Worth a stop: A review of the Turkish Airlines Priority Pass lounge in Miami
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When you think of Turkish Airlines, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably not Miami. Well, the airline just opened a lounge there in a terminal that it doesn’t even fly from.
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Turns out that this interesting strategy is great news for premium credit card holders because it’s open to Priority Pass members. Although it’s not nearly as expansive as the airline’s flagship lounge in Istanbul, it’s got above-average food and drinks and a good amount of space. Read on to find out why it’s worth a stop.
The lounge is in the E Concourse of Miami International Airport. This pier handles flights on Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Qatar and Royal Air Maroc. It’s also connected airside to the D Concourse, home to AA’s Miami hub operations.
If you’re not flying from the D or E concourse, you can still access the lounge, but you’ll need to re-clear security before heading to your gate.
You’ll find the lounge just as you pass security at the E pier. There’s plenty of signage pointing to the lounge; you shouldn’t get lost. You’ll end up climbing a few stairs and going down a narrow hallway before getting to the lounge entrance.
The lounge is open 24 hours daily.
If you’re entering with Priority Pass, note the maximum stay is four hours.
Since Turkish is a Star Alliance member, you can also access the lounge with a confirmed same-day boarding pass for any Star Alliance flight in a business- or first-class cabin. This means that United biz-class passengers can enter the lounge, regardless of the length of the flight.
Also, if you’re a Star Alliance Gold member, you can enter the lounge when flying any Star Alliance carrier.
There’s a small corridor with a six-seat conference table and a business center with two computers located just after the lounge entrance.
Interestingly, Turkish decided to prominently display a model of its now-retired Airbus A340, as opposed to the brand-new Boeing 787.
You’ll find the main relaxation area just past the conference table. There are four rows of seating spread throughout the room, with the buffet dividing the room in half.
Seats alternate between two-top dining tables and sofa chairs.
There are also seven counter seats close to the restrooms.
Though I visited early in the morning before the sun was up, you’ll get tarmac views of the E Gates when it’s light out. They’re not as good as the nearby Amex Centurion Lounge, but I appreciate as much natural light as I can get in an airport.
The lounge is small and will definitely be susceptible to overcrowding.
Fortunately, Turkish built a much larger overflow room to help combat this problem. According to the lounge manager, that extra space is only open when the lounge gets busy.
Since I was visiting at 4:15 a.m., the room was closed, and all I got was this one picture through the glass-paned door.
For such a small space, I was impressed with the variety of amenities.
To start, the lounge features three private, single-use restrooms.
The password-protected Wi-Fi was speedy at 109 Mbps download and 118 Mbps upload.
For such a new lounge, I would’ve expected there to be more easily accessible power outlets. Not every seat had an outlet, and with the ones that did, the outlets weren’t well-placed.
Last, there were four showers in the lounge. The rooms were beautifully clad in white marble, a nice touch of luxury.
Food and beverage
Though I visited at breakfast, the food selection was definitely above average for a Priority Pass lounge.
The buffet assortment featured scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, turkey bacon, oatmeal, cheese plate, sandwiches, croissants and cereals.
There were many decent-looking desserts, including bite-sized brownies, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies and fresh fruit.
I didn’t get a chance to look at the all-day dining options, but if it’s anything like the Turkish Lounge in Washington Dulles (IAD), you’re in for a treat.
There were lots of high-quality drink options. The bar had a good assortment of nonalcoholic drinks — bottled water and multiple varieties of Coke, Seagram’s, Fanta and Sprite. There was also a selection of canned beers including Heineken and Yuengling.
The hard liquor was self-serve. The options were solid and offered good variety. There was Bombay gin, Absolut vodka, Bacardi rum, Aperol, Bailey’s and others.
There were also four bottles of red and white wine.
Since I was visiting so early, I got quite familiar with the coffee machine. It wasn’t great, but it got the job done.
All in all, the drink selection was top-notch for a Priority Pass lounge.
The Turkish Airlines lounge is a welcome addition in Miami. Although it’s an interesting strategy to open a Star Alliance lounge in a Oneworld-dominated terminal, I’m not complaining. And since it belongs to Priority Pass, you can enter for free just by holding the right credit card.
The lounge itself is nice. It’s small, but there’s a much-needed overflow room. Add in the tarmac views and the above-average food and drinks, and you’ll enjoy your time there.
All photos by the author.
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