Korean Air lounges are generally not very inspiring. Even their flagship lounges in Seoul are fairly pedestrian, and their U.S. lounges are abysmal for an Asian carrier. Their Hong Kong lounge used to be a bit boxy feeling and not especially impressive in terms of its amenities. Last Autumn, that lounge closed. Partly in its stead a new combined Skyteam lounge opened.
I generally regard Skyteam as the poor cousin of the three main airline alliances, partly because of its somewhat ill-matched membership and partly because many of the key members are airlines I do not like to fly.
The lounge is located next to Gate 15.
The lounge is downstairs so entrance is via an escalator, or a lift.
There is a fair selection of local and international magazines and newspapers in the reception. Inside the lounge there are basically two areas, a seating area dominated by the food serving area, and behind that another large seating area with only chairs and some small tables.
The design of the lounge is very contemporary and light. A large amount of space is given over to a reception area which doesn’t have much ambience. The overall effect is one of style over substance.
The design, though clearly considered, lacks character. Moreover, partly because of its open plan design and partly because of the number of passengers, the lounge feels crowded and noisy.
The lounge does feel busy and noisy, which makes it unrelaxing. Lots of the seats are in the dining area, but that whole area lacks power sockets, so for many travellers it is not pleasingly functional. (This is sometimes true of the dining areas of other lounges too, in order to create dining ambience, but the Skyteam lounge isn’t in that bracket).
Where the lounge really comes into its own is the food. It has a large selection of a wide variety of cuisines in a buffet. It also has a noodle bar. The food selection was excellent and quality good and, especially if one was spending a long time in the lounge, the variety and quality would be a real advantage.
There is a self-service bar area with awkward looking circular table, a coffee machine and the drinks selection. The spirits are good, while the wine selection when I visited was underwhelming (after all, this lounge serves Air France passengers, so one would hope for good wine). The only Korean beer was a stout, which is a shame as when it had its own lounge, Korean Air stocked a selection of Korean beers and beverages.
One novel feature is a yoga room. This is tucked away in the far nook of the lounge (basically just keep walking and you’ll stumble upon it). It has a couple of yoga mats and a television screen playing a yoga programme.
The Skyteam lounge is not especially comfortable and feels crowded and unrelaxing. However, the food offering is very good and makes for a proper meal. The addition of a yoga room is also a good touch.
Guest Blogger: Christopher R.