Introduction: Journey To Kazakhstan
Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon
Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport
Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 767 Incheon To Almaty
Review: Ritz-Carlton Almaty
Review: Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class A321 Almaty To Astana
Review: Marriott Astana
Review: Air Astana Lounge Astana Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 757 Astana To London
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles
I got to the airport about two hours ahead of my 2:30PM flight from Almaty to Astana. Before this flight I had heard that Air Astana’s lounge in Almaty was a bit underwhelming. Well, that’s an understatement…
The Almaty Airport terminal was quite small, and upon entering I turned right to follow the signage towards the domestic area.
Once there I saw a sign pointing towards the business class lounge, and I was a bit surprised to find that it was landside (before security).
I figured the signage was just incorrect, and that this was referring to business class check-in, given the counters near the entrance. I already got my boarding pass for the flight to Astana when I checked in at Incheon Airport. So I presented my boarding pass, and then they invited me to wait in the “lounge” until the flight was ready for boarding.
Hmmm, apparently this room was in fact the lounge. The “lounge” featured several couches, which were at least well padded and in decent condition.
While the lounge was pretty full at first, it quickly emptied out.
There was a bathroom along the wall near the entrance, which was disgusting — it smelled horrible.
The lounge had a surprisingly extensive food and drink selection, along with two people working the counter. However, everything had to be purchased, including water. The business class lounge was basically just couches with access to a bar where you can buy stuff.
The food itself looked fine, though during my time there I didn’t see anyone else buying anything, so I have to wonder how fresh the stuff was.
I was quite hungry, so ended up buying an ice cream.
There was also a menu with further food and drink options.
Perhaps the worst part of the lounge was that it didn’t have functioning wifi. That’s ridiculous.
Boarding was scheduled for 1:50PM (40 minutes ahead of departure), so at around 1:30PM I decided to head for security, given that I was bored. There was no queue at security, and the process was a bit of a joke. I didn’t have to take anything out of my bag, and best I could tell the person screening bags wasn’t even looking at the screen as my stuff went through.
The terminal was bigger than I was expecting. There was one central seating area with a coffeeshop.
Then there were some other gates, though best I could tell they didn’t seem to be in use, as the area was significantly emptier than the rest of the terminal.
From the far end of the terminal I had a good views of the Air Astana A321 that would be flying me to Astana.
My flight was departing from gate 5, and boarding was a mess. Basically there was one “entrance” to the jet bridges for several of the gates, so they can only service passengers for one flight at a time. A flight at an adjacent gate was deplaning around the same time that boarding was supposed to start, so we had to wait until that plane was empty before we could board our flight.
At around 2:05PM boarding started. There was no boarding call, but rather the barrier was removed, at which point people pushed their way towards the jet bridge. At the front of the jet bridge was the gate agent, who checked boarding passes and passports.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the airport experience was that there was a wedding party on our flight, including the bride in her dress. I’ve never seen that before…
Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport bottom line
The domestic Air Astana business class “lounge,” if it can even be called that, was extremely underwhelming. The lack of wifi and lack of any free drinks or snacks (not even water), makes this the worst lounge I’ve ever visited. I’d certainly make an effort to cut it closer the next time I travel through Almaty Airport.