Airline lounges undergo periodic updates and remodeling. In late 2018 through the first few months of 2019, the Skyteam Airline Alliance lounge at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) closed to be “redecorated internally.” It is always nice to have a lounge redecorated, but remodeling seemed unusual for this lounge because it had only been open for a few months.
The Skyteam lounge is located in PEK Terminal 2 near Gate 11. It opened in early 2017. These photos show the lounge’s appearance during a visit in March 2018.
My impression then was it was a plain lounge but very nice with adequate seating and food and beverages.
Going through PEK in December 2018, I photographed the a display stating that the lounge was closed for redecorating.
The lounge remained closed into the first half of 2019. Travel in October 2019 brought me back through Beijing. I was flying on Delta Air Lines. Because Delta is a Skyteam airline, Delta Diamond status provided access to the Skyteam lounge.
Getting on the elevator I was anticipating seeing a different lounge than the one I visited before. I was anxious to see what had changed.
When I got off the elevator in front of the check-in desk I was surprised and puzzled because everything seemed to be the same as it was in 2018. I asked the agents about being closed for remodeling. They didn’t speak much English, and I spoke even less Chinese. It seemed they were saying there had been no changes and offered no reason why the lounge had been closed for months.
‘Remodeled’ Skyteam Lounge
Here are photos showing how the lounge looks after reopening. The appearance looks unchanged.
Seats are well padded and most have easy access to electrical outlets.
Food and Beverages
A large buffet occupies the center of the lounge.
Beer, wine, spirits, juice and soft drinks are located to the right of the buffet. Alcoholic beverages aren’t premium but the quality is decent.
Two areas offer more privacy than is available in the seating area.
For work or internet browsing, the free WiFi is more than adequate. There are magazines and newspapers for those who prefer to get their news and entertainment the old-fashioned way.
Any lounge serving international flights should have showers. This lounge meets that requirement in addition to providing lavatories.
It is unusual for a lounge to undergo renovation within two tears of opening. Even more peculiar was that after being closed for months for redecorating, I could not see that any changes were made. Furthermore, The staff’s inability to identify any changes or offer any explanation for closing adds to the mystery. In any event, semi-private recliners, showers, decent food and beverages, comfortable seating, and good WiFi produce a lounge that meets the basic needs of international travelers.