9 Amazing Airline Lounge Amenities

I love a good airport lounge, and think some of the better ones can be destinations in and of themselves. I’ve written in the past about the world’s seven best first class airline lounges, and also about the five best airline lounges in the US.

I figured it would be fun to make a post with some of the unique airline lounge amenities I know of. I’m not claiming they’re the single best lounge amenities out there, but rather that they’re unique.

With that in mind, here are nine of the world’s coolest airport lounge amenities, in no particular order:

American Admirals Club Dallas Gym

While Admirals Clubs on the whole aren’t at risk of winning any global lounge awards, there’s one Admirals Club which has a really unique feature. The Admirals Club in the “A” concourse at DFW has a mini-gym, with an elliptical, treadmill, and bike. It might sound silly, but if you have a long layover, there’s nothing which feels better than a bit of movement to work off those ice cream sundaes and hot nuts.

American-Admirals-Club-Dallas-DFW-06

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York Hair Salon

While many airline lounges offer complimentary massages (back, foot, etc.), a much rarer amenity is a hair salon. The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses in New York and London both have hair salons, where Upper Class passengers can receive a complimentary cut. Who wouldn’t want to get their hair cut with a glass of champagne while looking at planes? As someone who lives on the road, I strategically plan my trips around visiting this lounge. Janet does a great job.

Virgin-Clubhouse-JFK-28

Qatar Airways First Class Lounge Bedrooms

There are a decent number of airline lounges out there with nap rooms, though Qatar Airways takes it to a new level in their Doha lounge, with rooms which could better be described as hotel rooms. They’re actually more comfortable and spacious than the rooms in the airport’s hotel.

Qatar-Airways-Lounge-Doha - 51

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai Arcade

The older I get, the more my inner child comes out. I remember when I was young and my parents would take me to sports bars, and I’d ask them for a few dollars so I could play some of the arcade games. Well, in the Emirates first class lounge Dubai you can relive your childhood, as they have “traditional” arcade games. Best of all, they’re free (or perhaps more accurately, included in the price of your $20,000+ ticket). 😉

Emirates-First-Lounge-Dubai-52

Etihad Lounge Abu Dhabi Barber Shop

There aren’t many “firsts” I’ve had in airline lounges. After all, I’ve played arcade games, been in a hotel room, gotten my haircut, and been on the treadmill outside of an airport lounge. However, my first ever wet shave was at the Etihad lounge in Abu Dhabi. I’m terrified of razors and cuts, so I was squealing almost the whole time. But it was awesome, and such a cool experience. I’m almost tempted to get wet shaves outside of Abu Dhabi airport from now on as well!

For what it’s worth, the shave is complimentary for everyone in the arrivals lounge, while it’s complimentary for first class passengers in the departures lounge.

Barber-Shop

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Hot Tub

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something awesome about being in a hot tub at an airport. The Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge Doha also has a hot tub, though you have to pay for it. Meanwhile access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse hot tub is complimentary for eligible passengers.

Virgin-Atlantic-Clubhouse-London - 65

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong Shower Suites

Many lounges have shower rooms, which are usually at best comparable to what you’d find in a nice hotel room. The Cathay Pacific first class lounge in Hong Kong, however, has cabanas which are among the nicest shower facilities you’ll find anywhere. Given how limited real estate is in airports, these private cabanas are a real gem.

Cathay-Pacific-The-Wing-Lounge-27

Finnair Lounge Helsinki Sauna

Nothing will warm you up on a cold winter day in Helsinki like a visit to Finnair’s sauna. Though perhaps being in the buff with your fellow passengers before a flight might get a bit strange, at least with an American approach to nudity.

Finnair-Lounge-Helsinki-Airport - 38

Delta SkyClub Atlanta Outdoor Deck

As an aviation geek, I love the smell of jet fuel… and that’s what you’ll get on the outdoor deck at the Delta SkyClub. What’s not to love about some fresh air between flights?

Delta SkyClub JFK

Bottom line

While I’m pretty firm about my list of the world’s seven best first class airline lounges, the above are what I consider to be some of the coolest lounge amenities out there, which you might not expect to see at an airport.

What are your favorite cool/unique airline lounge amenities, regardless of whether I’ve mentioned them above or not?

Comments

  1. Unfortunately the QR F dayrooms at DOH pale in comparison to the new F/HON Lounge dayrooms at ZRH E concourse

  2. ” It might sound silly, but if you have a long layover, there’s nothing which feels better than a bit of movement to work off those ice cream sundaes and hot nuts.”

    Nothing silly about it at all. We plan long layovers at FRA for this reason. Take the free shuttle to the Steigenberger (sp?) hotel and put hand luggage in lockers in the lobby, then go for a run on the trails in the woods right there. I find ~4 hours to be about a perfect layover time. I can fly IAD-FRA, arrive at ~7am, I’m on the trail by 745, back at the airport by 915 for a shower and breakfast in the lounge, and on my connecting flight at 11am (to somewhere in Europe). I arrive by 12-1pm with my workout complete. Running in the AM is also a good reset of my body clock, so I find I stay up through the day much better in Europe and acclimate on day 1 when I can get a run in.

  3. An what do you think about the smokers bar in the SWISS lounge at zurich airport?!

    I love the view from there! And the drinks are also not too bad 😉

  4. The “gym” in the DFW A Admirals Club is complemented by the best showers I’ve experienced in any lounge.

    The CX cabanas are nice, and they have bathtubs. However, the shower itself is nothing special, and water tends to get everywhere.

  5. You should have put the Zurich Panorama Lounge outside deck as a runner up with the delta lounge! I missed you out of the panorama lounge by about 3 days! I was there the 4th and you were there the 1st of july 2014!

  6. IST: The mini-movie theatre (32 seats?) with lounge chairs and popcorn machine at the hhhhyyuuuugge Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul! And the pool table in the library! And the multiple live chef stations! And the wall of TVs! and the plexiglass lockers! So impressed with this place.

  7. Lucky,

    you forgot the cigar room at the LH FCT in FRA and LH FCL in FRA/MUC.
    The cigar rooms (and the free cigars & drinks in those rooms) are hands down my favorite airport lounge amenities. 🙂

    Also, for the gym at DFW, is there a change room/shower one can use before/after a workout?

  8. Do you travel with a bathing suit in your carry on to use the hot tub?? Or is it an AU natural kind of thing?

    Fdw

  9. As an avgeek the Pier Lounge’s day room is an awesome amenity too since its private and most of all you have a plane right in front of that! That beats the ZRH Panorama Lounge

  10. Qr: stupid. Most long distance flights are business. That’s when you would need the bed room. The first are mostly regional. Why would you need beds for that. Crazy

  11. @Credit
    it’s mostly a matter of the fact that first is a higher service class historically, not currently. I agree it doesnt make much sense in terms of positioning, but imagine the ridicule theyd be subject to if the business lounge had beds but nit the first lounge.

  12. A lot of these do sound pretty cool, although at the end of the day if a lounge can’t get the basics right (e.g. a spacious, relaxing atmosphere, showers without a two-hour wait) all the gimmicks in the world won’t matter – which is why I’m no fan of the Turkish lounge in Istanbul.

  13. The Alitalia dolce vita lounge in FCO has a 737 flight simulator. SO COOL! I found this to be one of the coolest lounge amenities I’ve ever experienced. It’s only 10-15 minutes long but it’s pretty cool.

  14. I did not know about the rooftop SkyClub at ATL though I live in Atlanta. However, I have used the rooftop SkyClub at JFK. Had a connection there in 2014 and I paid for a day pass to have a place to go and shower and kill the five hours (my pre-points and miles day and I had no other lounge access 🙁 ). I loved sitting on the roof watching various international wide bodies on the ramp and taking off. Got some great photos! Though I now have access to other lounges, I would consider paying for the day pass again just to get on the roof!

  15. @Derek, the outdoor deck in ATL is in the international terminal. Check it out next time you go abroad from ATL!
    I’m based in nyc and love the JFK skyclub in terminal 4 mainly for its outdoor deck!

  16. “Who wouldn’t want to get their hair cut with a glass of champagne while looking at planes?”

    I’m hoping that champagne is either before or after the hair cut, unless you like your champagne flaky 😉

  17. Does the DXB concourse A first class lounge also have an arcade or just the concourse B lounge where that picture was taken?

  18. The Skyview lounge at BSL (www.skyview-lounge.com) also has an outdoors observation deck and is overall probably one of the nicest Business Class lounges in Europe. It’s part of the Priority Pass network, or you can get in as a oneworld Sapphire or Emerald when traveling on BA, or at CHF 38 a pop.

    Apart from the usual food/drinks/newspapers/office space/internet you’ll expect in a European J lounge, their amenities include a full coffee bar with a barista working a huge chrome-plated Italian espresso machine, and free self-service sparkling wine (Crémant d’Alsace instead of Champagne, but still pretty nice), all of it on three levels under a huge glass dome. Highly recommended.

  19. Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge in KUL also has sleeping rooms available for travelers. They are ‘bookable’ on a first come basis. And the dining room there is also quite good.

  20. 1. “When I was young.” That’s adorable. Sweetie, you’re still young.
    2. You’ll get in an airport hottub but think a hotel bathtub is gross? Really? I’ll take the tub, which I’m guessing is way cleaner.
    3. Jet fuel = fresh air? Yikes.

    Great list and great comments. So many lounges, so little time. I sure wish I’d known about this hobby when I was your age! I have lots of catching up to do.

  21. That outdoor deck in ATL in the “international ” terminal is nice. Although all international flights don’t leave from that terminal – the terminal is easy to get to on the subway. For people who still smoke (like I do) – that terminal also has an ok smoking room. Not as nice as those at NRT – but I’ll take any smoking room these days (they’re few and far between except perhaps in Asia).

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