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It’s funny how you join up for a membership of an executive lounge and don’t realize how beneficial it is until a flight delay happens. This happened earlier this week for a colleague of ours and surprisingly in his many years of travel he has never experienced any delays. So last week when a flight delay unexpectedly occurred, he spent much of that time in Air Niugini’s Paradise Lounge to realize the full benefit of his membership. So we asked him to tell us so that can convey to you whether all this “hype” about joining an executive lounge is really worth the Kina you pay for.
So here we go.
If you’re thinking about joining an executive lounge membership or similar, it really needs to make economical sense. That means, you need to be a frequent flyer. There is really very little point in signing up for membership if you’re travelling once or twice a year. In some executive lounges, you can pay for a single entry but don’t think this applies to Paradise Lounge. In any event, you really need to be a frequent traveller to make use of the lounges and for the use to make financial sense. How many travels makes up “frequent flyer” is really a matter for each individual but let’s just say your travel costs must be significantly more than how much you pay in airfares.
Food & Beverage
The food and beverage is definitely a step up from the food they sell outside the departure lounge at Jackson’s International Airport. Currently, Airways Hotel provides the catering for the lounge and there is definitely a variety offered in a buffet style dining set-up. There’s a wide range to choose from and our colleague doesn’t seem to complain about the food at all so we’re going to give the thumbs up for this.
As for beverage, there are hot and cold drinks available. SP Brewery happens to sponsor a section of the lounge and there is a fridge prominently located in the dining area stocked with the local brewer’s premium products.
The food and drinks are “free” so there are no extra charges in consuming whatever is available in the lounge.
There are two large flat screen televisions located in the lounge. Usually, nobody watches what’s on the telly unless of course there’s a “breaking news” and really it just forms part of the interior to make the surrounding look good.
There’s free wifi too and usually pretty reliable. You can grab the password from the front desk as you walk into the lounge. There’s USB socket connections too, to charge your phone, laptop or tablet.
Most of the patrons within the lounge tend to spend much of their time on the comfy chairs which surround a large portion of the lounge. In most cases, patrons are either reading a book or simply getting some “shut-eye” waiting for their flight announcement.
Port Moresby has a fairly small business market so there’s a good chance to see “who’s who” of the PNG business community so it’s a great opportunity to say hi and meet some key individuals. Usually, many of them are in a more relaxed environment making it an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself and if you’re lucky talk business.
As our colleague found out, the delay of his flight despite an immediate disappointment actually worked out well in terms of meeting other like minded business people and of course sending some urgent work emails out before the “final call” announcement.
If you’re a Gold Executive Member of the Destinations program, you can also enter the designated Qantas lounges in Australia. But do check and confirm at the overseas airport when checking in.