If you’re traveling this week and need to find a first class lounge in your destination, the best way is by doing some research. You might think that it’s just simply located near the airport gates or check-in counter, but there are other factors such as location of food outlets and retail shops – they can mean access to exclusive services like VIP treatment or complimentary drinks.
The “how to get free access to airport lounges” is a question that has been asked many times. There are many different ways to do it, but the most effective way is by using your airline miles.
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Flying is sometimes connected with gloomy sentiments. There’s lots that makes flying less than ideal, including time spent waiting in lines to check in and go through security, avoiding other passengers in cramped passageways, and waiting at a gate area that never seems to have enough chairs.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however.
There are spots in the airport where you can get away from the chaos of the terminal. Airport lounges are what they’re called. Airport lounges are among of the most relaxing locations to visit before taking off. They often include complimentary food and beverages, abundant seating, free Wi-Fi, and other facilities like as showers and sleep pods, and some even have spas, barbershops, and exercise equipment.
It’s also not always difficult to get access to these lounges, since they’re not always designated for the most frequent passengers. Even if you only fly a few times a year, you may have access to lounges all over the world without spending a lot.
Let’s look at some of the most frequent methods for getting into airport lounges throughout the globe.
Using a credit card is by far the most convenient method to secure admission to an airport lounge. A number of credit cards provide access to lounges as a perk of simply having the card. The Platinum Card® from American Express is the finest illustration of this, since it is often regarded as one of the best overall credit cards for frequent travelers.
Members of the American Express Platinum Card get access to any of American Express’ Centurion Lounges. Given their comfortable settings, business-related services, and customized menus that provide complimentary food and beverages for passengers, Centurion Lounges are among the best and most coveted airport lounges in the United States.
There are now 23 Centurion Lounges located at the following domestic and international airports throughout the world:
- Domestic: Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/JFK, New York/LGA, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., Washington, D
- Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mexico City, Monterrey, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney; international: Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mexico City, Monterrey, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney
Furthermore, American Express has announced plans to establish additional facilities at Heathrow Airport in London, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.
Locations, opening status, and more are all included in this comprehensive reference to Amex Centurion Lounges.
Members of the Amex Platinum card receive access to Delta Air Lines’ network of Sky Club lounges if they travel on a Delta-operated aircraft on the same day.
However, it isn’t the only credit card that grants entry to airport lounges. A number of credit cards, such the American Express Platinum, provide Priority Pass membership as a perk of possessing the card.
Priority Pass is a global network of over 1,300 lounges that provide members with a relaxed environment as well as food and drink prior to their departure. Some Priority Pass perks extend beyond lounges to airport terminal eateries, enabling members to save money on meals.
The Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card are among the personal credit cards that allow Priority Pass membership with unrestricted access to lounges.
Other credit cards, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, provide a restricted number of Priority Pass trips each year but not unlimited access. In addition, some cards let cardholders to bring guests into Priority Pass lounges for free, while others charge a fee for visitor entry.
Admirals Clubs, Sky Clubs, and United Clubs are the names of the lounge networks operated by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, respectively. Select elite members, foreign premium-cabin travellers, and holders of the airline’s top-tier credit card often get access to the airline’s lounges.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, for example, includes an Admirals Club membership with up to two guests, while the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card gives you access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta on a same-day ticket.
If you don’t believe you’ll use a credit card enough to warrant the annual price, you may try buying a lounge membership separately. Priority Pass, which operates a global network of lounges, enables passengers to buy a membership in advance.
Priority Pass has three membership tiers, each with a different pricing based on how often you anticipate to use the service:
- Standard — $99 per year, which includes $32 per visit access to lounges. You may also pay $32 to access the lounge for each visitor traveling with you.
- Standard Plus — $299 per year, which includes 10 free visits each year and $32 for each additional visit. Furthermore, even for the first ten trips, each visitor charges $32.
- Prestige – $429 per year, including unlimited free visits throughout the year. Each visitor will be charged $32.
Keep in mind that if you expect to use the service many times a year and bring guests with you when you travel, one of the credit cards we listed above may provide greater value, since the annual fee on one of those cards may be less than the cost of a membership plus guest tickets.
If you reside in a city where an airline has a hub — for example, Atlanta with Delta, Chicago with United, or Dallas with American — you may want to consider purchasing a lounge membership with that airline. For $650 per year, you may receive access to American Airlines’ Admirals Club lounges, as well as those of Alaska Airlines and Qantas.
However, paying for a club membership directly does not always provide the greatest value; acquiring lounge access via a credit card may be both cheaper and come with extra benefits when travelling with that airline.
These are our picks for the best airline credit cards in 2021.
Your boarding card has always been the simplest method to ensure entry to an airport lounge. Airlines all around the globe have spent a lot of money to build unique airport lounges for their high-end passengers to enjoy before a flight.
Most legacy airlines, such as Delta, American, and United, maintain specialized lounges for business and first-class passengers. If you wish to visit these areas, acquire a business-class ticket that includes admission to the lounge.
It’s worth noting that if you’re travelling domestically, you won’t normally be granted admission to an airline’s lounge just because you purchased a business-class ticket. There are rare exceptions, particularly for transcontinental flights, but you normally need to be flying to a foreign destination to gain lounge access with your boarding card.
Some airlines, particularly in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, offer distinct, dedicated areas for their most affluent first-class passengers. These areas, which are among the most exclusive at any airport, are often reserved exclusively for airline passengers travelling first class.
For example, Air France operates a special lounge called La Première for its first-class customers. Ticket prices at La Première may range from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. So don’t expect to get admission to this restricted location unless you’re ready to pay the price.
Airlines award elite status to their most loyal customers, and the advantages vary depending on the airline and the degree of status you achieve. For example, if you travel with a single airline often enough to gain the lowest level of elite status, you may be eligible to benefits such as free checked baggage, priority check-in and boarding, and the chance to earn more frequent flyer points for each voyage.
However, if you travel with a single airline often enough to achieve its highest level of elite status, you may be eligible for extra, more valuable privileges, such as lounge access.
With United Airlines’ MileagePlus loyalty program, for example, Gold, Platinum, and 1K members — the highest three levels of United elite status — get access to United lounges with a same-day international United boarding pass, even if they’re traveling economy. Even if you have elite credentials, you won’t be able to visit the lounge if you’re simply travelling domestically.
However, since United is a member of the Star Alliance, which includes 25 other international airlines, Gold, Platinum, and 1K members may utilize Star Alliance partner lounges outside of the United States if they have a same-day Star Alliance boarding ticket, even if they are flying economy.
The advantages of elite status vary greatly depending on the airline, so check the perks of the airline with which you have status to determine whether you’re eligible for lounge access.
The simplest approach to ensure you have lounge access on any given day is to buy a day ticket or a one-time-use pass in advance. When you purchase a ticket to a lounge, you are assured entry without having to pay any additional fees. If you only fly once or twice a year but want access to a lounge, this may be the best option.
LoungeBuddy is a fantastic site that lets you see which lounges at any specific airport across the globe provide one-time admission to passengers. If you locate a lounge that appeals to you, you may buy a one-time pass using the LoungeBuddy app.
Depending on the lounge, the service charges different entry prices. However, if you have an American Express® Green Card, you may earn up to $100 in LoungeBuddy credits each year to put toward single-use lounge credentials.
CNN independently gathered all facts on the American Express® Green Card. CNN does not presently offer the American Express® Green Card.
LoungeBuddy may also be used to see whether you have access to free lounges as a result of your airline elite status, credit cards, or ticket class. If you’re not paying entry to a lounge, it’s otherwise free to use.
American Airlines has also just started selling one-time passes to its Flagship Lounges, which are generally exclusively available to Flagship First and Flagship Business travelers. A single-visit ticket may be purchased for $150 on any American or Oneworld aircraft, and it can be used in any cabin.
Only a few lounges provide free entrance to active duty military personnel. Active duty military personnel with a valid military ID, as well as their families, have access to United Airlines’ lounges if they have a boarding pass for travel within 24 hours on a United-operated aircraft. If flying on a same-day trip offered by American Airlines, US military personnel in uniform are also allowed entrance to its Admirals Clubs.
Keep in mind that active duty military personnel are also eligible for yearly fee waivers on the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. Military members may find this to be an excellent alternative, as they will not only be able to take advantage of the cards’ many advantages, but they will also get gratis lounge access via the cards’ lounge access features.
Discover which credit cards CNN Underscored selected as the top travel credit cards for 2021.
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The “priority pass lounges” are the best airport lounges. They offer exclusive perks and amenities that other lounges do not. In order to access them, you need a membership card.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to get airport lounge access?
A: The best way to get airport lounge access is usually through a credit card. However, it is possible to purchase discounted passes if youre willing to pay an annual fee and the passes can be used at any participating airport across North America.
Which card is best for airport lounge access?
A: The club card is usually the best option. For a list of all the available cards, please contact your airlines customer service department.
How can I get free access to airport lounges?
A: To get free access to airport lounges, all you need to do is pay for your flight with a credit card and present it at the entrance of any airline lounge.
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