Normally, flight stopovers are the worst part of any long haul journey. All you want to do is make it to your destination—with minimal fuss—and the last thing you need is overpriced airport food and the sound of someone else’s whining kids. But not all stopovers are the same, and when it comes to VIP lounges, some airports offer up an experience that will even beat some holidays!
Normally reserved for members and first class passengers, it’s a little-known fact that you can get day passes to most VIP lounges—and for much less than you might think. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best VIP lounges from around the world for your next long haul trip.
Virgin Atlantic JFK Clubhouse
You’ve probably seen the Virgin Atlantic adverts that made flying look like a sensual love affair, and the JFK clubhouse in New York is everything you would expect. Complimentary pyjamas and low lighting meet swanky hors d’oeurves and plush seating, amongst other things.
Highlight: Sheer style
Finnair Lounge, Helsinki Airport
If you’ve seen anything of the stylish hotels in Finland you’ll have a good idea of what expect at the Finnair Lounge in Helsinki. Finland loves its saunas, and you will, too, after relaxing in one after a long stretch in the air. And to top it all off, you’ll enjoy a free buffet, Wi-Fi, and your choice of 250 comfy seats to rest your weary bones.
Highlight: Those Finnish saunas (plus, duh, free food)
British Airways Concorde Room, Heathrow
Regarded as the best airport in the world for shopping, it’s no surprise that Heathrow makes it onto the list of best VIP airport experiences. After you’ve blown half your holiday budget on luxury brands, you can enjoy the elegant dining experience of the British Airways Concorde Room—with full waiter service and complimentary Champagne.
Highlight: Airport shopping
Etihad Diamond First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi
If you’re travelling with kids, the ultimate VIP lounge has got to be the Diamond First Class Lounge, courtesy of Etihad at Abu Dhabi International Airport. As you’re whisked off to the day spa or shower rooms, the staff will iron your clothes and polish your shoes, while your personal nanny service keeps the little ones entertained in the playroom.
Highlight: Nanny service
Jet Quay, Changi International Airport, Singapore
After winning over 370 “best” awards from various travel groups it’s hard to deny that Singapore is home to the world’s best airport. Changi is the amusement park of airports with rooftop hot tubs, indoor gardens and nap rooms available. The private Jet Quay lounge is a favourite of celebrities and government officials for its limo service, private terminals and personal staff on offer.
Sadly, not all the top VIP lounges could make it on to our short list—but if you fancy a taste of the high life between flights, you won’t be disappointed with these options. So next time you have a stopover be sure to look into what the VIP lounges have to offer.