Amsterdam Schiphol’s New (2024) Oneworld Lounge – Day One Review



The new oneworld lounge in Amsterdam has been a long time coming.  It has a lot to prove, but has it been worth the wait?


The previous British Airways lounge, initially opened in 2015, never re-opened after its Covid closure.  Eligible customers were initially directed to the nearby Aspire Lounge, before that closed in March 2023, and subsequently to Café Flor, a re-purposed small airport café.

On 22nd February 2024, after almost one year with no proper lounge provision, the oneworld Alliance opened its second directly-operated lounge. Oneworld’s first lounge, in Seoul’s Incheon airport, opened just four weeks prior.

Entrance to the oneworld lounge

Location and access

The new oneworld lounge is an amalgamation of the former British Airways lounge with a small part of the old Aspire lounge, on the top floor of the airport. It is marked on the Schiphol maps as “Lounge 40/41”, the same as the old British Airways lounge.

Situated in the non-Schengen part of the terminal, it is accessible to business and first class passengers (and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire card holders) travelling on oneworld airlines to destinations outside of the Schengen Zone.  In practice, this means that eligible customers departing on American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Royal Jordanian have access.

Finnair and Iberia Express passengers, departing to Finland and Spain respectively, cannot access this part of the airport (at least not without two sets of passport control formalities) and continue to use Aspire Lounge 26 in the Schengen departures area.

All oneworld airlines flying to non-Schengen destinations have their check-in desks in ‘Departures Hall 3’.  After passing through security and passport control in ‘Departures 3’, the lounge is an approximately five minute walk.

For British Airways’ passengers, this means that the lounge is roughly one-third of the way between BA’s check in desks and usual gates in the D-pier; for other airlines – departing from a mix of D, F or G gates – the lounge is not necessarily en route to the gate. However all gates are within ten minutes walk of the lounge.

Those not needing to visit a check-in desk do not need to loop via ‘Departures 3’; the lounge can be found almost immediately after ‘Departures 2’ passport control in the centre of the airport.

Note that at the time of writing, the oneworld website states that the lounge is before security. This is incorrect.

The New Lounge

The new lounge complex has an impressive entry. Sign-in desks are shared between the oneworld lounge and next-door Aspire lounge, and staff are extremely proud to finally welcome customers to the new complex.

Entry to the oneworld lounge is under a curved archway, up-lit in blue, green, red and purple and with warm-white circular lights from the top of the arch. This archway is inspired by the “half round glowing bridges” of Amsterdam.

Entrance to the oneworld lounge. The archway is inspired by the glowing bridges of Amsterdam.

Immediately after walking through the archway is the feature bar. This manned horse-shoe shaped bar, lit in warm yellows and highlighted in golds and bronzes, serves barista-made coffee as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer is on tap (Heineken and Heineken 0.0, and Affligem), spirits mixed, and there are five wines plus champagne (Bruno Roulot Tradition). Although mentioned at the press launch, there is not currently a cocktail on offer.

The central bar
Image credit: oneworld. This area was busy.
Champagne at the bar
Champagne on offer is Bruno Roulot, not Veuve Clicquot as provided to the press. There are no cocktails today.

Behind the bar are the (almost) floor-to-ceiling windows. These extend the whole width of the lounge and, located two floors above the gates, offer a fantastic view of the apron. Despite being a typically-grey Dutch day, these east-facing windows afford a huge amount of light to the space. Against these windows and behind the bar are (slightly-cramped) dining tables, with more relaxed seating extending either side along the windows for the entire length of the lounge.

A “Travel Bright” leaflet highlighting the design inspiration, and showing the layout of the lounge, was handed out on the first morning of operation:

"Travel Bright" poster, showing the long and thin layout of the lounge
“Travel Bright” by D/DOCK for oneworld leaflets in the lounge, showing the long and thin layout. Windows are at the bottom of the image.

Buffet dining

Near to the bar at the right end of the lounge (make a hard right after entering) is the buffet selection.

Buffet offerings are timed to correspond to the departing flights; at 9.45am offerings were a western breakfast (hot options of white beans in tomato sauce, grilled tomatoes, bacon and scrambled eggs), as well as pastries, cold meats, fruit, yoghurt, and cereal.

Western breakfast offerings
“Western” breakfast offerings of grilled tomatoes, beans, bacon and scrambled eggs.
Cold breakfast offerings
Cold breakfast offerings include pastries, fruit and yoghurt, as well as a selection of cereal.

Around 10.30am, prior to the Cathay Pacific departure, the hot breakfast options were replaced with miso soup, tjap tjoy and steamed rice.

Hot breakfast options prior to the Cathay Pacific departure
Hot offerings prior to the Cathay Pacific flight.

At midday, in advance of the Qatar departure, middle-east inspired lunch options were added. Today’s selection included grilled bell peppers, grilled chickpeas, shakshuka, tabouleh, and labneh.

Grilled bell peppers and grilled chickpeas were added at midday.
Lunch options prior to the Qatar departure
Tabouleh and labneh prior to the Qatar departure

By evening, the warm options are limited to soup or penne pasta with a choice of two mix-your-own sauces (tomato, and a creamy white sauce). Although uninspiring, these taste better than they look; the addition of flaked or grated cheese instead of slices would be an easy improvement.

Evening hot option: plain pasta, onto which to add sauce
Evening hot option: pasta, onto which to add a choice of tomato or creamy sauce. This tastes better than it looks.

For dessert, pastel de nata, muffins and brownies.

Pastel de nata for dessert
Dessert of pastel de nata.

Crockery includes rather-wonderful deep blue bowls, a reference to the oneworld logo.

Deep blue bowl, one of many references to the oneworld logo
One of many references to the blue oneworld logo.

A drinks fridge for non-alcoholic options is also in this area, along with self-pour wines (but not champagne or spirits, which have to be ordered from the bar). There are no bottled beers available.

Five wines on offer
The five wine options in the lounge.

Working area

In the right hand corner of the lounge, in front of the dining area and to the right of the bar but separated by a sofa with incorporated planter, is the work area.

Planter separating the work area from the bar
A planter separates the work area from the bar.

This area comprises a well-lit desk with 11 seats and eight plug sockets (European socket, USB, and USB-C in each), and three beautifully-coloured arched open booths, again with plug sockets (2x European, 2x USB, 2x USB-C in each). The red walls of the booths are soft felt-like material for sound deadening. There are also a pair of self-serve coffee machines in this area.

Wifi appears to be shared with the next-door Aspire lounge; in the working area it measured 16mbps download and 19mbps upload.

The working area
Image credit: oneworld. This area was busy.
High-backed seats facing the window
High-backed seats facing the window in the work area of the lounge. Note the plug socket in the table.
Self-service coffee machines
Self-serve coffee machines in the work area.

Opposite the bar are two private sound-proof booths. These include a well-lit desk with double plug sockets, and a circular mirror on the padded (for extra sound-proofing) walls. With the heavy door closed, music playing at an estimated conference call volume was just audible but significantly muffled. Note that sound seems to travel between the two booths, however.

Sound-proof work booths
Image credit: oneworld.

Relaxed seating areas

The rest of the lounge on the left of the bar — around two-thirds of the width — is dedicated to a variety of seating areas. Left of the bar is a large dual-sided arc-of-a-circle sofa in oneworld blue, a feature also used (in a greater floorspace and therefore more of a circle) in the Seoul lounge. Arm-rests positioned around the sofa incorporate drinks tables and include plug sockets (again, European, USB and USB-C), with small cocktail tables in front.

Between the sofa arcs are a (slightly haphazard) scattering of individual chairs. This sofa seating appears a little more form over function; there is little padding on the base and the angle is not especially comfortable. Above the sofa is a feature light, similar to that in the Seoul lounge, of three tiers of lit orange cones. British readers might note the similarity to the ubiquitous traffic cone, but it looks much better in real life.

Curved sofa with cone lighting feature
Image credit: oneworld. Note the plug sockets in the armrests. The tables also include plug sockets.

Continuing left, along the windows, the next zone is separated by the back of the semi-circular sofa. Here are further armchairs; some are positioned individually and include an attached table with sockets, while others are grouped around small tables. Some of the small tables, and all of the larger round tables have plug sockets.

Sofa and armchair seating
Sofa and armchair seating.
Plug sockets at almost all seats
Note the ubiquitous plug sockets.
Different type of seat
Seats in this part of the lounge. Tables include plug sockets.

A “gong” feature wall, as found in Seoul, separates the final area. The rear of the gong is a wonderful arched twin-booth, comprising a central divided desk (again, each side with triple-format plug socket) with seats and internals of the booth embroidered in a dark oneworld blue.

"The Gong"
Seating in the rear of the "gong"
The rear of the “gong”, a rather nice seating option.

The final seating area, behind the gong, comprises two rows of angled seats facing the window, interspaced with tables with plugs. The end wall of the lounge features a circular pattern in carpet, useful for deadening sound, and a warm-orange (and colour-changing?) circular feature light. Despite a self-service coffee machine and water tap I suspect this area will be the quietest.

Seats at the far end of the lounge.  Note the plug sockets and carpeted wall
Seats at the end of the lounge. Note the plug sockets in the tables and the carpeted wall.
Comfortable seats at the end of the lounge
Seats at the end of the lounge. Plug sockets in the tables.
Water tap and self-service coffee machine
Water tap and self-serve coffee machine at the far end of the lounge.

Also in this area, behind the other seats and facing away from the window, is a mood-lit “feature wall” — colour changing to suit the time of day — with starry lights on the ceiling. The seats here are slightly more reclined than most and it makes a fantastic relaxation area at the far end of the lounge. Tables between seats include the ubiquitous plug sockets.

Relaxation area
Relaxing mood wall area.
Reclined seats in the relaxation area.  Note the plug sockets
Reclined seats in the mood wall relaxation area. Note the plug socket on the side tables.


Gender-separated toilets (with slightly confusing signage) are now located within the lounge (in the previous British Airways lounge occupying this space they were outside). One toilet seat has fallen off, on opening day. There are also two unisex showers in addition.

Was it worth the wait?

The new oneworld lounge is a design masterpiece. It is visually stunning, with numerous references to the circular oneworld logo, plus the addition of some extra quirks such as the entrance “canal bridge” archways and porcelain birds above the bar.

The choice of colour palette is interesting. The bright whites are in stark contrast to the trend of deeper relaxing colours such as Cathay Pacific’s lounges or Finnair’s Platinum Wing in Helsinki.  However the coloured accents (oneworld blue, deep reds, and mood lighting) with extensive use of warm white-yellow-orange lighting add warmth.

"Birds" of Amsterdam perching above the bar
Amsterdam’s “city birds” perching on top of the bar lighting.

The buffet catering is as expected of a joint business and first lounge; it certainly won’t win any lounge dining awards, but is of reasonable quality. Hot options change regularly throughout the day, to match the departing flights and provide a degree of variety, though there is little choice of hot offering at any one time.

Drinks also seem broadly as realistically-expected; sadly Veuve Clicquot didn’t remain beyond the press opening yesterday and promised cocktails are not (yet) to be seen. The addition of bottled craft beers, in a Dutch lounge, would be an easy improvement.

The space has huge numbers of power sockets (a quick tally suggests close to three-digits of sockets, most of these being triple-format); indeed it is hard to find a seat without access to a socket. It also provides excellent workspaces. This, along with the addition of sound-deadening booths, should be a prerequisite for any lounge in 2024.

Being critical, although there are a wide variety of seating options not all were as instantly-comfortable as they should be. However the addition of some cushions would easily bring this up to the quality of the rest of the lounge, and add a little more warmth. Equally, the lounge remains reasonably small and, with a capacity of 118, it is not a lounge designed for spending huge amounts of time; perhaps the designers know Schiphol’s (often long, though not today) queues better than anyone!

While not necessarily revolutionary in terms of the space, the new lounge has certainly been well worth the wait.

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