I’ve mentioned quite a few times in the past about how I’m not a big fan of airport lounges (in general). I’m usually perfectly happy wandering the terminal looking at all the interesting airplanes (and gawking at people from all over the world).
It all depends on the airport of course, but most of the time I never feel an overwhelming need to be in a lounge while I’m waiting for a flight. I certainly wasn’t craving it today, since the airport here in Lisbon is actually quite interesting with a multitude of airlines flying in and out of here that I’ve never even heard of before. Arkia? Orbest? Sun D’Or? First I’ve heard of them too.
Seeing signs all over the place for the TAP Premium lounge was too tempting to resist however, and I thought it would probably be a pretty good idea if I went and checked it out. I had plenty of time to kill, so why the heck not?
It was my total lack of enthusiasm for spending time in a lounge today that caused me to not even realize that this particular lounge here at LIS was brand new and much (much) better than the one it had just replaced. It wasn’t until I returned home and was talking to some other travelers about it when I realized how lucky I was to get to try out this fancy new hangout.
The TAP Premium lounge is located on the upper level of the main terminal, just above the central area where all the shops are. My first impression was that it felt like kind of an awkward entrance, since this area is so loud and packed to the gills with people. Of all the places to put a lounge, why place it above the busiest and noisiest part of the airport?
Thankfully, by the time I reached the top of the escalator and walked down the hallway to the entrance of the lounge, the noise from below had been muffled down to a whisper and I felt like I had reached an oasis as I was walking in.
My first thought as soon as I walked in? “Holy crap that green.” I meant that in a good way of course, as I’m a huge fan of the TAP Portugal livery and that neon green is one of the colors which makes them unique. I quite liked it. The place felt hip, modern, and very clean.
A bit too busy and noisy for my personal tastes, but overall it felt like one of the better airline lounges I’ve been in recently. I’d go as far as to say that it reminded me of a low-budget version of the Virgin Atlantic Club House at LHR. It had the exact same kind of retro 60’s style to it, but without all of the big-money flair (sorry, there’s no beauty salon in here).
Besides how busy it was, the only negative in my mind was the fact that the seating arrangement was a little bit awkward. There just didn’t seem to be very many different types of seating options, and I ended up finding a spot to sit along the outer wall on a weird bench-like thing. It wasn’t very comfortable, I felt like I had no privacy, and it felt odd sitting along the outer wall like that looking at everybody else (who were looking right back at me).
It was really strange. And it got even weirder when the place became even more busy with people coming to sit down right next to me. It felt uncomfortable to sit that close to complete strangers in a premium airline lounge such as this, but thankfully everyone was minding their own business and there was no touchy-feely going on.
Highly appreciated was the fact that there were plenty of power and USB outlets along that outer wall, and combined with the free Wi-Fi, I was a happy smartphone user during my entire time there.
TAP Portugal is going through a major brand refresh at the moment, and this lounge redesign goes hand-in-hand with their new business class product that they are installing across their entire fleet. This airline is taking great strides to be one of the best in Europe, and based on what I saw from this lounge, I believe they are on their way towards that goal!