists of what I consider to be the world’s best first class lounges and best business class lounges, and I’ve also shared what amenities make an airport lounge good. In this post, I thought it would be fun to be a bit lighthearted, and share some of my favorite airline lounge amenities.

I’m focusing specifically on unique or over-the-top offerings that are in a league of their own. I’m avoiding things like complimentary lounge spa treatments, which are awesome, but which I’ve kept a separate list of. Rather, I’m talking about features that stand out from the competition, no matter how major or minor.

With that in mind, below are some of my picks, in no particular order. I invite others to share their favorites as well.

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong shower suites

A lot of airline lounges have shower suites, though none are quite as nice as those that you’ll find in Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong. The airline has shower suites known as “cabanas,” which will make you forget you’re at an airport.

These suites feature a shower, a tub, a place to relax, a vanity, and a private toilet. Heck, it’s worth showering in this lounge even if you don’t feel it’s necessary!

Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong shower suite

Finnair Platinum Wing Helsinki sauna

I love when airlines integrate their local culture into the passenger experience, and that’s something Finnair very much does in Helsinki. Finnair’s Platinum Wing Helsinki, along with a couple of other lounges at the airport, offer a sauna that passengers can use prior to their flight.

That sure is a unique amenity, though admittedly it’s not going to be everyone’s vibe for a pre-flight activity.

Finnair Platinum Wing Helsinki sauna

SWISS First Class Lounge Zurich bedrooms

While several airport lounges have nap rooms, SWISS’ First Class Lounge Zurich takes it to the next level, with its two private bedrooms. The bedrooms feature heavenly beds from Hästens, a TV, a private bathroom and shower, and views of the apron.

Not only will you not find a more comfortable bed at any other airport, you might not find a more comfortable bed anywhere! It’s like sleeping on a cloud. The only problem with sleeping is that you can’t enjoy the plane views from bed.

SWISS First Lounge Zurich bedroom

Qatar Airways First Class Lounge Doha hot tub

Qatar Airways’ Al Safwa First Lounge Doha has a spa with treatments that are chargeable. However, one feature that’s included is the hot tub, which guests can enjoy on a first come, first served basis. This is a fun amenity, though for us germaphobes, it’s perhaps a bit less fun when you consider how many of us have sat in the same spot here.

Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge hot tub

Lufthansa First Class Lounge ducks

Over the years, Lufthansa has developed a unique tradition of offering a rotating selection of rubber ducks at its First Class Lounges in Frankfurt and Munich, as well as at the First Class Terminal Frankfurt. This started innocently enough back in the day, when the airline just put rubber ducks next to its lounge bathtubs. However, over the years they’ve become a collectors item, and the airline has really embraced it.

Lufthansa First Class Lounge ducks

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai direct boarding

For many people, boarding can be the most stressful part of a flight. Even if you have lounge access, you typically have to leave the lounge to get to your gate. Emirates has sort of redefined that concept, as the Emirates First Lounge Dubai in Terminal A (as well as the Emirates Business Lounge) span the entire length of the concourse, and offer direct boarding from the lounge to the aircraft. The scale of these lounges is simply unrivaled.

Emirates First Lounge Dubai boarding gates

Bottom line

There are lots of exceptional airport lounges out there, and I wanted to call out some of the airlines that have raised the bar when it comes to unique lounge features. These aren’t necessarily my favorite lounge amenities in the world, but rather they stand out for how they’re different or better than others.

I’m sure there are some others I’m missing, so I’d love to hear what you think the most memorable lounge amenities are. Admittedly we’ve seen some cool amenities cut over the years, ranging from the Etihad First Lounge Abu Dhabi’s gym, to the Etihad First Lounge Abu Dhabi’s barber shop, to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London’s hair salon.

What are your favorite, unique airline lounge amenities?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Elijah Guest

    To me, AF’s solve for the boarding issue is a lot more premium than EK’s. I’ll take the personal escort and drive across the apron over boarding straight from the lounge any day

  2. Alex Guest

    The Emirates Lounge at Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) also offers direct access to the plane with a dedicated jetbridge

    1. tlukec New Member

      Not from the lounge though, Alex.

  3. Nb Guest

    ‘ For many people, boarding can be the most stressful part of a flight. Even if you have lounge access, you typically have to leave the lounge to get to your gate.’

    That is what stresses people. The unbearable and almighty pain of leaving the lounge to the gate? Not wars, hunger, racism, etc?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Nb -- You have to read the whole sentence you quoted. ;-) The most stressful part of *a flight*, not of life, or of society. And yes, boarding does stress people out. How else do you explain the way in which everyone crowds the gate before boarding even starts?

  4. harry hv Guest

    How about the grand piano in the Concorde Room? I was politely ushered away as my blues playing was deemed too noisy and unskilled - the security guard explained the previous person who played it was Andrew Lloyd Webber

  5. Ezawa Tami Guest

    The ducks win by a wide margin.

  6. CPH-Flyer Gold

    How about the gym in the Scandinavian Airlines Lounge in Oslo?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ CPH-Flyer -- I learn something new every day! I'll need to check out that lounge, as I haven't been.

    2. CPH-Flyer Gold

      It is on the domestic side, but can be accessed with an international boarding pass as well. Just go before heading to the international lounge, or it can be a bit complex

    3. Alex Guest

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they just got rid of the gym to make for more lounge space

  7. J X Guest

    air france 2E L gate lounge has a sauna too
    was pretty cool to try out

  8. John S Guest

    Here in Honolulu, ANA has both a First Class and Business Class Lounge that allows direct boarding to their upper Deck aboard their A380 “Flying Honu’s”

  9. digital_notmad Diamond

    I would really, really appreciate lounges adding some cardio rooms. When I arrive somewhere after an overnight flight (especially if I have a long connection), I always want to get some cardio in but the logistics of doing it are nightmarish. I've managed to make it work during layovers at LHR and FRA, but it was not pleasant either time - and fortunately I didn't get "randomly selected" for manual patdowns on my way back...

    I would really, really appreciate lounges adding some cardio rooms. When I arrive somewhere after an overnight flight (especially if I have a long connection), I always want to get some cardio in but the logistics of doing it are nightmarish. I've managed to make it work during layovers at LHR and FRA, but it was not pleasant either time - and fortunately I didn't get "randomly selected" for manual patdowns on my way back in!

    Can't we please just have this in a lounge next to the showers?? /rant

    1. Kenny Guest

      Isn't running the entire span of an airport a cardio exercise in itself?

    2. digital_notmad Diamond

      I could probably make it work but it wouldn't be particularly interesting, or very considerate of other travelers...

  10. Jamie Guest

    Great article Ben. What about the pottery on KLM ? Or maybe the pool table at the Virgin Atlantic lounge ?

    1. FrozenKiwi Guest

      At LHR Virgin also has a little cardio space now where you used to be able to get a haircut (miss that!)

    2. OCTinPHL Diamond

      The pottery on KLM is not a lounge amenity.

    3. Ly Guest

      That pool table has gone the way of the Dodo

  11. Eskimo Guest

    How can you forget the famous swimming pool.

  12. Mantis Member

    More lounges should have sleeping areas. The ones that have them are almost always full. I think they should be very cost effective. After all, sleeping guests aren't eating, drinking, and making a mess. My favorite amenity though is a view of the tarmac.

  13. Bill n DC Diamond

    Yikes! What a Piker I am only 3 out of 6 Maybe the sauna, but doubtful on Swiss First. And I'm just not sure of the Jacuzzi although I've had great massages at the Spa and great rest in the bedroom
    BTW Just tcketed JFK HKG HND in Cathay First for this coming October for 160K with plenty of transit time for lounge hoping @HKG Big fan on the Wing Cabanas over the years :-)

    1. Mick Guest

      160k return using aa miles or one way?

    2. Ly Guest

      I would guess 1 way using cx miles

  14. eric Guest

    the cabanas are at the wing, not the pier. i actually prefer the showers at the pier even though the wing's cabanas are quite nice

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Nb -- You have to read the whole sentence you quoted. ;-) The most stressful part of *a flight*, not of life, or of society. And yes, boarding does stress people out. How else do you explain the way in which everyone crowds the gate before boarding even starts?

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tlukec New Member

Not from the lounge though, Alex.

1
Mick Guest

160k return using aa miles or one way?

1
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