Lounges at airports are a blessing – you can wait and relax before your flight in addition to usually being able to enjoy a delicious meal or snacks, catch up on work, and have a drink before a long journey. There’s several ways to access airport lounges including by flying First Class or Business Class, being an elite member in a frequent flyer program, holding a lounge invitation, being a premium credit card member, subscribing to a lounge membership program, or even by simply paying at the entrance.
There’s a few different types of airport lounges and each has their own access rules – the same types could even have different access rules, depending on the hours of the day or airport location. Types include:
- airline lounges
- alliance lounges
- lounges operated by banks
- individual lounge networks
- contract lounges
Each has their own set of amenities – some lounges are so basic they feature nothing beyond a separate space from the gate area; others offer spas, sleeping rooms, and showers.
Customer Service Desk in Lounges
Apart from the main lounge entrance where you provide your access method, airline lounges often have a separate customer service desk whereby lounge agents can assist you with flight changes and anything else you might inquire about. Lounge agents are usually more competent than those in the standard airport customer service desks, so your issues should be quickly resolved.
Comfortable Seating Areas & Sleeping Rooms
The whole purpose of a lounge is to get away from the main gate area to a more peaceful space, which is why lounges feature comfortable seating areas – ranging from recliners, to comfy sofas, to even in some lounges, individual sleeping rooms.
Elevated Food & Drinks in Lounges
Depending on the lounge, you can eat a full dinner and drink your worries away before your flight – some lounges feature an amazing selection of food and snacks along with a full, unlimited bar.
Not all are created equal, some have a really limited selection of food (or even only just snacks). It is important to note that some make you pay for premium food or drinks (or limit you to a certain quantity).
While most people travel with their own laptops, lounges usually have a business center with computers and printers, where you can get work done before your flight. There’s also individual working spaces where you can plug in your own laptop and work away.
Showers & Spas
Premium lounges feature showers where a guest can refresh before their flight – towels and bath amenities are provided so there’s no need to carry your own. Some shower rooms are luxurious and feature bath tubs along with other amenities, while others are really basic.
Special Amenities in Lounges
As each lounge is unique, some have opted to provide special amenities to guests – these can include things like a movie room, special seasonal elements, art galleries, cigar areas, restaurant-style dining, and much more.
All in All
The more premium the lounge and airline, the more amenities are offered. You can always look up online which ones are available to you at your airport and what you can expect. There are millions of lounge review posts and videos online, so it is best to check which lounge is worth showing up early to and which ones you can skip.
Having access to a lounge these days is mostly standard for many of us as we miles and points travelers usually hold at least one premium credit card featuring lounge access, or elite status that allows us to relax before a flight. Having the ability to grab a bite to eat and catch up on work in a comfortable setting before a flight is something many of us look forward to and arrive early for – I know I do; lounges are a very relaxing pre-flight experience.