Review: Milan Malpensa Airport Lounge

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My flight from Milan to Paris was departing at 7:35AM, and I decided to head to the airport early, shortly after 5AM. The Sheraton is connected directly to Terminal 1, which is where I was departing from. After exiting the hotel’s lobby I found signage leading to Terminal 1.


Walkway to Milan Malpensa Airport Terminal 1

Then I took the (long) escalator up to the departures level.


Elevator to Milan Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 check-in

The Air France/KLM check-in area was in Zone 9. There was only one person ahead of me in the business class line, though they were taking forever, so I had to wait for over five minutes. Eventually it was my turn, and I was sent on my way with my boarding passes all the way to Houston.


Milan Airport check-in

I find that at most European airports there’s not a huge difference in wait time between the fast track line and the regular line. That wasn’t the case here. There was virtually no one in the fast track line, while the regular line snaked around the terminal. Whew.


Milan Airport fast track security

Security was easy, and within a couple of minutes I was airside and walking through duty free mazes.


Milan Airport duty free

I followed the signage towards Sala Monteverdi, which I had access to as an Air France business class passenger. This ended up being a very long walk. It was so long of a walk that I kept stopping and making sure I hadn’t yet passed the lounge, since I didn’t know exactly where it was.


Malpensa Airport airside


Malpensa Airport airside

Sala Monteverdi is located in the same area as gates A1-10. As you enter this area there’s an escalator leading up to the lounge.


Escalator to lounge

As you can see, several airlines use this lounge, including Air France, Finnair, Iberia, TAP Portugal, etc. The lounge is also open to Priority Pass members, so many premium credit cards will get you access to the lounge.


Sala Monteverdi Milan Malpensa Airport

At reception my boarding pass was verified, and I was welcomed into the lounge. I don’t remember the last time I’ve been in a contract lounge in Italy that was actually pretty decent, but this one was. For one, the lounge wasn’t overcrowded, which surprised me given that it was before the morning rush of flights to other European hubs.

The lounge was large, clean, and had plenty of seating.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge

I do wish the lounge had a bit of natural light, though.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge

In addition to a bunch of comfortable couches and leather relaxation chairs, there was a dining area that had some chairs and benches.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge

There was also a high-top counter with some seats.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge

Then in the back of the lounge was the food and drink selection, which was quite good.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge buffet

In terms of food, there were finger sandwiches, cereal, cheese, croissants, pastries, yogurt, etc.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge snacks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge snacks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge snacks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge buffet

The selection of alcoholic drinks was extensive, though given that it was 6AM, I wasn’t partaking.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge drinks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge drinks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge drinks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge drinks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge coffee drinks


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge drinks

The lounge’s bathrooms were reasonably nice, and there were also showers, but they were locked, so I couldn’t get a picture of them.


Milan Malpensa Airport lounge bathroom

I spent a bit of time in the lounge getting caught up on work, and then shortly before 7AM headed to the gate, as boarding was scheduled to start at 7:05AM. The lounge has an escalator leading up to the lounge, while going down there are instead just stairs.

My flight was departing from A5, just outside the lounge. Sure enough, boarding started right at 7:05AM.


Air France departure gate Milan Malpensa Airport

I proceeded down the long jet bridge, and was excited to start my Air France adventure!


Air France A318 Milan Airport

One thing I’d note is that Air France didn’t offer any special first class ground services in Milan. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t necessarily expecting them to, but if you’re flying Air France business class out of London, Amsterdam, etc., and are connecting to first class, the special treatment starts when you check-in. But I guess that’s limited to hubs and other major focus cities.

Sala Monteverdi Milan bottom line

This was probably the nicest contract lounge I’ve visited at an airport in Italy. The lounge was spacious, clean, and modern, and the food & drink spread was reasonably decent. While it’s quite a walk from check-in to the lounge, at least the fast track security saved me quite a bit of time.

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Comments

  1. I want to go to this lounge (or any lounge). I have only flown business once on an old Emirates 777-200LR in 2014 for a 2 hour flight thanks to an upgrade from points though it didn’t have a lounge from where I was flying out of.

  2. Interesting mention re no ground service in Milan. A couple months ago I flew Madrid to CDG connecting to a La Premiere flight to LAX. At first the guy checking me in at MAD (a contract worker) was rude and was hassling us about my carry on bag being a few pounds to heavy. Then he looked back down at his screen and something clicked, and all of a sudden he said he didn’t care about the overweight bags and he sent us on our way. As we were walking away from the counter (probably 150 ft away), he comes running up to us and asks if we want an escort thru security to the lounge. We accepted (mostly out of curiosity). He got us thru security (front of line) and then deposited us in the lounge (well, at the back of a long check in line), and then came and picked us up when the flight was boarding.

    Not the best, but at least they are trying. I wonder if your check in agent just missed it…

  3. This airport was once one of the worst anywhere and over the past two decades they’ve really put in a big effort to completely turn things around. The lounges are no exception. I once avoided this airport for a number of reasons – bad transportation connections, crowded terminals with long lines for check in and security, sparse restaurants and terrible lounges. It’s becoming a great place to transit and I wish more major airlines would use it for long haul flights. Great post!

  4. Is this lounge far from where american airlines is? I am flying out of there in a few weeks and to gauge distance etc. Flying back business class aug 28th to mia then Lax.

  5. Yep, I really enjoyed this lounge when I used it flying Delta biz last spring. Solid contract lounge.

  6. I’m also surprised you didn’t receive an escort through security. I thought that was standard for AF P at the start of an itinerary even if connecting.

  7. @Miro I agreed.
    It used to be my “home” lounge before I moved to the US. I was there just recently after almost a year (didn’t get a chance in November because of a ticketing issue) and I was really impressed, even if it was rather crowded. Food offering and grounds left me really surprised.

  8. This lounge is extremely bland lol. So funny how you call this a spacious and modern lounge yet bash other beautiful lounges haha. I guess beauty is relative

  9. “There was only one person ahead of me in the business class line, though they were taking forever, so I had to wait for over five minutes.”

    Lol it is Milano! It once took me 75 minutes to get a Hertz car from the city office near Milano centale thoigh there were only six people ahead of me in line.

    That’s why Milano-Bergamo is the region’s best-kept secret: you completely avoid Milano attitude this way.

  10. Looks like a decent lounge – neat and quite a few dining and wining options! For me, the most important thing is good wifi connectivity 🙂 Would love to experience this lounge someday…

  11. Looks rather cold, outdated and plain, although the snacks look pretty decent. But I guess it’s better than most Italian lounges.

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