Economy class travellers rejoice! No longer are you barred from the delights of private lounges based on your economy ticket or minimal airline allegiance. We’re here with a few sneaky – and not so-sneaky – ways to spend your airport layovers in the relative lap of luxury, with snacks, Wi-Fi, the occasional shower and lounge chair for a range of prices. By strategically taking advantage of credit card kickbacks, lounge memberships, pre-booked passes and pay-at-the-door day passes, you too will be able to unwind before or between flights with some peace, quiet, comfort and indulgence.
No matter how you gain access to an airport lounge, a bit of research and comparison goes a long way. Check out the following resources on how to access lounges with as little pocket-book pain as possible!
How to Access an Airport Lounge
Several different credit card companies worldwide offer airport lounge access to their loyal customers. Often you will find this with various elite credit cards or those with travel-related benefits. While these cards will have you pay an annual fee to the company, you will get varied levels of access to lounges for you and often a friend throughout the year. Be careful though, because annual fees are often hefty.
Frequent travellers with an affinity for comfort will find great value in the purchase of an airport lounge membership. For a single annual fee – payable often by dollars or reward points – you gain access to lounges worldwide, and all the perks that they entail. Policies, benefits, pass types and prices vary significantly between companies, so be sure to follow through to the next page for additional information on the most relevant pass.
Infrequent travellers who rely on private lounges to survive their layovers would be wise to pre-book a day pass to a lounge in advance. These passes give you access to all the wonders of a private lounge, while still travelling on an economy ticket. Having booked them in advance either with the airline or through a third company provider, you will have guaranteed access once you step off the plane.
Pay at the Door
For travellers who sporadically dabble in the world of private lounges, paying for entry at the door is often the most inexpensive and efficient way to indulge. When you reach the peak of boredom in the terminal, wander over to the lounge and pay the rate (usually in 2-5 hour packages). Price points range considerably between airports depending on the facilities and services offered. Check out our Airport Guides for lounge locations, door rates and traveller reviews.