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KIX-Thai Royal Orchid Lounge (international)

I was excited for my first visit to Kansai Airport, built on a manmade island outside of Osaka.  I had seen the Discovery Channel special about its construction.  I had the opportunity to experience the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge for my flight from Japan to Thailand.

The lounge is located conveniently right across from the departure gate.  Kansai has this shuttle system where each shuttle line only goes between the main terminal and one set of gates.  So I didn’t have the opportunity to explore other lounges.  The lounge is rather small feeling.  It has low ceilings and is long and narrow.  It seats about 60 total mostly in chairs and small sofas.  There is one large 50 inch LCD TV at the far end of the lounge playing a local Japanese station.

My flight was departing at around midnight so there was no meal service, only snacks, but I do not know if there are meals during meal times.   Snacks were fairly extensive for a lounge this small at this time of night.  There were nuts and crackers, sandwiches, and cookies.  There was the required onigiri, and even a salad with Japanese Kewpie dressing.  And without fail, my favorite lounge amenity, a beer robot.  This one was different than the ones I am used to because it tilts the glass back to pour without too much foam and then flips it back upright to put the head on top.  Japan and their beer robots may be the end of bartenders at sports bars.  In addition to the beer robot there is also beer in cans, and a number of self service hard alcohol options.  There were also instant miso soups; I had the one with the enoki mushrooms and watercress.  It came in a lacquer bowl and had a small cube of dehydrated soup at the bottom.  Then you just used the same hot water kettle for the tea to make your soup. While no real hot food offerings were available, the beer robot and varied snack and cold food offerings did not leave me hungry or dissatisfied.

There is free wifi in the lounge as well as two PC’s for use.

The lounge was quite busy.  The plane I was flying on didn’t even have a large business class, so I can’t account for the crowd in the lounge.  This would be my only negative comment about the lounge.  It wasn’t unbearable, but made this small lounge feel smaller.

Access is for passengers flying business or first class on Thai Airways, or Star Alliance Gold members.  My advice if you are a Star Alliance Gold member flying partner ANA, is to use this lounge when there isn’t a Thai flight departing, so the lounge will be relatively empty when you use it.

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