Originally we were set to fly SIN-DEL-AMD on an Air India award ticket in business class. However, Air India canceled the DEL-AMD leg and I looked for other options. Enter Vistara. This is an airline that currently only flies domestic in India from their hub in New Delhi. The airline is a JV between Tata and Singapore Airlines.
I was on a end of year mileage PQD run to secure United Platinum Premier status. While there isn’t much of a difference it seemed worth it for the extra RDM earning in 2019. With a 2 hour layover in LAX I wondered over the TBIT to check out the Star Alliance lounge. There is a separate first class lounge which I’ll hopefully be in come July.
I had a long layover at HKG and was walking all over the airport. I went to the AMEX lounge for a bit which is one of the better options. Then I went to the Singapore SilverKris lounge which is decent but nothing to write home about. As I was walking around I noticed the Plaza Premium First Lounge.
Singapore Airlines has quite the lounge setup at Changi. There is the KrisFlyer Gold lounge. This is Singapore Airlines Star Alliance lounge (people traveling in economy with status). Then there is the KrisFlyer lounge which caters to people in ticketed business or first class. The lounge is mostly a business class lounge with a section for first class. However, the first class section is meant for passengers ticketed on Star Alliance first class. If you’re ticketed on Singapore Airlines first or suites class there is another room with the first class lounge called The Private Room.
I was pretty excited to experience the Singaore first class lounge. I was in the Hong Kong first class lounge but wasn’t feeling well. Upon entry an attendant scanned by boarding pass and open a door to the right of the check in desk.
I wanted to check out how American Express lounges internationally compare to their domestic counterparts. The location in Hong Kong is an actual Centurion Lounge. This location in Sydney is more like Mexico City where it’s operates by a contract company on behalf of American Express.
I showed up to HKG early to explore the lounges here. The new AMEX Centurion lounge is located in the same area as the United Club, THAI Lounge, and some Plaza Premium Lounges. I was a bit nervous as all the Centurion lounges in the US seem to be uncomfortably crowded. I walked towards the lounge and saw the blue doors and American Express logo.
I arrived at the San Diego airport pretty early and headed to the United Club. This club is also right next to the Delta Sky Club. This United Club has the new remodeled look and is pretty nice for an out station. The check in area was actually right outside the entrance. I scanned my boarding pass and was quickly admitted.
United opened their first Polaris lounge in December of 2016. However, they failed to open any in 2017. Additionally, the roll out of the new Polaris seats have been slow as well. In the time it took United to open two Polaris lounges, American opened several Flagship lounges. In terms of business class lounges the Polaris lounge is a step above Americans Flagship lounge as it offers sit down meal service (Americans Flagship Dining isn’t open to business class customers). Both American and United business class lounge offerings are above Delta which doesn’t have a dedicated business class lounge (though Skyclubs are generally better than standard Admirals and United Club offerings). Anyway, the time has finally come! United will be officially opening their second Polaris lounge on Monday April 30th. United hosted a media event on Wednesday April 25, and auctioned off tickets to attend a pre-opening event on Friday April 27. For 2,500 miles, it seemed like a good offer!