FlyerTalk Forums

FlyerTalk Forums (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php)
-   Korean Air | SkyPass (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/korean-air-skypass-621/)
-   -   No “Prestige” in the BKK “Prestige Lounge” ?? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/korean-air-skypass/1956611-no-prestige-bkk-prestige-lounge.html)

James 30305 Feb 16, 19 10:22 am

No “Prestige” in the BKK “Prestige Lounge” ??
 
Has this happened to anyone else ? We rolled into the Korean Airlines Prestige Lounge at BKK tonight, around midnight, and were coldly informed that, despite having purchased Prestige Class tickets, we wouldn’t be admitted, and were directed to the Priority Pass lounge instead (which we already had access to, but which was small and cramped) It was pretty clear what was going on; the KE lounge was sparsely populated with a significantly different demographic (aka - Koreans) while the PP lounge was full of their white and black guests. I’ve never flown business and been denied access to the business lounge I’ve paid for, and while I’m certainly not heartbroken, it was irritating to be put through this while traveling with my wife. So I ask again, is this something common ? Or am I right to be annoyed ? It certainly makes me want to shift all of my future business to JAL or another carrier serving the region.

MSPeconomist Feb 16, 19 10:31 am

WOW, I would have made more of a fight, citing SkyTeam lounge access rules. In fact, I'd even consider doing a partial credit card chargeback on the business class airfare since lounge access is part of the price.

Are you sure the lounge wasn't full? Could it have been taken over by some local celebrities? And BTW, you were departing from BKK on a KE flight ticketed in business class, and not trying to use the lounge as an arrivals lounge, right? If you checked in at the KE business class check in counter at BKK, did they give you a lounge invitation card or say anything about lounge arrangements? [Usually a business class or SkyTeam ElitePlusa boarding pass suffices unless it's a shard contract lounge.]

Was the lounge reception desk staffed by KE employees? Did they appear to be of Korean nationality? I'd have a hard time imagining that Thai staff would somehow favor Korean people over those who appear to be western.

James 30305 Feb 16, 19 10:54 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 30786138)
WOW, I would have made more of a fight, citing SkyTeam lounge access rules. In fact, I'd even consider doing a partial credit card chargeback on the business class airfare since lounge access is part of the price.

Are you sure the lounge wasn't full? Could it have been taken over by some local celebrities? And BTW, you were departing from BKK on a KE flight ticketed in business class, and not trying to use the lounge as an arrivals lounge, right? If you checked in at the KE business class check in counter at BKK, did they give you a lounge invitation card or say anything about lounge arrangements? [Usually a business class or SkyTeam ElitePlusa boarding pass suffices unless it's a shard contract lounge.]

Was the lounge reception desk staffed by KE employees? Did they appear to be of Korean nationality? I'd have a hard time imagining that Thai staff would somehow favor Korean people over those who appear to be western.

Sorry if this posts twice (issues with FT tonight) but to answer your questions - yes, it absolutely wasn’t full, it was a Korean Air lounge staffed by personal who appeared to be Korean, and they were clearly funneling the “non-Koreans” into the Priority Pass lounge. As to whether a boy band or something similar had taken over the lounge...I mean, it would be nice if that were the case, because at least it’s a reason.

At the end of the day, I spend enough time in airport lounges for work as it is, so I really don’t care if I’m denied that complimentary “cup o’ noodle” But it rubbed me the wrong way, obviously.

mtkeller Feb 16, 19 9:50 pm

Something's fishy here. There is no KE-operated lounge at BKK. The KE website makes clear that they contract with two lounges there. CIP First Class Lounge is used for F pax on KE. The AF lounge, which is also accessible via Priority Pass, is the designated contract lounge for KE Prestige Class pax and the various elites flying KE.

KE is known for having an agent or two working the counters of their contract lounges in case pax need assistance.

Kacee Feb 17, 19 5:24 am


Originally Posted by mtkeller (Post 30787758)
There is no KE-operated lounge at BKK.

lol exactly, no KE lounge at BKK. So let's hold the unfounded claims of racial discrimination, please.

The AF lounge at BKK is pretty good. That's where I would go if flying SkyTeam business class.

James 30305 Feb 17, 19 7:13 am


Originally Posted by Kacee (Post 30788413)
lol exactly, no KE lounge at BKK. So let's hold the unfounded claims of racial discrimination, please.

The AF lounge at BKK is pretty good. That's where I would go if flying SkyTeam business class.

Hey, just landed. Yes, it’s a SkyTeam lounge, with a giant “Korean Air Prestige Lounge” sign out front, and (at that hour at least) people wearing Korean Air uniforms. Sorry for the confusion. But I stand by my comments and the treatment I recieved, which was completely opposite from the experience we had at ICN this morning.

There’s nothing nefarious going on here. I was asking a question if anybody else had experienced a similar situation. Has for “proving racism” - I mean, I’m not exactly sure what proof you want other than to be standing next to me at the time.

James 30305 Feb 17, 19 7:19 am

salsaworldtraveler.com/2018/05/26/a-priority-pass-lounge-review-remodeled-air-france-klm-lounge-suvarnabhumi-airport-bangkok-thailand-bkk/

This was the lounge we were denied access to. Note the Korean Air signage.

mtkeller Feb 17, 19 8:40 am

It's pretty clearly an AF/KL lounge from the permanent signage. Given that the AF and KL flights depart BKK around noon, it would be pretty standard to have the front desk staffed by KE-uniformed workers for the late KE flight.

What lounge did they send you to? There's a bunch of PP lounges at BKK, so just saying it was a PP lounge is not helpful.

Kacee Feb 17, 19 3:46 pm


Originally Posted by James 30305 (Post 30788687)
I was asking a question if anybody else had experienced a similar situation.


As a caucasian, I was welcomed into the AF lounge BKK with a CI boarding pass last summer.

The staff at the desk checking BPs are contracted by AF. They are certainly not Koreans.

I reject once again the wholly speculative claim of racism. If anything, caucasians (particularly north americans) receive preferential treatment in Thailand.

kijhkijh Feb 18, 19 6:32 am

Not just in BKK apparently?
 
https://liveandletsfly.boardingarea....ades-customer/

Ehhmm... Is this becoming a thing?

Extremely disappointing behaviour by Korean Air. Not making me want to fly with them any time soon...

sol95 Feb 18, 19 4:30 pm


Originally Posted by kijhkijh (Post 30792232)

I don't fly KE often, and I haven't been to the KE lounge in JFK, but that blog story makes no sense. Entry to lounge is either through scanning a boarding pass or entering the BP details into a computer. The fact the blogger didn't have his BP out, despite his name-dropping of high end luggage, is his own fault. My usual luggage is Rimowa too, but I sometimes fly economy with said luggage!

Then why on earth did the blogger give the ticket across instead of his BP?!

all to say that story doesn't line up.

mtkeller Feb 18, 19 5:44 pm


Originally Posted by sol95 (Post 30794462)
I don't fly KE often, and I haven't been to the KE lounge in JFK, but that blog story makes no sense. Entry to lounge is either through scanning a boarding pass or entering the BP details into a computer. The fact the blogger didn't have his BP out, despite his name-dropping of high end luggage, is his own fault. My usual luggage is Rimowa too, but I sometimes fly economy with said luggage!

Then why on earth did the blogger give the ticket across instead of his BP?!

all to say that story doesn't line up.

To quote from the blog post (emphasis added):


She asked to see the tickets before allowing us further to checkin, then sweetened once we revealed them.

We submitted our boarding passes at the desk and were told we were not permitted entry because we had economy tickets by the second of two lounge attendants. Perplexed that agents hadn’t seen a mixed-cabin ticket before (two domestic segments in coach, four long haul segments in business class) we redirected to our boarding passes which plainly showed our seat assignments in Prestige Class and pushed back.

sol95 Feb 18, 19 8:19 pm


Originally Posted by mtkeller (Post 30794697)
To quote from the blog post (emphasis added):

Yeah, I know. But if you follow the order of what's written, the blogger suggests he was knocked back from entry into the lounge despite his attire and expensive brand-name luggage BEFORE presenting his boarding pass. The lounge agent then asks for tickets, and only after that does the blogger seem to suggest that they presented their boarding pass. if that's the actual order, that in itself is a bit weird.


We arrived at the Korean Airlines lounge at New York’s JFK just before they opened, and were the first guests as they opened the door. The first of two lounge attendants clarified that it was only for business class passengers (obviously). Despite wearing business casual attire, Moral Code luggage, and a Rimowa Topas carry-on it was incredulous to her that we qualified. She asked to see the tickets before allowing us further to checkin, then sweetened once we revealed them.

We submitted our boarding passes at the desk and were told we were not permitted entry because we had economy tickets by the second of two lounge attendants.
regardless of what order the things happened in, it seems incredulous to me that a lounge agent would refuse entry when a legitimate J boarding pass is produced. there's something odd to the story that the blogger's one-sided account is not fully disclosing.

James 30305 Feb 19, 19 4:45 am


Originally Posted by sol95 (Post 30795086)
Yeah, I know. But if you follow the order of what's written, the blogger suggests he was knocked back from entry into the lounge despite his attire and expensive brand-name luggage BEFORE presenting his boarding pass. The lounge agent then asks for tickets, and only after that does the blogger seem to suggest that they presented their boarding pass. if that's the actual order, that in itself is a bit weird.



regardless of what order the things happened in, it seems incredulous to me that a lounge agent would refuse entry when a legitimate J boarding pass is produced. there's something odd to the story that the blogger's one-sided account is not fully disclosing.

(laughs) AND YET, when I pointed out being denied entry when presenting a legitimate J boarding pass, I was accused of “unfounded” and “speculative” racism.

Look, it’s been a few days, and I’m not interested in beating this horse to death. I should have had access to that lounge. That night, they were allowing certain business class passengers in, and sending certain passengers down the hall to a smaller, cramped lounge. Everyone in that lounge looked “Western” Didn’t have the same experience in ICN the next morning. Maybe it’s a training issue, a misunderstanding, or something else. Draw your own conclusions. But in a part of the world where I’ve flat out had restaurant managers say to me “No whites tonight” - it’s not unreasonable to wonder if something else is going on that night.

kijhkijh Feb 19, 19 5:03 am


Originally Posted by James 30305 (Post 30786120)
Or am I right to be annoyed ? It certainly makes me want to shift all of my future business to JAL or another carrier serving the region.

To answer OP's original question. Yes. I would be annoyed too. You should definitely try out other airlines as well. :)


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 5:14 pm.


This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.