How to gain airport lounge access

Why wait at the gate when you can lap up luxury with access to an airport lounge?

Airport gates leave a lot to be desired. Airport lounges, on the other hand, are the perfect way to spend your pre-flight time. Not only do they offer free food and drinks (as if that wasn’t enough), but they also have an abundance of power points, comfortable seats, and usually some form of entertainment, reading material and free internet access. If you’re lucky, they will have a shower, too!

An oasis of calm among the chaos that is the rest of the airport, airport lounges come in different shapes and sizes. While most established airlines have their own dedicated or code-share lounges at the majority of airports, there are many independent lounges popping up now as well. Designed as more of a pay-per-use public lounge, they are often cheaper and easier to access than airlines’ own lounges.

So how do you access these havens of peace and quiet? Thankfully, there are now an increasing number of options when it comes to sweet talking or, perhaps more accurately, paying your way to get behind these private doors.

Buy a first or business class ticket
Not an option for the majority of us, but if you do have the cash, this is the quickest and easiest way to get a warm welcome into an airport lounge. 

Airline membership
If you fly often, it’s worth joining an airline membership program and accumulating its status points. Most top-tier members – platinum, gold and sometimes silver – are offered lounge access as part of the perks. This also usually extends to airline alliance partners lounges, so even if you’re membership airline doesn’t have a lounge, you won’t be stranded at the gate.

Credit-card rewards
Many credit cards partner with particular airlines to offer rewards when you spend a certain amount. One of the benefits of having certain AMEX cards is that you also can gain access to some airport lounges. Do your research to work out the best card for your preferred airline. Credit cards can also be a good way to get included travel insurance. 

Sign up for a lounge pass
There are many companies that now offer cheaper alternatives for lounge passes. EasyJet have one such loyalty pass, and many other websites such as LoungePass and Priority Pass offer lounge access at various airports around the world from as little as $30 per person. Apps such as Lounge Buddy help you to find all the lounges located in airports and their inclusions, so you can decide where your money is best spent getting a foot in the door. 

Find a friend
If all else fails, this is another easy and usually free way to access airport lounges. Travel with a friend or family member who has lounge access, because usually they are able to have a guest accompany them into said lounge.

If you still can’t find a way to sneak behind those frosted glass doors, the airport app FLIO is a great alternative to make the most of your time in the public spaces of airports.

Do you care about accessing lounges at the airport? What’s you tip or tick to get into these oasis’ of calm?

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    SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her travel low point was buying a Beijing guidebook for her visit to Thailand in 2007. Thankfully her geography has improved since then.





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