Air France KLM Lounge – ORD

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The Air France KLM Lounge at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5 serves as a generic lounge: in addition to Air France and SkyTeam passengers, it functions as a contract lounge for multiple other airlines, and also welcomes Priority Pass and Lounge Club members.

Air France KLM Lounge - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge design

Lounges at Terminal 5 are hardly luxurious due to the overall lack of real estate. Fortunately, Air France got one of the better locations — the club is reasonably spacious, albeit narrow, and is located on the window side of the concourse, and thus benefits from daylight. In an unfortunate tradeoff, however, there is no bathroom (or showers) so patrons will need to use the public facilities outside.

The club features a modern, but rather plain design. The red, white and dark tones are vaguely reminiscent of the airline’s flagship facilities at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, although the whole setup feels a bit cheap. The room is adorned with black and white photos of the world’s major cities.

The entrance and reception desk are awkwardly located in the center of the lounge, in a space saving measure. To the right is the main seating area and the buffet, while to the left is the business center, as well as more seating. The main seating area is comfortable, although power outlets are few and far between, and the whole layout feels cramped, busy, and lacks privacy. The business center, with black hardwood floors, counter style tables with partitions, and power and USB ports throughout, offers a quieter and more private alternative, as long as one does not mind barstool seating. The business center also benefits from daylight – a welcome amenity at an airport lounge.

When we visited the lounge was poorly up kept and did not feel clean overall – we hope that it was atypical. We would also prefer silence in lieu of the light background music.

Air France KLM Lounge - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge amenities

The food and beverage selection is probably the key strength of the lounge, even though the presentation lacks appeal. Next to a buffet with a range of basic snacks is a fridge is loaded with fresh sandwiches (such as chicken tikka sandwiches), salads (including kale salad, caprese salad, and vegan salad), humus, and other items. They’re tasty and satisfying, and we commend Air France’s attempt at providing fresh food despite the lack of catering space. Self-serve alcoholic beverages are available: on the buffet is a small selection of red wines, as well as hard alcohol including Hennessy Cognac, while at the bottom of the fridge are white wines and Nicolas Feuillate Champagne. Again, the selection is far superior to the presentation — Champagne and white wines belong in ice buckets, not to the bottom shelf of a drink cooler.

Air France KLM Lounge - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

Air France KLM Lounge bottom line

Overall, the Air France KLM lounge at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5 is hardly a destination – the design won’t earn any awards, and with such broad access policies, one shouldn’t expect luxury – but as far as Terminal 5 lounges are concerned, it is one of the better options, given the quiet business center and the selection of sandwiches and salads. Still, the crowds, tight spaces and lack of bathroom can be annoying. Air India passengers may use the SAS Lounge as a quieter alternative.

 

 

The pluses
  • The open business center with daylight.
  • The selection of sandwiches and salads.
The minuses
  • The lack of space and the crowds.
  • The lack of bathroom.
  • The lack of power outlets.
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