Luxury airport lounges with sublime surroundings, spa treatments, exquisite food, impeccable service and other perks can transform the laborious process of waiting for a plane into a memorable experience. Frequent fliers want airlines to constantly improve this on-the-ground experience in their efforts to attract premium travellers. Says one regular business traveller: “The best, best, best experience is one where it's really a carefree experience, where effectively it's not your job to pay attention to when it's time go to. Someone will come get you and bring you to the plane when it's time.”
Among the best: Thai Airways’ First Class Lounge, Bangkok (“the spa experience is outstanding”); Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal, Frankfurt (“like a small luxury hotel” with “the most polite security” and where guests are chauffeured to their plane in a Porsche or Mercedes-Benz); the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, London (“an architectural marvel” with great food); the non-airline-affiliated JetQuay Terminal, Singapore; and The Wing, Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge, Hong Kong, which includes private bath and shower suites on a sweeping exclusive balcony.
[pictured: Thai Airways’ First Class Lounge, Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport]