Bali and Berchtesgaden: International Business Lounge Moscow

Introduction
Singapore Airlines First Class Houston to Moscow
International Business Lounge Moscow
Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Bali
InterContinental Bali
Exploring Bali
W Retreat Bali Seminyak
Singapore Airlines Business Class Bali to Singapore
The Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt
InterContinental Berchtesgaden & Surrounding Areas
Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
Westin Washington Dulles Airport


I shared many of the details of my Moscow transit in my previous post entitled “The Amazing Race, Moscow Shower Edition.” But that won’t stop me from making another, more details post about our transit.

Let me start by saying that I saw more mullets and daisy dukes (fortunately not on the same person… for the most part) in my 75 minutes in Moscow than I’ve seen in the rest of my 22 years combined. Wow…

With that out of the way, I was desperate for a shower before my connection, so high tailed it towards the lounge. I wasn’t actually sure if there were showers, as I’ve seen mixed reports. Many threads I’ve read discussing the lounge suggest there’s not a lounge, while the Singapore Airlines website does say there are showers.

Well, I should really say they list there being a shower. But they list that for all lounges with showers, so I didn’t think too much of it.

Anyway, we were first off the plane and followed the signs for connections. As we exited the plane we were handed a transit card, which was given to all passengers connecting to Singapore.


In transit

I’m usually good about transiting airports, though Moscow Airport was one of the more confusing ones I’ve transited. There were several boarding pass and passport checks, and they all seemed so “unofficial.” I say that in the sense that you didn’t join a queue and wait for an agent, but instead as you walked through the terminal you would be stopped and asked to show your passport, boarding pass, transit card, etc.

Fortunately security was really quick and superficial, and we were through in a matter of seconds.


Terminal

The International Business Lounge that Singapore Airlines uses is located a level above the terminal near a food court, so really isn’t especially convenient.


Lounge entrance

We were the first in the lounge from the Singapore flight and asked the agent if we could get a shower. She handed us both towels and small amenity kits. The guy behind us in line asked for a shower. She handed him a towel and amenity kit. Same for the lady behind him. I found it odd, because usually you get a key to a specific room, though the agent didn’t actually indicate which showers we could use.

As it turns out the Singapore website was a bit too accurate, and there was in fact just one shower. And it was also probably the worst airport shower I’ve ever seen (not that it was awful or dirty by any means, it just wasn’t “luxurious” as is usually the case in international premium cabin lounges). Despite that, it was one of the most refreshing showers I’ve ever taken. I’m not sure if it was all mental and it was because I wasn’t expecting to be able to shower, but it was great.


Shower room


Shower room

After the quick shower I powered up my laptop and connected to the reasonably fast wifi. The lounge itself is quite spacious and wasn’t overcrowded, perfect for a quick transit stop.


Lounge


Lounge


Lounge

The food and drink selection was also quite nice for a transit lounge, with several hot and cold options as well as self serve booze. I wasn’t hungry in the slightest, so just snapped a couple of pictures.


Lounge drink selection


Lounge buffet


Lounge buffet


Lounge buffet


Lounge buffet

After catching up on the “world” (via my computer) for about 20 minutes we decided to head to the gate, since I was excited to see Janesis aboard. The gate is maybe a five minute walk from the lounge.


Terminal


Terminal

Unfortunately by the time we got to the gate the flight attendants hadn’t even boarded, so it would be another ~20 minutes till boarding was underway.


Gate

We decided to check out the Lufthansa lounge, which is located right by the gate, given that it had a Star Alliance logo. As a Star Gold and a Star Alliance first class passenger you’re entitled to use a Lufthansa Business Lounge, though apparently not in Moscow — “you vill leave now!” Apparently all the lounges in Moscow are owned by the airport and not the airlines, so usual alliance policies don’t apply. I guess that would explain why Austrian, Lufthansa, and Swiss all had separate lounges.

Boarding was eventually called though it was rather chaotic, since just about everyone tried to shove themselves towards the very front of the line.


Our bird to Singapore

And this is where the fun really begins…

Comments

  1. James Kunz says

    You know, between your mullet/Daisy Dukes observation and the staggering number of women I saw wearing parachute pants in Italy, I think Europe may be stuck in the 1980s

  2. hsw25 says

    Yeah, I had a similar experience at the LX lounge. But it looks like I missed out on transit lounge. Looks much better then than the LX lounge.

  3. says

    “And it was also probably the worst airport shower I’ve ever seen”

    Good thing you didn’t get in on the 2006 Alitalia $33++ business class fares to Cyprus, and thus didn’t wind up showering in the Malpensa Botticelli lounge.

    Me, I was lucky, they actually HAD shower kits when I was there. The kits had make-your-own flip flops, which was really good since you wouldn’t want to step on the floor in bare feet. The drain was clogged and there was only cold water. OMG.

  4. stacey says

    OK I have to ask Lucky, do they give you shower shoes to wear in these showers? And does someone come in and clean them in between passengers using them?

    @Gary – Yikes! I can imagine what those Italian showers must have looked like! YUCK…

  5. says

    Listen, the AA lounge in Terminal 3 in LHR was not much better (and this was in 2006 before the refurb). The whole thing was about 15 sq ft and the water went everywhere. There was no place to put luggage.

    The Etihad showers in Abu Dhabi are also stuck in 1980s. The bathroom does not have a toilet (you have to go separately for that). The shower stalls leak everywhere and the whole place while clean and full of marble, is VERY slippery (and this is 2012).

    I won’t even get started on the one in DEL in 2007….

  6. db says

    @James, not sure where you are from but in terms of Fashion most people think of Europe especially Italy as being pretty decent or even better dressed than the rest of the works. I lived in Europe and the US and I can confirm.

  7. Ed says

    While I’ve never been to the lounge at DME, I once used the male restroom as soon as I passed the security and passport control. Went inside and while other guys and I were doing our thing, a female cleaning staff came in and cleaned the bathroom as if we weren’t there. I was in shock.

  8. Bill says

    Ed, apparently the Europeans aren’t prudish about such things, ’cause I observed the same practice at a London Holiday Inn public restroom recently.

  9. Christopher says

    Ben, really enjoy reading through your blog daily. You capture the necessary details and unique perspectives. Great job.

    In normal Star Alliance lounge (not in DME), isn’t the access policy allows any passenger traveling in first or business class Star Alliance international flight to go to any of its member lounges, even not being a Star Gold passenger? Thank you.

  10. lucky says

    @ Christopher — Thanks! That’s correct, usually you can, though Moscow is an exception since the airlines don’t own the lounges.

  11. CanesLawMarty says

    Hey Lucky, I’m curious as I’m taking the SIN-IAH in March thanks to your heads up back in July :) Do they stamp your passport in Moscow? Would be cool. Thx!

  12. lucky says

    @ CanesLawMarty — They don’t since you’re just in transit, if I recall correctly. Enjoy the flight!

  13. Milezjunkie says

    Lucky,

    I’m taking the SQ61 flight in a couple weeks. Is the lounge you showered at in Moscow have a name or is it just International Business Lounge? I want to make sure I know exactly where I’m going so I can be the first to get the shower.

    Do they make you take all your stuff off the plane? I guess it’s probably safer so I will plan on that I guess.

    Thanks!

  14. lucky says

    @ Milezjunkie — Yes, it’s called the “International Business Lounge.” You have to take all the stuff off the plane with you in Houston.

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