Airport Lounge Or Psychological Torture?

Hello from Kiev!

We are (slowly) making our way back from Baku, and are presently luxuriating in the Ukraine International Business class lounge, which the Kiev airport boastfully describes as:

Business lounges of the Boryspil International Airport provide an exclusive atmosphere of respectability and comfort in which you can get ready for a pleasant trip as well as effectively work prior to the departure of your flight.

kiev-lounge

I think we might have some different ideas about what “effectively work” means, because unless you’re an aspiring UN translator or airhorn operator I don’t see how anyone could possibly get anything done here.

Not only is the general noise level of the lounge ridiculous (apparently headphones and silenced phones aren’t a thing here?), but the announcements for departing flights are out. of. control.

Ben helpfully took a video, so y’all can share this experience with us:

Every flight is called in English, Ukrainian, and the official language of the destination city. Loudly. And it’s not like this is an airport with only five daily flights or something. There are dozens of flight every hour, and multiple (maybe 18?) announcements per flight, so the broadcasts have been constant.

kiev-departures

Truly, we’ve been here for 90 minutes and there hasn’t been a single break in the cacophony.

Luckily for us, our flight is delayed four hours, so we have even more time to enjoy the ambiance!

I’ve been in a lot of lounges, but can’t remember ever experiencing an auditory experience quite like this.

One thing is for sure — there is no excuse for not knowing if your flight is boarding in Kiev!

Comments

  1. Omg this is hilarious. Imagine it’s brain splitting if you are jetlaged and sick. A polyglots dream though. Perhaps you can find another lounge? Good luck!

  2. Oh… I’m having flashbacks of a long layover I had at SDU airport in Rio… Couldn’t get a thought across my brain without a loud announcement interrupting them for hours. Terrible 🙁

    Then again, at least that was not at a lounge…

  3. Out of curiosity, the English announcements sound exactly like the ones in lhr or other airports (the female voice). Does anyone know if this is a standard product or something?

  4. @Jerry: agreed! There’s something almost hypnotic at GIG in hearing “fligTH JJ2025 toooooo Sanchiagoooooo”

  5. In fact I raised the very similar issue in the massage/relaxation room at CX’s first class lounge, The Pier. While having a complimentary massage in the space dedicated to relaxation and massage, who would like to be forced to (constantly) hear flight announcements in three different languages (also in a quite loud voice)? The continuous announcements really got on my nerves even if I tried to focus and relax. Later I submitted a suggestion/complaint regarding this issue (saying that it seems quite unnecessary to make those announcements “in the massage room” as staffs there check your boarding pass/time when booking a massage session for passengers). At my next visit to The Pier’s massage room, I can’t remember exactly now how it changed, but those announcements must have been either blocked or significantly volumed down as I remember it was not that disturbing.

  6. Poor thing. I know this lounge very well and it’s far from what you say even if agree it’s not quiet. It’s more a waiting room than a lounge anyway.

    But you forget to say that the selection of food is horrible and the drinks too. It’s very poor.

    But I like this lounge because the smoking room is very comfortable.

  7. @mrsaroundworld Last time i went to Alicante and Madrid T4 the auto announcer had a male British accent similar to what you might imagine a high commissioner from a far flung outpost of the British Empire might have sounded like lol

  8. You expect quietness in a European lounge before the morning rush? Very funny. Sounds no different than Schiphol on busy Monday morning.

    For avgeeks the announcement system is designed by Aviavox.

  9. @JoshR: Unfortunately, Bose Headphones are designed to let human voices through to your ears. They claim it is purposefully done for safety reasons (you should hear when the FA shouts “evacuate!”…), but it might just as well be a limitation of the technology.

  10. Ya shoulda travelled in the old terminal. Not an English speaker to be found there some years back. It was so bad inside with smoke that we used to wait for our flights outside.

  11. The English voice sounds like either Kathy Burke’s character, ‘Magda’ from Absolutely Fabulous, or Sporty Spice/Mel C! Cockney hilarity! “I shall be headed to the obscure world of pay television for a while…it’s just a dash to the big at the end of the day, really”

  12. It’s the voice of Amsterdam Schiphol airport! Also at other airports across the world.

    @tiffany: flight announcements are in that succession an acoustic avalanche! Weren’t there any flightupdate monitors in the lounge? I noticed those lounges without monitors do annoucements or if it is an airline’s non shared own lounge like emirates on outstations.

    FT thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1134699-t5-voice-accent-4.html

  13. It has always been like this in Ukraine, just consider it a feature 🙂
    Actually, it was even worse, because they used to make announcements in Russian as well (in addition to all other languages ) …. and sometimes making announcement for code-sharing flight like this is a totally separate flight (in all 3-4 different languages) 🙂

  14. When I first read this title, I assumed that you would be complaining about how the biscuits didn’t have any chocolate chips in them, or about how a waiter didn’t clear your cup away quickly enough or something

  15. Maybe you can find another lounge next time if you have a Priority Pass membership to avoid the constant unnecessary announcement.

  16. @ Donna — The terminal wasn’t premium either, by any means, but there seemed to be more ambient noise that made the announcements less permeating, if that makes any sense.

  17. @ JoshR — Miserably, because of what is mentioned above. They’re not really designed to help in a situation like this, so blasting music through them was the only real solution.

  18. @ jessie — The nice thing about CX is they’re open to feedback like that. I asked the lounge manager if it was necessary to have all the announcements at such a volume, and she shrugged and said “we have many passengers.”

  19. @ FrequentFlyer — This was the PriorityPass lounge as well. The airport only has two lounges in the international terminal, both with the same announcement setup.

  20. I’m on hold with Asiana call center. The following “message” is being looped EVERY 5 SECONDS.

    “We apologize. We’re receiving a high volume of calls. The next available agent will be transferred to you. Please hold. With the passenger’s name, reservation #, date of travel, and route, you can reconfirm your reservation at us.flyasiana.com, or our mobile app. You can also assign seats yourself without contacting us. Asiana Airlines, a member of Star Alliance, wants to present a more reliable and convenient way to travel. Our Star Alliance carriers fly all over the world to give you more convenient transfer options. Our Star Alliance Gold members are allowed access to all available lounges. Also, with your accrued Asiana mileage, you’re eligible for free flights with our Star Alliance partners. Asiana Club members are also allowed to accrue miles on any of our Star Alliance operated flights. For more detailed information, please visit us.flyasiana.com. All of our agents are on the line. Your call is important to us. Please hold. You can also make reservations, check flight schedules, check in, and receive Asiana Club information at us.flyasiana.com. All of our agents are on the line. Your call is important to us. Please hold.”

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