It was spring 2022 with the biggest COVID-19 travel restrictions gradually being lifted it was time for the first big holiday for my boyfriend and I. As I wanted to convince my boyfriend that travelling without his beloved car can also be fun I decided to drag him along on a Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Reflection, starting from the Italian port of Civitavecchia near Rome.
Thanks to the cruise line we were able to book a very favourable business class airfare from Brussels to Rome. We did however have to fly with a stopover in Madrid on the way over, flying with Spanish airline Air Europa.
We arrived rather early at the airport at around three hours before departure as we needed to take a COVID Antigen test two days before our cruise and decided to this at the testing facility at Brussels Airport, avoiding having to find out how to do it in Rome. Upon arrival at the airport we spotted that the check-in desk was already opened as KLM, Air France and Air Europa use a common Skyteam check-in area for all their flights, enabling us to immediately drop our bags. Thanks to our business class fare we were able to use the SkyPriority lane and where checked-in in not time.
After a swift security check thanks to the fast-lane we headed over to the Diamond Lounge, the airport business lounge in the A-gates area for Airlines that are not a Star Alliance member or Brussels Airlines partner. It is upstairs in the lounge corridor at the far end from the Brussels Airlines The Loft lounge.
While the Diamond Lounge isn’t nearly as nice and attractive as Brussels Airlines’ the Loft it has improved a lot over last time I used it thanks to a long overdue refurbishment. Gone are the early 2000’s design replaced by a more contemporary design. There are two windows, one overlooking the remote gates of Ryanair Land and the other looking out over the gates areas down below in the main area of the A Gates.
The catering is nothing special, there is a choice of eggs and other warm breakfast foods as we were there in the morning as well as cold cuts and bread. There was also a vast offer of different (alcoholic) drinks, but bizarrely enough we didn’t find the staple of airport lounges, a bottle of sparkling wine.
All in all the Diamond Lounge is now an okay lounge thanks to its overdue refurbishment. It still isn’t anything special but it certainly beats waiting in the terminal.