The airport lounge is a premium experience that only a small percentage of those transiting through an airport will ever actually experience. Never been to one before? Well, buckle up, because there’s a treat in store!
The most common belief surrounding airport lounges is that they’re expensive and not worth the money. While they may seem a little on the pricey side for a first-timer, you’ll be surprised to hear that the airport lounge may actually save you money.
Lounges include things like unlimited food and drink, free WiFi, quiet zones to sit and relax in comfort, areas to rest and even nap, and sometimes even free spa access! If any of these things are something you might pay for in a regular airport terminal, it might well be worth the cost of a lounge, as you’ll get a whole lot more too!
A day pass can cost as little as $25, ranging up to about $75 for the more exclusive or in-demand lounges. Taking that into consideration, if you are your travel buddy go for dinner at an airport restaurant, and then grab a drink at a bar, you’ve probably already spent more than the cost of a lounge, where everything is free and unlimited!
Affordable ways to visit the airport lounge
If you’re a frequent flyer or just want to travel more comfortably, there are a number of ways that you can strike an airport lounge deal. Many airlines offer frequent flyer programmes, allowing you to collect points for every flight you take with them. Points can be exchanged for upgrades, free flights, but also lounge access!
Some banks and credit cards offer perks such as lounge access, such as Amex. Meanwhile, traveling in business or first class will always guarantee lounge access. If none of these work for you, it’s worth looking into day passes which vary in price depending on the airport.
Work on the go
There’s nothing more stressful than trying to work from the airport, with patchy or non-existent WiFi, or expensive pay-per-hour WiFi. This is where the lounge comes into its own! With fast, free WiFi across any airport lounge you visit, you won’t have to worry about your connection timing out.
You’ll also be working in comfort, with plenty of space. Airport lounges are often designed with workstations, including charging points and lots of comfortable seating options with desks or tables.And with some airports offering views of the runway, there can’t be many cooler places to sit and sip a coffee while getting some work done!
Get free food
You might be wondering how to use an airport lounge to get your money’s worth. Our top tip is in relation to food and drink! You could end up spending a fortune in a regular airport terminal (especially if you encounter delays), but in the lounge, everything is included.
Many airport lounges offer buffets of hot and cold food that you can tuck into at your leisure. Others offer a more exclusive menu, often curated by a famous local chef. In addition, you’ll find things like refreshments such as tea, coffee, and snacks, which is great before an early morning flight, or if you don’t have a huge appetite. Another great perk is the unlimited alcohol often provided in an airport lounge. Most lounges offer a range of beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks to choose from.
Some of the more exclusive lounges even offer a range of champagnes and sparkling wines, so you can start your trip with a glass of bubbles—there’s no way to feel more fabulous!
Relax flight anxieties
One of the best things about the airport lounge experience is that you can totally relax and unwind before your flight. Lounge access makes it a joy to arrive at the airport nice and early, actually adding to the experience. Some airport lounges include spa access, so you can relax and have a massage to put your worries at rest, whilst others include showers for a pre-flight freshen-up.
Arguably the best deal of the airport lounge is the abundance of seating—from quiet areas to relax and have a drink, to work stations or runway views. Any anxiety you might have had about missing your flight, or the flight itself, will surely be calmed by the tranquility of the airport lounge.
Best airport lounges in the world
While there are many impressive lounges across the globe, we’ve picked a few of the best airport lounges that you can’t miss on your next trip!
The Pier First Class Lounge (Cathay Pacific) - Hong Kong
If you’re in Hong Kong for a trip or just passing through, the Cathay Pacific First Class lounge is a must-visit. With stylish seating areas, a cocktail bar, and a spa offering mini treatments such as a facial and a foot massage, you’ll board your flight feeling on top of the world. Even better still, the lounge offers ‘day rooms’ for a much-needed nap and recharge, and showers for that ultimate refresh.
The real ‘wow’ of this lounge is the floor-to-ceiling windows that give spectacular runway views—a must for any aviation fan!
Delta Sky Club - Atlanta
Delta’s home base of Atlanta offers a staggering nine lounges to enjoy. We suggest heading over to Concourse F, with great runway views that can be enjoyed from the luxurious outdoor skydeck. With rotating tapas of the finest Southern cuisine, curated by a local chef, you’ll sure be fine dining before you take to the skies.
Emirates Lounge - Dubai
Emirates doesn’t do things by halves, which is why their Dubai lounge is an astonishing 100,000 square feet—it’s actually possible to get lost in it! The lounge offers vast seating options (and you won’t be surprised to hear that there’s more than enough seating for everyone!), including full-length loungers with blankets, and chic workstations. The 24-hour lounge features a spa, a playroom for children, and even a shoeshine station.
The best bit of this lounge has got to be the food and drink though, with a buffet featuring world cuisine, a dessert bar, and complimentary Costa Coffee. Finally, the Moët & Chandon Champagne Lounge steals the show, with a whole menu of fine wines on offer.
The Loft - Brussels
The Loft, voted the best airport lounge in Europe for five years running, offers some of the finest Belgian hospitality–which wouldn’t be complete without a Belgian chocolate experience.
The stylish lounge includes shower suites, individual nap rooms, massage chairs and a great selection of organic food and drink to enjoy, if you haven’t filled up on Belgian chocolates!
Long story short…
If you’ve never dipped your toe into the world of airport lounges, maybe now is the time. It’s indulgent, a relaxing and refreshing way to start any trip–whether for business or leisure—and you might even save yourself some money!
Written by Alex Callahan