And the Priority Pass ‘Lounge of the Year 2018’ award nearly goes to ….. Aberdeen!

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Airport lounge network Priority Pass has unveiled the winners of its ‘Airport Lounge of the Year 2018’ awards.

Whilst it is easy to take such awards with a pinch of salt, the fact that the Priority Pass awards are based on 52,000 reviews from cardholders does give them some credibility.

The global winner for 2018 was Sala VIP Internacional at Quito International Airport in Ecuador.

To quote:

Sala VIP Internacional put the customer experience at the heart of their recent lounge expansion and pride themselves on offering services that will cater to everyone’s needs. One of the main highlights of this lounge is the outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the city, providing a space that captures the light and colour of Ecuador’s vibrant capital. The lounge is fitted out with ample seating and distinguished locally sourced furnishings, providing a luxurious and cultural feel. The lounge menu, designed by renowned local chef Andrés Miño, includes international and Ecuadorian cuisine, and guests can enjoy a variety of wines from the lounge’s private cellar, while watching Quito’s beautiful sunsets. This modern and elegant lounge is open around the clock and features private working spaces, dedicated sleeping areas, a massage room, and showers for guests to refresh themselves before a long flight or during a layover.

More relevant to HFP readers are the European winners.

Northern Lights lounge Aberdeen

The overall European winner was the Primeclass Riga Business Lounge at Terminal E at Riga International Airport, Latvia.

The good news is that the European runner-up award was the little-known Northern Lights Executive Lounge in Aberdeen.

I am very pleased about this.  I reviewed the Northern Lights lounge in May 2018 – see here – and was very impressed.  It was actually the best lounge, adjusting for the airport it was in, that I visited last year and it is great to see it getting broader recognition.

As I wrote last May:

“a lot of small clever ideas come together to create something impressive”

The Northern Lights lounge can be accessed by Priority Pass unsurprisingly (buy one, or free with American Express Platinum), Lounge Club (free with American Express Gold) and all other major lounge pass networks. It also hosts premium cabin passengers on certain airlines who do not have their own lounge.

If you want to book in advance and will be paying cash, you can book on the Aberdeen Airport website here.

Northern Lights lounge Aberdeen

The other Priority Pass lounge winners

Here are the winners of the other awards:

Africa & Middle East:

Asia Pacific:

  • Regional Winner: Miracle First Class LoungeInternational Concourse D, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand
  • Highly Commended: SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore

North America:

  • Regional Winner: Lounge 19, Terminal 1, Mexico City Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico
  • Highly Commended: The Club MCO, Terminal B, Concourse 4, Orlando FL International Airport, United States

Latin America and The Caribbean:

  • Highly Commended: Eldorado Lounge, Terminal 1, Bogota El Dorado International Airport, Colombia

It is worth noting that, if you’re in Dubai, you can access the Ahlan First Class lounge in Terminal 3 Concourse D – which is better than the Ahlan lounge which won the award – via DragonPass.  This lounge is used by a lot of airlines for their First Class passengers and has free flowing champagne and a la carte dining.  You can read more about that in this HFP article.  It does not accept Priority Pass unfortunately.

If you have been to any of the lounges above, please let us have your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Bootlace says:

    Bravo Aberdeen, great food, very homely (for a lounge) and a very impressive whisky wall.

  2. Graham Walsh says:

    Can’t remember which lounges I’ve been to in DXB. Would have been PP where VS or Emirates fly out of. Don’t remember any of them being memorable. Plus it’s usually early in the morning for flying back to the UK so all breakfast stuff.

  3. Nathan says:

    I’d give an honourable mention to the ‘Airport World Lounge’ lounge at MUC, it’s modern, clean, spacious and split over two floors, the food is above average, beverages of std premium brands, free-flowing local bubbly, and it’s opposit the BA gates in T1 too. The reviews of the BA Galleries lounge, humourously bad, meant we didn’t even think of seeking it out.

    On the downside, despite Munich gathering Best Airport accolades, the passport control on departure (why??) was of Stansted level efficiency. Added to which, premium passengers were ‘fast tracked’ past a closed window and expected to push in at the head of a very long queue of economy customers! It was a bit awkward but I thought it hilarious given the number of British and Irish tutters in the queue, the sharp-elbowed Romanian grandma directly behind, but soon in front, made me laugh audibly, which probably endeared me even less to the queue members 🙂

  4. Doug M says:

    I did LHR-MIA with Virgin last year, and was impressed with the Virgin Clubhouse in Heathrow. However the Delta lounge in MIA was rubbish. Small space and huge queue to get in, which I eventually ignored, as clearly the entry staff were fully occupied rebooking people. No meaningful food. I’d say if you average the two lounges, either end, you’re far better off with BA/AA than Virgin for all the general love affair with the Clubhouse.

  5. Colin JE says:

    On a connected note I saw the Times reported a Which survey of best and worst paid uk lounges.
    Southend came bottom followed by Edinburgh’s Aspire lounge as second worst. Joint third worst were Belfast Causeway, Luton Aspire and… Heathrow T5 Aspire!
    Details are behind the Times paywall but if you’re not a Which member you can see it reported here

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Good to see Manchester’s 1903 lounge securing joint top. It’s a really good facility.

    • RussellH says:

      Amazed to see our local daily mentioned here!!!

  6. I think when you say take it with a pinch of salt, that should be a bucket of salt. On my recent visit to SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi International Airport recently, it was appalling…. dirty and no food replenishment. Qatar use it and even the check in lady was embarrassed to say it was being used and said it was only slightly better than Dnata T3 in Changi which they used before which was shocking. It would be interesting to see how many votes a lounge needs to get Highly Commended?

    • Ditto re Changi lounge. A complete joke. Changi gets such good publicity but I found it to be a small low quality shopping mall with nothing to offer besides hype.

  7. Lady London says:

    I’ve been in Plaza Premiums at Changi a few times(paid, at that time) and happy to return to them.

  8. Cantab says:

    Problem with recommending the Northern Lights Lounge is why would you spend anything more than the bare minimum amount of time at Aberdeen airport?

    It is tiny and efficient, so I have never been more than 15 minutes from front door to through security and at the gates.

    I guess if you’re rocking an unlimited PP then the lounge would be worthwhile for the 30 minutes max. you’re there but for any limited (Lounge Club via Amex Gold) or pay per entry lounge passes you’re not going to be there long enough to get your money’s worth.

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