Review: Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (OneWorld)

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I visited the Sala Montale Lounge at Milan’s Malpensa Airport after my American Airlines 767 flight from New York JFK. The lounge is operated by a third-party on behalf of a number of OneWorld airlines that use the lounge for their premium cabin passengers and their elite status holders.

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 21

Rather than describing the layout of the lounge to you here’s a plan that’s on the wall in the lounge, I’ll use this to describe the various areas open to guests.

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 02Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Plan

Ignore the red dot…that’s just where this plan is in the lounge. The entrance to the lounge is to the right of escalators where you’ll see a white arrow (which is pointing out of the lounge and towards the escalators).

As the plan shows the lounge is divided into various different areas. The are in the top left corner is marked as “VVIP” and I thought it may be a separate seating area for OneWorld Emeralds and First Class passengers…but if it was, it wasn’t open when I visited.

The large are in the top right is furnished with armchairs, small sofas and a few tables here and there:

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 04Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Seating

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 08Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Seating

The lounge is very light and bright thanks to floor to ceiling windows which wrap around two sides of the lounge (starting from the top area right the way around the right side of the lounge and ending at the bottom).

The next area of the lounge, as shown on the plan, is the “food area” which is where you’ll find coffee machines….

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 09Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Food Area

Selections of sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese….

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 10Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Food Area

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 15Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Food Area


sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 18Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Food Area

Very un-Italian Pot Noodles (I can’t believe they serve these in an Italian lounge!)…..

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 16Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Food Area

And a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at a number of self-serve stations:

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 17Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Beverages

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 11Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Beverages

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 12Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Beverages

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 13Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Beverages

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 14Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Beverages

If there was any hot food I didn’t see it. I was in the lounge at around 8am so I  would have expected to see hot breakfast items out on the counters if any were served.

Next to the food counters was an area reminiscent of a school cafeteria with table and chairs set out for dining:

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 07Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Dining Area

This area also has a high-bench set against the glass walls of the lounge – not a bad place to catch up on some work while looking out over the airport apron:

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 06Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – View From Lounge

The bottom-right area of the lounge (if you’re looking at the plan) has more arm chairs and small tables….

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 05Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Seating

…..which backs on to a business/work area which is set up with a number of PCs set up on a high-table with stools:

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 01Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Business/Work Area

Just past this part of the lounge is a separate room dedicated as a “family room” which, presumably is for the kids…..

sala-montale-lounge-milan-oneworld - 03Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Family Room

….although I was very tempted by the bean bags.

The lounge also has a smoking room and shower facilitates which I didn’t try out because they cost an absolutely ridiculous €16. That was the most annoying part of the lounge for me because, having just got off an overnight flight across the Atlantic, I really felt like having a shower but there was no way I was going to pay €16 for something most other OneWorld lounges provide for free.

The second most annoying this about the lounge was the distinct lack of power sockets. There weren’t many of them around and I had to hunt around to find somewhere to plug-in my MacBook Air – that’s pretty poor going for a OneWorld lounge.

Bottom Line

As lounges go it’s not terrible and it’s not great.

The fee for a shower and the shortage of power ports are definitely big issues for the lounge and those things combined with the fact that there didn’t seem to be any hot food available at breakfast-time meant that I didn’t leave the lounge wishing I had more time to spend there.

The staff seemed friendly enough and, as a place to while away an hour or so before a European flight, it’s perfectly acceptable. But, as a place to refresh yourself after an overnight flight from another continent, it’s definitely lacking on a number of counts.


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