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Try These Airports for Top-Notch Lounges


A new survey looks at the most luxurious airport lounges in the world and finds airlines and facilities in Asia and the Middle East dominate.

Airport Concourse

No US airport lounges landed on Hipmunk’s list of the top 20 such airport facilities in the world. (Are you surprised?) Quantas’ First Class lounge in Sydney, Australia, soars to number one with a perfect score of 5.0 in the recently released survey. Hipmunk, a travel booking site, partnered with Pricenomics to analyze passenger ratings posted on Skytrax, an airport review site.

In rankings for best lounges as well as best bars and best food, airlines and facilities based in Asia and the Middle East dominate the lists. We’re not surprised. Service seems more important to those airlines.

With a 4.8 rating, Thai Airways’ Royal First Class at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi ties for second place with Malaysia Airlines’ Business Class Golden at London Heathrow. Business class lounges, some of which also accommodate first class passengers, do well in the survey, accounting for 16 of the top 20 spots.

“It’s not surprising that many of the top airport lounges are in airports that have a high percentage of international business travelers,” says Roxy Young, Hipmunk’s vice president of marketing. “These are flyers who need access to amenities not readily available in public waiting areas.”

Along with computer terminals, ample outlets for charging devices, showers, conference areas, and comfortable chairs for relaxing, the best airport lounges add such resort-like amenities as spas that offer massages and dining areas with tasty food and good bars.

With 5.0 ratings, Quantas Airways Premium, at London Heathrow, and Quantas First Class, Sydney, tie for first-place for both best bars and best food. The next best facility with a 4.8 rating for both drinks and food is Thai Airways Royal First Class, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, which also rates a 4.8 for best bars, tying for second place for drinks with Malaysia Airlines Business Class Golden, London Heathrow.

Would you book a particular airline or route based on the quality of the lounge? While I don’t think I would, I do appreciate the relative quiet of airport lounges, the work facilities and the sometimes good food. Alas, I typically gain admission based on credit card perks that include yearly passes, not because I’m sitting in the front of the plane.

For those who regularly fly business or first class and for the rest of us who wish we could, here are Hipmunk’s ratings.

Airport Concourse

Airport Concourse

Which airport lounges are your favorites? Comment below, or connect with me on Twitter, @familytrips.

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