I’ve been waiting to visit an Escape Lounge for a very long time.
A few visit opportunities had arisen in the past but every time it seemed like it would just be inconvenient or more practical to visit another lounge. So finally on a recent layover at MSP it was the perfect time to have our very first Escape Lounge visit!
Below, I’ll give you an overview of what the lounge was like when visiting in the fall of 2021 when things were still not quite fully opened.
Escape Lounge MSP airport terminal location
The Escape Lounge at MSP is located in Terminal 1 on the mezzanine level above the entrance to concourse E.
It’s pretty hard to miss and can be found right above a chocolate factory in case you have a little sweet tooth before making your way to your flight.
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You can take the stairs up to the lounge or take the elevator. Once you are in the elevator, select level three to get to the lounge.
Access & hours
Access to the Escape Lounge is free for American Express Platinum cardmembers. In fact, I was also able to bring Brad in as a complimentary guest. (Platinum cardmembers can bring up the two guest for free.)
You can also get in for free if you have an American Express Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card but you will have to pay $30 for your guests.
If you don’t have a card that gets you in for free you can book a visit and pay out-of-pocket.
If you book your visit online ahead of time the entry price is $40 but if you pay when you arrive it is $45.
As of the time of this writing the open hours are 5am to 8pm.
I’ve seen several Escape Lounges that open really early so these lounges seem to be a good alternative when other airport lounges don’t open until later in the morning.
Due to coronavirus the standard dining options were not available for self-serve.
Instead, a staff member came around taking orders.
The staff member was extremely personable and very attentive.
In fact, I would even say the service level we received on our visit was on par with American Express Centurion Lounges.
We used the QR code found on the table to pull up the digital menu on our phone which I have provided a photograph of below.
I was surprised to see that they have a pretty extensive menu.
For breakfast they had a lot of different options I would not expect like fruit smoothies, breakfast tacos, French toast, etc.
We ended up trying the creamy tomato bisque, turkey sandwich, and soy ginger salmon along with a couple of drinks.
I was pretty happy with the quality of the food.
I wasn’t expecting the most gourmet experience in the world and I felt that these food items properly held me over while we passed time during the layover.
I would put the food quality on par with a decent international Priority Pass lounge.
At 5000 ft.², the lounge felt pretty spacious to me.
The seating looked like it had been rearranged for social distancing but there were still quite a few different types of seating options with some offering more privacy than others.
Thankfully, the lounge was not doing assigned seating which really can be annoying when you get placed in a type of seat you would never choose on your own.
Anytime I can get a good view for plane spotting I will take it so we took the back corner of the lounge on a table with great views.
There are quite a few tables with nice views.
Some of these have power outlets and USB ports for your charging convenience although I would read my article on using public USB ports before using them.
The bathroom situation was very interesting.
I had to exit the lounge in order to use the bathroom which was essentially just a normal public airport bathroom that was a bit hidden in a hallway.
The back door leading to the hallway does not allow for re-entry so I had to go around to the front to get back in the lounge.
One of the perks of airport lounges is not dealing with the busy and often times disgusting bathrooms with an airport terminal so it was a little disappointing to not have a quality and connected bathroom.
The bar area is also where I believe the buffet is typically set up but I wasn’t sure.
Again the lounge asked that you make all food and drink orders with the staff member who would be coming around to your table so I’m not sure how everything is typically set up.
Visiting airport lounges is still not the same due to the pandemic which has altered the dining experience. With that said, I enjoyed my visit to the Escape Lounge. With free entry from the Platinum Card, it felt nice to enjoy a lounge that was not overcrowded and that had some decent food offerings.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.