Thinking of travelling through Sydney Airport in the future? Before you do, read this article about SkyTeam Lounge and save yourself a headache.
Why spend money on an airport lounge?
Airports are busy. There’s no getting around it. It’s just a fact. If you’re travelling anywhere by plane – domestic or international – wading through an ocean of noise, people and luggage is guaranteed. Once you check in and get through customs, everything just gets worse. The waiting areas are normally choked with families and those travellers who manage to spread themselves across three seats. The food courts are equally busy, and the only available chow is tasteless, bland and costs about double what it’s worth. You’re actually glad to board your flight – not because you’re excited for your holiday, but because you’ll finally get some peace and quiet.
If you’re thinking of departing from Sydney Airport, you’re about to experience exactly what we just talked about. Don’t get us wrong – we love Sydney. But Sydney Airport is busy. It’s the biggest airport in Australia’s largest city, and services thousands of travellers every day. The queues are horrific. Driving into the airport or travelling between terminals? Even worse. There’s some nice restaurants before customs, but as soon as you’ve passed through those metal detectors, the prices skyrocket and the quality declines. Even with the broad selection of duty-free shops, you’re going to walk (fly?) away with a headache.
Is that how travelling should be? We live in a decidedly fast-paced world, but that doesn’t mean that time you spend going from home to holiday has to be unpleasant. It makes more sense to start your holiday straight away, doesn’t it? Why wait until you’ve touched down in another country to relax and decompress?
Enter SkyTeam Lounge, a stylish solution to all those annoying airport problems. Operated by Plaza Premium Lounge, one of the world’s top airport lounge brands, SkyTeam is designed for sophisticated travellers seeking respite from the crowds. It might not have the luxury trappings of other Plaza Premium offerings like Brisbane, but it’s a step or three up from waiting in the frenetic chaos of the food courts.
You’re probably wondering what’s so great about Plaza Premium – or even airport lounges generally. After all, you’ve probably heard people complaining about overpricing and underperformance when it comes to these inner-terminal sanctuaries, and, in many cases, that’s a fair complaint. There are definitely some lounges out there that chew holes in your wallet and offer the same level of exclusivity as the Maccas drive-through. But that’s like avoiding a 5-star restaurant because you once had a bad experience at KFC. Choose your airport lounge wisely, compare the pricing to the services on offer, and we’re confident you won’t be disappointed.
What do you get out of SkyTeam?
Let’s take a closer look at SkyTeam Lounge. You’re probably going to be staying here during daytime layovers – many trips to and from cities like Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart change flights at Sydney Airport. It’s open from 6am to 10pm, which covers the vast majority of flight times, and each lounge stay is up to 5 hours long. On average, it costs about AUD114.00 for two adults to enter the lounge ($57 each).
We’ll start with the lounge itself. You’d expect a paid seating space to be worth the extra cash, and SkyTeam doesn’t disappoint. The minimalist, white-washed interiors are designed to maximise its 784 m2 interior – circular lounge designs and an effective use of space make the room feel larger than it is. Although the presence of bright orange leather couches at one end of the lounge isn’t the most aesthetically-pleasing choice, they’re backed by the ‘living wall’, a broad strip of wall-mounted plants featuring over 60 different species. It’s a pleasant change from the coldly artificial ambience of most airport lounges.
The lounge has standard inclusions like free WiFi, charging ports, wheelchair access and a business centre, but – let’s be honest – it’s the showers and the food that you came for. SkyTeam provide complimentary toiletries upon request, so if your toothpaste and soap are packed away in your luggage, don’t worry.
Eating in the SkyTeam Lounge
Like all Plaza Premium lounges, food and beverages are included as part of the entry price, and this is where you get value-for-money. SkyTeam is definitely a more streamlined lounge option than its sister lounges in places like Brisbane, but they don’t slack off when it comes to provide a great range of eating options. You can find standard bar snacks like chips, corn chips and nuts, as well as extensive hot, cold and dessert buffets, which cater for lunch, breakfast and dinner (depending upon which time of day you visit). Chef-prepped à la carte menus are seasonally available – you can check with the SkyTeam staff upon entry to see what sort of meals are on offer.
The best thing about fly-to destinations is that you’re not driving, which means you can make the most of SkyTeam’s open bar. No, that’s not a joke – alongside standard beverage options like tea, coffee and juice, beer, wine, champagne and spirits are all free. It’s always nice to get into holiday mode before you even arrive at your destination, but just don’t go overboard. You definitely don’t want to make domestic headlines as the person who got kicked off a flight for being disorderly.
On the face of it, $57 a head just to avoid the chaos of the Sydney Airport food courts might seem unreasonable. But think about it: you get unlimited food, beverages and showers, as well as access to charging ports, TV, magazines and WiFi. Nobody’s kids are screaming at the table next to you. You don’t have to wait in line for a toilet that ends up being clogged and disgusting. You don’t have to yell over the general racket just to talk to your partner. And you’re not shelling out big bucks for tasteless, preservative-packed airport food. Pricey? Sure. Worth it? Definitely.
Nobody wants to start their holiday with a headache. Skip the pain by booking with Plaza Premium, and start experiencing airports the right way.