BCN: Barcelona Schengen Pau Casals Lounge
This lounge is mainly designed for European short haul flights, into the Schengen area, although if you are on British Airways from Barcelona, you do get access in here too, but once your other half has done some shopping you're probably better running along to the main D concourse lounge if you really want to be on time for your flight.
The lounge itself is a lovely open room looking down on the main shopping centre (sorry - airport) with a sleeping compartment in the middle, and a bar on the far wall. The chairs around the sides are lovely deep squashy leather armchairs, and have power sockets (euro sockets only) in the tables between the chairs.
Right in the middle of the lounge is the sleeping area, with six day beds in the semi darkness: alas the designers didn't really think this through, and there are no doors onto this area which is quite bright, and gets all the noise of the lounge from both sides. There are also showers in the bathrooms behind the bar.
Quite often, and rather incongruously, there will be a sales promo in the middle of the lounge. Car showrooms in particular like to bring along their cars, and park them by the armchairs: this can be annoying, as you'll be pestered throughout your drinking time by salesmen on a mission to get some interest.
FoodFood is pretty poor: you might want to eat before getting to the lounge, which rather defeats the point. In the mornings there is cereal, and cold croissants, along with Jam & butter. By 11am this lot is replaced with the enticingly sounding savoury mix, which is a few nuts and odd coloured bits of cardboard in a bowl. By mid afternoon there are muffins &donuts in the glass cabinet, and finally in the evening there are a few sandwiches.
BarThere are two bars in the lounge, one in the middle of the lounge with beer and wine, and cans of soft drink, plus a smaller counter at the far end that has spirits on a tray, and sparkling wine. Notably, the wine section is not refreshed in the mornings: there are bottles, however you do need to ask the staff if you'd like a top up. There is Champagne, however it's only "served on request", which basically means either grabbing a waitress or asking at reception, and a good hour or so later your bubbly will turn up.
There is also a great display of alcohol on shelves on the wall. Don't get too excited - the bottles on the wall are strictly for decoration only: If you'd like better booze, you need to move to the non-Schengen lounge in area D.
Business FacilitiesComputers are quite good, with a four new Macs in small work pods in the other half of the lounge from the bar, however there are only four: it can be a hassle getting a machine, and there is no printer. There is free wifi, and also a mobile phone charging machine just opposite reception.
AccessThere are three lounges that Iberia use in the new Barcelona Terminal 1, and they are all such a vast improvement over the old Iberia lounge at el Prat it is impossible to believe that it's gone from being so woeful to a delight: such is the change that has come with the move to Terminal 1 (from the old ABC Terminal, now called Terminal 2).Iberia, along with all oneworld and most other major airlines now have a brand spanking new building to rival that in Madrid.
Along with the usual Schengen lounge for most inter-Europe flights, there is a lounge for the Madrid shuttle, and a non-Schengen lounge, after passport control, instead of hanging around in the old holding pen, but if you have access to the lounge in one side, you can access both the pre and post Schengen sides. This is probably a good bet if your partner plans to do some shopping, as the shops are better in Schengen, while the booze and food is better in the non-Schengen lounge, particularly in the morning, although dining facilities are the one area where it all seems to fall a bit flat. The non-Schengen lounge also has pool tables and a cinema, so if you're in for a real long wait, here is the place to do it.
You need to make a decision about your lounge hopping plans before passport control through. Straight after security, you either take the escalator down to the Schengen area, or you turn left, along a balcony, and present your passport for Non-Schengen: once through, it's hard to get back.
None of these lounges are directly run by Iberia: instead, Aena own them, and make a few quid on the side from those who don't have the right frequent flyer card. If you need to, you can access all the lounges by paying a 25 euro fee.
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