Since we will have access to lounges during our travel due to Quan’s status on Star Alliance and our Priority Pass card, we thought we would do short reviews of the Lounges we experience.
Today is the Business Lounge at the Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgystan. This also marks the end of our month in Central Asia, a place where we have explored new places, stretched ourselves, and met some amazing people.
Most international flights for Europe and the Middle East depart from Bishkek early morning and ours was no different with a 6am departure.
We started the morning prior in the mountains of Altyn-Arashan in the Issy Kul Region and our journey to the Bishkek Lounge took no less than:
- 3 hour horse trek
- An afternoon in Karakol, Kyrgystan
- A 6 hour mini bus to Bishkek
- An adventure in finding a 24/7 diner in downtown Bishkek
- A 30 minute taxi from downtown Bishkek to the airport
(A big plug for Taksim Cafe for an eccentric all night diner in downtown Bishkek)
We had read that early morning was the busiest time for Manas Airport and were anxious to get through check-in and customs early so we could get some rest in the lounge before our flight.
Here is our summary of tips for other travelers aiming to arrive early for a Manas flight:
- Get dropped off downstairs at the Domestic Terminal – there is a security screen to enter the airport and lines are shorter downstairs as most early morning flights are international
- Check in counters open 3-3.5 hours before the flight. Checking in at this time guarantees you no wait at the security or customs line
Finding The Business Lounge
Turn right after security. Walk past the long hallway past duty free. The business lounge is upstairs at the end of the hall.
How We Rate It
- Amenities: There is 1 Shower shared by the entire lounge. They offer beer, wine, and soda. Top shelf liquor is available behind a cash bar. There is a limited selection of dry cereal, fruits, cold cuts, and pastries. Ice cream is available via the cash bar. The wifi is fast (much better than the free wifi offered by the airport).
- Atmosphere: Early on very quiet as we had the lounge to ourself for the first hour. Around 4am individuals start arriving but no more than a handful leaving plenty of room in the small lounge for the varied guests.
- Attitude: The staff were efficient and polite and tracked each passengers’ departing flight time, not typical of every lounge.
- Overall: C+ compared to others, A given the size of the airport. This is a perfectly functional lounge with basic amenities and a perfect place to hide out for a few hours before an early morning flight.
This lounge did save us a night of hotel and for this we are grateful!