I arrived early for my Turkish Airlines flight from Alexandria to Istanbul, which left me time to review the Pearl Lounge at Borg El Arab International Airport, also part of the Priority Pass network.
Pearl Lounge Alexandria Review (HBE)
Let me brief and blunt: your time is better spent arriving at the airport closer to departure and avoiding this lounge. Oh, the staff was lovely and it beats the terminal area. But this was one of the oldest lounges I have ever visited.
But first, the basics. It is a 24/7 lounge located airside (post-security screening) on the second floor, opposite the departure gates (HBE is a very small airport). Since this lounge is beyond passport control, it is only accessible for international departures.
This serves as the lounge for premium cabin passengers as well as a number of lounge memberships. If you do not have access, you can purchase access for 35USD. Totally not worthwhile!
What I found so odd was the food.
There were some questionable-looking rice and vegetables:
and some “meat” and chicken:
There were pastries, breads, cookies, and cake.
But what I found odd was the selection of canned goods…in an airport lounge.
It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever seen cans of baked beans and cartons of rice in an airport lounge (there were instant noodles and yogurt and cheese as well).
Drinks included coffee, tea, juice, soda, and water. There was no alcohol (it was Ramadan, though).
The seating area was divided into a dining area, smoking area, and non-smoking area. The seats were comfortable, but the power outlets (on the wall only) were few and far between. Internet worked very poorly.
The restrooms had a nasty stench (of a sewer).
While I appreciated that there was a lounge, this is not a lounge I look forward to returning to. The food looked like it had sat out for hours and even if fresh, did not look appetizing. The canned beans and packaged ice were altogether strange. But the staff was gracious and kind (and a bit desperate…which I will lay out in a bit).
I’m curious how long you stayed there? It didn’t look at all relaxing. It’s nice to hear about such an obscure place.
Any clue what the mystery meat was? Sounds like the old quip that you shouldn’t ask how sausage is made.