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The Advantages of an Airport Lounge

Airport lounges used to be reserved for frequent flyers who could afford to purchase an airline's membership program, but not any more. Things have changed with the introduction of independent lounges around the world.

On my recent trip to China I had the opportunity to review Skyteam Lounge at Sydney International Airport. I can see the advantages for any traveller, but I found some features which I thought are particularly good for anyone travelling with specific needs.

Reception desk at airport lounge
The Skyteam Lounge at Sydney International Airport can make long-haul travel a much nicer experience.

After the hectic preparation for my trip and the push to get to the airport in peak hour traffic, I found the lounge an oasis of peace and quiet. For starters, no airport announcements are broadcast in the lounge. This does mean you need to keep an eye on time but when I returned to the main terminal after being in the lounge I was reminded of just how jarring and intrusive the constant barrage of announcements can be.

Always preferring to arrive well before my departure time I had a couple of hours to sit and relax. My flight was mid-morning so the lounge was serving a buffet breakfast with a mixture of cereals, pastries, fresh fruit and cooked items including pancakes and eggs.

Open chairs and loungers in the Skyteam Lounge, with low lighting and green indoor plants
The tranquility of the lounge lets travellers relax.

The lounges are super comfy with inbuilt power points for charging phones or laptops and complimentary fast WIFI, ensuring you can stay connected, if you wish. If you position yourself near the floor to ceiling windows there is some superior plane-spotting to be had.

Taking off on a trip is always reason to celebrate and if you’re in the mood, the lounge’s bar is well stocked with a variety of wines,  snacks, tea and coffee.

Buffet in the Skyteam Lounge with wide windows providing light and exterior views
A good day’s travel starts with a good breakfast in the Skyteam Lounge.

Although I used the lounge for relaxation it is well equipped with business facilities including computers, meeting tables and plenty of reading material. I do like a free magazine!

Skyteam Quiet Room

For any passengers travelling with sensory issues, the Quiet Room within the Skyteam Lounge will be a welcome reprieve. The room is very calming, with low light and blinds to keep the harsh daylight out. There’s also a couple of bean bags for comfort. Next to the Quiet Room is another gently lit room with a television, if you’d prefer to unwind with some entertainment. Neither room was being used during the busy morning period when I was visiting, so you might be able to snag some alone time into the bargain.

The Skyteam Lounge Quiet Room with comfortable seating and low light
The Quiet Room at Skyteam Lounge is like an oasis within an oasis.

Bathroom Facilities

A stand-alone unisex bathroom facility is available within the lounge. The bathroom is equipped with a toilet with a back rest and rails either side, plus a shower with a bench seat, lever taps and an adjustable hand-held shower head.

Another benefit: Friend of Travel Without Limits, Jessica, says she uses the Skyteam Lounge at Sydney International Airport due to her compromised immunity. “It helps to avoid larger crowds, which is difficult when you travel,” she says. “The lounge facilities generally offer areas which are clean and private to attend to treatments or for taking medication. If there is a flight delay the lounge is a more comfortable area to wait and rest.”

My Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the Skyteam Lounge prior to my flight out of Sydney International Airport. I boarded the plane rested, well-fed and ready for the 10 hour plus journey ahead of me.

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