Review: British Airways & Qatar Airways OSL business class lounge Oslo airport

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Today’s review is by reader Simeon. Please note we rarely accept reader reviews and do not offer payment. 

For avid readers of TLFL such as myself, Oslo is often mentioned as one of the best Ex-EU departures for business class seats on Oneworld partners such as Qatar and British Airways. (read the ex Scandinavia and Helsinki guide here) So with that in mind, I was excited to check out the OSL Lounge which is the chosen lounge for Oneworld partners in Oslo. My excitement dissipated pretty quickly. 

The OSL Lounge is located in the terminal on the mezzanine level by gate E8. There are stairs and a lift to take you up to the lounge beside the Starbucks. 

The first sign that indicated to me that this may not be an amazing lounge visit, was the actual sign for the lounge which listed all the airlines. There were so many of them and a real mix of Scheduled, Low Cost and even Charter airlines. There are 4 lounges in Oslo airport. 3 of these are  SAS lounges and then there is the OSL lounge. This means the OSL Lounge is used by the many “other” airlines which fly from OSL. 

I walked across the walkway which stretches across the shops below and the lounge is clearly visible in front. 

There was a small queue when I arrived into the lounge with one member of staff on duty, however, she was very efficient and the queue moved along quickly. I handed her my phone displaying my boarding card, and as I have BA Silver status I was “guesting” in my husband. She scanned my boarding card, but then asked me for my BA membership number. I’ve never been asked this before, and surely she had all the information she needed in front of her? However, as I know my number by memory I gave this to her to which she smiled and welcomed us into the lounge.

On first impressions, the lounge seemed quite dark. The lounge has windows on both sides. The left side are views of the inner terminal, whilst the opposite side has a limited view of the airport ramp and a small glimpse of the runway outside  However even with the external view, the windows are partially covered with a dark net curtain which just added to the darkness of the lounge. There was plenty of low level lighting in the lounge to ensure we didn’t sit in complete darkness.

We found some comfortable swivel chair sweats right by the external window. The seats were individual red seats with a table and plug socket beside them.

Now we’ve secured our seats it was time to get a drink. My tipple of choice is a stiff bourbon and coke, however, I often find I’m in a lounge which doesn’t have bourbon, so I switch to cognac or a nice wine/champagne. 

I have yet to go into a lounge that offers alcohol which offered no spirits whatsoever……until now. I walked around the lounge twice thinking I may have missed a secret door which led into a room with an amazing array of drinks. But alas there were none. So, what did they offer? Very, very little. They had a lovely selection of wine. You have 2 choices to choose from. A white and a red. There is no fear of dropping a bottle as the wine is dispensed by tap!!! I couldn’t tell you what type of wine it was. There was no label or card which explained what wine would be dispensed. Just simply white or red!

Wine on tap – literally!

Next to the wine were 2 buckets. One held some champagne bottles and one with Clausthaler beer bottles. I decided to head to the champagne bottles. At least it was champagne and I can read the label to determine which drink I was consuming. I needn’t have bothered. First of all, it wasn’t champagne. It was Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine from Francois Montand, which a quick google search shows it can be purchased for £8 per bottle. By this point, I was exasperated and poured myself and my husband a glass. My husband took one sip and ran off in search of orange juice to add to it. I decided to grin and bear it.

For those who do not drink alcohol, the OSL Lounge has a good selection of teas, a coffee machine and randomly a jar of Nescafé Gold instant coffee displayed proudly on the shelf. There is also a selection of cookies, biscuits and crisps. For fizzy drinks, there is also a soda dispenser with coke and sprite etc and 2 taps dispensing still or sparkling water. The lounge also has some limited juices. I saw Apple, Tomato and Orange juice.

 

So after the disappointment of the drink selection, I wasn’t holding out much for the food. I was right. I didn’t even attempt to get a bite to eat. I took one look at the paltry offering and just decided to give up. By now I was completely deflated and exasperated. I did treat myself to a few cookies though!

Food offering

Food menu

The lounge does have a great selection of screens which display the flight information. There are no announcements made in the lounge, so it’s key you keep an eye on your flight.

At least there were cookies!

Whilst at the lounge I popped to the toilet to check the facilities. The washroom was very small. Tiles missing in the ceiling. No toilet paper was available in both the cubicles and there is nothing luxury at all about the experience. 

Luckily I wasn’t in the lounge for too long. I was tracking my inbound flight on Flightradar24 and could see it was landing early. Previous experience has taught me that if everyone is at the gate early, as Oslo is not a congested airport there’s every possibility of us getting away early. I was right. We departed 10 mins ahead of schedule.  

The BA app told me my flight was at the gate and so 45 mins before departure I headed to the designated gate. It’s worth noting here that the OSL Lounge is after security but before passport control, so it’s important to leave a little time to have your passport checked and get to your gate. Luckily there was no queue and the plane was parked at a gate very close to the lounge. 

So, my final verdict. I always try to get to an airport 3.5hrs before departure to give me plenty of time to check-in, clear security and have maximum time in the lounge. If I was to fly from Oslo again I would head to one of the airport’s restaurants for food and drink and only come into the lounge if I only required a quiet place to sit with access to a power supply. Considering Oslo Gardemoen is the main international airport for Norway, I’ve been to regional UK lounges (such as Glasgow BA Lounge) which provides a far better offering than that of the OSL Lounge.  

You can find information on all BA lounges here.

21 Comments on "Review: British Airways & Qatar Airways OSL business class lounge Oslo airport"

  1. Having been in that lounge in the last month, I think this is an incredibly harsh review of it….. I didn’t go in search of spirits as my visit was pretty early in the morning but that aside I was pleasantly surprised.

  2. At least you had the opportunity to have some form of ‘champagne’. The Oslo lounge is well stocked in all areas compared to the Qatar shared lounge at Athens airport which can only be described as dire.

  3. I worked for a Norwegian company for 4 years flying to Oslo regularly and never knew there was a lounge . Probably best because I was always sprinting to the F gates .

  4. Having only used the OSL lounge four times, I found thr review sniffy. But then I didn’t plan to spend 3 1/2 hours there. Nor did I expect a gourmet meal (I was happy with breakfast each time.) And where in Oslo can you get that bottle for £8?

    Your correspondent omits a serious plus: They have Jaffa cakes! 🙂

  5. Looks like you were only in the regular side of the lounge. There is that plus the premium side off to the right on entry. Having been in this lounge on a few occasions, I find it rather pleasant and the sparkling wine is adequate. I am sure I remember drinking a whisky and Coke in there on more than one occasion too.

    If this reader found this lounge to be poor then I feel pretty sorry for the rest of their travels as there are many poorer lounges around Europe alone.

    I can see why you accept few articles by readers because of this. If you have been to this lounge before or knew anyone who had, it might have been worth asking if this was commensurate to their experience prior to publishing.

  6. I’ve used this lounge many times, including twice in the last couple of weeks and this does seem a harsh review. I’m not usually looking for spirits in there but it’s a great place for breakfast and coffee and a bit of peace and quiet. I’ve never seen it busy or lacking seating, and I’d rate it higher than most BA operated lounges.

    • Given the descriptions supplied by people who quite like this lounge, surely it’s a bit daft to rate it higher than most BA operated lounges, which have a good range of drinks and food even at really small airports.

  7. If you didn’t like the OSL lounge, then I hope you never transit through Stockholm ARN Terminal 2 (or Terminal 5 for that matter)…. I agree with your other reader that the separate OSL premium lounge to the right at the entrance is quite nice…

  8. I have been to this lounge and I would say it’s not that bad although I was always there early mornings for QR flights. Some other European lounges are worse. Last time I was allowed to the premium area, which is on the right just after the reception through a door. That had much better interior design and better food, drinks selection. View from windows is to the check-in area.
    Also due to the fact – as the writer mentioned too- the flights are cheaper from Oslo, so cannot really expect too much from the lounge.

  9. Wow! Incredibly unbalanced review, clearly someone who has not been to many lounges in Scandinavia, you could see that it wasnt going to go well if confirming your BA number is going to put you out.

  10. Totally agree with your review. Transited through OSL many times and the lounge is consistently poor. The food is never touched and always looks like it has been out for days (which it probably has). Table clearing is poor and on every visit there is only one member of staff working to look after the desk, food, table clearing, tidying up, toilet attended etc. Why oh why Qatar uses this lounge I do not know, but the only positive is you know you will have great service on the plane.

  11. ClaytonTheCruton | 17 November 2019 at 11:12 am | Reply

    I take your OSL and raise you ZAG which I experienced this week – rolls wrapped in cellophane anyone, lack of bubbles pah! This place didn’t even have tomato juice to make a bloody mary with!

    Knowing Norway a little I have to mirror the question regarding the ability to by a bottle of champagne/ sparkling wine for £8. If you can get half a larger for that in Norway then you’re doing pretty good lol

  12. This review is ridiculously harsh! Been to this lounge and found the cold buffet tasty and healthy, and is much much better than the stale sandwiches BA offers out of Glasgow. Let’s not mention the BA lounge in Amsterdam whose catering consists of chips and cherry tomatoes.

    The lounge also isn’t that dark and has a lot of nice timber finishes, creating quite a homely vibe.

  13. A very poor review. Anyone that googles the price of a drink before they taste it makes me smile. Obviously clueless about alcohol prices in Norway.

  14. Have used this lounge many times including a few weeks ago. The chap on the front desk was very friendly and recognised me from a previous visit,

    The lounge is fine – I tend to look at both the left hand lounge and the Premium lounge as GGL. Food is pretty good and have always seen spirits available even first thing in the morning.

    There are far worse lounges in Europe.

  15. There are certainly far worse lounges (Bordeaux and Bologna spring instantly to mind) than OSL. And NOT noted in the article is that there is a shower (entrance beside/behind the front desk) and you will have to enquire there about availability.

  16. I disagree with this view. In my experience, it is spacious, well thought out and relaxing. I have even spent one particularly long multi-hour transfer there and enjoyed it. The selection of food and drink is perfectly adequate. I have been to many, many worse lounges and would have no hesitation in returning.

  17. I would agree with the review – as lounges go, asides from the decor, the lounge is no more then a space. when i was there I was invited to meals served from oven ready meals. I choose not to eat or drink that day but even the soft drink options was pretty below bar.

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