Read more from this trip – Thanksgiving in Florence:
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
- American Airlines Business Class New York to Madrid (JFK-MAD)
- Hotel Spadai – Florence, Italy
- Iberia Business Class Florence to Madrid (FLR-MAD)
- Iberia (A350-900) Premium Economy Madrid to New York (MAD-JFK)
Lounge Visit Details:
- Date visited: December 1, 2019
- Where: FLR – Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola / Florence Airport
- Class: Business Class Lounge
I arrived at the Florence Airport 2-hours before my 12:27pm Iberia business class flight to Madrid. For domestic flights in the US I tend to arrive to the airport as close as possible to my flight time. When flying an international route for which there are few alternative fights, I’m pretty prescriptive and try to arrive to the airport at least 2-hours prior to scheduled departure time. How do giraffes kill time before their flights? In airport lounges of course.
At low traffic, seasonal outstations like Florence airlines rarely have dedicated lounges and instead use contract lounges. A contract lounge is a joint airport lounge not affiliated with any particular airline and are used by multiple airlines’ premium passengers. Generally speaking they don’t tend to be very nice and are certainly not worth arriving early for.
The Aeroporti VIP Club is located on the 1st Floor of the departures terminal immediately after the duty free shop. Note that the lounge was formerly known as the Masaccio Lounge.
Customers in Business Class on Iberia can use the Aeroporti VIP Club. OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members can also access the lounge irrespective of class of travel and may invite one guest to join them; however, the guest must also be traveling on a flight operated and marketed by Iberia.
The Aeroporti VIP Club is also a Priority Pass Lounge, but access may be restricted due to space constraints. The lounge is also affiliated with other lounge access program including Lounge Club, Lounge Pass, Diners Club International, LoungeKey, Dragon Pass and GIS.
The lounge is small and was very crowded when I visited it on a Sunday morning. There are several different seating areas, which are well suited for those traveling with companions.
There aren’t any windows in this lounge so don’t come in expecting tarmac views. In addition to the lack of windows there’s also a lack of power ports. In lieu of charging facilities there’s a single antique computer workstation, which I didn’t see anyone using during my visit.
The lounge has a conference room space separated from the main lounge area by double glass sliding doors. If you need to charge your electronic devices I recommend you head here to take advantage of the numerous power ports. There’s not much privacy in this space since the seats are placed closely together.
An interesting feature of the lounge is a hanging brass newspaper stick holder. It holds newspapers in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.
Food and Beverage
The food selection was fairly limited. They had tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, tomato flat bread, crackers, potato chips and nuts.
There was also a variety of pastries and pies. For those looking for a healthy option they had apples and bananas.
A hot pasta dish was also available. It looked burnt and seemed as if it had been sitting out for awhile so it was a hard pass.
Perhaps the best part of the lounge was the Cimbali professional espresso coffee and cappuccino machine loaded with Illy coffee beans. These machines can produce a killer cappuccino.
The cold beverage selection was respectable. They had Coke, Coke Zero, Coke Energy Drink, Fanta, Red Bull Sugar Free and Sprite. The Coke Zero was in tiny cans, which I appreciate. Sometimes you don’t want a full soda. I find it surprising when I see Red Bull in airport lounges, but I suppose some people prefer it over coffee.
In the other refrigerator they had yogurt, pre-packaged salads, pre-packaged sandwiches and several beer options. I avoid pre-packaged salads in lounges like the plague. The juices from pre-packaged chopped salad leaves can increase the risk of salmonella poisoning. Food poisoning is the last thing a giraffe wants before an international flight.
At around 11:30am the lounge attendants brought out a selection of wine. The sight of cheap wine caused a mad rush to the buffet area. Instead of forming an orderly queue people just huddled in front of the wine. Options included Bersano Antara Sauvignon Blanc ($13 per bottle) and Lamberti Ca’ Preella Pinot Grigio ($9 per bottle),
First Class Giraffe Not Impressed
The Aeroporti VIP Club is your only lounge option when departing from the Florence Airport and it’s not great. It’s small, crowded, doesn’t have many power ports and I wouldn’t touch the food options. You may be better off waiting at the gate in Florence.