The allure of an airport lounge can be overstated in so many ways. The pitch of your premium credit card is heavy with words like “escape” and “quiet” in selling it’s lounge access benefits. But so often you’ll walk into a lounge hoping to disconnect and eat a bagel only to turn the corner after check-in to that feeling of aggravation and betrayal. “This is an escape?!” you’ll think, staring at a terribly picked-over food display and sea of occupied seats.

Enter the odd “public lounge”. At Tokyo Narita, we found one just underneath the Delta Sky Club. The Sky Club was chuck-full of delayed and angry premium flyers and even though the food was good and plenitful on our visit, there was little calm. The public lounge arguably, WAS a true escape. Although it lacks a premium “feel” (and food is BYO), I founnd very few people here and the space was quiet. A relief from the crowded hallways of terminal 1.

Tokyo Narita Public Lounge in Terminal 1360° view of the public lounge at Tokyo Narita Terminal 1.

This is decidedly NOT a premium lounge in that there are no perks OTHER than a reasonable place to sit and relax. But when paid lounges can’t deliver on their promise of providing a calm oasis from the main terminal, this is a good alternative. Rows of seating and a good number of spots to plug in and recharge your gear make this a good spot to kill time while you wait to board a flight. Compare the open seats in the public lounge pictured above compared to what we found upstairs in the Sky Club:

Narita Sky Club

Very few places to “escape” inside The Delta Sky Club at Tokyo Narita on our visit.

The public lounge is easy to find directly below the Delta Sky Club:

Public Lounge at NRT.

Go up for a bite to eat, then down to get away.

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