After being refused access to the Primeclass lounge with my British Airways business class ticket, I decided to pay the entry fee to see what was on offer at Zagreb airport’s only premium lounge.
About Primeclass lounge, Zagreb
The only lounge at the Franjo Tudman airport, Primeclass is usually accessible to the premium passengers of most of the major airlines serving Zagreb, including Croatia Airlines, Brussels Airlines, LOT, Turkish Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Czech Airlines, Qatar Airways, Aeroflot, Iberia and Air France.
Unfortunately for me, British Airways decided to use the coronavirus epidemic as an excuse to deprive its customers of lounge access – even though its logo is displayed on the board outside the lounge.
When I visited last week, I was told BA passengers weren’t being admitted, ‘due to the current situation’. By contrast, other airlines’ passengers were being admitted, leading me to conclude that BA has simply decided it can get away with not paying for lounge access at some outstations.
In response to my subsequent complaint, BA told me:
‘I’m concerned to hear you couldn’t get access to the lounge. ‘a0While I appreciate your request, we cannot offer any form of compensation for this. As per the terms and conditions of your Executive Club membership, all lounges are subject to availability. Also we are following government advice regarding reopening and access to the lounges. I understand this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, and I’m sorry to disappoint you.’
I was charged Euros 25 (USD 30) to enter the lounge, which is located opposite gate 23 and accessible only to international passengers. Children under two years of age are admitted free.
Opening hours are 6am until the last departure. The lounge is a ‘silent zone’, meaning no flight announcements are made.
Primeclass lounge, Zagreb facilities
There were only a handful of other passengers in the lounge when I entered at 12 noon, meaning I had a good opportunity to look around.
Like the airport itself, the lounge felt bright, airy and modern. Though fairly small in size, the lounge was plenty big enough for the few passengers using it when I visited.
The advertised ‘self-service buffet’ consisted of a limited range of snacks, all of which were wrapped, including salad, a selection of sandwiches and some delicious local pastries filled with cheese or minced meat.
Fruit, cakes and a range of drinks could be accessed from a large chiller. While spirits are advertised, I could only see beer on offer.
There were also self-pour beer taps, though these were out of use.
Other fridges were empty, and I got the impression the food and beverage option has been scaled back due to covid. Note that you’ll need to ask at the reception desk for a bottle opener.
Awful cappuccino are espresso are available at the world’s angriest coffee machine (which did a pretty good job of recreating my reaction when I was denied access to the lounge):
Given the coronavirus epidemic, I was impressed with the bathroom facilities, as both the toilet flush and the taps were touch-free. The urinal was out of action, and only one person was allowed into the bathroom at a time.
There is only one bathroom for men and another for women, so this may be a problem during busier periods.
Ample seating was dotted around the lounge and there is a separate side room containing relaxation chairs and a large TV screen, as well as computer facilities, should you need to work.
There were stocked fridges in this side room, as well as another coffee machine.
Wifi was free of charge in the lounge, and accessed by entering the code ‘Prime2019’.
I had around an hour to spend in the lounge, which was perfectly adequate for a short visit, but by no means somewhere you would want to arrive early to visit (unlike the excellent Qantas lounge at Heathrow, for example).
Ordinarily, I would be happy with the Primeclass lounge – had I enjoyed free access with my business class ticket. Zagreb airport is small, clean and modern, and is a pleasant enough space to sit for a while if you don’t have access to the lounge.
While there is plenty of seating, the lounge isn’t really geared up for those who want to sleep or spend long period visiting – you won’t find any loungers or beds. Likewise, you won’t get a full meal, but the snacks available are good enough for a quick stop.
Have you visited Primeclass lounge, Zagreb airport? What did you make of it?