Brussels Airlines Check-in New York JFK
Brussels Airlines Business Class New York to Brussels
Brussels Airlines and SAS Business Class Lounges Brussels
Austrian Business Class Brussels to Vienna
Hotel Imperial Vienna
Austrian Senator Lounge Vienna
Austrian Business Class Vienna to Tokyo Narita
ANA Business Class Lounge Tokyo Narita
Turkish Business Class Tokyo Narita to Istanbul
Park Hyatt Istanbul
Turkish Business Class Lounge Istanbul
LOT Business Class Istanbul to Warsaw
Hotel Bristol Warsaw
LOT Business Class Lounge Warsaw
LOT Business Class Warsaw to Chicago

Upon landing I followed the signs for “A” transfers, which led me down a rather long and bland series of hallways. Eventually I found myself at a security checkpoint and then passport control, all of which took only a few minutes.

Walk to passport control and security

I’m not sure whether I walked in circles or what, but the journey to the Schengen airline lounges must be one of the most complicated set of corridors I’ve had to follow.



Once I made it to the lounge area I found it interesting that there was a general “lounge reception,” where you had to show your boarding pass in order to be directed to the correct lounge. There were agents again within the lounge, so this person seemed to just work for the airport and ensure that only those with lounge access could pass. He directed me to the SAS lounge, though I asked if I could check out the Brussels Airlines lounge first, which he agreed to.

The Brussels Airlines lounge was located to the left, just behind Brussels’ business class seat display.

Business class seat display

Lounge entrance

At the door I was acknowledged by the rather surly agent.

The lounge really wasn’t anything special. It was on the small side and decor was pretty bland.

Lounge interior

Lounge interior

Lounge interior

Internet cards had to be picked up at reception, each good for an hour of free internet.

The food spread wasn’t especially good either, with just some croissants, toast, cereal, and snack mix. The bar was well stocked, though. And they had “real” Fanta, which it’s never too early in the morning to drink!

Snack selection

Snack selection

Snack selection

Drink selection

I had about a four hour layover so spent the first two hours in the lounge getting caught up on some work. After that I headed over to the SAS lounge, which in retrospect I should have visited from the very beginning.

SAS lounge entrance

The guy at the entrance was rather surly and when I asked for an internet code he handed over one. I asked if I could get a second one for my phone, and he responded with “yes, but you don’t get any more then, okay?” I guess given SAS’ financial situation I can’t blame them. ;)

This lounge was spacious, airy, and empty. Maybe I’m missing something, but how is it that SAS has so much nicer of a lounge in Brussels than Brussels Airlines?

SAS lounge interior

SAS lounge interior

SAS lounge interior

SAS lounge interior

The food spread was pretty lame, though, with just toast and croissants.

Food spread

Food spread

Food spread

The drink cooler was well stocked, though, and much like the Brussels Airlines lounge there was Fanta!


Soda and coffee

I spent about an hour online before heading to my departure gate, A40. While I found most of Brussels Airport to be pretty depressing, the “A” concourse was stunning, probably one of the nicest terminals in Europe.

“A” concourse

My departure gate, A40

Airbus taking me to Vienna

About 25 minutes before departure boarding was announced for my flight to Vienna, and I was surprised to see they had a priority lane that actually worked (which is fairly rare among European airlines in my experience!).

I was ready to make it to Vienna and get some fresh air, weather permitting!

  1. February 21st, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Ben L. said,

    Its interesting how trip reports are getting split up into smaller sections now. Any reason behind this?

  2. February 21st, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Ben L. — Can’t say it’s intentional. For a long time now I’ve been writing one installment per hotel, flight, or ground experience. Going back a couple of years I’d try to cram too much into a post, and I found it unorganized. I’ve also increased the size of the pictures over the past couple of years, so if the installment is bigger it’ll take a lot longer to load.

  3. February 21st, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Willy said,

    Drip, drip, drip. The chinese water torture of trip reports…. Maybe you should say “terrorist” in passing on your next flight to see if you get kicked off…

  4. February 21st, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Jason said,

    @ Ben L: Seems average sized for lounge reviews to me. I dunno.

  5. February 21st, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    C said,

    Ben: slightly off topic, and just interested in your view: in light of another blogger’s troubles with taking photos: (1) how do you avoid getting into trouble taking photos of the airport, (2) I hope you have permission to take the photo of the couple at A40, or are those your friends?

  6. February 21st, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    lucky said,

    @ C — I’ve never had an issue and certainly won’t be changing my behavior as a result of what happened. It was an isolated event.

  7. February 21st, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    BigA said,

    Ben L.: Seems like too much for such a crappy lounge.

  8. February 21st, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Golfingboy said,

    SAS lounges always have crappy food, even in OSL last Jan the spread was paltry.

    The only SAS lounge that had reasonable spread was the LHR lounge, but I am betting that is because of AC.

  9. February 21st, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    The Weekly Flyer said,

    Decent beer selection.

  10. February 21st, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    P T said,

    I like the “segment by segment” trip reports.

  11. February 21st, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Ken Y. said,

    Really impressive lounges.

  12. February 21st, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Jorge said,

    I love Fanta ( original ), but in Brussels and in France I try to drink Schwepps Agrum (grapefruit) as much as I can. it is the best !

  13. February 21st, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Jon said,

    In the intro you noted that with the US 90,000 mile J award to North Asia you can do your stopover in Europe. If you instead do a stopover in South Asia (BKK, SIN, etc.) and then go on to your final destination in North Asia would that still be 90,000 miles in J?

  14. February 21st, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Jon — It should price at the higher rate, though some agents might still price it at 90K.

  15. February 22nd, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Diana W said,

    What’s “real” Fanta?

  16. February 22nd, 2013 at 1:21 am

    lucky said,

    @ Diana W — Fanta in the US is far too sweet for my liking. The one in Europe tastes much better.

  17. February 22nd, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Ismael said,

    Pardon my ignorance Lucky, but how do you get access into the SAS lounge if you are flying in from Brussels and out with Austrian. Can we use any of the star alliance lounges when flying business?

  18. February 22nd, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Ismael — Yes, if you’re flying a Star Alliance business class product you can access any Star Alliance business class lounge.

  19. February 22nd, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Bart Lapers said,

    “A rather long and bland series of hallways” How did you miss this one Lucky? :p

  20. February 22nd, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    stephan said,

    I have to agree with the other poster, I like the “segment by segment” trip reports. Less to digest and that keeps it focused. Keep it up.

  21. February 22nd, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Diana W said,

    Makes sense. My favorite was the “multivitamin” flavor in Kazakhstan.

  22. February 25th, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Nelson said,

    LOL @ the stingy internet.
    “yes, but you don’t get any more then, okay?” I guess given SAS’ financial situation I can’t blame them.

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