Trip Report: British Airways Terraces Lounge, Berlin Tegel Airport

Berlin’s Tegel airport (TXL) won’t win many prizes for best European airport and neither will the British Airways Terraces Lounge there either. To be fair, the investment in this airport has been slowed, as the focus was on the new Brandenburg airport which was due to supersede Tegel. However, this has been very much delayed. Add to this the recent problems with Air Berlin, for which Tegel is its home base, and you shouldn’t expect to see much happening in this airport or this Lounge any time soon.

I visited in the early afternoon. To be honest, I wasn’t flying with BA, but with a OneWorld partner airline and this was the only lounge available to me. The Lounge is almost hidden away in the corner of the terminal and you’ll need to go up a floor or two to access it. There is an elevator or you can take a spiral staircase.

I could have edited that photo to improve it a little, but I thought it best to preserve the gloominess of the area! The staff in the Lounge were very friendly and did manage to brighten things up. The Lounge area was spacious enough. Immediately after the entrance area there was an array of soft furnishings and low tables on the right, a bar area in the middle, and a more upright sitting area towards the far end and round to the side.

It was pretty busy when I was there and we were relegated over to the less comfy seats. The food and beverage offerings left a lot to be desired. I purposefully took the below photograph at an angle to show how little there was available in terms of food. Mostly, some crisps and nuts, which were at dangerously low levels for the entirety of my stay there and were not replenished, and a soggy cheese tomato roll or two!

The drinks situation was slightly better. The usual collections of soft drinks, spirits, wines, and beers. The wines were pretty rough, but since we were in Germany, the beer was good!

Now, I’m quite prepared to accept the fact that perhaps the entire offering for food wasn’t available. I can only assume this is the case given all of the empty space I observed. However, it was around 5.00pm and the lounge was quite busy, so if the food selection wasn’t ready at this time, then it should have been.

Another slight anomaly with this Lounge was the location of the toilets. There were none either in the Lounge or directly adjacent to it. You had to leave the Lounge and walk across to the side of the terminal, pass through a public bar/restaurant area, and then use some public toilets. This sounds worse than it is and is obviously a reflection of the curious layout and history of this terminal!

Overall, this was a rather disappointing Lounge and if there had been better options in the public area, I would probably have left and used them, alas there weren’t so I didn’t!


Trip Report: DAA Executive Lounge at Dublin Airport Terminal 1

The T1 DUblin Airport Authority (DAA) Executive Lounge has been open for many years but it has been recently refurbished and had a complete makeover. It’s still located airside, one floor up, just after Security in T1 (although it is equally accessible from T2 since both terminals are connected airside).

This lounge is not the most luxurious compared to other lounges, but it is more than satisfactory. You can access the lounge using a Priority Pass card or if you are travelling in a premium cabin or have status with any of the airlines flying from T1 (although not Aer Lingus, since they have their own lounge in T2).

The biggest change in the lounge since its previous incarnation is that the food area is on the right hand side of the lounge and the alcoholic bar is on the left hand side. The lounge opens at 4.45am so is handy for a quick breakfast if you are taking an early flight. I was doing just this and there was a very pleasant breakfast spread: pastries, cereals, fruits, juices, and coffee, and the usual soft drinks.

Around the dining area there were very many small tables and chairs. Actually, the smallness of the tables was a problem. If you had any number of people around the table there was vey little space to put down more than a few plates and cups. 

The effect of the changes at the lounge has been to dramatically increase the number of seats and hence the number of guests that the lounge can accommodate. This is most evident over at the left hand side of the lounge: there are myriad chairs and tables.

Another change in the lounge is at the new bar area. Previously it was a self service bar area, but there is now a manned bar. The drink selection seems the same though, but perhaps the amount served will be limited in some way.

For those not wishing to drink, but perhaps do some work, there are numerous workspace areas and plenty of power outlets at desk level and even around all of the tables. As ever, the staff were very friendly and helpful at the reception desk, where it should be noted there is an excellent selection of newspapers available.

On balance this is an improvement to the old lounge: it’s more roomy, brighter, and generally just much fresher. Well worth a visit if you are passing through.

Trip Report: The Levity Lounge Nice Airport Terminal 2

It had been some time since I had visited Nice Airport T2. They’ve been doing a lot of remodelling in this terminal and they have introduced a completely new lounge. The Levity Lounge is located at the B Gates, beyond Passport Control in the non-Schengen area of the terminal. It’s an impressive looking lounge from the outside, as you can see from the picture above.

Inside, it’s impressive looking too. It’s quite large and very roomy, with space for easily 200 or so guests. It’s also modern and fresh in terms of its seating areas and also its general design and appearance. Below are some pictures I took.

This was the view from the front desk. I really liked the spaciousness that was immediately apparent.

This seating area in the middle seemed quite suitable for small groups and if you were looking for lots of light and comfy chairs, there is a third long seating area just past this.

I settled myself in here for a while, but although it’s beside some windows, there isn’t much of a view: nothing more than some roads and a terrace where people seemed to be walking past and staring in.

There’s a more communal work area with charging points as well.

And as well as this, the majority of the seats had power sockets and USB charging outlets.

The food offering was pretty average. The same as what was typically offered in the other lounges in NCE. Some cheese and tomato rolls, mini pizza slices, and a modest variety of drinks and snacks.

The cold soup didn’t do much for me, but I selected a couple of things to sample. None were great to be honest.

There were a few beers and numerous soft drinks to sample, spirits as well, and champagne available upon request.

This does seem a refreshingly new lounge with nice decor and stylish touches, but as you can tell from my pictures, it was very quiet when I was there and really lacked any atmosphere. Perhaps the calmness is a good thing. In any event, if it all gets too much for you, there is small rest area with very comfortable looking loungers!

Certainly this lounge is well worth a visit. I accessed it via a Priority Pass membership, but you can pay at the door too.

Trip Report: No 1 Lounge London Gatwick North Terminal

The No 1 Lounge at LGW’s North Terminal is generally regarded as the best ‘regular access’ lounge at the Terminal. By that, I mean the type of lounge that you can get access to either by paying at the door (£30, if you’re interested) or courtesy of membership of a Lounge Scheme such as Priority Pass, rather than a lounge that grants access based only on class of ticket or frequent flyer status.

It’s a popular lounge for sure. When I visited on a Sunday morning it was jammed and I struggled to get a seat, let alone a table. Perhaps it’s because it’s the start of the holiday season and it’s certainly true this lounge was packed to the gills with leisure travellers. (Others have reported limitations on access when the lounge is full for non-paying guests, but that didn’t happen today and I wouldn’t like to see how busy it would have to be before that happened!)

With all of that said, it’s a large lounge complex. There are multiple areas, some focused on dining, and others just for relaxing.

The main seating area has good views of the runway and arriving/departing aircraft. To the right of this is the main dining area. I was there at breakfast time and there was a reasonable cold buffet of fruits, cereals, and pastries, with a selection of fruit juices and tea/coffee options.

If you don’t find anything here that takes your fancy, there is a limited menu from which you can order a hot meal. The options available for breakfast were bacon rolls, porridge, beans on toast, toast and preserves, or crêpe Florentine. They make it clear on the menu you can only have one item per person. After 11.00am there’s a lunch menu with other dishes. It was unclear if you could nab a breakfast and a lunch from the menu and my schedule didn’t permit me the opportunity to try! The setup was fairly relaxed so I suspect that you could, especially if you switched seats and perhaps ordered from some else. (You order from the bar, see below.)

I went for the crêpe, and while the presentation leaves something to be desired it was edible, although it all tasted pretty bland.

There’s no self service area for alcoholic drinks, instead you can order from the bar, which has a few seats around it and some comfy-looking benches.

Despite the lounge being pretty packed, there a little Library area that is hidden away and that has escaped most people. It’s certainly much quieter than the main area, so much so that many people were sprawled out on the sofas having a sleep. To my mind, this was the most pleasant area of the lounge and where I spent most of my time with some water and browsing through the free Sunday papers. (There were several different titles and it appeared you could take them from the lounge if you wished.)

Certainly this is a nice lounge, but its main drawback, at least when I was there, was how busy it was, so much so that many of the tables hadn’t been cleared. However, there’s no doubt that it’s a much better place than the general terminal area if you need to kill a few hours before your flight.