Upgrade Your Travel Habits With Airport Lounges

Let’s break down the myths about airport lounges. Imagine you are at the airport waiting for your next flight and you have 3+ hours to kill. There are not many options for what you can do, so you might decide to spend half an hour in duty free shops, then half an hour in the company of a cold sandwich and coke. Then it would leave you to 2 more hours to spend – is there a better way than infinite scrolling on the web? But wait a minute – it might be a cool idea, but in reality, airport wifi sucks…

I assume we all have that one friend who is constantly talking about luxurious airport lounges? Cozy sofas, excellent wifi, snacks, even buffet, drinks and a place to stretch your legs? Believe it or not, accessing airport lounges is no longer a privilege that only first and business class passengers have.

We’ve collected ideas on how to access different airport lounges, so you can spoil yourself a bit with an amazing upgrade. So, let’s open a treasure box of knowledge!

Choose your Credit Card Wisely

Nowadays, many credit cards offer discounted or free accesses to airport lounges for their loyal customers. Most of the banks/airline companies are moving in this direction of keeping their customers for as long as possible. There are better and worse deals for airport lounges, so we will try to sum up what is out there:

  1. The Platinum Card – American Express: access to 1200+ airport lounges, Priority Pass Lounge access, Amex Centurion Lounge;
  2. Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Free access to 1000+ airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select;
  3. Citi Prestige® – Priority Pass lounge access;
  4. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® – American Airlines Admiral’s Club and select partner One World Alliance Lounges.
  5. Hilton Honors® Aspire from American Express – Priority Pass Lounge Access
  6. United MileagePlus® Club Card by Chase – United Club and select partner Star Alliance Lounges.

Keep in mind that for each of these credit cards you will pay an annual fee that is charged differently. On the other hand, you will be able to bring 1 or 2 persons free of charge to these lounges. Every credit card has its own rules and possibilities, therefore, we advise you to do your research before jumping to luxurious airport lounges. 

Attain Elite Status with an Airline Company

This option is the most suitable one for passengers that travel exclusively with one airline or with one alliance – in that case you will have the most chances of attaining your elite status. Elite status is a classification for clientele as a preferred customer that has certain benefits that are not available to the general public. In that sense, American Airlines has 4 different stages of elite statuses that you can directly check out here – https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/elite-status/aadvantage-elite-status.jsp

Or you can check out options with SkyTeam  Alliance that offers accesses to lounges all over the globe, or for instance if you are under StarAlliance you can check out their  lounges as well. 

Invest in Annual Lounge Membership 

Here are some of the most popular lounge memberships that you can subscribe yourself to: Qantas, United Airlines, Delta, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, AirCanada…

It doesn’t matter with which airline company you are flying that day – you can have your lounge membership with Qantas and you are flying with Qatar Airways. You will always have access to your lounge. This is a good investment if you are a true frequent flyer. 

In these lounges you can expect snacks, drinks, premium liquor, private bathrooms, comfortable sofas etc. If you are flying internationally, you can expect even better benefits. 

Priority Pass

For instance, if you are not up to credit card utilization, or investing in lounge memberships, then there is Priority pass (https://www.prioritypass.com/en) network that offers access to more than 1300 lounges across the globe. Of course, our suggestion would be to first check out what are your usual destinations and airports and then you can see if prioritypass would make sense to your needs. There are three subscription annual models that you can choose from, depending on your travelling frequency.

Buy a Day Pass

From the title “Buy a day pass” it is pretty self-explanatory what it means, but let’s see how you can obtain your day pass. There are two ways of getting through the lounge’s doors. The first one would be to make online reservations if possible, and the second one would be to show up at their doors and pay directly for the entrance. These daily passes are giving you an amazing opportunity to still enjoy lounge experience without thinking of your credit cards, statuses or memberships. Usually this experience will cost you between 25 and 80 USD per entrance.

Please note that all lounges are not equal in any sense. Some of them are truly premium, and some are just rest places while you wait for your flight. It is important to see reviews so your expectations will always be met. 

Let the lounge adventure begin! 

Finance disclosure

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.