Pictured above is my delightful meal in the Canopy Airport Lounge at Nice Airport in France last night. Believe it or not, I tend to eat very healthily. At the luxury hotels that I stay at, I only ever order egg white omelette for breakfast and favour Bircher muesli and fruit salads. For other meals, I bulk up on salads where I can and I never, ever eat crisps. That is until last night, when the only edible options in the lounge were crisps, stale bread and wilted cheese (oh and let’s not forget the communal jam…).
This is the worst British Airways airport lounge I have ever been in, certainly for food. It is not an official British Airways airport lounge. You can access this lounge with a Priority Pass or a Lounge Pass, but it is the lounge that you get access to if you are departing from Nice Terminal 1 on British Airways.
My journey started at this delightful Canopy lounge at Nice Airport Terminal 1. This is the lounge which all British Airways Club Europe travellers have access to when flying out of Nice airport. It sits above the main foyer and, usefully, you can see the queue forming at the gate from the lounge if your gate is on the upper level. If your gate is on the lower level (bad luck as you are in for an unpleasant bus transfer whether you are flying in Economy or Business Class), you do not have direct line of sight to the gate, but you can see when the flood of passengers in the waiting area suddenly disappear, which should be enough of a shove for you to check and confirm that your flight is boarding.
It is truly great that this lounge is so near the gate. Everything else about this lounge is not great. From the food to the seating, the crazily noisy air conditioning over one part of the lounge, that makes it sound like it’s going to take off, to the general upkeep. This is a pretty dreadful lounge. OK, you do get more comfortable seats than if you sit beside the gate but the food is awful and the ambience is not much better.
When we arrived, there was a bowl of salted crisps with small side plates to balance them on and tongs to pick up the crisps that simply didn’t work, meaning that most travellers were forced to grab the crisps with their hands… nice and germy. There are no mini cans of drink, the drinks are in bottles and cartons. Orange and other fruit juices (not fresh) sit beside bottles of coke and water. There was Heineken in cans but the rest had to be decanted into shabby, scratched glasses.
Beyond the crisps was some stale olive bread, some hard (not fresh) baguette, some cheese slices that were wilting at the sides and some sealed individually wrapped unappetising processed biscuits. There was a selection of alcohol but I didn’t take that in, being so annoyed at the lack of anything worth eating. There was also a coffee machine that I didn’t try and some open jars of communal jam.
Just before we left this airport lounge, the staff put out a salad, but we were too late to try it, and to be honest, although it offered the best of the food on offer, it was a few lettuce leaves and tomatoes, no nice sides or soft breads and not appealing preflight unless you are a rabbit.
You will see my delightful spread of food in the scroller above. Suffice to say that a handful of crisps and a slice of stale bread and cheese was not particularly luxury. Next time I get access to this lounge I won’t bother using it and will use the Starbucks by the gate which offers a pleasant environment and edible food.
The funny thing is, I prepared this article last night as I truly believed this was the very worst British Airways airport lounge. Then my parents, who were flying Sydney to London in British Airways Club World, messaged me with a photo of their lounge at Changi airport. There was not one seat available in the lounge for them to sit on… standing room only, which is unforgivable and pretty unbearable for two passengers in their seventies who had paid a Business Class fare to fly halfway around the world on British Airways. They did not fly for free on Avios like I do and deserved better…
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