If you want to go on a weekend trip without having to waste saved vacation days, you need to find flights that leave after business hours on Friday evening. Preferably after 20 pm, so you don't have to stress too much from the office chair to the street. But if you miss the taco coziness and the red howling on the velvet sofa, you instead hope to get some Friday coziness at the airport. When we went to Tallinn last Friday, we left in fairly good time. The plane would not leave until 20:45. There was plenty of time for dinner-n-drinks. Would be cozy here! But judge our surprise, when the last open lounge closed before our eyes at 19:30.
We may be spoiled for choice with lounges in Dubai, Doha, Singapore and Bangkok that are open XNUMX hours a day - all year round. Food is served at all hours of the day and there are comfortable chairs to relax in. Most often when we are at Arlanda during odd times, we fly outside Schengen, which means that we end up in the lounge after the Schengen check and it has always been open when we passed. Today we thought we would visit one of the lounges in pier F outside the Schengen control - Menzies Executive Lounge. It didn't feel quite right when we approached the lounge. Didn't it look a little dark behind the glass doors? Well, it was just cozy lighting. The lounge had already closed at 18:30. It was just a matter of walking through the entire terminal to the lounge at Pier A. However, it is usually not particularly good and definitely not cozy (even if it is newly renovated), but you don't have to fight for a seat at the gate in any case.
Lift up and a quick check to the right. Yep, the lounge was open. Ok, it will do just fine. It was getting close to 19:10pm now. The well-made-up hostess at the reception looked at us with her head tilted. “I'm sorry, but we're closing the lounge in 20 minutes. Do you want to come in anyway?”
A minute later we were sitting in the lounge. It was quite full, even though the clock was ticking. A small glass of wine and some snacks, maybe you can manage anyway? I move the empty glass towards the unsexy wine tap to refill. It says pfffffst and drips a little. Fantastic. The white wine is out. Take some red instead and an obscene amount of chips. Some travelers on their way to Spain try to fill up their wine glasses one last time. It says double-pfffffst. The hostess tilts her head back. "I'm sorry, but unfortunately all the wine is gone". Not a popular message among Spain travelers. Is it OK to keep letting visitors into a lounge if you can't offer anything other than chips and soft drinks?
We pack up and head towards the gate almost an hour before departure. Hang in the street. Exactly what we wanted to avoid. Everything is closed at pier F. It is nothing but a real desert. By the way, I take that back. I really love deserts. Arlanda on a Friday night is not a desert, but just pitifully boring. I can't even hang out in the kiosk. Even it is closed.
We settle down by the gate. It could have been worse. At least the plane from SAS looks to be on time and I have an obscene amount of loose candy in a big rustling bag. Or actually, I have booked SAS, but received the Irish airline Cityjet. The wet lease company Cityjet flies for SAS on some less busy routes and was one of the companies that was blamed for SAS' personnel problems this summer. But as I said, we look to be on time today. This will probably be a good weekend, even though I missed the Friday coziness 🙂
Footnote: We didn't get away in time. Delayed incoming staff meant we were 30 min late. But I had my loose weight candy.