Review: Air France and KLM Lounges, Houston (Same Airline, 2 Lounges, Next to Each Other!)

Previous Installments:

The airport’s Executive Club has hot food, but no bathrooms. It’s non-descript and was busy while I was there. I didn’t stay long.

Instead, I grabbed my Priority Pass card and headed down to the middle of the terminal, and later to the end of the terminal, to check out two other lounges.

Terminal D is connected to the rest of the airport airside, meaning you can visit any of the airport’s lounges when flying out of there, for instance you can use a United Club if you’re a member.

What’s especially strange is that terminal D itself has both a KLM lounge and an Air France lounge — two separate lounges operated by Air France KLM. In the same terminal. An easy walk from each other. And with overlapping lounges. Even if they’ve got both on long term leases it seems gratuitous to staff and supply them both. Now, Air France’s Paris flight usually leaves just an hour after the KLM Amsterdam flight most of the time. But even if they needed both lounges to support the two overlapping flights it’s strange that they keep the lounges open throughout the day.

First up was the KLM lounge since it’s smack near the middle of the terminal.

I was immediately struck by the contrast in design between the airport’s Executive Club lounge and the KLM lounge, which was much warmer and welcoming.

While busy I had no problem finding a seat, with power ports.

There was a business center space and a dining area, though the dining area offered sandwiches and snacks as well as self-serve bar there wasn’t the array of hot items found in the earlier lounge.

This was my favorite lounge of the day. It was well-provisioned and generally bright, with restrooms inside. However I wanted to do my duty and check out the Air France as well so I headed down the corridor towards the end of the terminal.

I wasn’t going to visit every lounge in terminal D, however, since I didn’t have a means of visiting the British Airways lounge while flying Emirates and armed with a Priority Pass card. Years ago I would have — I had British Airways status, and BA used to have an ‘open doors’ policy of allowing their elites use of lounge regardless of whom they’re flying.

Instead I headed for the non-descript Air France lounge by gate 12.

The Air France lounge was pretty much empty and had windows. But no hot food, and no bathrooms. Still it was more stylish than the Executive Club.

There was a roped-off VIP area although it wasn’t in any way better than the rest of the lounge. Throughout most of my visit no other passengers were in the lounge and there was a staff member at the desk only. Yet I wasn’t temped by this area at all.

Ultimately one other passenger came in, and sat down in the dining area.

The KLM lounge was the best designed and most pleasant of three lounges I used in the terminal, and had its own bathrooms. What it lacked in outside views it made up for with splashes of color. So the KLM lounge was my favorite, accessible with a Lounge Club or Priority Pass card.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for the review. If fly through IAH at least twice a month but haven’t had time to get from terminal B to D. But when I do, KLM here I come.

  2. Wow – I fly to/through IAH all the time and for some reason it never occurred to me to venture beyond the UCs. Thanks Gary.

  3. You missed the key benefit of the Air France lounge.

    Real champagne for free.

    Not to mention that lack of crowding.

  4. The IAH KLM Crown Room looks very familiar to SkyTeam fliers who have been through AMS. The furniture is exactly the same as the furniture in the KLM Crown Rooms at AMS. It is even arranged similarly. That is the only other KLM lounge I’ve seen like that. The food in this lounge is actually better than the food in the AMS lounges. The IAH lounge furniture is also in better condition than the AMS lounges as IAH doesn’t receive the same volume of traffic of course. I like spending time in this lounge, too. Next time I’m in IAH, though, I must try the food at the Executive Club.

  5. We visited the KLM lounge today and did not have a priority pass or were flying with KLM. We paid $35 each and a way we went.

  6. Question – I have a priority pass membership and will be flying out of iah from terminal c. I am assuming it is possible to access terminal d to enjoy the lounge even though that is not my terminal of departure, correct?

  7. KLM lounge web site states that you pay for 3 hrs stay. What happens if you need to stay longer, say 4:30 hrs?

  8. I do i have to fly KML to enter the their lounge or as long as i have the same day departure flight and holding a priority pass? Thanks

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