For me? Yes.
For you? That depends.
Ah, the elusive airport lounge, with its ever-changing rules, special tickets, access cards and secret handshakes. Or at least it seems like that, right? It’s fairly easy to chill in one, I’ll show you how.
Whether or not gaining access to airport lounges is worth it, depends on what you value. Below you’ll find my 5 Reasons Why I Value Lounge Access. But, before I jump into that, I’ll let you know how to break into the lounge screaming, “I’m important, look at me! I have lounge access!” <hair toss>
How To Get Lounge Access
Many airlines will allow you to indulge in unlimited wine at their lounge simply by flying a shit-ton of miles and gaining status.
I currently am a Delta Gold Medallion member and have access for free, only when flying international though. If you want to access it and are flying on Delta metal, you can pay for a single-day pass for $59.00.
There are quite a few credit cards that allow you free access or discounted access to lounges. These are the ones I have:
The American Express Delta Platinum card gives me Delta Sky Lounge access for $27, regardless what class I’m flying in and whether or not it’s domestic or international.
The Citi Prestige card gives me a Priority Pass Select Membership (with unlimited visits and 2 free guests). Priority Pass Lounges vary from airport to airport, some are luxurious and offer lots of amenities. Some are basic and you’re only going in so you can try to cure your tequila headache with unlimited water and greasy food. Ah-hem, Cancun. It additionally gives me American Airlines lounge access (only when flying American though).
The Chase Ink Plus Business card gives me Lounge Club membership, which is two complimentary visits each year and subsequent visits for only $27. They pull from very similar (and a lot of the same) lounges as the Priority Pass.
Annual fees: There are various fees for some credit cards. You need to weigh whether or not those fees are worth it to you. For me, the fees pay for themselves in the end and then some.
You can become a member outright of particular lounges: airlines, credit cards and third parties. I am a member of them through my credit cards and airline status, but you can also pay a yearly fee to become a card-carrying member of any one you fancy.
American Express has super posh Centurion lounges at specific airports, just for their Platinum Card members. I’m not fancy enough though…yet.
Annual fee: Varies
5 Reasons Why I Value Lounge Access
1) It’s free (or costs me $27).
We all know paying for anything in the airport is runway robbery. (Get it? I’m hysterical.) Often these lounges have magazines and newspapers to read, while you’re sipping your free wine and munching on delicious cheese.
2) Peace and space to work.
Now that I’m working remotely more and have a husband living 1500 miles away, this is important for me. I don’t need to elbow anyone for an outlet and pay for wi-fi. You get wi-fi for free at all the lounges, not to mention the space to actually put your laptop down and work.
3) Free drinks, food and amenities.
I once paid $15 for Woodford Reserve, on the rocks, at an airport bar. $15! I was on my way to the fam for the holidays and it was much needed to prepare. That said, $15 is absurd! I can eat and drink for free until my heart’s content in a lounge. Even if I’m paying $27 to get in, it’s cheaper than a meal at the airport. Some lounges have better offerings than others. My favorite so far is Star Alliance Lounge at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. I was there chilling on my way to Australia. Did that sound snobby? Good.
Plus, lots of major lounges have massage chairs, spas, barbers, even a place to get your nails done.
4) Avoid the masses.
As exciting as it is for me to listen to your loud phone conversation, I’m usually happier to get away from it and chill in a lounge. Sadly, though, you can run into business douches who talk just as loudly in the lounges. Either way, it’s nice to get away from the elbowing that occurs in the gate area.
5) Assistance with your flight.
Flight delayed? Need to make a change to your itinerary? Want someone to tell you when you need to leave the lounge to get to your gate? WELCOME! Probably one of the best parts of the lounges are the friendly assistants that can give you updated flight statuses or let you into the shower rooms. Yes, those exist. And yes, I’ve used them. Nothing feels better than taking a shower before or after a long-haul.
- I use the app, LoungeBuddy to find which lounges I can access at certain airpots.
- I don’t use a lounge every single time I’m at the airport. It needs to make sense for me. If a free lounge is nearby, I have a long layover or my flight is delayed, I’ll take advantage.
- It never hurts to go into the lounge and politely ask how you can go in, if you don’t have access from any of the tips above.
- Some lounges offer great food that can essentially be meals, others charge additional fees for a sit-down type meal. Check first if that’s important to you.
- They don’t start serving alcohol until 7am in most lounges. Blasphemy!
What do you think? Are you a fan of lounges?