After my walking tour of Brussels, I arrived at Brussels Airport with plenty of time for lounge hopping. I started with Brussels Airlines’ Schengen-area lounge, The Loft by Brussels Airlines. While I didn’t expect much, I found a surprisingly nice and spacious lounge to pass time.
Note: this post is part of a longer series about my trip to Europe last November. Click here for the introductory post and trip report index.
The Loft by Brussels Airlines
In Terminal A (Schengen gates), on the 2nd level. After security, follow the signs for Gates A40-A60 and the airline lounges. Near Gate A42, follow the stairs or escalators to the lounges. The Loft is the first lounge you pass. While the lounge specifically caters to Schengen flights, in theory, you can use this lounge even for non-Schengen flights. Just make sure to leave sufficient time to clear passport control. You can clear passport control past Gate A60, then walk to the “T Zone” gates, or use the shuttle bus for the B Gates. Note that Brussels Airlines maintains separate lounges for both the T Zone and B gates.
Brussels Airlines provides access to The Loft for the following passengers:
- Brussels Airlines or Star Alliance Business Class passengers
- HON Circle, Senator, and Star Alliance Gold members traveling on Brussels Airlines or Star Alliance partners in any class, plus one guest
- Economy Class passengers on “Flex&Fast” or “Economy Flex” tickets (€25 fee charged)
I arrived at the lounge around 4:30 pm, and walked right in with no wait. The lounge basically consists of one very large room in two separate sections. To reach the first section, the main lounge, just continue straight ahead after checking in. Along the right wall is plentiful seating overlooking the concourse. Most of this seating consists of high-top and dining table seating.
Meanwhile, at the back of the lounge are a few rows of more traditional seating. The lounge had little traffic during my visit, but I imagine this area is quieter when it’s busy.
Tucked away in the corner is an espresso machine.
Here, the lounge transitions to a large, central dining area. A large TV and a few random seats line the back of this area.
From here, turn right through a hidden door to find the business center and shower suites. The business center provides a quiet area with several cubicles separated by glass dividers. It’s hard to see, but if you look left at the back, there are a few workstations should you need one.
The lounge features 6 shower suites, but I didn’t have a chance to look inside one. They sound fancy, though, as the airline advertises them as each providing a “different shower, steam, light, and music experience”.
Look back towards the front, and you’ll see the large seating area. Most seats are tables for two, though there are a few booths as well. This area also shows off the modern design of the lounge. It comes off as very “Euro”, but much “warmer” than the minimalist design typically seen today.
On the side closest to the entrance is the lounge’s buffet. I found the dinner spread fair, if unspectacular. It consisted of several breads, fresh fruit, cold cuts and cheeses, and a few hot options. The day’s hot choices included ratatouille, rice, vegetable quiche, and whipped potatoes. I tried the ratatouille and potatoes; both were pretty good. But where the heck are the waffles and frites????
If you prefer to sit close to the buffet, some bar seating surrounds the main spread.
Meanwhile, head back towards the rear to find the self-service bar.
The bar features a decent selection of liquors, wine, and Belgian beer. Notice one unique and useful feature – universal power outlets all around the front.
So, that makes it easy to keep your devices charged while enjoying a Belgian beer from teh tap.
Meanwhile, for those who enjoy plane spotting, seating on the opposite side of the lounge provides ramp views. Unfortunately, it was already dark when I arrived. So, I couldn’t take advantage this time. Large windows should also allow plenty of natural light in during the day.
Next to the entrance is yet another unique feature, the Neuhaus chocolate bar. Neuhas is one of Belgium’s better known chocolatiers, producing sweet treats since 1857. Apparently, Neuhaus hands out samples here from time to time during the day. Sadly, no such luck during my visit.
The Loft also features a “lounge within a lounge” of sorts. After checking in, head right instead of straight for “The Lexus Experience”. It’s really just a separate seating area sponsored by Lexus. The primary difference is the seating, which consists of various ergonomic recliners. They actually look really comfy. From what I could tell, there is no special service in this area; guests have access to the same buffet and bar as the rest of the lounge.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this section is the “parts wall” at the back. Automobile enthusiasts especially might find this piece of modern art entertaining.
Finally, near the entrance to The Lexus Experience is a mockup of the “SKYJET”, a prototype single-occupant spacecraft used in the 2017 movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Just what every combo avgeek and car enthusiast needs in their life.
Power outlets are plentiful through the lounge. However, most looked like the Euro-spec variety, at least in the back rows, so bring an adapter. As mentioned, the bar counter features universal adapters; if you forgot your adapter, you’re not totally out of luck. The Loft offers free, password protected WiFi, but it’s not very good. My Vonage call back home kept dropping off at various intervals due to poor network quality. I found browsing speeds so-so. This is one area where Brussels Airlines can definitely improve.
I found The Loft a pretty impressive space, especially for an intra-Europe Business Class lounge. There’s plenty of seating, ramp and concourse views, and a handful of quiet areas for relaxing. I also enjoyed the design which, while modern, avoided the coldness I increasingly see in lounge designs today. Brussels Airlines also offers a couple of unique features, like the Neuhaus chocolate bar. On the other hand, I thought the food selection could be better, and the WiFi was rather poor. Overall, though, The Loft offers a solid option to pass time before your flight.