You are here: Home  »  Archive  »  2015  »  October 2015  »  Special Reports  » 

Special Reports » 

Now Arriving

Published: 01/10/2015 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2015 » October 2015 » Special Reports » Home » Features »

  • Print
  • Send

For any business traveler getting off a red-eye flight, an arrival lounge can be something of a sanctuary – a place to catch a couple of hours of rest, freshen up and grab a bite before a busy day ahead. 

Most airports of any size have departure lounges that cater to outbound premium passengers with an array of services designed to make the time prior to flight as productive and painless as possible.  However, the concept of an arrivals lounge as an independent offering is a relatively new one. 

Most arrivals lounges are located after customs and immigration, on the land side of the terminal, in contrast to departure lounges which are usually on the airside post-security.  Arrivals lounges are meant to provide passengers landing after long-haul flights with services such as a place to shower and have breakfast.  Their hours are scheduled around arrivals and not departures, and the hours may be more limited depending on the carrier’s schedule.   

The idea is to give arriving international passengers a chance to clear customs, pick up their luggage and get ready for the day ahead.  The services available in the arrivals lounge speed them on their way so they can go about their business, avoiding the need to check into their hotel first. 

These lounges are a relatively new trend, and certainly not as widespread as departure lounges. After all, the majority of travelers still prefer to leave the airport as soon as they’ve passed through immigration and collected their baggage. 

But the services typically offered by arrival lounges are growing in popularity, particularly with business travelers who need to make the transition from plane to meeting without stopping. As a result, in addition to hot showers and the usual satisfying food and beverage, these decompression oases offer such out of the ordinary services as shirt-pressing, or even a wet shave at the Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge in Abu Dhabi.

Still largely the domain of the major international carriers, arrival lounges are becoming increasingly popular. So it’s not surprising that third-party providers such as Plaza Premium Lounge are capitalizing on this lucrative market, introducing pay-as-you-go arrival lounges that are open to any traveler regardless of airline or cabin class.  

But regardless of who is providing the service, weary business travelers can expect to be welcomed by more arrival lounges in the future. Here are a few of the current crop worth checking into the next time you step off the plane.




WHERE Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport


ENTRY INFO First or Club World, Gold Executive Club member arriving on a BA long-haul flight

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, spa, WiFi

INFO BA has teamed up with British spa and skincare brand Elemis to offer complimentary 15-minute treatments to its premium customers. Pamper yourself after your flight with a deep clean aviator facial, or a muscle-ease power back massage. Male guests can opt for a first class power shave developed by shave guru Richard Anthony, while women can book in for a Sky High Brow Shape or Jet Set Power Polish.

It’s also worth noting that several other carriers, including American, Delta, United and Air Canada also offer arrival lounge services at Heathrow as well.



WHERE International Terminal, Istanbul Ataturk Airport


ENTRY INFO Business class passengers, or Miles&Smiles Elite Plus members

FACILITIES Food and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, ironing service, charging station, newspapers and magazines

INFO The lounge measures 2,700 square feet and can accommodate up to 38 guests, and offers showers and changing rooms. Designed to welcome passengers from morning arrivals that are too early to check into their hotels, it is open daily from 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and stops welcoming guests at 12:30 PM. Facilities include “media walls” displaying useful flight information and TV shows.


WHERE Terminal 1, Abu Dhabi International Airport

OPENING HOURS Open 24 hours

ENTRY INFO First and business class passengers only

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, clothes steaming, wet shaves, complimentary connectivity options, business center

INFO Located just after customs, the lounge boasts a convenient location and offers eligible guests an area to freshen up. Check out the new “Shave” concept, where male guests can have a complimentary wet shave from qualified barbers. There are also ten individual shower units and a complimentary clothes steaming service area where garments are ready in ten minutes.


WHERE Central passage connecting Terminal 1 and 2, Hong Kong International Airport

OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM

ENTRY INFO First and business class passengers, Gold tier or above members of Marco Polo Club, and Oneworld Emerald cardholders

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, workstations with broadband internet access, WiFi, TV, international/local newspapers and magazines

INFO Cathay Pacific prides itself on its lounges – just take a look at The Bridge. The Arrival first opened in 2013, and is the perfect place for passengers flying into Hong Kong on the red-eye flights to catch a few hours rest, freshen up, or grab a bite before starting the day. 


WHERE Terminal 1, Concourse B, Frankfurt Airport

OPENING HOURS 5:30 AM – 12:30 PM 

ENTRY INFO First class, Miles & More HON Circle, Senator, Frequent Traveler card members arriving on long-haul flights operated by Lufthansa

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, suit pressing service, WiFi

INFO Lufthansa’s Welcome Lounge is reserved for the airline’s most valued customers, and everything in the facility is top notch. There are 28 shower suites, each equipped with powerful showerheads and stocked with L’Occitane toiletries. For guests who’ve worked up a long-haul appetite, a hot and cold buffet is available.


WHERE Terminal B, Zurich Airport


ENTRY INFO First and business class Swiss and Lufthansa passengers, HON Circle, Miles & More Senator and Frequent Traveler

FACILITIES Food and drinks, internet stations, shower suites

INFO At 8,300 square feet, the Swiss Arrival Lounge is second only to the Swiss Business Lounge in size. With capacity for 86, there’s plenty of room for the airline’s premium travelers. Internet stations are also available, but it’s the 20 shower rooms that will probably prove the biggest draw for incoming passengers.


WHERE Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport

OPENING HOURS Open 24 hours

ENTRY INFO From S$35 ($26) for two hours 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, or S$41 ($31) 10:00 PM – 10:00 AM

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower and nap facilities, meeting rooms, business centre

INFO The highlight here has to be the 18 nap rooms, where guests can purchase a nap room package for S$71 ($53) for three hours, extendable at an hourly rate of S$15 ($11). The nap room package includes a shower, meal and lounge access. The two meeting rooms can accommodate up to ten guests when connected. Meeting rooms can be booked starting S$47 ($35) including light refreshments.


WHERE Terminal 2C, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport


ENTRY INFO La Premiere and business class customers, Flying Blue Gold and Platinum cardholders, and Skyteam Elite Plus members. Other passengers can enter for a fee of 50 ($56) before 10:00 AM, or 35 ($39) after 10:00 AM.

FACILITIES Food and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, ironing service, newspapers and magazines

INFO This lounge may be starting to show its age, but it’s still your best bet in CDG Airport of finding a good place to shower and freshen up after a long flight, and the complimentary shirt pressing service is particularly welcome. Food and seating are basic, but there are plenty of charging stations.


WHERE Terminal 2, London Heathrow Airport

OPENING HOURS 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM

ENTRY INFO £25 (US$39) per person per hour, or £15 (US$23) for use of the lounge’s shower facilities.

FACILITIESFood and drink, WiFi, shower facilities, spa, newspapers and magazines, TV, charging stations

INFO Located just next to customs in the arrival hall, the facility opened in December 2014. The first independent arrival lounge in Terminal 2 is open to all travelers, regardless of airline or travel class. The spa massage treatments are targeted to combat travel ailments. 


WHERE Terminal 1, South Wing, Narita International Airport


ENTRY INFO First and business class customers, ANA Diamond & Platinum Service members, ANA Super Flyers Card members. Applies only to passengers arriving on ANA operated international flights

FACILITIES Food and drink, shower facilities, spa services, smoking rooms, Internet terminals, newspapers and magazines

INFO Located immediately after immigration and just above the train station, the lounge is easily accessible for inbound travelers. It can be quite crowded as it doubles as a departure lounge for ANA travelers connecting onto domestic flights. The shower suites are well maintained and equipped with bath amenities. The food may be basic, but the staff is helpful and courteous.  

Read more about...

Bookmark with:


Login details

To add a comment, please enter your email address and password.

Keep me signed in until I sign out

New users

If you are not already registered with us, please enter your email address and chosen password above, and also complete the details below. Your screen name will be displayed on our website.

Your message


Best of All

Best of All

Business Traveler readers celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Best in Business Travel Awards
Read more »

World Wise

World Wise

Cultural awareness and effective communications for doing business around the world »
Read more »

Presents of mind

Presents of mind

Spotting just the right gift can be a daunting task, so we’ve put a little thought into it for you
Read more »