When you have to wait out a long layover in the airport the most enticing thing that comes over in our mind is the airport lounge. Not just with the intention of relaxing, but you get access to several amenities like free WiFi, enjoyable drinks, delectable snacks and glossy magazines that are rare to find at some other place. Lounges kill your travel annoyance and irritation to the very least, they give you a haven from the noisy and hubbub milieu of the concourse.
How to Access a Lounge in an Airport?
You can get gratis entry to most of the lounges while traveling at first-class or business class fare. However, for those who are getting stuck in the back of the plane, there are different tricks to get access to these snug inner sanctums. And, you won’t have to shell out thousands of dollars on this upgrade. You’ll appreciate the respite from the usual annoyances of air travel when you’re the one snoozing in the comfy armchair instead of clamoring for a seat at the gate.
Can Economy Class Passengers Use the Lounge?
If you have the Priority Pass Card you can get that access to the lounge. If you travel frequently and you get lounge access while checking in because of the colour of the airline card you have. While in some cases if you’re an economy class passenger you will have to pay for the use of the lounge.
Let’s take a look at some of the tips to get free airport lounge access.
1. Purchase a Day Pass
If you are wondering over can I buy access to the airport lounge? There are several airlines that sell out day passes to their lounges. So, you can relax in the comfort with no long-term commitment. You can buy a one-day pass to Alaska for the airline’s Board Room lounges. Generally, American, United, Delta, and US Airways offer similar programs for their lounges, with most offering day passes (since Continental merged with United, Continental passengers should look to United for their lounge needs).
You can save a few dollars by planning ahead. Buying a pass in advance will save you some amount on United’s website. US airways reduces the lounge price if you buy the pass while booking your ticket.
Bear in mind that many airline passes are constrained to U.S. domestic lounges. You must check out LoungePass.com if you are traveling internationally. It sells day passes to around 150 lounges on a worldwide basis, including several at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airport which sells day passes to 150 lounges worldwide, including several at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Some of the lounges give a restriction on the time that you can spend there or just offer it to the passengers who fly within that country. Hence, check before buying them. It is best for casual travelers. It is one of the easiest ways to get airport lounge access.
2. Buy Membership in the Lounge
Business travelers used to have lounge membership cards with their preferred airline, usually purchased on the company’s dime. Today, road warriors have to find other ways to get access now that those perks are mostly gone.
It is still worth considering an airline membership, however, if you fly one airline exclusively. As part of your airline club membership, you will also be able to join alliance clubs, such as Star Alliance or Oneworld, which will be helpful when traveling internationally.
Before buying you should check out to ensure that the destinations you go, really have lounges or not. As there is a rule that you will only get clubs in the world’s busier airports. It is best for travelers who know they can rely on one airline or an alliance.
3. Choose a Third-party Vendor
If you are struggling with the booking of flights at only one airline, you can prefer booking a flight through a third party. A third party vendor will give additional benefits such as you can opt-out of various memberships. If you are a frequent traveler you can get alluring discounts. These third-party vendors also include many of the own lounges of the airlines.
4. See a Public Pay-in Lounge
What’s the big deal about those airline-owned clubs? Several airports now offer public lounges with comfortable chairs, snacks, Wi-Fi access, small meals and non-alcoholic beverages — which are making legacy lounges look old-fashioned. You will also get shower facilities, a room for kids and a smoking area.
Above all, those having favorite vendors can get the outside purchased food into the lounge.
For those making long-haul flights, Plaza Premium offers buffet meals, drinks and — crucially for international travelers — showers. In some cases, an additional fee is charged for massages and spa treatments. The current locations are Vancouver, Toronto, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The rates of the lounges depend upon the locations.
5. Gain Elite Status
Loyalty consists of its own privileges. Many airlines offer some perks of lounges for the customers who belong to elite status along with some other benefits. If you are wondering how do I get free access to airport lounges? Here is the answer some of the loyalty programs can get you free access to the lounges.
If you achieve Gold status on US Airways, Air Canada, or United, for example, you’ll have access to the majority of Star Alliance lounges worldwide. However, there are limitations as some of the lounges restrict the Gold access to passengers who fly internationally. The Sky team alliance of Delta, Air France, KLM and other airlines offer similar benefits to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members.
6. Make Use of your Credit Card
Having a credit card which gives you the privilege of an airport lounge is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you will not be stuck on the concourse again. However, some of these cards do carry hefty annual fees. In a specific offer of the American Express Platinum Card, you get access to more than 600 lounges in almost 100 countries at a certain annual fee.
The card reimburses the membership to Global entry which includes a U.S. customs and Border Protection program that let the travelers who are pre-approved bypass the immigration line into the U.S. The card waives the transaction charges of foreign and gives a certain amount in terms of credit towards the airline fees. These credit cards can also come up along with the lounge perks too.
Caveat: Before you use a credit card read the fine print and ensure that your traveling and spending habits are worth getting a card. It is the best for the spenders who can pay annual fees for the perks.
7. Be a Guest (or Buy Your Way In)
Now finally, there is always room for kindness to the strangers. On travel forums like FlyerTalk.com, some users claim they were able to acquire entrance to the lounge by simply standing outside the door and asking those going inside if they could bring them in as a guest. In addition, FlyerTalk features a Coupon Connection section where frequent posters can trade or sell lounge passes (you need to have a certain number of posts on the site to join). eBay.com and Craigslist.com are two other sites to look for guest credentials.
Waiting for the long haul flight becomes quite mundane and enervating. These are the best ways to get free airport lounge access. You can easily get access to several sumptuous lounges through these methods. Have fun while waiting!
Some of the best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2022 are the platinum card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, Capital One venture X Rewards Card, data SkyMiles reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card.