Get That VIP Treatment: World’s Best Airport Lounges

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated December 12, 2022

The word airport conjures images of long queues at check-in counters, people lugging heavy suitcases around, and tired faces. In the midst of it all is a haven where you can sit still, feast on scrumptious meals, catch up on your work, or savor the excitement of your upcoming flight. Welcome to the airport lounge.

The comfort airport lounges offer goes beyond the basics. More often than not, they provide luxurious facilities that make you feel like you’re in a top-rated hotel. Curious to know the world’s best airport lounges? We’ve listed some of the most exclusive airport lounges below and provided details on how to access them.

World's Best Airport Lounges

✈️ The Private Room by Singapore Airlines

world’s best airport lounges - singapore airlines private room

Location: Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

How to access it: You must be a First Class flyer with Singapore Airlines.

As Singapore Changi Airport is one of the best airports in the world, you can expect that the lounges here are truly exceptional. One of them is The Private Room by Singapore Airlines.

The Private Room is a unique facility, as it is part of Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge, which is designed for business class travelers. In other words, it’s a lounge within a lounge. The Private Room only caters to Singapore Airlines’ First Class passengers.

Its creature comforts include a selection of warm food and light snacks, barista and bartender service, a rest area, restrooms, and showers. Use the lounge's meeting room if you’re catching up on work and meetings.

Traveling with kids? Let your little ones de-stress in the playroom. All these make The Private Room one of the world’s best airport lounges.

Read more: G for SG! Top Singapore Tourist Spots You Have to Visit

✈️ International First Lounge by Qantas Airways

worlds best airport lounges - qantas first international lounge

Location: Sydney Airport, Sydney, Australia

How to access it: You must be a Platinum One Qantas Frequent flyer or a Platinum Qantas Frequent flyer.[1]   

Let Qantas’ International First Lounge be your comfort pad as you wait for your flight in Sydney. The lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that give you a panoramic view of the tarmac.

But the actual luxury lies in its delectable a la carte dishes and servings of champagne. The International First Lounge boasts the following: bar service, barista-made coffee, and lounge or restaurant dining.

Freshen up before your next flight using the lounge’s showers and spa. Business facilities, on the other hand, include internet connectivity, a library, a private suite, and meeting rooms.

✈️ First Class Terminal by Lufthansa

worlds best airport lounges - lufthansa first class terminal

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

How to access it: This lounge is open to Lufthansa’s First Class passengers. Business Class passengers who have upgraded their flight to First Class using miles may also use the First Class Terminal.

Lufthansa takes first class to a whole new level by building not just a lounge but a terminal exclusive to its distinguished flyers. Enter the aptly named First Class Terminal.

Its exclusivity is apparent the moment you drive your car to the terminal. You can hand your car over to the valet parking service and spend your time inside the 1,800-square-meter lounge.

Given the First Class Terminal’s size, there’s a wealth of lavish services waiting to be experienced. For those who want to rest and freshen up, there are well-appointed easy chairs, day beds, and shower rooms.

Should you wish to go on a gastronomic adventure, you can enjoy the First Class Terminal’s fine dining. Unwind at the bar, which boasts more than 130 kinds of whiskies. With these features, the First Class Terminal is undeniably one of the world’s best airport lounges.

✈️ Al Mourjan Business Lounge by Qatar Airways

Location: Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

How to access it: You can access Al MourJan Business Lounge for free or for a fee. Here’s how:

  • Free Access
    • Qatar Airways First Class passengers
    • Qatar Airways Business Class (Elite, Comfort & Classic) passengers
    • Oneworld First Class and Business Class passengers
  • Paid Access (can be purchased at the check-in counters, select travel agents, Qatar Airways’ sales offices, and even on Qatar Airways’ website)
    • Business Class (Lite) passengers
    • Economy Class passengers

A lounge that emulates the atmosphere and services of a five-star hotel is worthy of being called one of the world’s best airport lounges. Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge effortlessly earns that distinction.

The lounge is a tastemaker’s dream, starting with the facility’s Arabian aesthetics composed of high ceilings, bronze walls, and handcrafted design pieces. For dining, the lounge has a mezzanine where you can taste gourmet meals: continental, oriental, global deli, and patisserie.

With an area of 10,000 square meters, which is roughly 10 times the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, Al Mourjan Business Lounge has a variety of spaces that will satisfy every passenger’s needs. There’s a garden resort area where you can enjoy tea time with friends. There are comfy rooms where you can doze off before your next flight. And there are private workstations where you can concentrate on your work.[2] 

✈️ Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse by Virgin Atlantic

world’s best airport lounges - virgin atlantic clubhouse

Location: Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom

How to access it: The lounge is exclusive to the following passengers:

  • Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers
  • Flying Club Gold members traveling with Virgin Atlantic
  • Delta One passengers
  • Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion cardholders (traveling on a Virgin Atlantic- or Delta Air Lines-operated flight leaving the UK)
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion cardholders (traveling on a Virgin Atlantic- or Delta Air Lines-operated flight leaving the UK)
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Club Gold cardholders (traveling on a Virgin Atlantic-operated flight)
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Club Platinum cardholders (traveling on a Virgin Atlantic-operated flight)
  • Virgin Australia Velocity The Club cardholders
  • Flying Blue Platinum cardholders
  • La premiere customers

Located at London Heathrow Airport, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse exudes opulence and ultimate comfort–just like a five-star hotel! Its ambiance truly makes it one of the most luxurious airport lounges.

The Clubhouse’s Retreat area is outfitted with well-appointed relaxation areas. If you want to get your dose of endorphins by working out, check out Clubhouse’s Peloton bikes.

Order your meal at the Brasserie through the online ordering system or through a waiter in person. Relish flavored spirits at the bar, where you can also watch the resident mixologist concoct your chosen potion.

✈️ The Wing, First by Cathay Pacific

world’s best airport lounges - cathay pacific the wing, first

Location: Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong

How to access it: The Wing, First is available to First Class passengers of Cathay Pacific and Oneworld carriers.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, is all about exceptional service for both flights and on-ground amenities. The Wing, First, which is easily one of the world’s best airport lounges, stands as a testament.

The Wing, First is Cathay Pacific’s exclusive first-class airport lounge. It has a host of features that entice you to stay longer. For one, it has temperature-controlled cabanas with large baths and rain showers, day beds, and working spaces. There are also shower suites, where you can take a bath while the concierge service presses your clothes.

Within The Wing, First is The Haven, a restaurant serving Western and Asian dishes. At the lounge, you can select your welcome drink from a range of premium champagnes.

✈️ The Pier, Business by Cathay Pacific

Location: Hong Kong International Airport

How to access it: The Pier, Business is available to First Class passengers of Cathay Pacific and Oneworld carriers.  

The Pier, Business is Cathay Pacific’s other first-class lounge. Many flyers consider it one of the best airport lounges in the world for a couple of reasons. At the entrance, you’ll be treated to a fusion of Oriental and brutalist designs. The aesthetics are complemented by amenities that make for a comfortable and cozy stay.

Two of The Pier, Business’ prominent features are centered on culinary experiences. Taste various tea varieties served by fine tea artisans themselves at The Teahouse. Alternatively, warm your soul with generous servings of signature oriental noodles and dim sums at The Noodle Bar.

Yearning for some rest before your next flight? Head over to The Retreat, a collection of private suites. Sit or lie on the daybed as you watch the planes on the tarmac.

Read more:

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✈️ Emirates First Class Lounge by Emirates

worlds best airport lounges - emirates first class lounge

Location: Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

How to access it: The Emirates First Class Lounge is available to Emirates’ First Class passengers. However, you can pay your way through it, which will cost you US$300 (around ₱16,000). If you’re upgrading from Business Class to First Class lounge, you’ll need to pay US$150 (around ₱8,300). If you’re an Emirates Skyward member, you’ll need to pay US$250 (around ₱13,800). The same member seeking an upgrade to business class will have to pay US$125 (around ₱8,000). Note that these fees are exclusive of taxes.

The word first class has always been synonymous with Emirates’ flight experience. That same distinction extends to the on-ground service, courtesy of the Emirates First Class Lounge.

The Emirates First Class Lounge has shower spas that will reinvigorate your senses, pumping you up for the next leg of your trip. The facility comes with towels, luxury toiletries, and hair dryers.

After refreshing yourself, head to the Cigar Bar and strike up a conversation with fellow passengers or simply unwind in the lounge’s dedicated quiet spaces. Refuel yourself by savoring the dishes in the fine dining area.[3] 

You can also do some shopping at the duty-free boutique. If you’re interested in wines, the sommelier in Les Clos Wine Cellar can educate you on fine and vintage spirits.

✈️ SWISS First Class Lounge by Swiss International Air Lines

worlds best airport lounges - swiss international airlines first class lounge

Location: Zurich Airport, Zurich, Switzerland

How to access it: You can access the SWISS First Class Lounge if you’re a First Class passenger with  Swiss Air Lines or Lufthansa.

A First Class ticket from Swiss International Airlines costs a fortune. But it’s definitely worth every penny, and you’ll see that before you even board your flight. Enter the SWISS First Class Lounge, one of the best airport lounges in the world.

As you enter the SWISS First Class Lounge, you’ll be greeted by Breitling clocks telling the time in key cities around the world. On the surface, the entire lounge looks like a high-end bar or restaurant. One wall doubles as a showcase containing more than 1,000 fine wines.

Facing this humidor is a table where you can refresh yourself with some champagne. Go further and you’ll see the dining booths where you can wolf down the lounge’s scrumptious dishes.

The SWISS First Class Lounge has lavish dayrooms where you can take that much-needed rest. Freshen up in one of the swanky shower facilities. And whether it’s a sunny or snowy day, you can head out to the terrace where you can watch the planes going about their business.

✈️ British Airways Concorde Room by British Airways

worlds best airport lounges - british airways concorde room

Location: Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom

How to access it: The Concorde Room is available to passengers flying on First Class British Airways flights.

Nestled within British Airways’ massive lounge complex at Heathrow Airport, the Concorde Room boasts a posh yet homey feel. It’s characterized by squashy chairs, chandeliers, hardwood flooring, and fireplaces.

Comfort is coupled with top-notch waiter service. Dishes are opulent, too. Choose between open and private seating options at the restaurant and bar.

After a quick shower, lounge on the terrace, which is right next to wide and tall windows. However, if you feel like sleeping, you can doze off at Forty Winks relaxation zones that feature sleep pods.

Final Thoughts

Airports are exciting places, but they can also be stressful and turbulent. Thankfully, you can always find an oasis in the middle of the chaos—the airport lounge.

While many of the world’s best airport lounges either require a first-class ticket or a hefty fee, you’ll definitely get what you pay for. Services are top-notch, food is delicious, and you get some work done while you’re on the fly!

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Sources:

Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.