[Review] Escape Lounge MSP
The Escape Lounge MSP at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport opened its doors in 2016. In 2017, Escape Lounges (BDL / RNO / MSP / OAK) announced they would be exclusively accessible with the American Express Platinum card. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here
In this post, I will be doing a full review of our favorite lounge at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The Escape Lounge MSP, located in Terminal One.
How To Access The Lounge
The Escape Lounge MSP is part of the American Express Lounge Collection. In order to access the lounge, you must hold either the personal or small business version of the American Express Platinum credit card.
With the card, you are able to bring up to two guests in with you for free. However, you will need to pay $45 for each additional guest. You can also access the lounge without the Platinum card for $45 (or $40 if you pre book your visit on their website). The lounge is open daily from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Location of the Escape Lounge MSP
The lounge is located at the north end of the Airport Mall on the Mezzanine Level, above the entrance to Concourse E. Once through security at Terminal One, turn to your right and proceed to the north end of the Airport Mall (toward Ike’s Food & Cocktails & French Meadow) and the entrance to Concourse E. Just before the entrance to Concourse E on the left is a staircase and elevator. Proceed up the stairway to the mezzanine level (or take the elevator to level 3) where you’ll see the entrance to Escape.
The Escape lounge is much smaller than the Delta Sky Club at the other end of the Airport Mall next to Concourse F, but in my opinion, consistently has a better food offering and has far less traffic. This is a much quieter option than the Delta Sky Club.
There is typically a hot sandwich or taco bar option, a few different soups and a full salad bar. The type of food available will depend on the time of day. I have experienced breakfast, lunch & dinner at the Escape Lounge MSP and have found them all to be great. They usually have a decent spread of desserts as well. You can check out the food menu here. Keep in mind the menu rotates periodically.
The bar is always well-stocked with complimentary beer, wine and liquor. There are also premium options available for each that range in price from $4 to $15 each. I have never paid for the premium options as I find the free options to be perfectly sufficient. You can check out the full drink menu here.
One thing that could use some work at the Escape lounge is the bathroom situation. In order to use the restrooms, you have to exit the lounge from the door to the right of the bar (pictured below) as there are no restrooms within the lounge. Once you are done, you have to go all the way around the outside of the lounge and then re-enter through the main entrance. While this isn’t the biggest deal in the world, it seems like a slight design flaw.
There are also plenty of beverages that can be taken with you on your way to the gate. This is a great way to save money as you will not have to grab overpriced beverages from an airport convenience store. You can see bottles of Perrier in the photo below, however the Escape Lounge sadly no longer offers these.
There is also an espresso machine located in one of the main seating areas. Not having to pay for your coffee or stand in line at the nearby Starbucks is so worth it.
The lounge has a variety of comfortable seating with plenty of outlets to plug in all of your electronic devices. As mentioned above, traffic is typically much quieter than the nearby Delta Sky Club so finding a good spot should be no issue at all.
Many of the seats facing the window offer great views of the tarmac and the downtown Minneapolis skyline. There are also plenty of good seating options if you are traveling solo or with a larger group.
The lounge also contains a few different flight boards to keep you up to date on the status of your outbound flight. These have become less important in recent years with the advancement of airline smartphone apps, but it is still a nice touch.
The Escape Lounge MSP has quickly become one of my favorite domestic airport lounges. Just for holding the American Express Platinum card, you will get unlimited access and can bring in up to two guests. It is a quiet oasis that offers a great alternative to the nearby Delta Sky Club or sitting at the gate. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here.