You may have seen signs for them while making your way through the airport during business travel, or on your way to a vacation – the airport lounge. They’re often sectioned off and pretty private, with some not even allowing you a look in. So, what’s in an airport lounge? Are they worth the cash? Should you look into getting your own passes or membership?
What’s In The Airport Lounge
There is no real standard in terms of what is in the airport lounge, as they will vary depending on airport and airline throughout the world. However, what you’ll often find is comfortable seating, sometimes private showers, free WiFi, occasional complimentary wine, coffee, or snacks, and a way to simply relax while stuck at the airport during long layovers or while waiting for your flight. As something of a pattern, the airport lounges in the United States for domestic flights tend to offer fewer amenities when compared to the airport lounges in Europe and beyond.
Getting In To The Airport Lounge
Airport lounges will require some type of pass or membership, and these can range from yearly memberships to one day passes. The one day passes travelers can sometimes catch a deal on when getting their airline tickets, through credit card rewards, or they may be able to be purchased at the airport separately. It’s a good idea to subscribe to a few travel and airport mailing lists to see if a deal on one of these passes ever pops up.
If you plan to take a long flight with a longer layover, getting a one-day pass to the airport lounge can be a great idea to give you a place to rest and revive in between legs of your journey. You can use the time to take a comfortable nap, have a drink, and perhaps even refresh yourself with a hot shower depending on the airport lounge in your destination.
Is It Worth It?
Answering the question of “is it worth it?” really depends on how often you travel, and how far. If you’re a frequent traveler to intercontinental destinations, a yearly pass to the airport lounge could really give you bang for your buck. You can use the space frequently to make travelling more comfortable for you and yours, and the cost of the yearly membership will provide you with a worthwhile experience.
If you plan to invest in a day pass to an airport lounge with a particular vacation or trip in mind, make sure you investigate the lounge in question first and make sure you’re going to get the experience you’re looking for. Some airport lounges have a number of complaints regarding overcrowding or less than stellar experiences, and you don’t want to invest in your travel when you could have the same experience simply hanging around the airport.
The only time a membership or day pass isn’t really worth it is if you take just a couple of trips per year. Use of airport lounges in these scenarios will be too few for a full year membership, and perhaps too much for several single day passes, and in these instances finding flights with shorter layovers or braving spending a few hours hanging out at the airport may be your best bet.
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