There is yet another reason for passengers to fly oneWorld from Bangkok Airport since the newly renovated Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge is now open for business.
Together with Cathay Pacific, JAL sets the benchmark for the best lounges in Bangkok where home carrier Thai Airways offers rather dismal options for their Business Class / Star Alliance Gold customers.
One would think that it’s the home carrier that offers passengers the best lounge experience but that isn’t the case for Bangkok considering the rather uncomfortable lounges Thai Airways operates there.
I had a flight with Japan Airlines to Tokyo today and was positively surprised that JAL has now completed their renovation at their Sakura Lounge by the D Gates, offering a great atmosphere as well as F&B assortment.
JAL decided to give the lounge a facelift and got rid of the rather dark environment it previously had and now offers open spaces, daylight and shower facilities. The location is still the same, right next to the D gates which are easy to reach when you take the first escalator left to the Duty Free/VAT counter.
The lounge and entrance is visible to the right:
It has plenty of seating space next to the tarmac windows in addition to club chairs.
During my departure in the early morning hours (8am) there was already a generous buffet with many hot dishes (rare at such an early hour) including the popular JAL Signature Beef Curry:
And if you like an early drink you won’t be disappointed either:
Panasonic USB Power outlets at each seating space:
If you like a quick refreshment before or in between flights you’re welcome to take a shower:
Having been inside the previous Sakura Lounge a couple times I was blown away by what JAL did with this space, it’s really a difference like day and night.
This summer it will be the two year anniversary of the new Cathay Pacific Lounge at Bangkok Airport not too far away in the G concourse (~ 3-4 minutes walk) which is also very nice. Cathay consolidated their two smaller lounges into this big one in June 2015 (see here) and the result was great.
I very much like to depart on oneWorld airlines from Bangkok, especially Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. Their fares are very reasonable and even if you depart in Economy Class for shorter flights these carriers will still give you a Fast Track pass.
Thai Airways won’t give any Fast Track to their Star Alliance Gold customers, you have to use the general immigration and security which can be a bloody mess. On top of it you then have to deal with the rather mediocre Thai Airways lounges (I recommend to use either Singapore Airlines or EVA Air instead).
You are able to use any oneWorld Lounge on the day of your departure either via class of service (Business- / First Class) or through oneWorld Elite Status (Sapphire/Emerald). There is no First Class section at both the JAL Sakura and Cathay Pacific Lounge so Sapphire status is sufficient.
Even though the operating hours are limited you’re still able to use this lounge with your Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Airlines flight if your departure time coincides.