How to Get Access to Airport Lounges
An airport lounge can seem enticing during a lengthy airport layover. They allure you with complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks, drinks, buffets and magazines. Airport lounges provide all the comfortable travel luxuries you need to take your mind off the journey.
Access to many airport lounges tend to come with a business class ticket or gratis. However, those who have “cheap seats” can also gain entry to those comfortable areas without breaking the bank. When you’re chilling out in a cozy chair instead of hunting for a seat near the gate, you’ll be in a better mood.
Consider using the following methods to obtain lounge access no matter what kind of ticket you have:
- Purchase a lounge membership.
Once upon a time, every business traveler had an airline lounge membership in their wallet, usually covered the company they represented. Those perks are outdated now, as there are plenty of alternatives available for all travelers.
If you exclusively fly a particular airline, you should still consider getting an airline membership, as you’ll have access to alliance clubs, which can be beneficial during international travel. Before committing to the one membership, be sure that there are lounges to visit at your intended destination.
Ideal for: Passengers who travel frequently and rely on an alliance or airline exclusively.
- Purchase a day pass.
Most airlines offer day passes for lounge access, letting you relax comfortably without a commitment of any kind
You can check out LoungePass.com, a website where day passes for hundreds of lounges around the world can be purchased or simply show up at the airport lounge. Prices for the lounge access usually starts at around $20. Be aware that many lounges limit how long you can remain there. Do your research before making a purchase.
Ideal for: Casual travelers.
If you have difficulty booking a flight on a specific airline, it might be worthwhile to use a third party’s lounge membership. For an annual fee, PriorityPass.com provides access to over 850 lounges globally.
Priority Pass offer several membership levels.
Unlimited access in their 850 lounges
- Annual fee of $399
If you travel infrequently, you also have the option to buy 10 lounge visits
- Annual fee of $249, with extra visits available for $27 each.
You can also buy a membership.
- $99 with a pay-as-you-go fee of $27 per lounge visit
Ideal for: Passengers who travel frequently with multiple airlines.
- Get elite status.
It pays to be loyal. Several airlines provide lounge perks for travelers with elite status. Check out different Airline Alliances like Star Alliance, SkyTeam or OneWorld to see which airlines they represent here
Ideal for: Passengers flying exclusively on a specific airline, as well as travelers who have a budget to pay annual fees for such luxuries
- Be(come) a guest.
If your are not flying with one who can sneak you in, then relying on the kindness of strangers is always an option. Standing by the lounge and waiting for a friendly soul may pay off. Some of the elite status programs allow people to bring in guest free of charge. So if you are not afraid of talking to people, then see if you can charm your way in.
Ideal for: Travelers who aren’t shy about approaching strangers.