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Star Alliance lounge Amsterdam AMS

Star Alliance lounge Amsterdam AMS

Old Mar 23, 16, 7:36 am
  #1  
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Star Alliance lounge Amsterdam AMS

In today's flight magazine there is an advertisement for Star Alliance Lounges. "We are turning our lounges into a local experience" Let's hope they turn their gaze onto their lounge in Amsterdam soon. It is presently a dreary experience It has all the wow factor of reception in a three star hotel last upgraded ten or more years ago. Checked in for a 10:15 morning flight the breakfast layout included cold croissant shaped bread rolls, tea bags that produced disagreeable tea and discount grade sachets of jam. The lounge was packed, maybe 80% capacity, so that it was not possible to get adjacent seating with travelling partners. The free WiFi would not log in and the available lounge premium WiFi was not free. The lounge is centrally located and on the long walk to our gate I concluded that we would have been far better served just using one of the many food outlets displaying rather attractive edible items rather than pretending that access to this lounge was much of a premium experience. Did it serve its purpose? That depends on how you define the purpose of a lounge. Exclusive? Lots of intending passengers are certainly excluded so a grudging 'yes' but a packed room where you have to struggle to get a seat while there are restaurants outside with ample seating makes you wonder why. Free food and drink is a bonus, but when the food on offer is catered for at a low standard and at minimal cost while for not too many euros outside you purchase Interesting food is no big deal and then free WiFi that doesn't work and directs you to a premium service for a fee leaves you feeling ripped off, and maybe the airline too is being ripped off by the agents the service is contracted out to.
If Star Alliance has a director of lounge services they better get around to AMS soon.
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Old Mar 23, 16, 4:03 pm
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You obviously don't know what you're talking about...

There are three different types of lounges accessible to *A travellers - *A flagship lounges (operated by one of the *A airlines, but carrying the *A name), *A airline operated lounges, and contract lounges.

As there is NO *A lounge in AMS, it's pointless venting your spleen at *A. You were probably in a contract lounge, which is something altogether different. And believe me, there are lounges more terrible than the ones in AMS...the contract lounge in MNL comes to mind!

To get you up to speed, here's the list of official *A lounges across the world...
http://www.staralliance.com/lounges

And so you can compare your experience with some of the other horror lounges...
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star-...e-lounges.html

Last edited by sol95; Mar 23, 16 at 7:21 pm
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Old Mar 23, 16, 11:29 pm
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OP you're confusing a (contracted) lounge that *A uses with *A or *A airline operated as said above me.
Did you notice when you entered it maybe said something like "Menzines Premium Lounge" or something like that? Probably has a bunch of other random airline placards outside the door as well?
I don't begrudge *A for being "weak" in the KLM fortress at AMS. And you're right there's lots of great places in the terminal. I like to go to the oyster bar thing and then go up to the observation deck.
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Old Mar 24, 16, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by sol95 View Post
You obviously don't know what you're talking about...

There are three different types of lounges accessible to *A travellers - *A flagship lounges (operated by one of the *A airlines, but carrying the *A name), *A airline operated lounges, and contract lounges.

As there is NO *A lounge in AMS, it's pointless venting your spleen at *A. You were probably in a contract lounge, which is something altogether different. And believe me, there are lounges more terrible than the ones in AMS...the contract lounge in MNL comes to mind!

To get you up to speed, here's the list of official *A lounges across the world...
http://www.staralliance.com/lounges

And so you can compare your experience with some of the other horror lounges...
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star-...e-lounges.html
I am not sure which part of my report is the part I don't know what I am talking about but no matter. Almost all Star Alliance lounges are contracted out. That's the way it works. I had not seen the horror-lounge thread before, so it made interesting reading. AMS would not be as bad as the worst there, but it is one of Europe's major airports and hosts a whole raft of Alliance customers and must take the credit/responsibility/criticism of its effort for its contract arrangements. I think my report stands.
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Old Mar 24, 16, 11:29 am
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AMS is a third-party contract lounge, not operated by any *A carrier. So in that sense it is in fact different from other *A lounges.

It's also arguably the worst *A lounge at a major 1st world airport. Been that way for a really long time.
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Old Mar 24, 16, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sol95 View Post
You obviously don't know what you're talking about...

There are three different types of lounges accessible to *A travellers - *A flagship lounges (operated by one of the *A airlines, but carrying the *A name), *A airline operated lounges, and contract lounges.

As there is NO *A lounge in AMS, it's pointless venting your spleen at *A. You were probably in a contract lounge, which is something altogether different. And believe me, there are lounges more terrible than the ones in AMS...the contract lounge in MNL comes to mind!

To get you up to speed, here's the list of official *A lounges across the world...
http://www.staralliance.com/lounges

And so you can compare your experience with some of the other horror lounges...
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star-...e-lounges.html

Sol95 is,despite his rather sharp comments, right about one thing. I don't know a lot about the administration of Star or any other Alliance lounges. I have never been interested so I use them, stay an hour or so and move on.
But this thread has caused me to wonder. What is the business model of contract lounges? How do they make their money? How profitable are they?
I have to make lots of assumptions. They generate a fee for every passenger booked in. Most will book in with a boarding pass and a few more with a privilege card from one of the Alliance airlines and may be flying out on a flight by a non-alliance airline.
The accumulated chits will be forwarded to a clearing operation probably operated by Star Alliance HQ. Right so far?
The fees they pay will vary depending on the facility. The basic lounges say in Asia at one end of the scale and the premium lounges that include showers, champagne and meals at the other. Are the contracts on a sliding scale assessed by ticking boxes? Can the quality of provided alcohol be graded? Once a contract is entered what is the supervision of compliance? By whom and how often?
Lots of enhanced profit if wine that a distributor is finding hard to move is substituted for contracted wine of medium grade quality. Could it happen? Who would notice?
Anyone know anything about this business? It must be doing well because more lounges appear at airports on a regular basis.
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Old Mar 24, 16, 7:34 pm
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I'm not sure about the ones in Asia...isn't there one in BKK that sounds like it's a guys name?

But for example it seems in Europe (like at ZRH and BUD) the contract lounges are Swissport, Servisair, Menzies which handle ground operations and the ticket desks for airlines that have a single or couple flights a day that doesn't warrant its own ground staff.

Last edited by JVPhoto; Mar 25, 16 at 12:25 am
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Old Mar 24, 16, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by JVPhoto View Post
I'm not sure about the ones in Asia...isn't there one in BKK that sounds like it's a guys name?
Louis Tavern.
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Old Mar 25, 16, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Louis Tavern.
Thank you. I was going to say William Wallace or Oliver Cromwell lol.
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Old Mar 25, 16, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by JVPhoto View Post
Thank you. I was going to say William Wallace or Oliver Cromwell lol.
I don't think we'd much enjoy the Cromwell Club
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Old Mar 26, 16, 3:31 am
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The Star Alliance release the OP refers to is regarding "Star Alliance Branded Lounges" - like those in LAX, EZE, GRU, NGO and CDG. These lounges are run by a member airline or a third party exclusively on behalf of, and to the specifications of, Star Alliance. These seem to be located in places where a single airline can't justify having their own lounge and/ or former contract lounges are frankly not big enough or good enough for the market where there is a fairly sizeable Star Alliance presence.

The lounge in AMS is a contract lounge - meaning airlines (or an Alliance for that matter) have little or no control over the product or quality levels. They are one size fits all products. They are usually the least desirable option and necessary if an airline can't justify running a lounge on their own and/ or the airport does not make space available for an exclusive airline or alliance lounge (perhaps the most important point of all...)

Point agreed that the AMS lounge is one of the less impressive lounges out there but pretty typical for a contract lounge IMO.
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Old Apr 10, 16, 12:05 pm
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Departed AMS a few days ago on SQ. They use the Aspire lounge (# 41 I think) for their elites and *G pax.

At checkin SQ said work was being done in the lounge and suggested I avoid it. They gave me a 30 euro food voucher to use elsewhere in the terminal. I said I'd have a look and decide. At the lounge entry they again tried to get me to go elsewhere with a voucher. Inside maybe 25% of the space was walled off. The lounge wasn't too busy so I elected to stay. Had I been hungrier I would have gone elsewhere with the voucher.

The standard of the lounge struck me as on par with other 3rd party lounges I've been in - ie a step or two down from airline-operated lounges.
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Old Apr 11, 16, 2:30 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
AMS is a third-party contract lounge, not operated by any *A carrier. So in that sense it is in fact different from other *A lounges.

It's also arguably the worst *A lounge at a major 1st world airport. Been that way for a really long time.
And I agree with this. And it fits well with AMS being a one of the worst major airports in Europe
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Old Jun 27, 16, 12:45 pm
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When the AMS A-terminal/gates open in 2020 then we might expect a new/own star alliance lounge. There will be a major reshuffle in alliance/(non)schengen.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 2:57 pm
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When I do a search on the Star Alliance website for lounges at AMS, I see that the KLM lounge is an option. Will I have access to that lounge (or any lounge) upon arrival on United Airlines in business class? If it matters I'm *G also.
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