Riddle me this: Japan’s borders have been reopened for almost six months now, and tourists are flocking back en masse. Yet the ANA and JAL lounges in Osaka Kansai Airport remain inexplicably closed, which means most Star Alliance and oneworld customers are out of luck. Singapore Airlines passengers departing from Osaka are currently issued meal vouchers (JPY 2,000-4,000) in lieu of lounge access.
Fortunately, STARLUX passengers can access the KIX North Lounge, which I figure is worth a brief review, if nothing else.
|🍸 tl;dr: KIX North Lounge|
|The KIX North Lounge offers just the bare essentials, though it still beats hanging out in the main terminal.|
|👍 The Good||👎 The Bad|
|🌸 Popping My Cherry Blossom|
Overview: KIX North Lounge
Despite its name, the KIX North Lounge is not located in the North Wing of the airport. Rather, it’s in the main building, near the train that takes you to the North Wing.
The passageway to the lounge is opposite Gate 11, near the Starbucks. You’ll see signage that makes abundantly clear this isn’t a credit card lounge- no Priority Pass, LoungeKey and Dragon Pass need approach!
At the entrance, we handed over the lounge invitation issued at check-in.
This lounge basically has two main seating types: individual high-back chairs, and long communal benches. The chairs offer some degree of privacy, but productivity pods they’re not.
The lounge benefits from natural light thanks to windows looking out to the tarmac. There were only a handful of other guests in the lounge when we visited, and the sunlight made the otherwise small facility feel more spacious.
If you need a proper space for work, some desks and office chairs can be found at the rear of the lounge.
Power and Productivity
Power outlets are located throughout the lounge, though they’re the Japanese Type-A sort instead of universal sockets. There were no USB charging outlets nor wireless charging pads.
Wi-Fi in the lounge was decently fast, though perhaps not as fast as what you’d expect for Japan.
Food & Beverage
The KIX North Lounge offers a small buffet spread, consisting mainly of pre-packaged snacks and light bites. Expect things like crackers, cut fruit, pre-packaged sandwiches and salads, biscuits and instant noodles.
The only thing I found worthwhile was the onigiri, because since when have onigiri not been worthwhile? The rest of the items were forgettable, though the lounge at least offered a hot option in the form of dim sum and kung pao chicken.
While the food selection wasn’t very big, at least there was a wide range of drinks: a digital soda dispenser, WMF and Nespresso coffee, Lipton tea bags and a self-pouring beer and whiskey highball machine.
Self-serve spirits and wines were also available, plus Choya umeshu.
Two red and two white wine options were offered: one of each from France and Japan. None them cost more than S$15, so set your expectations accordingly.
The KIX North Lounge has its own toilets, so you won’t need to leave the lounge to answer the call of nature. No showers are available.
The KIX North Lounge is a perfectly serviceable facility if all you want is a quiet place to relax and charge your devices before a flight. It’s quite limited in terms of catering, however, so those who need a proper meal are better off finding something in the main terminal.
I find it very strange that the two major Japanese carriers have yet to reopen their Osaka lounges (and perhaps someone with a better understanding of the context can enlighten me). Until they do, the KIX North Lounge, basic though it may be, is still more than what Priority Pass or Singapore Airlines passengers can expect.