If you have Priority Pass membership, which comes as a benefit on a number of premium credit cards, you can access more than 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants across the world. But did you know that the lounge network is expanding so rapidly, some of these business lounges are now at train stations?
My fiancé and I have been traveling in Russia for the World Cup and took a free ride on one of the designated FIFA trains. We went overnight from Saint Petersburg to Moscow and arrived at Leningradsky Railway Station around 7 a.m.
The lounge is located next to the exit to platforms and is open 24 hours. It is attached to a coffee shop, but you can see a Priority Pass desk at the entrance. When I looked up this lounge in the app, the conditions mentioned that you could access the lounge with a same-day ticket prior to departure, but we were able to enter it on arrival from Saint Petersburg.
Upon checking in, the desk attendant asked to look at the cardholder’s passport to match with the name on the Priority Pass card but did not ask to see our tickets. She then gave us a Wi-Fi password, a bathroom access code and waived to the lounge area saying the menus would be out shortly.
The business lounge at Leningradsky train station does not have a buffet spread, but you can order a free meal from the aforementioned coffee shop. We sat down and it had been maybe 10 minutes before a server took our drink order. My fiancé ordered a cappuccino, and I asked for black tea with lemon. Both drinks were of high quality, but unfortunately the service wasn’t.
The coffee shop didn’t seem that busy, but our server was completely MIA. We waited another 15 minutes before I got up and eventually placed the order with the cashier. I was just glad we didn’t have a train to catch because we would have definitely missed it.
The menu has two breakfast options: an omelet and syrniki, Russian quark cheese pancakes. They were so good, they rivaled my grandma’s syrniki I remember from when I was younger. My fiancé ordered a lunch option: chicken soup and carbonara. The soup was rather mediocre, but pasta was delicious and was made the proper way by mixing raw egg with pancetta.
As mentioned before, the bathroom required a code to access. There were no showers, but it was good enough to brush your teeth in private. The two stalls were clean but didn’t have paper towels. Men’s room did have paper towels, but they had the durability of a napkin, my fiancé said.
Besides Priority Pass members, the lounge is open to business-class passengers traveling on the Sapsan high-speed trains.
Overall, it was not my favorite lounge, but it was good enough to kill some time especially because we couldn’t check in to our hostel early. Most of the food we tried was of good quality, but the service leaves a lot to be desired. If you find yourself in Moscow and travel by train, you can visit business lounges at either Leningradsky Railway Station or Kursky Railway Station.
Have you been to either of the lounges at the train stations in Moscow? What was your experience like?