Lounge Review: Escape Lounge – OAK Airport

We visited the Escape Lounge – OAK Airport in October 2017 during a weekend trip to the Bay Area.

Lounge Location

The lounge is located between Terminals 1 and 2, but closer to the Terminal 1 gates. If you’re flying Southwest, your flight will be leaving from Terminal 2, which means you’ll have a little bit of a walk to get to and from your gate. All other airlines at Oakland depart from Terminal 1.

Access to Lounge

We had access to the lounge via our AMEX Platinum card. For paid access, it’ll cost you around $40-45 per person.

It sounded like some of the other people in the lounge had access because they were flying business class on Norwegian Airlines, which surprisingly flies OAK-LGW once per day.

Lounge Layout

The lounge felt pretty small as we walked in. The first section is comprised of lounge-style seating. Next, there was a buffet style counter with food and beverages followed by more seating, which is set up dining-style. There’s also a bar at the far end of the lounge where you can order complimentary alcoholic beverages.

The one interesting thing was that this lounge did not have its own bathroom. This meant you had to actually exit the lounge and use the public restroom. The public restroom was only a few steps away, but I usually prefer when lounges have their own restroom since airport restrooms aren’t always the best maintained.

Our Experience

We spent a good amount of time in this lounge since our flight was delayed leaving Oakland. When we first arrived the food was pretty picked over, but within 10-15 minutes they put some fresh food options out. I actually enjoyed their food, in particular the little cast iron bowls of mac & cheese. I was able to make a pretty good meal out of the food spread.

You could tell the lounge had been pretty busy before we arrived because to the right of the bar was a stack of dirty dishes and trash (see picture below). Staff were kind of working to get these cleared away, but it seemed to be a low priority. It took about 30 minutes before that area was clean and clear of dishes. I’m not sure if there wasn’t another space for these things, but it was kind of unsightly to have all this stuff in plain view.

The bartender was friendly and chatty as were the other lounge attendants. The lounge was moderately busy during our time there, but not packed full. I definitely enjoyed being able to watch the Sunday Night Football game with a free dinner and gin & tonic while my wife worked on homework.

Closing Thoughts

I would definitely visit here again if we had a flight out of Oakland (which I’m sure we will). There isn’t anything special about this lounge, but it’s a good place to grab a bite to eat. I don’t think I’d ever pay $40 for access, but definitely worth stopping by if you have the AMEX Platinum card.