EVA Air's business class lounge at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport represents a great alternative to Thai Airways' own (and admittedly dated) business class lounges in the Thai capital, with groovy mood lighting to help you work or unwind, power points near almost every seat and a reasonable buffet of both hot and cold food.
As both EVA Air and Thai Airways are members of the Star Alliance family, business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members travelling with one airline are free to use the business class lounge of the other airline – so if you're flying with Thai Airways from Bangkok to Australia, you don't have to use a Thai Airways lounge: you can visit the EVA Air lounge instead, or indeed, the nearby Singapore Airlines lounge.
On Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, EVA Air's lounge is open from 6:30am until 2:30am the following morning, while on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the lounge opens from 6:30am until 3:30am the next day: catering for the majority of Thai Airways flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, except for the earliest morning departures.
Australian Business Traveller stopped by before Thai Airways' midnight flight to Brisbane to bring you this review.
Location & Impressions
You'll find EVA Air's Bangkok lounge on the third floor of Concourse F: just keep your eyes out for the colourful lights at the entrance: Once inside, you'll discover a space that makes significant use of mood lighting and colour effects to create an exciting atmosphere: Those lights range from funky pinks and purples to coordinate with the orchids on display... ... through to more solid lines acting to separate the open space and a distinct 'lounge room' zone... ... and pool-like blues down the far end of the lounge for relaxation. Some decorations within the lounge also illuminate and change colour... ... while other lighting patterns create the optical illusion of a tunnel within a wall that's actually quite slim: However, despite these up-close shots – which can make the lounge appear too well-lit or somewhat like a nightclub – the lighting effects here aren't excessive or over-done, being a natural part of the lounge's overall feel when the space is seen as a whole: We also like the design structure of this lounge. The further you wander inside, the more relaxing the furniture and lighting becomes, so you can choose your seat based on your mood.
- Business class and first class passengers of Star Alliance carriers EVA Air, Thai Airways, Air China, Air India, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS and Turkish Airlines
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands Gold and Diamond members prior to Star Alliance flights
- Other Star Alliance Gold frequent flyers departing on Star Alliance flights
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands SIlver cardholders prior to EVA Air flights only
- Paid lounge members of Air Canada Maple Leaf Club (Worldwide plan only) and United Club, before Star Alliance flights
- Selected American Express and Cathay United Bank cardholders when flying with EVA Air only, who present their EVA Air Co-Brand Card, Supreme Infinite Card, AMEX EVA Air Gold Charge card or AMEX EVA Air Platinum Charge Card
As such, passengers with Australian AMEX Platinum or Gold Charge Cards do not receive complimentary access, being a perk reserved for cards issued in Taiwan which also display the EVA Air logo on the card face.
Help yourself to a meal or snack from the buffet corner, located near the centre of the lounge. Among the selections: pork bao, prawn dumplings... ... individual servings of Pad Thai, Thai stir-fried pork with basil and rice... ... plus a tasty BBQ chicken pizza, pork sausage, chicken and ham pies, mushroom pies and banana tarts... ... and lighter options including fruit and finger sandwiches. At the other end of the buffet, salads, juice and ready-to-drink coconuts, along with Magnum ice creams for dessert... ... and a small range of alcohol, including spirits, wine (one red, one white) and a Heineken beer tap: Espresso coffee is available but is machine-made, rather than hand-crafted as you'd find in Singapore Airlines' Bangkok lounge, although Champagne is absent: as is any form of sparkling wine.
Over by reception is a small business nook with three computers at the ready... ... while the lounge is blanketed by free WiFi. Incredibly slow WiFi, for that matter, with downloads measuring at 2.87Mbps and uploads at 0.96Mbps during our visit, even with only three travellers in the lounge at the time, ourselves included.
That doesn't bode well for the lounge's busier periods, let alone when a mere 10 or 20 people are enjoying the space.
On the upside, AC power points are plentiful and accessible from most of the seats, being built into cocktail tables and benches... ... into the floor near other seats (just lift the metal flap)... ... and even incorporated into the cocktail tables in the 'lounge room', which we nearly missed and located by accident, as the table surface obstructs your view of these from above when sitting upright. USB power outlets are absent, and you'll need to dig out your international adaptor to charge Australian devices.
Despite its easy-to-miss power points, that central lounge room is a great place to unwind before a long flight to Australia or even a short hop across Asia... ... or, venture 'next door' to the colourful relaxation zone... ... with plenty of sociable chairs, and some less-so over in the far corner: For shorter stays, similar seats and TV screens can also be found nearby reception... ... as can a range of reading material in a variety of languages, including English... ... and two massage chairs, which you can enjoy in privacy after reversing the green 'vacant' sign: Two unisex shower suites are also available – just ask reception for a key or to make a booking when both are busy... ... and once inside, you'll find towels and all the amenities you'd need: All things considered, we love the overall vibe in EVA Air's Bangkok lounge along with the creative use of lighting, the plethora of AC power points, the varied buffet spread and the modern shower suites – all of which trump Thai Airways' own business class lounges at the same airport.
However, slow Internet speeds, a lack of USB power outlets and a relatively limited and self-served bar selection could make the Singapore Airlines SIlverKris Lounge a more attractive choice for some, being open to almost all of the same travellers as this lounge welcomes.
But even so, this remains a very respectable international lounge and a great option to keep in your back pocket when flying home (or onward) with Thai Airways, or with any other Star Alliance airline.