Priority Pass has changed my airport life - generally for the better. There have been many instances when a long airport wait has been turned in to a productive, joy filled time instead. I have been to hundreds of lounges all around the world. Many are unremarkable but some stand out.
Here are some of my favorite lounges worldwide and some Priority Pass lounges to avoid.
The world's best Priority Pass lounges
Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris (CDG) - Star Alliance Lounge
France is famous for it's great taste in dining. The Star Alliance lounge in Paris captures the best of that spirit and has tons of French delectable. Star Alliance is a fringe alliance at Pairs Charles de Gaulle airport and so the lounge is open to Priority Pass connoisseurs. It's a 30 minute bus ride from most terminals but well worth it and you do not have to clear security.
San Francisco Intl. Airport (SFO) - Yankee Pier
This seafood restaurant is also part of Priority Pass at San Francisco Intl Airport (Terminal 3). It offers excellent tuna sushi bowls or sandwiches all courtesy of Priority Pass. Note that Priority Pass members who got their pass from an American Express card are not able to use airport restaurants after July 1st 2019 anymore.
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta (CGK) - Blue Sky Executive Lounge Terminal 1C (Lion Air)
This lounge serves the ultra-low-cost Lion Air Indonesia terminal, though there is a 'Airtrain' to reach it from other Terminals. The lounge does not look like much but serves fantastic, fresh local food and high-end espresso drinks.
Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali (DPS) - T/G Lounge Bali (DPS)
The T/G Lounge Bali (DPS) isn't a 'stunner' at first glance but features quality food, good coffee, good alcoholic drinks coupled with fast WiFi and super friendly staff. What else can you expect?
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi (DEL) - ITC Hotels Green Lounge
ITC Hotels are coveted gourmet temples in Mumbai and New Delhi. The same catering is used in the lounges and it shows! If you make friends with the chef he will show you a taste of Indian food like you never had it before.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou (CAN) - Easy Boarding Lounge
Yes it is China - but you will not believe it inside this beautiful lounge. It is enormous and comes with a careful interior design. It also has a yummy food buffet (time restricted though) and a decent drinks selection. The WiFi is fast and the whole atmosphere is hospitable and professional.
The world's worst Priority Pass lounges
Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) - Tanzanite Lounge
This lounge is just so ugly - it looks much more like Soviet-style funeral home than a lounge. It has way too many chairs, inedible food and poor drink selection. It is loud and the WiFi never works. The only redeeming quality is the friendly staff.
Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport, Jinan (TNA) - Golden Century VIP Lounge
This lounge looks more like a storage room than anything else. I walked by it twice and did not recognize it as a lounge. Imagine a dirty storage room with a few chairs and messy food coolers. Yes that is the Golden Century Lounge at Jinan. There is no WiFi, no drinks besides water and tea and just pre-packaged stale snacks. Oh my...
Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Xiamen (XMN) - Gate 7 Domestic Lounge
This lounge is so bad - it needs to be seen to be believed. It's just a few chairs in a steamy room (no working AC). There are stale snacks and a water cooler as a lounge amenity. Do not expect Internet or any other useful service. Nobody will speak English either. What a mess.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku (GYD) - Salam Lounge
This 'landside' lounge (i.e before immigration) has wonderful interior design going for it. However it has no working WiFi, indelible snacks and no real drinks selection to offer. I stayed for 5 minutes only...at this #loungefail.