I am lucky to have a job that requires me to travel a fair bit. Within a year, after a couple of 18 hours flight, I was informed that I earned the Star Alliance KrisFlyer Gold status.
Singapore, Japan and Korea are the top cities that I depart from. If given a choice, I will go with Singapore Airlines, ANA and Asiana. This help me to earn points and give me access to the lounge.
Here’s what I feel in the year after earning the status.
Gaining access to the lounge is cool. It makes you feel abit special. It gives you a place to rest and chill before your flight. You can get to the airport early and not have to worry about where you should go. And you get free food. The food is not spectacular, just decent.
The lounge at Haneda Airport, Tokyo, is pretty good. There is a nice view of the boarding area. They have a counter where you can order ramen and udon. You can get curry rice, fried chicken, noodles, mapo tofu and miso soup. The menu rotates among these items.
There are also soft drinks, coffee, tea, carrot juice and alcohol.
If you are not that hungry, you can opt for small sandwiches, cookies and small sushi.
This is probably the best lounge that I have had access to.
The lounge at Narita Airport, Tokyo, serves similar item. The difference is that you have to order the curry rice instead of it being self-service. Not sure why
The lounge in Seoul airports isn’t as cool. In both Incheon and Gimpo airport, the space is a little smaller, and the food selection is much less. Usually, you can only choose from sandwiches and cookies. They don’t really have much food options. If they do, it is usually empty and they don’t refill it fast. Or maybe I am just unlucky.
Singapore Changi Airport’s lounge is decent too. I can’t really recall what’s it is like, but I will say it is to expectations.
In United States, I had the opportunity to check out the lounge in San Francisco International and Seattle Tacoma airports. SF’s is decent, with adequate food choices, while Seattle Tacoma’s doesn’t have much food to choose from.
I guess I focus a lot on food, because I am usually hungry before a flight, and will love to get some free food in the lounge while waiting. I feel that spending so much money on a particular airline group should yield me some free food.
KrisFlyer Gold isn’t the top tier. There is probably something higher, which unlocks access to another more premium looking lounge that I have not had the chance to visit. Perhaps they serve better food.
That is usually one of the promises, and perhaps the strongest benefit, for anyone aiming to reaching a particular airline tier. I think that in an entire year, in 20+ flights, I have only been upgraded just once, from economy to premium economy (or is it from premium economy to business, I can’t recall). And there is also another occasion where they changed my seat to another with more leg space, but that’s because there was an issue with my original seat. So i guess if you are hoping more frequent seat upgrade to business class, you might be disappointed.
My adventures as a KrisFlyer Gold member lasted just a year. I guess it is not easy to maintain the status, despite 10+ short flights and 2 medium distance flights. That’s quite disappointing, I have to say good but to my lounge food now and try out dining options in the departure area.