Japan Airlines Lounge – Bangkok

We have just got back from a Thai Island holiday this week and returned via Bangkok (BKK) international.

We were flying with Qatar Airways in Business Class, although QR do not have their own lounge at Bangkok, which to me, is a little disappointing for a self confessed ‘top airline’, actively publishing their SkyTrax awards! That being said, they are working on it and it will hopefully open later this year.
QR have a lounge sharing agreement with Thai Airways for this reason. When dropping baggage/checking in, the checkin agent will issue you a Thai Airways lounge access card. Fortunately, I did my research to understand our lounge options before arriving.

As OneWorld Gold, we were able to make use of any OneWorld lounge. It seemed Cathay Pacific and JAL lounges were favourites so thought we could give them a go before also trying Thai’s offering.

All airline lounges are all located on the lower level floor and the Cathay/Jal ones are a bit of a walk from where Qatar tend to have their gates. Another worthy point of note is that the Cathay lounge closes at 18:30 as there are no Cathay flights after that time. Unfortunately that means we missed it by about 5 minutes or so, which is a shame as it looked great from the outside.

A short walk away from Cathay’s lounge is the JAL (Japan Airways) lounge, which we actually walked straight passed as it’s not very obvious, it’s almost like they don’t want to be found!?

JAL Lounge Entrance at BKK
JAL Lounge Entrance at BKK

Now, as international lounges go, I was pretty disappointed. It resembled more of a dated doctors waiting room to me due to the way it was laid out. Everything seemed very old and bland as you may agree when seeing the pictures below.

Seating area looks very bland, doesn't it?
Seating area looks very bland, doesn’t it?

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We decided on seats near the main entrance and grabbed a drink and had a look at the food options. Food was limited to Sushi, Prawn Noodles and Pork Gyoza. Instant ‘just add water’ noodle pots are available too.

 

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Selection of Sushi options
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Pork Gyoza, although a bit soggy

The TripHacker rating for JAL’s lounge sits at 57%, with the lack of any view  and the seating/environment being the areas that really let the lounge down. If i was flying JAL and this was the lounge I had to use, I would be disappointed.

Limited options if you don’t eat fish. Pork Gyoza earned an additional point. Drinks are suitably varied with alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. No Ice!

Category Rating Notes
Comfort 2/5 A lot of space, although not very inviting. Just couldn’t feel comfortable, with no real atmosphere.
Cleanliness 4/5
Food & Drink 3/5
Staff 3/5 No engagement with passengers on entry, so no form of welcoming!
Views 0/5 No Views out any windows. Perhaps due to darkness? Happy to reconsider based on feedback.
Wi-Fi 5/5 Easy to connect, reasonable bandwidth. Password issued on entry
Overall 17/30

Thai Airways review to follow later.

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