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Recently, my mom and I flown on an Air Europa flight from Madrid to Tel Aviv. I’ve flown through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport many times before and am quite familiar with their intense security procedures. In fact, I’ve written about my favorite ways to get to Tel Aviv on points and miles — both direct and one-stop options.
However, this was my first time flying Air Europa so I had no idea what to expect. You can find my review of Air Europa here. While at Ben Gurion Airport, we had time to visit the Priority Pass accessible restaurant, Schmoozy Bar as well as the Dan Lounge.
Spoiler alert: Air Europa was a decent experience but food and drink for purchase was expensive and unappetizing. Thank goodness for Priority Pass and Ben Gurion’s airport lounges before my flight.
Breaking It Down:
How To Get Priority Pass For Free
In my opinion, Priority Pass membership is one of the most valuable benefits of a premium travel card. Priority Pass Select (which includes two guests) come with cards like the Platinum Card from American Express, the Business Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. It’s nice to have a (somewhat) quiet place to go to when you have some time to kill at the airport. The included food and drink are a nice perk too.
The Schmoozy Bar, A Priority Pass Restaurant
I have a Priority Pass membership that comes with my Business Platinum Card from American Express, so we headed straight to the Schmoozy Bar for some breakfast.
It’s located in Concourse E, next to the electronics store. All eateries at Ben Gurion, including lounges, are kosher, which means they either serve meat or dairy dishes. Schmoozy Bar is a meat establishment so you won’t find any of the more traditional breakfast food. That also means black coffee only, they can’t serve milk or cream.
Here’s the menu:
I don’t eat gluten and didn’t feel like a salad at 7:00am, so I asked for their sausage dish to be served without bread. I got a couple of tasty hot dogs with some fried potatoes and a small side salad, and my mom got a smoked salmon wrap. We were both well under the 100 NIS per person Priority Pass restaurant allowance, and that included tea.
Dan Lounge, A Priority Pass Lounge
After we finished breakfast, we still had some time before boarding so we headed over to Dan Lounge, also a Priority Pass lounge. There are two Dan lounges at Ben Gurion airport, identical to each other, one each in Concourses B and C. We went to the one closest to our gate in Concourse B. I’ve been to both of them before, and you really can’t tell them apart.
These lounges serve all business class passengers flying out of Ben Gurion. When checking in for a flight in business class, they’ll give you a little ticket to take to the lounge. Only El Al, Israel’s flagship carrier, has its own lounge for their own elites and premium cabin passengers.
At breakfast time, the lounges serve typical Israeli breakfast including yogurt, cottage cheese, a selection of breads and a couple of light salads. The fare doesn’t change much later in the day, because as I mentioned earlier, this is a kosher establishment and they can either serve meat or dairy, not both.
There’s self-service alcohol section, but there’s no bar.
The lounges are usually pretty crowded since all business class and Priority Pass passengers have access, but thankfully, the entire airport looked half empty around 8:00am, so there were plenty of seats. There is one big seating area and another self-service drinks station on the opposite end. Overall, this is not a bad place to spend a few minutes before the flight.
I realize this was a short review, but there isn’t a whole lot to write home about for either of these Priority Pass venues. While not especially luxurious or memorable, Ben Gurion’s airport lounges offer a little respite from the crowds, and the free food is not bad either.
Have you been to any of Ben Gurion’s lounges? What did you think?
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