There’s a hidden VIP service in Prague Airport Terminal Two. No need to queue for check-in, nor security – just relax in a VIP lounge and use a private security channel.
If you have only hand luggage and a boarding pass
If you have only hand luggage and a boarding pass, you can decide to save money and head straight for the standard security. There isn’t currently a fast-track available for business/frequent flyers, nor to purchase. If the queues are long and/or you can afford 850 Kč (34 EUR) per person, turn around and walk to the opposite end of the terminal.
The sign says Erste Premium Lounge and looks more like an advertising billboard than signage.
The elevator takes you to the entrance.
Everyone loves a red carpet!
After that it becomes slightly confusing. There is an automatic door that leads to a private security channel – but you can’t immediately use that unless you hold a premier card issued by Erste Bank. You need to continue past that door and enter the lounge on the right. At the desk, announce that you wish to purchase a lounge/fast track pass and pay 850 Kč.
The friendly lounge agent then stuck a gold sticker, with BEK inscription, on my boarding pass. I then continued into the lounge.
The food and drink options were okay. Bohemia Sekt, beer, wine, stronger alcohol, open sandwiches, cold plates and a couple of hot dishes. The lounge was empty and so I wondered how long the hot dishes had sat waiting. It’s a pity they don’t offer some cooked to order plates. Don’t expect a Cathay Pacific nor a Virgin Atlantic lounge!
The bathroom also had showers, although I’m not sure if towels are provided.
I left 40 minutes before my flight was boarding. I was flying Ryan Air to Pescara, Italy – they use buses to the aircraft and so you need to be at the gate early.
The private security channel accepted my Gold BEK boarding pass. It was so nice to clear security in this way – no queues, no rush.
If you have luggage to check in
If you have luggage to check in, then you need to book this service at least 24 hours in advance – and it costs more; 1599 Kč (63 EUR) for one person, 2499 Kč (99 EUR) for two people.
On the date of your flight and more than 90 minutes before your departure, arrive at the information desk in the departure hall of Terminal 2. An agent will pick up your luggage and process your travel documents. Then the process is the same as for just hand luggage described above.
If can afford this service then it’s an obvious choice – just like you’d rather fly in a private jet than on a commercial aircraft.
Even if you think the service is expensive, it’s well worth considering and a small price to pay for a hassle-free departure experience.
If you arrive at the airport late and security has a long line, this service may mean the difference between catching or missing your flight – you’d likely skip the lounge and be paying 850 Kč for the private security channel.
All the staff monitoring the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox were friendly, helpful and dealt with my enquiries in English.
Questions I need to ask
Can the lounge check me in and print a boarding pass when using the 850 Kč, no luggage service? I remember my last flight with Air Malta in December, where online check-in was unavailable and we had to wait in line for over an hour with just hand luggage.
Are towels and toiletries provided to those who want to use the showers?
Will they consider a cooked-to-order hot food service? I would think this would actually save money as currently the buffet food goes to waste.
Is the private check-in with luggage service available to Erste Premier Card holders?
I’ll update this article with their answers.
NOTE: Václav Havel Airport Prague, formerly Prague Ruzyně International Airport, has two terminals; Terminal Two serves flights within the barrier-free Schengen travel, Terminal One serves the rest of the World. This VIP facility is only available for passengers departing on flights from Terminal Two.