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Now open: Amsterdam Schiphol's new oneworld lounge

Now open: Amsterdam Schiphol's new oneworld lounge

Old Feb 22, 2024, 3:54 am
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Now open: Amsterdam Schiphol's new oneworld lounge

I hope I haven't cross-posted with anyone, but here are my initial musings on Schiphol's new oneworld lounge. I can't match Genius1's reports, but I'll do my best!

As alluded to by the ever-wise corporate-wage-slave yesterday, there is neither Veuve Clicquot nor cocktails available today. I'm here a while longer, so I'll update the food section as breakfast is swapped out for lunch.



The new lounge complex has an impressive entry. Sign-in desks are shared between the oneworld lounge and next-door Aspire lounge, and staff are extremely proud to finally welcome customers to the new complex.

Entry to the oneworld lounge is under a curved archway, up-lit in blue, green, red and purple and with warm-white circular lights from the top of the arch. This is inspired by the “half round glowing bridges” of Amsterdam.




Immediately after walking through the archway is the feature bar. This manned horse-shoe shaped bar, lit in warm yellows and highlighted in golds and bronzes, serves barista-made coffee as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer is on tap (Heineken and Heineken 0.0, and Affligem), spirits mixed, and there are five wines plus champagne (Bruno Roulot Tradition). Although mentioned at the press day, there is not currently a cocktail on offer.


(image credit oneworld, as too busy to photograph)



Behind the bar are the (almost) floor-to-ceiling windows. These extend the whole width of the lounge and, located two floors above the gates, offer a fantastic view of the apron. Despite being a typically-grey Dutch day, these east-facing windows afford a huge amount of light to the space. Against these windows and behind the bar are dining tables, with more relaxed seating extending either side along the windows for the entire length of the lounge.

A “Travel Bright” leaflet highlighting the design inspiration, and showing the layout of the lounge, was handed out on the first morning of operation:

Buffet dining

Near to the bar at the right end of the lounge (make a hard right after entering) is the buffet selection.

Buffet offerings are timed to correspond to the departing flights; at 9.45am offerings were a western breakfast (hot options of white beans in tomato sauce, grilled tomatoes, bacon and scrambled eggs), as well as cold meats, fruit and yoghurt, and pastries.





Around 10.30am, prior to the Cathay Pacific departure, the hot options were replaced: tjap tjoy and steamed rice. Around midday options catering to the Qatar flight will be provided.



Crockery includes rather-wonderful deep blue bowls, a reference to the oneworld logo:



A drinks fridge for non-alcoholic options, plus self-pour wines (but not champagne or spirits) are also in this area.

Working area

In right hand corner of the lounge, in front of the dining area and to the right of the bar but separated by a sofa with incorporated planter, is the work area.




This area comprises a well-lit desk with 11 seats and eight plug sockets (European socket USB and USB-C in each), and three beautifully-coloured arched open booths, again with plug sockets (2x European, 2x USB, 2x USB-C in each). The red walls of the booths are soft felt-like material for sound deadening. There are also a pair of self-serve coffee machines in this area.

Wifi appears to be shared with the next-door Aspire lounge; in the working area it measured 16mbps download and 19mbps upload.


(image credit oneworld, as too busy to photograph)



Opposite the bar are two private sound-proof booths. These include a well-lit desk with double plug sockets, and (strangely?) a circular mirror on the padded (for extra sound-proofing) walls. With the heavy door closed, music playing at an estimated conference call volume was just audible but significantly muffled. Note that sound seems to travel between the two booths, however.


(image credit oneworld, as too busy to photograph)

Relaxed seating areas

The rest of the lounge on the left of the bar — around two-thirds of the width — is dedicated to a variety of seating areas. To the left of the bar is a large dual-sided arc-of-a-circle sofa in oneworld blue, a feature used (in a greater floorspace and therefore more of a circle) in the Seoul lounge. Arm-rests positioned around the sofa incorporate drinks tables and include plug sockets (again, European, USB and USB-C), with small cocktail tables in front.

Between the sofa arcs are a (slightly haphazard) scattering of individual chairs. This sofa seating appears a little more form over function; there is little padding on the base and the angle is not especially comfortable. Above the sofa is a feature light, similar to that in the Seoul lounge, of three tiers of lit orange cones. British readers might note the similarity to the ubiquitous traffic cone, but it looks much better in real life.


(image credit oneworld, as too busy to photograph)

Continuing left, along the windows, the next zone is separated by the back of the semi-circular sofa. Here are further armchairs; some are positioned individually and include an attached table with sockets, while others are grouped around small tables. Some of the small tables, and all of the larger round tables have plug sockets.





A “gong” feature wall, as found in Seoul, separates the final area. The rear of the gong is a rather wonderful arched (almost circular) twin-booth, comprising a central divided desk (again, each side with triple-format plug socket) with seats and internals of the booth embroidered in a dark oneworld blue.





The final seating area, behind the gong, comprises two rows of angled seats facing the window, interspaced with tables with plugs. The end wall of the lounge features a circular pattern in carpet, useful for deadening sound, and a warm-orange (and colour-changing?) circular feature light. Despite a self-service coffee machine and water tap I suspect this area will be the quietest.





Also in this area, behind the other seats and facing away from the window, is a mood-lit “feature wall” — colour changing to suit the time of day — with starry lights on the ceiling. The seats here are slightly more reclined than most and it makes a fantastic relaxation area at the far end of the lounge. Tables between seats include the ubiquitous plug sockets.



Toilets

Gender-separated toilets (with slightly confusing signage) are now located within the lounge (in the previous British Airways lounge in this space they were outside). One toilet seat has fallen off, on opening day. There are also two unisex showers in addition.

Was it worth the wait?

The new oneworld lounge is a design masterpiece. It is visually stunning, with numerous references to the circular oneworld logo, plus the addition of some extra quirks such as the entrance “canal bridge” archways and porcelain birds above the bar.

The choice of colour palette is interesting. The bright whites are in stark contrast to the trend of deeper relaxing colours such as Cathay Pacific lounges or Finnair’s Platinum Wing in Helsinki. However the coloured accents (oneworld blue, deep reds, and mood lighting) with extensive use of warm white-yellow-orange lighting add warmth.




I will reserve judgement on the catering until I’ve seen the lunch offerings, but so far it seems as expected of a joint business and first lounge. Drinks seem broadly as expected; sadly Veuve Clicquot didn’t remain beyond the press opening yesterday and promised cocktails are not to be seen.

The space has huge numbers of power sockets (a quick tally suggests close to three digits of sockets, most of these being triple-format, which is rather impressive for a lounge with a capacity of 118); indeed it is hard to find a seat without access to a socket. It also provides excellent workspaces. This, along with the addition of sound-deadening booths, should be a prerequisite for any lounge in 2024.

Being critical, although there are a wide variety of seating options not all were as instantly-comfortable as they should be. However the addition of some cushions would easily bring this up to the quality of the rest of the lounge, and add a little more warmth. Equally, the lounge remains reasonably small and, with a capacity of 118, it is not a lounge designed for spending huge amounts of time; perhaps the designers know Schiphol’s (often long, though not today!) queues better than anyone!

While not necessarily revolutionary in terms of the space, the new lounge has certainly been worth the wait.



There'll be a little more background to the lounge, along with access/location details, on my blog imminently (non-monetised, so I think it's OK to post: https://businessclassnuts.com/amster...eworld-lounge/). Note the oneworld website says the lounge is located before security, but this is wrong; it's in the same location as the old BA lounge.

Last edited by Prospero; Feb 22, 2024 at 4:53 am Reason: Adjust text colour for dark mode readers
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 4:45 am
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The best review that Ive read so far! I think its important to see what its like on day 1 (if I was an invited reviewer I would have stayed for the press visit and then visited again the next day to compare). Very disappointed about the beer though. Some nice bottles in the fridge would have been appreciated. Although the KLM lounge only has Heineken at least its fun to pour it yourself, here it appears you have to ask for it.

Perhaps it might be like the old bmi Great British Lounge in T1 which had a bar but after a few weeks was mostly unstaffed so you did pour the beers yourself, well see over time. But I wish theyd had a better beer selection. Iberia has a decent selection in their fridges in MAD
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 5:29 am
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Looks better than the KLM lounges
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by SaveECRewards
The best review that I’ve read so far!
That was precisely what I was thinking as I read through this excellent review of the lounge, and illustrates the up and downsides much better than any of the "professional" reviews elsewhere. Thank you so much for taking the effort to do that, and so quickly too. You should do some more of this!

But there's always room for more contributions and photos, that is where Flyertalk as a platform has a real value to aviation passengers.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Feb 22, 2024 at 5:48 am
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 5:37 am
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Agreed. A couple of local "craft" beers should be a no-brainer for every lounge. Heineken now own most of them here anyway - so it's not like they'd actually have to deal with another supplier - but something other than their godawful name-brand brew would be grand.
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 5:50 am
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Is the Oneworld lounge the new future? Can we expect others?
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 5:58 am
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Amazing review and so happy to see the lounge is open again. Will visit on Monday and see how it is (and if it is better than the Privium lounge). Are the opening times now aligned with the flight departures - as in doesn't close at 21h as the other surrogate lounges do/did?
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by Midships
Is the Oneworld lounge the new future? Can we expect others?
Yes, conceptually oneworld is supposed to create further lounges, in locations where they would make sense such as ICN and AMS. But locations they are keeping coy about for some reason, it was only quite recently that AMS was going to be oneworld even though clearly it has been planned for well over a year. CDG and MEX would be obvious ones to my mind, perhaps GRU/GIG. YVR would presumably not be on the list but otherwise qualifies.
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:11 am
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Originally Posted by Midships
Is the Oneworld lounge the new future? Can we expect others?
Manchester next? 🙏🏻

(We can live in hope)
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:22 am
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Thanks for the review!

Veuve Clicquot was never going to be a permanent fixture, but is it possible that the cocktail bar only opens in the afternoon? In the Eurostar lounges where a similar concept is available, the cocktail bars are only open mid- to late afternoon (and only on weekdays which might not apply for an airport)
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Yes, conceptually oneworld is supposed to create further lounges, in locations where they would make sense such as ICN and AMS. But locations they are keeping coy about for some reason, it was only quite recently that AMS was going to be oneworld even though clearly it has been planned for well over a year. CDG and MEX would be obvious ones to my mind, perhaps GRU/GIG. YVR would presumably not be on the list but otherwise qualifies.
CDG doesn't have all oneworld carriers in the same terminal though, which would presumably count against it.
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by Midships
Is the Oneworld lounge the new future? Can we expect others?
I think Oneworld have said that is the plan, however I dont see them being in more than single figures for a while. For the moment these seem to be the criteria:
  • large airport
  • multiple Oneworld carriers, but not a hub for any of them
  • Oneworld carriers operate from same terminal/one lounge can realistically serve all carriers.

Sao Paulo, Beijing and Berlin have all been speculated. Moscow was planned and dropped for obvious reasons.

I wonder whether Frankfurt would be possible (6 airlines, but currently a JAL lounge), Munich (also 6 airlines), Zurich (7 airlines), Barcelona (8 airlines)
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
That was precisely what I was thinking as I read through this excellent review of the lounge, and illustrates the up and downsides much better than any of the "professional" reviews elsewhere. Thank you so much for taking the effort to do that, and so quickly too. You should do some more of this!

But there's always room for more contributions and photos, that is where Flyertalk as a platform has a real value to aviation passengers.
So true. It feels like many bloggers* (particularly the award winning ones) just want to get in there first not too worried about the real experience. It was good seeing the actual food and drink options available and that 'travel bright' leaflet which explains the design decisions of the lounge was more interesting than anything I read yesterday about the lounge (although perhaps the press weren't given them which seems a big oversight).

*OK,it seems like you're a blogger too , but not one on the press trip. When I have time I'll look at your other posts too, if the reviews are as good as this then they'll be worth the read.
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by SaveECRewards
The best review that I’ve read so far!
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
That was precisely what I was thinking as I read through this excellent review of the lounge, and illustrates the up and downsides much better than any of the "professional" reviews elsewhere. Thank you so much for taking the effort to do that, and so quickly too. You should do some more of this!
Originally Posted by Upupintheair
Amazing review and so happy to see the lounge is open again
Originally Posted by alex67500
Thanks for the review!
Originally Posted by layz
So true. It feels like many bloggers* (particularly the award winning ones) just want to get in there first not too worried about the real experience. It was good seeing the actual food and drink options available and that 'travel bright' leaflet which explains the design decisions of the lounge was more interesting than anything I read yesterday about the lounge (although perhaps the press weren't given them which seems a big oversight)
​​​​
Thank you so much for the very kind words!

I had advance notice of opening date (Amsterdam regular), but the juicy details were kept firmly under wraps. I did wonder whether they might object to my arrival six hours before departure but thankfully they were as excited as me… weekly Flor trips somewhat take their toll(!)

Originally Posted by SaveECRewards
Very disappointed about the beer though. Some nice bottles in the fridge would have been appreciated. Although the KLM lounge only has Heineken at least it’s fun to pour it yourself, here it appears you have to ask for it.
Originally Posted by etiene
Agreed. A couple of local "craft" beers should be a no-brainer for every lounge. Heineken now own most of them here anyway - so it's not like they'd actually have to deal with another supplier
Agreed re the craft beers; this really is the place. Perhaps there’s potential here for some kind of rotating showcase? To confirm, the fridge doesn’t contain any extras; all beers and spirits are from the bar.



Originally Posted by alex67500
is it possible that the cocktail bar only opens in the afternoon? In the Eurostar lounges where a similar concept is available, the cocktail bars are only open mid- to late afternoon (and only on weekdays which might not apply for an airport)
Cocktails "not today", though apparently they may come "at some point". Nothing imminent, by the sounds of it.

Lunch was, as promised, middle-east inspired in advance of the Qatar departure: grilled bell peppers, grilled chickpeas, shakshuka, tabouleh, labneh. Miso soup, rice and also remained from earlier, subsequently replaced with a lentil soup.







Originally Posted by Upupintheair
Are the opening times now aligned with the flight departures - as in doesn't close at 21h as the other surrogate lounges do/did?
Daily 0530-2200 apparently!

Originally Posted by layz
*OK,it seems like you're a blogger too , but not one on the press trip. When I have time I'll look at your other posts too, if the reviews are as good as this then they'll be worth the read.
Only amateur-hour; it's a new-year hobby with a couple of friends. We have a grand total of three posts so I don't think the big blogs need be worried!

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
But there's always room for more contributions and photos, that is where Flyertalk as a platform has a real value to aviation passengers.
To echo c-w-s, please do add to the thoughts and photos!
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Old Feb 22, 2024, 6:45 am
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Originally Posted by bhbloke
Manchester next? 🙏🏻

(We can live in hope)
BA cannot move to T2 yet due to no domestic gates...
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