How to Get Into Airport Lounges for Any Traveler
Traveling is fun, but it can also be stressful, especially if you're spending time in crowded airports. Knowing how to get into airport lounges alleviates some of that stress. Airport lounges can offer a relatively peaceful retreat in the middle of an otherwise chaotic area. They are a great place to relax or get some work done before your flight.
While in the past airport lounges were limited to first-class or very frequent fliers, today's travelers have quite a few options for getting lounge access. This article will cover the different methods for how to get into airport lounges yourself, as well as how DoNotPay can help you do so more easily.
What Comes with Lounge Access?
Travel can be stressful, and airports, in particular, can be chaotic and overwhelming. This means that having a relatively quiet spot to relax before your flight is invaluable. Airport lounges offer a variety of perks to make waiting for your flight more comfortable.
Some common airport lounge amenities include:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free snacks and drinks
- Lots of comfortable seating
In addition to the standard features, some more luxurious lounges offer even more options for travelers. These can include:
- Nap pods
- Exercise equipment
In addition to the benefits listed above, lounges usually have airline staff available to answer any questions you may have about your reservation and to handle requests like seat changes. Since staff in an airport lounge are responsible for a smaller group of customers, you'll usually be able to get your questions answered more quickly than elsewhere in the airport.
How to Get Access to Airport Lounges Yourself
One of the easiest ways to get access to an airport lounge is to get a credit card that offers this as a perk. These are usually premium cards with significant annual fees, but if you travel frequently, the lounge access and other benefits can make those fees worthwhile.
Two good options for travel credit cards include:
- American Express's Platinum Card offers access to a network of 23 Centurion lounges in airports around the world. The card also comes with access to Priority Pass's lounge network.
- The three major U.S.-based airlines, Delta, American, and United, all have branded credit cards that include access to the airlines' lounges for cardholders.
Several other credit cards include membership to Priority Pass, a network of 1300 airport lounges worldwide. These cards include:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express
There are two different ways to pay for lounge access directly:
- Priority Pass charges an annual membership fee and offers access to a network of airport lounges worldwide.
- Buy a lounge access membership with an airline directly. This can make sense if you have a preferred airline that you fly with regularly.
While lounge memberships could make sense in some circumstances, they're not usually the best value. In most cases, the annual fee for a travel credit card is lower than a lounge membership fee, and credit cards usually come with additional travel benefits as well.
Directly Through the Airline
Unsurprisingly, there are several ways to obtain lounge access directly through the airline you’re traveling with. These include:
|Premium Ticket on a Long-Haul Flight||Most major airlines have lounges specifically dedicated to first and business-class customers. If you're flying first class on an international flight, you'll generally have access to a lounge based on your ticket. Business-class on shorter domestic trips doesn't usually come with lounge access, so this option won't work for those trips. For longer domestic trips, like cross-continental trips between the coasts, lounge access can be available, but you'll need to check with your airline. If you only fly occasionally but take long international trips when you do, this can be a good choice for you.|
|Elite Status With an Airline||Many airlines offer their frequent flyers with high-level status access to their lounges. This benefit varies significantly depending on the airline, type of flight, and status level. Some airlines only allow lounge access for international flights regardless of status.|
|Purchasing One-Time Access||Most airlines allow travelers to purchase a day pass to their lounges if they're flying with the airline the same day. For example, American Airlines allows travelers to purchase a day pass to its Flagship Lounges for $150. While these passes can be pricey, they could be a good choice if you fly infrequently but want to guarantee lounge access when you do.|
Let DoNotPay Help You Get Airport Lounge Access
Sorting through the various ways you might qualify for airport lounge access can be overwhelming, especially if you have multiple credit cards or fly with multiple airlines. Save yourself the time and hassle of sorting through memberships, credit card benefits, and rewards programs, and use DoNotPay's fast, easy and successful system instead. DoNotPay works across all airlines and airports, and with any travel credit cards, you may have to quickly identify your best options for lounge access.
How to get lounge access using DoNotPay:
If you want to get lounge access but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:
- Tell us which airport you're flying out of or into.
- Select whether you have any of the special travel rewards or airline credit cards, or are flying in a premium fare class.
- Enter which airline you're flying with.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
In addition to helping you get lounge access, DoNotPay can help with other travel-related issues like getting tourist visas, tracking down items lost in an airport, or requesting compensation if you're bumped from a flight.
Contact DoNotPay today to help you relax in the airport lounge before your next flight.