The SAS lounges in the international terminal 5 at Stockholm Arlanda airport are currently being renovated and significantly enlarged. This is excellent news for all frequent travellers who have been complaining about overcrowded lounges during peak hours. One lounge is being renovated at the time starting with the Gold Lounge followed by the Business Lounge.
As an alternative during the summer a temporary lounge has opened at Arlanda terminal 5, a good and very wise decision by SAS. The new lounge has been named ‘SAS Summer Pop-up lounge’ and is located in the F-pier of terminal 5, next to the Menzies Executive Lounge. The lounge will be open from 11 May until 31 August 2015 when the renovations should be completed.
To find the lounge, after the security control and the large taxfree shop, turn right and follow the signs towards the F-gates. After the restaurant ‘Andersson Food & Akvavit’, turn right. You will find the entrance in the corner.
Given the location it makes more sense to use the lounge when departing from an F-gate, irrespective if it is a Schengen or a non-Schengen flight. Although it is possible to use this lounge departing on any SAS or Star Alliance flight at terminal 5 it will be a very long walk if the flight departs from the B-pier (gates 11-24)
The lounge measures 400 square metres and offers free wireless internet, newspapers and magazines, a reception desk (also used as a service desk) and restrooms.
The design is obviously a temporary one but it does have a very summery feel to it with sun umbrellas and plenty of plants and flowers. Thanks to the large panorama windows the lounge is very bright and feels quite airy. Otherwise the furniture are mostly the same as in the Gold Lounge with the same tables and armchairs. They have probably just moved them here, which makes perfectly good sense.
The selection of food and drinks is much more limited than in the regular lounge. This is mostly due to the lack of kitchen facilities. During the visit in the morning there were some light breakfast items available such as bread rolls and porridge. Later during the day the food is limited to soup or noodles, fresh fruits, cookies and cocktail snacks. Also the selection of drinks is much more limited than in the regular lounges.
Although the lounge as such is nothing to write home about SAS should get credit for arranging a temporary lounge during the renovations, easing the pressure on the remaining lounge. Many airlines would probably not do this, handing out drink vouchers instead or simply doing nothing at all.
Of course SAS were also lucky that there was space available for a temporary lounge at the airport, and that Swedavia, the airport authorities, agreed to let the space during the summer. The staff were friendly during the visit and did their best to provide a good service.
The new temporary lounge may be basic, but I like it!