Top 10 best Business Class airport lounges in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (July 8, 2019): Top 10 best Business Class airport lounges in the world. 

Access to an airline’s lounge is considered one of the best perks that comes with a Business Class ticket. However, the privilege of waiting for a flight in a lounge has always eluded me. Airport lounges are often located in dark and cramped spaces, most of the time they are far away from the gate, and the food is mediocre at best. But that is not the case at the 10 lounges listed below, which represent oases of tranquility, privacy, and first-rate amenities. In fact, you might even want to get to the airport early to while away the pre-flight hours in my pick of the world’s top 10 best Business Class lounges.

There is more information below the slideshow. Which one is your favorite Business Class Lounge? Leave a comment or take my poll below.

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10. BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES LOUNGE, LONDON

British Airways ’s Business Class lounge at Heathrow ( designated ‘Galleries Lounge’) is definitely a step up from most airline lounges. The lounge is very spacious, features Osborne and Little exclusively designed fabric, and embraces the daylight with large floor-to-ceiling windows that offer nice tarmac views. It has plenty of food on display, with a fresh soup bar, hot and cold entrees, lots of snacks, full coffee stations with all sorts of cappuccino and lattes, and a very broad selection of wines, beers and spirits. There is also an Elemis Travel Spa on site, which provides 15 min complimentary treatments.

I have reviewed the Galleries Lounge in the following trip reports:

BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES LOUNGE, LONDON


9. SINGAPORE AIRLINES SILVERKRIS LOUNGE, SINGAPORE

The SilverKris Lounge is Singapore Airlines’ main Business Class lounge at Changi Airport. The carrier introduced a ‘home away from home’ concept for its SilverKris Lounge, with unique spaces modelled after living, dining rooms and kitchens, featuring tastefully selected art pieces. There is no shortage of seating variety as guests can choose from meeting rooms, café/bars or 13 Italian-leather slumberettes. It has one of the widest variety of lounge foods in the world, including vegetarian cuisines, western dishes, pastas, Chinese stir-fried classics or Indian curries, in addition to Singaporean classic dishes like carrot cake, fried noodles, and chicken rice.

I have reviewed the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge in the following trip reports:

SINGAPORE AIRLINES SILVERKRIS LOUNGE, SINGAPORE


8. ETIHAD AIRWAYS PREMIUM LOUNGE, ABU DHABI

Etihad’s spacious Premium Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport features a chic decor that you would expect in a boutique hotel rather than an airport lounge. There is a wealth of services and facilities on offer in the lounge, including shower rooms, champagne bar, cigar lounge, children’s play area staffed with qualified nannies, work and relaxation areas. Several food stations display an impressive, frequently replenished international buffet which includes a wide variety of meats, cheeses, pastries, fruits, and hot items. The lounge’s Six Senses spa, dedicated to ambient relaxation, provides an urban sanctuary where guests can enjoy a range of complimentary express treatments.

I have reviewed the Etihad Airways Premium Lounge in the following trip report:

ETIHAD AIRWAYS PREMIUM LOUNGE, ABU DHABI


7. FINNAIR PREMIUM LOUNGE, HELSINKI

Finnair’s ultra-white, swanky Premium Lounge is designed by the Helsinki firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co and features a classic Nordic design with dynamic changes in lighting, inspired by the Finnish outdoors. Video projections on the walls and ceiling are in tune with the seasons and time of day. The lounge features design furniture such as Tulip and Wombs chairs created by Finnish American architect and industrial designer Eero Saarinen. Food & beverage selection are plated on Marimekko tableware or served in Iittala Ultima Thule glasses, first designed for Finnair in 1968 by Tapio Wirkkala. The Premium lounge also features a children’s play area, Apple computers, a staffed bar and even a unisex sauna for those wanting to experience real Finnish culture before boarding the plane.

I have reviewed the Finnair Premium Lounge in the following trip report:

FINNAIR PREMIUM LOUNGE, HELSINKI AIRPORT


6. VIRGIN ATLANTIC CLUBHOUSE, JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK

Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse in New York’s JFK airport combines British style and uptown New York cool. The moment you walk in you’ll be transported into a world of graceful elegance, with soothing lighting and luxurious furnishings. Passengers can indulge in something delicious from the complimentary a la carte menu, which features five-star dining, smaller tapas-style dishes, and of course, the famous Clubhouse burger. For a truly transformative start to your trip, you can check in to the renowned Clubhouse Spa for a complimentary treatment. And if you’re in a playful mood, the entertainment zone has an iconic red ball sofa, alongside a pool table and other games.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC CLUBHOUSE JFK, NEW YORK


5. STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE, LOS ANGELES

The award-winning Star Alliance Lounge at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal is created and managed by Air New Zealand in consultation with its Star Alliance partners. The lounge’s main attraction is an outdoor terrace which invites guests to enjoy views over the airfield and distant Hollywood hills. By day you can enjoy Southern California’s famous sunshine and by night a sophisticated and cozy fire lit ambience. The lounge has a serviced bar with complimentary cocktails and refreshments available. Its numerous areas allow guests to relax, work, dine or be entertained as they wish. Well-appointed shower suites are available for guests wishing to freshen up before their flight.

4. STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE, LOS ANGELES


4. CATHAY PACIFIC THE WING, HONG KONG

The Wing is Cathay Pacific’s flagship lounge at Hong Kong International Airport and recently completed renovations after originally opening in 1998. It is split over two floors including a space adjacent to The Wing First Class lounge. It comes with a whopping 24 shower suites on the lower floor, along with six workstations, a buffet counter with cold food and four Asian and Western hot dishes. But you’ll want to head upstairs for the Noodle Bar, serving freshly made Asian dishes, such as dan dan noodles, char siu buns, dumplings, and regional specials, or for sipping a glass of premium champagne or a fine wine at the iconic Long Bar, made with gleaming, white marble with scenic overlooks of the tarmac.

I have reviewed the Cathay Pacific The Wing lounge in the following trip report:

CATHAY PACIFIC THE WING, HONG KONG


3. AIR FRANCE BUSINESS LOUNGE, CDG AIRPORT, PARIS

Air France operates several airport lounges across the globe, but its new Business Class lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport is in a category of its own (and is in fact my favorite airport lounge in Europe). Reopened in 2018 after a complete redesign, the enormous light-filled lounge has a capacity of 540 seats and is an ambassador of chic French style. The choice of materials and furniture with a palette of bright colors strikes a subtle balance between elegance, comfort and creativity. Facilities include a Parisian bistro styled dining corner with open kitchen, a stunning bar created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, and a wellness center with spa treatment rooms, private saunas and a detox bar.

I have reviewed the Air France Business Lounge in the following trip report:

AIR FRANCE BUSINESS LOUNGE, PARIS


2. TURKISH AIRLINES BUSINESS LOUNGE, ISTANBUL

In order to create an guest experience like no other, Turkey’s flagship carrier partnered with Istanbul Modern to merge its Business Lounge at Istanbul’s new airport with a museum. A great range of services and activities are at arm’s reach, including a realistic racetrack providing the excitement of a car race, video game consoles, a cutting-edge golf simulator, private resting and showering areas, a media wall, cinema, play area for children, library, pool room, prayer room, teleconference hall, and a spa. For those interested in Turkish cuisine, the lounge provides some of the unique tastes of Turkish and global dishes you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, such as “mantı” (Traditional Turkish beef ravioli).

TURKISH AIRLINES BUSINESS LOUNGE, ISTANBUL


1. QATAR AIRWAYS AL MOURJAN BUSINESS LOUNGE, DOHA

Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge at Hamad International Airport is the best Business Class lounge that I ever encountered during my extensive travels. It simply outclasses all the current competition out there. The physically stunning space with its high ceilings has a refreshing resort-like ambience. The lounge is adorned with marbles, designer furniture, and bronze walls featuring traditional Arab calligraphy. It offers a variety of dining areas with an extensive buffet as well as fully equipped business centers, private workstations equipped with personal display screens, shower rooms, prayer rooms, and game rooms (all of them state-of-the-art and incredibly well designed).

I have reviewed the Qatar Airways Al Mourn Business Lounge in the following trip reports:

QATAR AIRWAYS AL MOURJAN BUSINESS LOUNGE, DOHA


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10 Comments

  1. Wow. You seriously think the shoddy BA galleries lounge at LHR is better than the Virgin LHR clubhouse?! Crazy.

  2. The Qatar lounge doesn’t offer a la carte. Even your last review states that.

  3. I think the United Global First Class/Polaris Lounge at SFO is pretty special. Great food and superb wine/champagne selection. Best shrimp cocktail ever and chateaubriand to die for. Unique decor.

  4. BA galleries suck. Overcrowded, food was meh for me on multiple occasions. Would never be in my top 10. The newer AA flagship and United in SFO are much nicer.

  5. Qatar Al Mourjan lounge is exactly one of those you mention at the beginning of your article – far away from everywhere, crowded and the food is rather mediocre (unlike the food on board!). The picture is misleading because it shows the lower part of the lounge where there is a big pool in the middle and chairs around but no food no drinks. If you want to eat or drink, you have to use the staircase and go one level up and the upper part is considerably smaller and not comfortable at all. Or you have to come up, get your drink and then go back down and rest in one of the armchairs there whilst listening to the rhythmic “blob – blob – blob” that comes from the pool…

    For me the best lounge is Emirates because it is huge and you can board directly from the lounge.

  6. I agree. Overcrowded, poor food, toilets often incrediby dirty. Must be dozens that are superior.

  7. First thing I looked for was the Virgin Atlantic LHR clubhouse. It is special—even has sauna, jacuzzi, beauty salon as well as excellent restaurant style eating. Very Chic ambiance. You will want it on your list after you sample it. Agree with other comments that it is definitely superior to some of the lounges you list.

  8. BA galleries is in so many ways inferior to the Virgin Clubhouse at LHR. For one, the Virgin clubhouse has full at-seat service anywhere in the lounge, a free spa for all, sauna, steam rooms, outdoor seating area and – most of all – FRIENDLY and fun staff.

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