I have come to the realization that coffee is the most important thing in an airport lounge.
Nice food is appreciated. High speed wi-fi is helpful. Comfortable seating is applauded. But if I had to choose just one thing that I consider most important in an airline lounge, it would be the coffee.
People love coffee around the world…you know that based upon long lines for coffee at virtually any airport coffee shop around the world. There’s a coffee company called Klatch in Terminal 7 at LAX and the lines routinely stretch down the concourse. For reasons that puzzle me as a self-professed coffee snob, you see the same thing at virtually an airport Starbucks.
And while finding tremendous third wave coffee is not so easy in airports, many lounges offer very decent coffee and espresso-based drinks.
While in Hong Kong last week, the Hong Kong Airlines Lounge did not off great coffee. Thankfully, a train ride and short walk over the American Express Centurion Lounge resulted in a truly satisfying cappuccino:
At my home airport of LAX, my two favorite lounges are not surprisingly the only two lounges with a barista: the oneworld business class lounge and Qantas First Class lounge. Both offer exceptional espresso-based drinks (and “normal” coffee as well):
Here’s the thing. Food is nice, but I can eat onboard. Fast internet is great, but I can tether from my phone. Flight rebooking helping during irr/ops is valuable, but airline apps have greatly improved and I can generally quickly reach a reservations agent on the phone while in line in the lounge.
I guess the perfect lounge concept for me is the Lufthansa Senator Cafe in Munich.
What do you think is the most important thing in an airport lounge?