As far as airport lounges go, there are a few legendary ones that a seasoned traveler permanently has on their bucket list- destinations such as “The Wing“, Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong facility, or maybe the world class Lufthansa First Class lounges in Frankfurt. Then, there’s The Club at PHX. An outdated relic, this lounge offers only mild relief from the busy Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor. Despite the questionable entrance, dated furniture, and general lack of amenities, I couldn’t complain too much as my visit was complimentary. Thanks to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card and it’s included Priority Pass membership, I’d be drinking and snacking for free today.
The Club at PHX is awkwardly located in a far corner of Terminal 4. One can’t help but wonder if the omnipresent American Airlines didn’t have some input on it’s location. Can’t have any competition for their Admirals Clubs. Either that, or they’re simply trying to save on rent.
Once one has ventured far from their likely departure gate, you’ll find the club entrance through a suspicious opening and up a suspect flight of stairs. I kept my head on a swivel while navigating to reception. I had this nagging feeling that I was about to cross that ominous “off limits” line that could jeopardize my priceless TSA Precheck enrollment.
Access and Reception
Friendly and quick, the lounge receptionist swiped my PPS membership card and ushered my traveling companion and I in without any hassle. Protip: if need be, use the wash facilities before you enter, as there are none inside, weird.
Facilities are really where The Club at PHX shines, uh, I mean bores. While the basics are covered, nothing is even close to outstanding or memorable.
Edibles and Non-intoxicatings
The selection was minimal, but actually quite tasty. The danishes appeared very fresh, not dried out at all. I didn’t have any of the fruit, but it looked good. Non-alcoholic drinks were par for the course, bottled water, some fruit juices and canned soda. An actual surprise, was the quality of the coffee. It was actually pretty good. However, I was disappointed that no to-go cups were offered. Had to leave my little cup of joe in the lounge. Sad, because I really liked it.
This was the type of bar I’d picture in someones basement. No, seriously, about 5 feet wide, generic oak with a mirrored back. Pretty sure I saw the same one at Costco last time I was looking for man-cave swag. Aside from the 80’s dive bar aesthetics, the selection covered all the usual bases with mid-shelf liquors, and mass-market beer. As it was only 8:30 in the morning, I decided to wake up with a mimosa. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick service and size of the pour. The bartender cheerfully brought me my drink and even handed me the rest of the mini-champagne bottle, nice. Come to think of it, I guess an opened bottle of bubbly isn’t going to be doing anyone else any favors. Never heard of the brand, but when you’re drinking before noon, who cares.
While everything else about this club screams mediocrity, the condition of the furnishings is downright disgraceful. Actually more worn than the terminal seats. Other than wanting to immediately wash my hands after sitting in one, they were kinda comfortable. I guess that’s what happens when who knows how many decades of weary travelers have been breaking them in.
So here’s an interesting fact, this club ceases to allow Priority Pass members in at 3:30PM Phoenix time everyday. Why would this be? I had to ask because that seemed awefully early to close down, I mean right before rush-hour. What were they thinking? Well, turns out, The Club at PHX turn into a British Airways First Class lounge in the evening. Wow, I was disappointed when I got in for pretty close to nothing. If this was where I had to spend my time prior to boarding after spending upwards of $5000, I’d have some harsher opinions.
So would I go back to The Club at PHX? Of course I would. Who says no to free booze before a flight. At 8 in the morning on a Saturday it was relatively empty, and it certainly did beat the terminal, if only just.