Other reports from this trip –
Introduction: Christmas in Hawaii
Report: Heathrow and the Concorde Room
Review: British Airways A321neo in Economy
Review: Hilton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Review: British Airways lounge, Amsterdam Schiphol
Review: British Airways A320 in Club Europe
Review: British Airways 777 in First Class
Review: American Airlines A321 Transcon in First Class
Review: Hilton LAX Airport
Review: Hilton Grand Vacations, Grand Islander, Honolulu
Review: SouthWest Airlines in Economy
Review: Hilton Garden Inn, Kauai
Review: Hilton Grand Vacations, Kingsland, Waikoloa
Review: British Airways lounge, Boston
Review: British Airways 747 in Club World
Review: Hilton Budapest
Having spent the night in the Hilton at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, we didn’t have far to go to get to departures. The walk to check in would have been much easier had some of the moving walkways and escalators actually been working, but it seems to be a common theme through the airport that these were switched off. After pushing and pulling our cases to the top of yet another static ramp, we were finally reached the departure area and a busy BA desk.
Things moved fairly quickly and we were soon on our way to security, which was quick and easy, and, finally, passport control, which was very busy, with lots of people heading home for Christmas.
After a long wait, made worse by a serious lack of organisation, we finally made it through and met up with the friends we would be travelling to Hawaii with. With 30 minutes to go until boarding, we decided to check out the British Airways lounge.
In this review…
The British Airways lounge in Schiphol Airport was fully renovated in early 2015 and it is a huge improvement over the old lounge, which was little more than a couple of dingy rooms with chairs. The lounge is situated in the non-Schengen area of the airport, above departure halls 2 and 3 and is a long walk from the departure gates used by British Airways, but it is fairly close to the main security checkpoints so is quite easy to get to as you enter the departure area. It is, however, slightly tricky to find!
Having come through passport control, the best option is to stay on the upper level. You can follow signs for airline lounge 40 and then take a lift to the correct level. If, however, you go down the escalator to the main concourse, you will need to cross the hall, take a trip up an escalator and then a lift ride to get to the lounge floor.
Having found your way there you are greeted with a stylish entrance and a reception desk where your boarding pass will be checked and scanned.
To access the lounge, you must be on a Oneworld flight and belong to at least one of the following groups –
– British Airways Club Europe passengers
– British Airways Gold Executive Club members
– British Airways Silver Executive Club members
– Oneworld Emerald members
– Oneworld Saphire members
Unusually for British Airways’ lounges, this one is now also accessible to Priority Pass, following changes in late 2019, which could have an impact on how busy the lounge gets at peak periods.
The lounge is open from 05:30-21:30 between Monday and Friday and from 06:00-20.30 on weekends.
Design and Layout
The reception area of the lounge follows the style of BA’s new breed of lounges, with the Speedmarque logo set against a backdrop of heaxagonal gold and beige tiles. I really like this. It’s a very stylish look.
The lounge itself is long and rectangular, set along a huge wall of glass overlooking the airport. It really is an aviation geek’s dream!
The lounge is essentially split into two sections; the first half is mainly aimed at dining, with a buffet area set along one side and dining tables along the length of the floor. There are also some round, coffee tables set out by the window. With so much natural light, it’s a very bright and airy place to enjoy a snack before your flight.
The back of the lounge is a relaxed affair, with informal seating and a couple of well placed televisions.
One thing I really like is that there are plug sockets at almost every chair, with both UK and European connections, as well as USB ports, making it easy to charge devices before you fly.
This area also hosts a small working area, again fitted out with multiple power sockets, making it a very convenient spot to get things done. The only downside is that it is in quite a busy area so there’s no real chance of any privacy or peace and quiet for making calls.
Views of the aircraft are fabulous from pretty much any point in the lounge.
Food and Beverage
I’ve been really impressed recently with the food and beverage offerings in some of BA’s newest lounges so, given the quality of the the refurbishment, I had high hopes for this one.
Management of this lounge was handed over in July last year to Prima Vista, Aviapartner’s new premium services brand. It was marketed as being a real improvement by BA’s PR team, with ‘exciting, monthly events and food and beverage experiences’. Unfortunately none of these exciting experiences appear to have made it to the rather disappointing breakfast menu.
Options for breakfast were limited and included a couple of cereal options, some cold cuts, yoghurt, fruit, sandwiches and pastries, as well as some crisps, nuts and biscuits. Nothing looked particularly appetising!
Beverage options were reasonable, with premium spirits, beer, wine and cava, as well as a fridge full of soft drinks.
The majority of passengers using this lounge will be taking a short flight back to London so a large meal before departure is probably not of paramount importance to them, but it is disappointing to see that the standard of food falls well below that of many other BA owned lounges. On the bright side, the drink options are not too far off the usual BA standard so you can always drown your sorrows if you’re unhappy with the food.
Business facilities within the lounge are limited to the table mentioned above, although the abundance of power facilities at each seat make it possible to work from anywhere. Due to noise within the lounge and the lack of privacy, it’s not an ideal place to work from, but it is a lot better than being in the main terminal and is certainly good enough to catch up on emails before you fly.
Wifi in the lounge is pretty good, with download speeds topping 50Mb/s. Upload is not so good, at 3Mb/s, but it was perfectly usable. The lounge password is standard across the BA network, changing monthly, and can be found on signs within the lounge.
Toilets and Showers
There are no washroom facilities within the lounge. Should you be caught short you will need to use the toilets outside, which can be accessed via the corridor near the entrance. There are no shower facilities in this area.
There is no sleeping area in the lounge, but the seats are comfortable enough if you want to have a quick snooze. Just remember to set your alarm so you don’t miss your flight!
This is a great place to sit and relax before a flight and a huge improvement over the old lounge. It is beautifully furnished and I love the sense of space from the wall of windows letting in so much natural light. It’s a shame that the catering is poor, otherwise this would be up there with the best short haul lounges.