Top Tips for Arrival Lounges

  • More airlines offer them, e.g. Virgin Atlantic, American, Cathay, Lufthansa, BA, Etihad, ANA.
  • Else they give you access to others, Sing Air using Virgin’s Heathrow T3 Revivals & Plaza Premium in Heathrow T2.
  • Join Plaza Premium to access over 160 lounges, Or you can pay and use when you land.
  • Quirks: join Lufthansa Miles & More and use the Swiss Zurich arrivals lounge
  • If you have the time, go to your hotel & use their gym to bathe & change.
  • If you don’t, change on the plane. But you to read on to know more about that!

As hotels require us to check in around 2pm, access to Arrival lounges allow us to freshen up and be ready for work (or pleasure) without paying for a hotel room for an extra night if we land early morning.

The start of my Arrival discovery

I stumbled upon this at 6am in Heathrow T3 after a 13 hour flight on Sing Air. I had to be at work in the City at 9am and my hotel wasn’t ready till 2pm. I saw this sign for the Virgin Revivals lounge (its just next to the taxi exit) and went up one level. I found that as as Solitaire flyer I had free access, else could pay GBP35. I was able to bathe and change, get my suit pressed, choose between a shave (expected a cut throat shave but didn’t get one) or a 15 minute massage (that I hence chose later), and have an awesome full English. After this, I was ready for anything.

Besides other business trips, I recall a memorable personal one. My family had flown in from all over the world for the Queen’s Jubilee. I reached Saturday morning from Singapore, used the Virgin lounge to change into my linen Zegna suit & met the others at the Derby that morning. We enjoyed the races & even saw the Queen driving back to Windsor after it all.

Other Arrival experiences

I recently used the Plaza Premium lounge in HK which was quite unimpressive – small, dark, a poor food selection. Puzzling given HK is their head office.

Another time I landed in Zurich after a long flight from Singapore. Swiss has a nice arrivals lounge, but despite being a Star Alliance Gold member, I could not access it. I found I could however, by just being a regular Lufthansa Miles & More member. I have become one since then.

Zurich (in the airport train terminal) & Beijing (just after arrivals) have basic lounges that I used. Just bathing & changing, no frills.

The Best Experience – Arrival on the plane

Once while flying from Singapore to Zurich  (the normal around midnight departure with an easy morning arrival), when I woke up I found the plane was an hour late and the planned “change at hotel” would not work. I had my luggage with me, was flying business and used the hot towels for a “dry clean”. I shan’t describe more what that entailed. Then I shaved, wet & combed my hair, dressed and was ready when we landed!

Hope this helps in making your experience better.

And if you had some interesting Arrivals lounge, experiences, let me know.