Much to our delight, we found that Goma offers one of the best lounge services that we’ve ever experienced. Now, to be fair, this is definitely not luxury at the highest levels: there are no lounge pools, and the champagne doesn’t exist at all. But sometimes all you really need is a lounge that is going to do all the heavy lifting for you while you sit on a sofa and sip at your whiskey. And that, my friends, is exactly what this lounge offers. If you decide to use the Swift Salon VIP lounge in Goma, you won’t even need to go to the terminal until its time to board. This is airline lounge gold. To learn how, read our Swift Salon VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM).
Our Trip – Swift Salon VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
This flight was a dream of ours. We’d wanted to visit the DRC for ages, but some sort of personal commitment or armed uprising always got in the way. Finally, our schedules aligned with the rebels’, and we were able to safely enter Kivu province via the border with Burundi. We got a gorilla visa at the frontier, and then drove up to Goma for a few days before heading to the great city of Kinshasa. This was a domestic flight, but it still required immigration checks on both ends.
The Facts – Swift Salon VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
We know what you want to ask: what card should you use to enter the lounge. Priority Pass, maybe? The answer: no. This lounge takes cash. The fee is about $30. Well, cash in the figurative sense, since you could also pay with a credit card. The point is that you won’t be getting in for free.
What you get for that money is basically a nice place to sit and succour from the absolute mosh pit going on in the terminal. Friends, take it from me, if you can avoid going into the terminal, you should. It is crowded and chaotic, and difficult to manouver if you don’t know what you’re doing. It will be impossible if you don’t speak French, becuase you’ll need to go to multiple officers and pay multiple fees, in addition to just trying to get checked in. The better course of action is to come straight to the lounge, give them the $30, give them your passport, and let them take care of it all for you. They will come back to you when everything is done.and give you your documents. When its time for you to board, they will escort you to the gate and make sure you get on the plane. It’s amazing.
So, if you’re sold on the deal, what you should do is SKIP the terminal and head to its right. There you’ll find a separate building that houses the lounge, as seen in the picture above. Just go inside and tell them what flight you’re on.
The Space – Swift Salon VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
Now, once your documents are being processed you can find yourself a place to sit in the Swift Salon VIP. There are three different rooms in the lounge, all divided by glass. We preferred the furthest front room, largely becuase it had a sliding door that led to the outside. If you want to step out, or if the AC gets too cold, you can go out for a few minutes. There were also plenty of electrial outlets. Given the endless delays for our departure, this was a blessing.
There are couches and armchairs in each of the rooms and they all seemed to be plenty comfy.
The lounge can get a little full, but there should be room for everyone.
The ample use of glass makes the lounge a great place to watch all the craziness going on outside. Depending on what bigwig is coming or going, you may have the treat of seeing massive armored vehicles driving by.
The Food – Swift Salon VIP Lounge Review – Goma (GOM)
Your entry fee also entitles you to snacks, namely some sweet, loafy breads or some samosas. We ended up getting both, as pictured below.
The samosas were deep friend and quite good.
Now, if you want something more, or something more substantial, you’ll have to have it arranged for. THe lounge does not have food, and does not have a buffet, but they do have a super genuine staff that really wants to make you comfortable. Really, they’re awesome. And one of the things they will do for you is arrange food. If you give them some money, they will go over to a restaurant and get a meal for you, plate it, and serve it up. This is highly recommended, becuase the food is GOOD. Seriously, the mustardy glaze on the chicken in the picture below was amazing. The fries weren’t bad either.
When you arrive in the lounge you’ll be asked what you want to drink. Coffee, beer, whiskey, or soda: the choice is yours. However, choose wisely, becuase this is your only free choice. Anything else you want you’ll need to pay for, water excepting. We made the mistake of selecting the coffee, thinking we’d have a beer later. Definitely should have had the beer first, since that would have been the free one. Everyone else in the lounge seemed to be going with the Red Label, but we weren’t in the mood.
They have it, but it wasn’t super fast or reliable. We’d suggest bringing your own mobile connection.
Functional, and located inside the lounge.
This little lounge was very cool, and had its own unique little set up. Definitely a good place to splurge on lounge access, even if you’re not accustomed to doing so. You’ll be particularly glad you did if you flight was delayed, as is likely. We suggest that you bring a little extra cash to tip the staff, and particularly the person who deals with all the bureaucracy for you. They’re all really nice and committed, and their job is actually really hard. Battling those crowds is really exhausting. Thankfully, the Swift Salon VIP makes it all better.