- Orlando International Airport is home to two shared-use lounges that are open to Priority Pass members.
- Both operated by the same company, The Club, the two lounges are on opposite sides of the airport separated by Orlando’s massive central terminal building.
- Despite featuring many of the same amenities, there was a clear winner in terms of size, seating, and overall quality.
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On a recent trip to Orlando International Airport, I was able to use a perk of my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card to access Priority Pass lounges at the airport to make my layover more enjoyable and pass the time quicker.
The airport has two Priority Pass lounges, each on opposite sides of the airport in separate airside terminals that require exiting the secure area and going back through security to travel between. They’re both shared-use lounges operated by The Club, a lounge operator with locations across the US and in London.
With time to kill and a desire to see just exactly what the program has to offer, I decided to visit both during my visit to see which one was better and discovered why it would be worth going through the extra hassle to visit one over the other.
Here’s what I found.
The first Priority Pass lounge I visited was located in Airside 1, home to such airlines as JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines, and Silver Airlines.
In the centre of the airside terminal awaited The Club MCO, located on the ground level next to the concourse’s main seating area.
This lounge, unlike its counterpart, is open primarily to members of lounge access programs such as Priority Pass rather than premium cabin flyers.
The space consisted of two rooms featuring a sitting area…
And a dining area that housed the buffet and bar.
Dining options in the lounge were varied with a hot and cold food buffet, as well as snacks and dessert options.
Cold food items included wraps, bruschetta, and sandwiches, which were very tasty…
Though the presentation could have been better.
The hot food items were kept warm in buffet-style warmers with options including tortellini alfredo, curry chicken, and jasmine rice.
Though it was replenished often, the hot items didn’t last long once they were put out. and proved to be very popular with the lounge patrons.
The soups of the day were kept nearby, with Italian wedding and tomato basil on tap.
After a quick taste test, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food, especially the tomato soup.
The lounge also featured some nice touches including fruit-infused water selections,…
A snack bar with pre-flight favourites including gummy bears and trail mix,…
Refrigerated soft drinks…
Multi-drink coffee machine…
And a full-service bar with complimentary alcoholic drinks.
The bar itself was largely for show, though, as staff regularly walked around and proactively took drink orders. All drinks were complimentary, though a tip was expected.
The lounge quickly filled up as the night went on and finding a seat became more and more difficult.
I ultimately resorted to a bench in the rear section of the lounge that was showing its age.
There was complimentary WiFi and a quasi-business centre that featured a computer, for public use, though most were using it as another dining table due to the lack of space.
Eventually, some space opened up and I scored a table seat in the busy section next to the buffet.
The lounge was adjacent to the JetBlue ramp, but the views were pretty obstructed since the lounge was on the same level as the gates.
Surprisingly, the lounge also catered to youngsters with a game room complete with Xbox One and games such as GTA V and Call of Duty.
It wasn’t a bad set up…
After my short stay in the smaller lounge, it was time to head to the other side of the airport to The Club MCO’s flagship. It would require me to take a tram to the main terminal…
Walk passed Orlando’s sleeping man art exhibit…
Head back through security, and take another tram to Airside 4.
After a brief stint on the waiting list, it was finally time to head up to The Club.
Unlike its counterpart, this lounge was located upstairs to offer more space.
In addition to members of programs like Priority Pass, airlines such as British Airways and Lufthansa send their premium passengers to this lounge, and I could immediately see the difference from the lounge I’d just came from.
Instead of the jam-packed lounge I’d just came from, this one had bounds of space with no shortage of places to sit and relax rather than having to lie in wait for a spot to open.
Though it could’ve used a vacuum in some areas.
The food selection was nearly-identical, though the buffet spread in this lounge was more organised and featured a few additional items.
The hot food was the same and served in the same type of warmers…
And seemed to be filed more often.
Similarly, the soups of the day were the same, Italian wedding and tomato basil.
The cold food selection was more organised and, in turn, more appealing than in the other lounge.
Instead of sandwiches that were falling apart, the presentation was spot on.
This lounge also featured a larger dessert selection with cookies and brownies…
And a self-serve soft drink station.
Other amenities were largely the same including the snack bar…
fruit-infused water, coffee machine…
And refrigerated soft-drink selection.
The highlight of this lounge, however, was the dedicated bar area that was more inviting than its counterpart.
Unlike the previous lounge, the bar on this side was a proper place to relax and have a drink, not just another seat in a crowded lounge.
This was easily one of the most popular sections of the lounge.
Drinks were similarly complimentary and went well with the offerings from the snack bar.
Everything in this lounge was bigger and better. In terms of seating, there were plenty of choices including in the main salon,…
Private lounging area…
And other general seating areas.
There’s even a larger business section for travellers to get work done…
And a larger game room.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad place to kill a layover and was more relaxing compared to the hustle and bustle of its counterpart.
It was easy to see why Priority Pass ranked it the highest in its network as it checked off nearly all the boxes with ease.
Even if it required going through security twice, I’d still make the effort to visit this one over the first lounge I visited. Although both were operated by the same company, there was a clear winner.
I was almost disappointed to leave.
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