Lounge Review: Alfursan Golden Lounge Jeddah

Over the Christmas holiday season, I had a seven-hour connection at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA). Looking at information online, it appears that I was in the South Terminal of the airport – one that is used by Saudia as well as low-cost carriers flynas and flyadeal.

Reception desk at the Alfursan Lounge in Jeddah. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

After reading a few things about Jeddah’s airport I was certainly confused about what I had seen. All flights were boarded via remote stand, things looked partially constructed, and the terminal was incredibly crowded.

I was reading descriptions like “amazing” and “spectacular” but what I was seeing was far from it. However, after reading an article by Blue Swan Daily after my experience, I realized that I was likely in the South Terminal. Apparently there is a plan to move all south terminal flights over to the new terminal sometime in early 2020. A few have already moved over. We asked Saudia for details on the moving plan but they haven’t responded to us yet.

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Alfursan Lounge in Jeddah’s South Terminal. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Space and seating

Getting to the lounge was extremely quick and easy after transferring off my flight from Kuwait. After security, it was just 20 meters to the right. The reception consisted of a quick boarding pass scan and that was it.

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The lounge is by no means large – definitely more on the small and busy side. I arrived at around 2000hrs but by midnight the lounge had really filled up with passengers awaiting their long-haul flights.

The couch I grabbed in the corner was comfortable enough and I even got an hour or two of nap time in.

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There is a large diversity of seating options. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The lounge is rather small. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Food

The food was quite decent at this lounge. There are a few different ‘sections’ for food here. They include:

  • Cold salad bar
  • Mini sandwiches
  • Desserts and sweets
  • Arabic coffee station
  • Hot food section

Here are some photos of these areas:

The salad bar includes greens, cheese, fresh-cut vegetables and more. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
The sandwich selection at the Alfursan Lounge in Jeddah. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Desserts were definitely a highlight. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Dates and Moroccan sweets sat next to Arabic coffee. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying
Hot food was quite good here. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Hot food included pasta, steamed vegetables (including asparagus), chicken biryani, plain rice, and beef kofta. The hot food was all pretty good, but the highlight for me would have to be the chocolate mousse!

There was also a ‘creamy pumpkin soup’ available. It was quite delicious but it also tasted as if someone dumped far too much white pepper into it – made the spice just a little too overpowering.

Beverages

There are two identical beverage stations on opposite sides of the lounge. Each station consists of a coffee machine, a hot water dispenser, cans of soft drinks and bottles of fruit juice – and bottled water.

There are two identical beverage stations at the lounge on opposite sides of the facility. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

Other remarks and conclusion

The Saudia Alfursan lounge at KAIA’s South Terminal in Jeddah offers a good place to rest with some decent food. WiFi was a decent speed and easy to access.

The one criticism I had – which is identical to the Alfursan lounge in Riyadh – is the amount of single-use plastic being used at this lounge. All cutlery was single-use plastic. The only available water to drink (that isn’t boiling hot) are in tiny bottles. It seems like several lounges in the Middle East I’ve been to are particularly bad with this.

But all things considered, I’d recommend the lounge for anyone passing through on a long layover – giving it an 8/10.

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