Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Off to the Northern Lights - Heathrow Terminal 2 - Priority Pass / Premium Plaza Lounge

Such excitement - a new terminal I've never been to; Scandinavian - an airline I've never travelled on; Norway - a country I've never seen, and the Northern Lights - a phenomenon  I have never experienced. So I was up for surprises.

Little did I know the first surprise would be an airport lounge.

Main public area of Terminal 2, Heathrow, with Christmas decorations, fluorescent black cab sculpture, and other light installations.
Terminal 2 (or the Queens Terminal) opened in 2014 and is quite light and airy compared to the horrors of Gatwick which was my last terminal experience. The terminal is home to most of the Star Alliance airlines flying into Heathrow (except new member Air India)

. . . and a bit more shopping on 2 levels to the left.
I must say I liked the terminal. The modern day sawtooth curved roof brings lots of light into the space, and although it has adopted the 'shopping mall with terminal attached' brand of airport design, the public spaces seemed nice. It's also good to see some public art installations, although none that I saw seemed particularly well integrated into the building. I didn't however see Slipstream.

The contemporary 'saw tooth' ceiling floods the terminal with light on a dreary winters day.

Priority Pass Lounge

Our trip from London to Heathrow took less time than we expected, so we were in need of a lounge to start our trip celebrations. With both of us couples only having access to One World alliance lounges, and what with travelling on SAS belonging to Star Alliance - we were heading off to an airport bar until we realised one of our friends credit cards gave them Priority Pass access to Plaza Premium lounges. Between you and me - I was not keen. PP lounges tend to be on the awful side of reasonable.

Except I was wrong. Totally wrong.

This is one of the best Plaza Premium/Priority Pass lounges I have visited, on equal footing with the newly opened one at Phnom Penh International airport in Cambodia.

Inside the entrance to the Priority Pass/Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 2 Heathrow - looking back towards the entrance.
This early in the afternoon, the lounge was relatively empty with maybe only 20 people including staff and our party of 4. Staff weren't exactly active, but I find that to be the case in most PP lounges. We could get a drink, and recharge our devices, not to mention do a little work in the time we had available.

Seating area in the lounge
The combination of blue and grey tones, combined with the lighting made for a very pleasant waiting experience. This PP lounge was actually nicer than a lot of airline lounges.

Lots of screens dividing the space make for a more intimate feeling
We were here early afternoon, so not that hungry, but the food selection was pretty good.

Some of the hot food selection in the lounge
To Lounge, or not to Lounge . . .
Definitely lounge. This one came as a surprise, and Priority Pass / Plaza Premium definitely get a gold stamp for these new lounges they seem to be rolling out around the world. Comfortable, all the right amenities, well designed, good food selection, and a haven before a flight - what more could one ask. I am sure going to value those credit cards which include membership of Priority Pass more now.

Watch out for a review of the PP lounge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the next few weeks.

More stories from this trip

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