The bar for premium airport lounges has reached stratospheric heights in recent years. In the U.S., spaces like United’s Polaris lounges and American’s Flagship First facilities now offer restaurant-quality dining. And outside of the U.S., airlines like Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, and the big Middle Eastern three offer lounges that are even more opulent. How could you top that?
How about designing an ultra-exclusive airport within an airport, built to provide complete seclusion from the rest of the traveling public? That was the idea behind The Private Suite, a recent addition at Los Angeles (LAX). For those willing to splurge for access, it offers an intensely private, luxurious, and unique experience from curb to plane. Read on for our inside look, from extravagantly-stocked suites to a one-person miniature TSA facility and a fleet of BMWs to drive you to your plane.
Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport. Is this the ultimate airline lounge?
Every major airline in the world tries to ensure that their hub lounges are the best that there can be. I am lucky enough to have visited a few of these in my life. From the Singapore Krisflyer Lounge to the Qantas First Class Lounge. However, there has always been one lounge in my sights that I never thought I could attain – one lounge that seemed unreachable.
So many people have visited it and raved about how amazing it was. Surely, I could find a way to visit it once in my life. What am I talking about, you are probably asking by now? That would be Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal (FCT) at their Frankfurt hub.
An Emirates Airbus A380 at the new concourse in Dubai.
An excerpt from David Parker Brown’s story on APEX Editor’s Blog:
DUBAI: How does one go about making the world’s largest airliner, the Airbus A380, look small? Park it at the new Concourse A at Dubai International Airport, which was designed to handle the giant aircraft and all the high-end passengers who will fly in its premium cabins.
Earlier this year Emirates and Dubai International Airport opened the new concourse. David Parker Brown, a contributor to the APEX editor’s blog was invited for a tour of the Emirates Airline first and business class lounges.
Concourse A opened on 2 January 2013 and is the world’s only dedicated and purpose built concourse for the Airbus A380. The rest of the airport is able to handle the aircraft, but the new concourse was purpose-built with the A380 in mind. A formidable undertaking for the airport and airline, US$3.3 billion terminal required 159,572,880 man-hours to build.
Continue reading Emirates Shows Off Lounges in New Airbus A380 Concourse on APEX
See more photos of the Concourse A in Dubai
My Ride to LAX – A Qantas A380 named after Sir Reginald Duigan – Photo: Mal Muir – AirlineReporter.com
THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF PART 1 OF FLYING IN QATAS FIRST CLASS ON AN AIRBUS A380…
After leaving the Qantas Lounge, I headed back downstairs into the terminal in Melbourne and boarded directly through the lower airbridge to the Airbus A380 heading to Los Angeles. It was hard for me to realize that this was really happening. 2.5 years of waiting and the moment was here; flying in first class on a Qantas A380.
I was greeted at door 2L and then turned left. Left into happiness, left into exclusivity, left into REAL First Class. Qantas has its First Class Suites on the lower deck of the A380 unlike Emirates, Lufthansa or Thai Airways which all have them on the upper deck.
Flying Qantas First Class – Photo: Mal Muir | AirlineReporter.com
I was beginning my day off the way any premium cabin passenger should; spending time in the lounge prior to my flight. But this wasn’t just any lounge and this wasn’t just any flight. For two and a half years I had dreamed and worked towards this day. I had been earning Qantas points purely for this reason: First Class flight on a Qantas Airbus A380.
Arriving at Melbourne Airport I was dropped off in front of the dedicated First Class check-in area, which can be easily missed if you don’t know where to look. Thankfully my driver did know as the check in was hiding behind a line of trees. I was a little too early to check in for my flight, but was able to sit down in the lobby area (which looks almost identical to the First Class lounge).