Lounge-hopping at Copenhagen Airport (CPH)

CPH is a pretty nice airport. I like that the entire thing is connected airside, there are some neat stores, lots of Danish gin & whisky available in Duty Free, and it’s a goldmine for Priority Pass members. There are a couple things that can get annoying though, such as the long security lines and the fact that services after passport control are limited.

The first time I flew through CPH, I was flying SAS business class, and I was really excited to go to the SAS lounge. SAS operates a combined first/business lounge (well “first” is for Star Alliance Gold people — I’m not sure if there are actually any departing first class seats offered by Star Alliance carriers), although both sections are pretty similar. At least, that’s what I’m to understand from reading other reviews, since I’ve only visited the business class part. I wrote a little review as part of a longer post about SAS’s longhaul business class, but if you don’t want to read that whole thing, the bottom line is that this lounge isn’t that good. CPH is one of SAS’s primary hubs, so you’d think their lounge here would be top notch, although in actuality it’s pretty boring. They’ve been improving some of their other Scandinavian lounges (such as Oslo), so hopefully CPH will get a revamp soon. Until then, you may actually be better off at one of the other lounges.

In the Schengen area, there are two contract lounges that accept Priority Pass, both located in Terminal 2 between the A and B gates — the Aspire lounge and the Aviator lounge. They’re pretty similar, with almost identical food and drink options, but I give the nod to Aspire, since the decor is nicer and it’s less crowded. I get the sense that more airlines use the Aviator lounge for their premium passengers (including my Faroese darlings Atlantic Airways who offer lounge access to people who buy refundable tickets), which explains the higher load factor.

We were there during breakfast, and the spread wasn’t that great in either lounge, although I remember Aspire having a pretty good lunch spread the last time we were there. Here are some slideshows that give you a good overview of what to expect.

Aspire:

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While Aspire is one long room, Aviator is split into two parts — a large room with lots of seating and some drinks, and a smaller room where the buffet is located.

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Overall, the food at the Aviator lounge was little better, but as you can see from the photos, it was fairly crowded. Since neither space was really killing it in the food department, I only spent a few minutes here before going back to the Aspire lounge.

We flew though CPH twice on this trip, the first time to go to the Faroe Islands and then on our way back, en route to London and then home. The second time, we had access to the brand new Eventyr lounge, which is CPH’s only lounge after passport control. British Airways (among others) contracts with Eventyr for its premium passengers, but the lounge also recently joined Priority Pass, so it’s pretty easy to get access. (You can pay around $50 for a day pass as well.)

It’s a really nice space, and I’d consider it one of the better lounges I’ve been to. I’d put it maybe on par with a really nice Delta Sky Club, without as many good food options. It’s pretty large given the limited passenger base it serves, so I’m not surprised that it joined Priority Pass in order to increase the foot traffic. Still, despite the relatively loose access, it was pretty deserted on a Monday afternoon/evening.

It’s up a few floors from the terminal (Justine was super happy that I noticed the elevator after we climbed a bunch of stairs), and the lounge consists mostly of one large circular room. There’s a raised portion in the middle with comfy lounge-y furniture, while the usual cafe seating is around the outer part of the circle. Normally there would be good views, although the weather was so bad that you couldn’t actually see that far onto the airfield.

Speaking of the weather, I noticed at one point that as people left, the attendant asked them if they were on such-and-such a flight and then informed them that the flight was delayed due to visibility. There are departure boards in the lounge, so it’s not like folks were dependent on the attendant for this info, and I thought it was a nice service-oriented touch that you don’t often get in contract lounges.

The only big downside with the food was the really bad dessert situation — just some shitty little mini-muffins. I ate enough junk food on this trip, though, that I should probably appreciate the Eventyr lounge looking out for my overall health. Despite that, the food was pretty good, and I especially liked the multiple beers (and wines!) available on tap for free.

As far as the facilities go the bathrooms are basic and antiseptic (which is probably a good thing for a bathroom), and there are shower facilities for people who, like me, are on long layovers but who, unlike me, aren’t too lazy for some basic personal hygiene. I know, I know: shut up and post the pics already.

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The biggest downside to the non-Schengen area at CPH is that individual gates don’t open until the flight is ready to board, which leads to a bunch of people sitting on the floor around each gate. We left the lounge when the display board said “go to gate,” but we were too early and ended up having to wait for a while until we could board. Lesson for next time — stay in the lounge until the last second before the aircraft door closes.

Overall, the Eventyr lounge is definitely my favorite lounge at CPH*, and even if you have access to the SAS lounge, I’d recommend Eventyr instead. Given the long wait times at passport control, having a lounge located near the international gates is a pretty great feature (otherwise, you risk either cutting it close with your flight or having a bunch of time to kill in a pretty boring part of the airport). Plus, the food, decor, and facilities are all as nice as or nicer than the SAS lounge. Maybe this will change when SAS eventually updates the lounge, but for now I’d say Eventyr has them beat pretty solidly.

*Over the course of gathering information while I wrote this post, I realized that there’s a fourth Priority Pass lounge at CPH: the Primeclass lounge, also located after passport control. I’m mad at myself for not knowing this during the trip, since I had a ton of time to kill and would have liked to check out a new lounge. From the pictures, it doesn’t look as nice as Eventyr, but I’d prefer to know first-hand.

There’s also the brand new “Atelier Relaxium” (a name so ridiculous it must have been dreamt up by the same person who came up with the World of Hyatt tier names). Have you ever wanted a lounge where you could sit in a section whose color matched your mood? (This sounds dumb to me: if I’m irate that the airline lost my bags, why would I want to sit in an all-red room?) It’s located right next to the Aspire lounge, but it’s only open to Air France, KLM, and Finnair business class passengers or paid access. I love my blog readers, but not enough to spend $30+ to review a lounge for you.

 

 

relaxium
The “angry” section of Relaxium. Photo from Normann-Denmark, who designed the lounge.

What’s everyone’s feeling about CPH airport? You know what, feel free to post your general feelings about Danish people too, if you want.

 

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2 thoughts on “Lounge-hopping at Copenhagen Airport (CPH)”

    1. I think they’re shot measurers. When you turn the bottle upside down, the little chamber fills up with a shot and then you empty it into your drink.

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