It’s official: the first domestic Chase Sapphire Lounge opens next Tuesday, May 16, at Boston Logan Airport (BOS). (A Chase Sapphire Lounge is open in Hong Kong.)
We were invited to attend a special media sneak preview yesterday — and here’s your first look!
Where is the Chase Sapphire Lounge in Boston?
The Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club is in the airport’s Terminal B to C Connector between gates B39 and B40. It is not connected airside (post-security) to Terminal A (where Delta operates).
Landmark-wise: you’ll find restrooms to the lounge’s left and a Hudson store to the right.
What Are the Chase Sapphire Lounge Boston Hours?
The lounge will open daily from 5:00 AM until 11:00 PM.
Guests may enter up to three hours before their flight’s departure time. Exceptions may be made for travelers on longer, same-day connections.
The club is a departure-only lounge. You will not be granted access upon arrival if Boston is your final destination. The same policy currently in place for all The Club locations (and American Express Centurion Lounges).
How Do You Get Into the Chase Sapphire Lounge?
Here is where things get interesting.
Lounge admission is complimentary for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders, who may enter the club and bring two guests. However, Chase Sapphire Reserve® members must be enrolled in the Priority Pass program (and, I presume, present their Priority Pass credentials.) Priority Pass Select membership is a complimentary benefit of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. (Activate it now if you haven’t yet already!)
But don’t get FOMO, American Express, Capital One, Citi, and US Bank cardholders. You, too, might be able to enjoy the Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club.
Why? How? You’re in luck if your card comes with a Priority Pass membership.
Because The Club operates the lounge, Priority Pass members and one guest are allowed access into the Chase Sapphire Lounge.
However (and this is a BIG “however”), that’s limited to one visit per year. If the lounge becomes one of your favorites — and it very well might — you’ll need to cough up $75 per visit after your once-a-year entry is exhausted.
You’ll take an elevator to the second floor and check in at one of these desks.
A Lounge Run By The Club
Many of us have visited lounges The Clubs, an independent operator of airport lounges. For example, we reviewed the San Jose (SJC) location and René visited the new lounge in Las Vegas. We usually get in through a Priority Pass Select membership or Lounge Buddy benefit through a credit card.
The Club locations are generally fine — nothing splashy or especially impressive. But their seating and atmosphere are better than what you’ll get at gate areas.
But The Club really stepped up its game here.
Inside the Chase Sapphire Lounge
I’m getting used to the larger lounges in the 25-35,000 square foot range. Lounges like Delta’s new T3 Sky Club at LAX, the G Concourse Sky Club at MSP, the New York LaGuardia Sky Club, and the new Sky Club at Chicago O’Hare.
So, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t exactly impressed when I learned the Chase Sapphire Lounge was less than 12,000 square feet. (Snobby, I know.) Now, 11,640 square feet isn’t tiny.
But that was before I stepped foot in the club.
It’s very well designed — and seems pretty big without feeling like you’re in a big hall. Granted, I visited during a preview when there weren’t many people (and their luggage) in the club. But parts of it felt homey — and almost like an apartment.
Capacity-wise, it seats 241 people. (It’s rated for 450 people total.)
There are a decent amount of tables and chairs near the buffets.
You’ll find plenty of power and USB power ports near most couches, lounge chairs, and bar seats. The “stand-alone” cafe seats don’t seem to offer that feature.
You’re still in luck, though, even if you don’t bring your battery brick and desperately need power. You can borrow one of these portable rechargers!
Just ask at the front desks.
Like the newer Delta Sky Clubs, the windows automatically adjust their shade to the sunlight outside.
There were maybe 100 people in attendance at the height of the preview. Here’s the internet speed.
Even if the speed drops when the place gets packed, you’ll probably still be just fine.
Food and Beverage
Here’s where the Chase Sapphire Lounge really turns into a premium experience — even above the vaunted American Express Centurion Lounges.
Guests can use a QR code — which are located throughout the lounge and location-specific(!) — to place orders from a menu offering a number of items — seven of which were created by Chef Douglass Williams of Boston’s MIDA and APIZZA restaurants. (The menus are below.)
There’s no additional charge for these items. In fact, everything in the lounge is included with your admission.
I tried several sample-sized items.
Oh. My. Word. They’re fantastic.
I momentarily blacked out when I bit into the beef meatball Parmesan sandwich. It was that good.
The Sticky Buffalo chicken drumstick was very tender — and packed some heat. I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods — and blinked tears out of my eyes within a few seconds. That said, it was good.
Finally, it was my duty to try the Sapphire Burger. The sample version I tried didn’t come with any cheese (which was a little disappointing). Nonetheless, the patty tasted good — and even retained some pink throughout. I’m a sucker for French fries — and these did not disappoint.
My only gripe: I wanted to try everything but was full! 🙂
Chef Williams created a buffet featuring some of his smaller items.
You’ll also find buffets offering Chase Signature self-serve options that will also be available at the other Sapphire Lounges when those open.
The lounge features a pair of hydration stations: one near the buffets and another back in sort of an apartment-style living room. (At least, that’s what I call it.)
Sodas and juices are limited to what’s stocked in their mini-fridges: think Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. You won’t find those gigantic touch-screen “make your own soda cocktail” machines in here.
There are a couple of bars for people who enjoy adult beverages.
One is this beautiful bar.
The other is a tap room offering four local beers: Downeast Cider House Original Blend, Wormtown Be Hoppy IPA, Notch Session Salem Lager, and Castle Island IPA. I don’t know if those selections will rotate throughout the year. The tables are made of locally sourced wood.
Because I’m a bourbon fan, I tried the Viaggiare. It’s made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Darjeeling tea syrup, lemon, and foam.
Beware: it’s difficult to taste the alcohol. They may go down easily for some people. I didn’t particularly love the drink. But it wasn’t bad by any means.
Go easy on the bartenders, folks. A few seem new to the more advanced cocktail world. (But they’re all very friendly.) I later tried an Old Fashioned — which was made in reverse and in a shaker: bourbon first, then simple syrup (almost as much of that as there was bourbon), and then bitters. Finally, the bartender shook the concoction for a good 20 seconds before pouring it into a glass with a lemon peel and cherry.
I look forward to visiting again when they’ve had some practice. 🙂
Lounges have implement the “local touch” trend for the past several years.
Most of those features are works from local artists (or prints featuring something local), food from local chefs, and drinks created by local mixologists.
The American Express Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas features images of Las Vegas icons — the Rat Pack, Elvis, etc. But other
One of the lounges I visited that really does a good job of incorporating a local vibe is the new G Concourse Delta Sky Club in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The color scheme was designed to evoke the feeling of a sunset over a lake. (I think it worked — and also looks like the Minnesota Wild’s colors!)
The Boston Chase Sapphire Lounge displays some artwork from local artist Silvia López Chavez.
(Some of the club’s other artwork is on loan from the J.P. Morgan collection.)
But the big, unique feature of this club is the taproom. Dana Pouwels, Managing Director, Sapphire Lounge General Manager and Head of Chase Sapphire Partnerships, and Jason Wynn, Head of Travel at JPMorgan Chase told me that because beer is so special to the Boston area, no other future Chase Sapphire Lounges will have a taproom.
So, I think that is kind of cool. (I’m darkly interested to discover what the Las Vegas Chase Sapphire Lounge’s unique room will be when that opens.)
Guests can treat themselves to rest pods and anti-gravity massage chairs.
The rest pods are available on demand. The massage chairs can be booked in 30-minute increments. Those may be reserved at the lounge’s check-in desk, at the Wellness Room check-in, or via QR codes available throughout the lounge.
Restroom and Showers
Here’s a look inside the men’s restroom.
Something I didn’t notice inside or outside the men’s room: motion-activated door openers. Those are available at all the new Delta Sky Clubs I’ve visited in the past four or five years. Perhaps they will be installed before the lounge’s official opening.
And check out one of the shower suites.
I also didn’t see any hand sanitizer stations. Again, this was a special media preview before the club’s official opening. Perhaps those, too, will be installed before opening day.
Something I, as a father, appreciate: a family room where kids can enjoy some time. There aren’t a bunch of toys — but just enough room where kids can entertain themselves while parents sit nearby.
There’s also a nursing room for mothers and their little ones.
The first domestic Chase Sapphire Lounge opens next Tuesday, May 16, at Boston Logan Airport. I’m very impressed with what I experienced during a preview.
The a la carte menu ordering feature is very nice — and the food I sampled was outstanding. The bar program needs a little work. But if you’re fine with beer, wine, and very simple cocktails, you’ll likely be happy.
I really like the lounge’s design. It’s definitely one of the more upscale and homey lounges I’ve visited. I like that it’s not rows and rows of seats and tables. Sure, you’ll find that here and there inside the club — such as in the dining room and bar areas. But the quaint living room vibe seems very cool.
I’m curious how the access policies will go over with everyone. They’re great, of course, for Chase Sapphire Reserve card members. But I wonder how many new cardholders Chase can win from other card issuers who get one annual taste with their Priority Pass memberships.
I also think Chase will have to offer some incentive (bonus points, etc.) for card_name holders to upgrade their $95 annual fee card to the $550 Reserve product. Chase may want to rethink its 5/24 policy and the rules that exclude current Sapphire cardholders from qualifying for another Sapphire card’s welcome offer.
I look forward to visiting again — and experiencing the other Chase Sapphire Lounges when they roll out.
(Eye of the Flyer was not compensated for attending this event and assumed all related costs.)
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