Prague Airport and Menzies Aviation Lounge
I left too late to use the airport bus so I ended up naively paying the exorbitant 25 AUD fee for a private driver from the hotel. Prague should be cheap (the bus is closer to $1) but today was not that day.
Well for $25 you get a large black car with tinted windows that drives in haste across the cobbled streets of the Old Town. Once across the Vltava River my driver carries on, continuing nearly double the speed limit. Every car we pass moves out the way quickly. One spectator dared slow down to stop at a red light in front of us. The wrath of our vehicle on display as its horn blares. We quickly weaved around, crossing the feeble red light on the incorrect side of the road. Who knew you could just do what you want. Particularly if you’re paying $25.
Prague airport is a bit old, sure, but it is perfectly functional and upon entering the terminal is graced by natural light. You are immediately confronted with a hectic departures area, with snaking check-in queues for various low cost carriers. Although hectic and open it felt more airy and lively. My airline fortunately had no queues whatsoever which lead me straight to security and onto the lounge.
Security procedures and culture differ wildly between countries and here it seemed like many were unaware of what to do. Maybe it was because it was a weekend, it is hard to judge, but people were taking some time to clear through. This part of the world it is quicker, easier and probably more common to take a train depending on your destination. Avoiding all the security and procedures and simply hopping on a vehicle seems highly preferrable.
Menzies Aviation Lounge
This lounge is truly a third party, contracted lounge, serving numerous airlines and programs. A lift upstairs into an area with a few lounges finds one with a Finnair logo plastered on it. It had maybe 20 seats if lucky, and an island bar of sorts. The lounge was rather elongate, with just enough room to walk along with furnishings pressed against the windows above the general terminal.
There is an array of packaged snacks and drinks. No fresh food here, mostly highly processed and packaged products.
Like my flight, it is about adjusting to differences in things you’re otherwise accustom to. Travelling within central Europe seems quite different to Australia. No huge lounges, limited paid memberships. Earn your way in or pay up with overpriced J tickets and an underwhelming product. So although the lounge was super small, very few people were occupying it.
The only staff member managing the desk was very pleasant. I’m not sure if it was that Australians are particularly known for missing flights in silent lounges and airports without gate calls but she approached me to indicate my flight had commenced boarding.