On my last trip from Stockholm to Buenos Aires (in Lufthansa First), I got the chance to try the newly open American Express Pop Up Lounge at Stockholm Arlanda Terminal 5. This lounge is actually not a lounge: it is a designated area of the airport that Amex has prepared to provide service while their permanent American Express Lounge is being renovated.
The concept is nothing new, similar to the Pontus in the Air Lounge, where you get a table and choose among a few dishes from a pre-defined menu. The dishes and drinks are still crafted by the renowned chef Pontus Frithiof.
The Lounge is located at Pier F, and there’s a maximum of one visit per day for both Centurion (with up to two guests) and Platinum members (with up to one guest). Note that this lounge is not accessible to Gold or any of the SAS Amex cardholders.
American Express Pop Up Lounge (Stockholm arlanda Terminal 5)
The American Express Pop-up Lounge is located in Terminal 5, towards Gates F26-F69. At the lounge’s entrance, they require registration of your American Express card and boarding pass.
The layout feels a bit cramped, with rows of tables like in a cantina (not a restaurant), but at that time, the lounge wasn’t too full, so the staff did their best to accommodate us with some privacy. It can feel a bit invasive when the lounge is full, and there’s not so much room to leave stuff or move around. There are only a couple of sofas in the back of the lounge.
There were a few breakfast options and a few lunch/dinner choices. You can order more than one meal if you get hungry.
I went for a pretty solid Caesar salad, Coca-cola zero, and water. No alcohol for me this time, but there was wine and other drinks options.
I also had a coffee after the meal.
The toiles is where you can tell that the lounge is part of the airport that they reconditioned to be a lounge. The bathroom really feels like an airport. At least they were cleaned and smelled fresh.
There were a few other things around, like a newspaper bar, a wine display, and a cookie and fruit buffet.
My visit to the American Express Pop Up Lounge was short, nice, and pleasant. The lounge was almost empty, and I got solid service from warm staff members. I was there for about 30 minutes, and I managed to eat, get a nice coffee, and use more private restrooms. I think it works for a quick stopover when you have no other choice.
That said, you can still see that it is not a proper lounge, and it is a temporary solution. It can feel a bit cramped, particularly during rush hours. I can imagine that for Centurion members, the service can come across as a bit disappointing, considering the card fees.
Overall, it was a nice visit for me, but if you have access, the SAS Gold Lounge at Stockholm Terminal 5 provides better service in a more comfortable environment. I am eager to try the finished renovation of the permanent lounge.
The full lounge information is available on the Amex website.