Saturday, 23 July 2016

Skyteam Lounge Heathrow - Terminal 4. I was a bit disrupted.


There are some airport lounges that are very memorable, and some, that are not.

Or, it may have been because of the un-notified change in flight times that meant I wasn't concentrating on the lounge, but harbouring the rage of an airline passenger spurned.

From relaxed to edgy

You see, this was the day of our flight January 2nd 2016, a flight we had made a preliminary booking for in April 2015. 

Trying to be thoroughly modern, I have begun to spurn paper itinerary's and load up to Kayak, where I can access them from all my devices. That is all very well, but when Kayak doesn't update, and you don't thoroughly check the final itinerary sent to you by your travel agency (because you are trying to rid yourself of paper), then you can get into trouble. Well inconvenience. OK, disruption.

Fortunately in the hangover fog of New Years Day, while watching various BBC series in the comfort of our London friend's TV nook, either me or Mickeli (I claim it was me - but we've been together so long that we no longer argue about such small things - but it was me), looked at the last downloaded and printed itinerary, rather than relying on our digital diaries and realised that instead of a leisurely departure for Heathrow, say at 11am for a 2:45pm flight, our departure had been marched forward by nearly 3 hours to midday! 

Suddenly this meant packing the night before, or an early wake-up. Remember we had enough luggage for 5 weeks - covering climates from the arctic to the tropics. Not to mention accumulating Xmas presents that if not heavier than the ones we had brought with us, were bulkier. Oh, and did I mention that we had to fit in 2 pairs of snow boots that we didn't have on the outward journey?

My mind was not on the lounge, it was taking umbrage at the inconvenience of it all - and wondering if I had in fact put everything I needed for Vietnam into one case, and everything I didn't need into the other.

If we had arrived at midday for a 2:45pm departure, then it would have been lunch time in the lounge. But arriving around 9:15am meant it was neither breakfast, elevenses, or lunch. Very disconcerting - which is actually code for making me grumpy.

How all that accounts for me taking almost no images of the  lounge except for the toilets is something I will leave you to fathom.

Desperate plants clinging to wall and life

Here is the Skyteam signature living wall (more 'just clinging on' wall), similar to the one in Sydney. Really, it looked a bit sad and desperately in need of a little horticultural attention - and I didn't pick the worst bit.

There is nothing sadder than a badly maintained living wall. It doesn't take much to take it from a thing of joy, to a charnel house of skeletal remains.
The lounge is actually quite nice, and was almost unoccupied. I presume that the morning rush was over. There was very little food offering initially when we arrived. It seemed they were at change-over hour between breakfast and lunch. And most importantly, there was no champagne to start.

To compensate for my complete inability to take pictures of the main areas of the lounge, you might want to go the the Skyteam lounge site for their 360º view. You can also have a look at Head for Points review which has a few of the pictures I failed to shoot.

Otherwise all I have for you is these:
Get me out of here! Rainy Heathrow. Take me to tropical heat - somewhere like Saigon - oh right, that's where we are going. View from the Skyteam lounge Terminal 4 Heathrow.
And these, that make me feel a little perverted.

Door to a shower on the left, door to a stall centre right, towel dispenser right
Or these that make me feel like I want to go . . .

Basins and urinals. Nice fixtures, and plenty of space. Oh and a child height urinal in the middle.

And this that looks slightly medical.

Stall. That finish is brushed steel, even though it sort of looks like frosted glass, it isn't.
 And these below, which are the correct pre-flight cocktail.

The drink that is suitable for any time of the day. Hand crafted Bloody Mary's by me.

My reflections on the lounge are of course coloured by the way I was feeling.  We had just spent 4 weeks in quite mild winter weather in London on a pre-Christmas whirl of social engagements, visiting friends and relatives, followed by Christmas, the northern lights in Tromsø, and the excesses of New Year's Eve.  We were exhausted. We wanted to stay and going to the airport and sitting in that lounge reminded us that we were on our way home to Sydney - admittedly with a few nights of R'nR in Saigon. Our mood was not elevated.

All in all, the lounge was perfectly good. Not great, but way better than the Vietnam Airlines lounge in HCMC.

Goodbye London. Lets hope that there is no one sick on this 787 to Saigon.

More stories from this trip



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