Bits: Priority Pass unveils lounges of the year, new easyJet routes from Southend, HTTPS

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News in brief:

Priority Pass unveils its lounges of the year

Airport lounge access card Priority Pass (free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately) has unveiled its annual Lounge of the Year winners.

Based on votes cast by 72,000 Priority Pass members, the results are – to put it mildly – a little eclectic.

The overall winner is Club Kingston at Jamaica’s Kingston Norman Manley International Airport.  With, apparently, a decidedly Jamaican flair, the lounge features artwork and décor sourced from across the island, as well as local food and drink including traditional Jamaican patties and pea soup – all served to a gentle soundtrack of reggae music and with signature cocktails created by the resident bartender.

Closer to home, Tallinn Airport Business Lounge at the Lennart Meri Airport Tallin, Estonia has been crowned Best Lounge in Europe, closely followed by La Valette Club in Malta International Airport.  Tallinn’s Airport Business Lounge aims to live up to the airport’s promise of being ‘the world’s cosiest airport’.  Features include a massage chair and sleeping pods, a library where travellers can select an in-flight read, a curated selection of local food, beer, wine and spirits, a warming fireplace and an outdoor terrace.

The full list of winners is:



Africa & Middle East:

Asia Pacific:

North America:

Latin America & The Caribbean:

Best Business Facilities:

Best Quality of Refreshments:

Best Attitude and Service from Lounge Staff:

easyJet adds four new routes from London Southend

easyJet has announced that it will open four new routes to Bordeaux, Prague, and Dubrovnik and Pula in Croatia from London Southend Airport in 2018.

Bordeaux will start on 25th July and operates three times a week. Prague starts on 27 July and will be twice weekly. The two Croatian routes (Dubrovnik, starts 28th July and Pula, starts 27th July and pictured above with neighbouring Rovinj below) will also operate twice weekly.

I had a day out at London Southend last year (read here) and was pleasantly surprised by what I found – if you work in the City or Canary Wharf, with easy access to the airport trains, it is worth considering.


We completed the final part of the HFP IT upgrade yesterday morning.  The site now runs off an https:// address and you will see a green padlock in your browser bar.  Apologies to anyone who had issues with the site yesterday morning whilst the work was being done.  That should be it in terms of IT work until the new year.

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Review of the Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport Terminal 1

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  1. Was in the Club MCO lounge last Nov, Virgin use it at Gate 72, IIRC AMEX Gold Lounge Club should get you in..

  2. Must of been a pretty low bar in Europe if Tallinn took the prize. Lovely little city, but didn’t think much of the lounge or food.

    • +1. I was in the Tallinn lounge on Sunday Andes agree. It did seem quite cozy (with the fireplace etc) and the seating was comfortable. It wasn’t that busy. However the food was mediocre at best.

      • the real harry1 says:

        it could be an ironic FT joke, given famous TP runs there etc – plus they all seem to like Tallinn itself so might have voted with those things in mind

        • Or it could be rigged. It doesn’t take much to rustle up a campaign of positive reviews on the internet.

    • Same with MLA, was good enough but hardly 2nd best in all of Europe

  3. Rob Brown says:

    No! I always use Head For Points when I need to open a browser to sign up for wifi (as you normally need to point the browser somewhere and on my phone any https site gets blocked as “someone is attempting to redirect you” I will need to find a new unsecure site to direct to now.

  4. Doug Fenner says:

    OT (a bit).

    No status. Have Dragonpass through the Groupon offer that was highlighted here. Travelling to BCN from T3. Which of the lounges is the preferred option out of the No 1 or Club Aspire?


    • the real harry1 says:

      they’re both pretty good & have been reviewed here

      I slightly prefer No1 for its space/ windows/ seems bigger/ a few rooms/ kids cinema, always been calm & quiet – gets crowded & they might turn you away without a pre-booking (online), used to have 1 desktop PC which my son likes using

      Club Aspire has bigger free food range, seats 120 & unlikely to turn you away except at very busiest times, bit cramped & dark though has some interesting bits such as the snooze couches and quiet pods

      neither is self-pour booze

    • Great barstaff at No 1. Quick, friendly and gave us a few bottles of water for the flight. Food a bit patchy.

      • the real harry1 says:

        they gave us a few cans of coke for the flight as well last time!

        not sure they knew about it, though lol

  5. Kingston is a nice lounge. Comfortable and good selection of food/drink. Not restaurant dining but good patties etc for a couple of hours.

    They should have a category for worst lounge. The Port Lounge in Goa domestic departures in horrendous. Priority Pass should be embarrassed having that on its list.

  6. Was in Goa airport a couple of weeks back. That is not a lounge, it is a downmarket restaurant bar with a rope separating seats. Bought a coffee and sat in the departures. More room and quieter 🙂

  7. Mark Bates says:

    We used the Malta one last year and it is very poor, at least considering the dining options which are mainly limited to snacks (certainly nothing not or to order) I am guessing it may get high marks because the unlimited help-yourself-spirits, however that obvs isn’t exactly unique.

    • I love the Malta lounge. Been there 4 times now and each time had hot food platters, posh-looking sandwiches, cakes and several beers to choose from. And an outdoors terrace – perfect place to have that beer.

    • Are you serious? The Malta lounge is one of the best there is.

  8. Bits: for the regional MAS flights using the A350 its reported that those who booked into the first cabin are being booted back into Business class, if anyone booked one of those flights worth a check (hat tip to Loyaltylobby…to Seb! )

  9. Phatbear says:

    Regarding the southend news.

    Flybe already fly to prague and dubrovnik from SEN and they have decent load levels however im not sure there are enough pax to sustain both services.

    As an aside im currently in prague and fly from SEN with flybe and their service, for me, a darn sight better than easyjet. Oh and with flybe you get to collect avios points too!

  10. If you hold an Amex Platinum try the Centurion lounges
    The one in Seattle was superb: no hot food, but excellent cold.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Bit of advice please – I’m getting married next year and for the honeymoon have already used the BA 241 for return flights to KUL (business out and first back).

    We’ve got about 15 nights, 11 of which we’re in Langkawi and the initial 3 nights and last night in KUL. I was looking at the club rooms in the Mandarin Oriental, but the prices are sky high (£750 for B&B 3 nights). Can anyone recommend any other good hotels in KUL that may be nearer the £500 mark for the 3 nights?


    • General advice is that any 4 or 5 star hotel in KL should be very good value and provide good service. £750 for 3 nights B&B is way too high for KL. A number of posters like the Doubletree. My first ever stay in KL was at Traders, room options include a view of the Petronas towers which is stunning (you can also see the Mandarin Oriental!), hotel has a club floor, some great restaurants, and rooftop pool and sky bar. It is also adjacent to KLCC which includes a vast underground area with some cafes and walkways (= aircon) to the towers and to Bukit Bintang. The Intercontinental is also very good, and has a good Club Lounge. The JW Marriott is in a great shopping location, and has just been renovated, although the reviews of the new club lounge are mixed. I would avoid the main Hilton at the train station, as it was never the best of areas. Aim for Bukit Bintang or Petronas towers area.

      • I think the Doubletree is still 10,000 Hilton points per night?

        • Yep. And we got a suite. Not a great hotel though IMO but a bargain for what we got.

      • Also the Grand balcony (great if you smoke) faces petronas towers directly. Fab club food and drinks you really don’t need to eat out again later…Traders club fab too. Both would make a fuss of you if on honeymoon. They did for our anniversary. Pay around £125 a night. Breakfast buffet superb.

    • Axel Heyst says:

      As others suggest choose very near petronas tower or bukit bintang to enjoy kl.

      Btw – the queue for petronas tower tickets starts at 6am so by 8am you’ve lost out or gave a two hour wait. Its a tradition for the new husband to queue for the 2 tickets on his own and leave the new bride for a lie in.

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks for all the replies

      • Hilton near the station is very nice in my opinion, especially if you request a park view.

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