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Is having access to airport lounges worth it?

As you've traveled, you may have noticed the different lounges available in airports. With their range of amenities to help make travel more comfortable, you may find yourself wondering if having access to airport lounges is worth it. Below, learn about how to gain access and what types of perks you may find in lounges.

How to access airport lounges

If you're looking to gain access to airport lounges while you travel, there are a few different ways you can do it.

  • Purchase a day pass: Some lounges sell single-use day passes to gain access to the lounge. You can either ask at the check-in desk or use one of the comprehensive airport lounge apps available to see which lounges in your airport offer day passes.
  • Buy a membership: You can purchase yearly memberships through the airline of your choice, or through an independent company like Priority Pass. Some airline memberships only offer access to lounges operated by that airline, while others may offer access to a network of lounges.
  • Fly premium: You may be able to gain access to some airline lounges if you earn elite status with an airline or if you purchase a first class or business class ticket.
  • Carry a credit card with lounge benefits: Some travel credit cards include different types of lounge access, such as to their own branded lounges or a network of lounges, as one of their benefits.

Credit card access

If you're looking for access to airport lounges (plus a variety of other benefits), you may want to explore the world of travel credit cards. Different cards can offer different levels of access. For instance, some cards might get you into a lounge with no additional cost, while others may require a fee to enter.

When you're comparing travel cards, there are four things you may want to consider:

  • Annual fees: Comparing the cost of the card on an annual basis against the benefits it offers may be a helpful way to evaluate the card's utility. If you travel regularly, you may find that unlimited access to airport lounges without paying visit fees may make up the cost of a higher annual fee.
  • Travel habits: You may also want to research what lounges are in the airports you travel through most often. That way you can pick a card that can get you access to those lounges.
  • Companion access: Certain credit cards not only give you access to lounges, but also your travel companions. While sometimes it's complimentary, other times it may require a fee to enter. If you travel with your family, this could be an important feature.
  • Rewards: It may help to read up on the other rewards and benefits of the travel card. This could include travel credits, extra points on hotels or dining, travel insurance, etc.

Benefits of airport lounge access

Are airport lounges worth it? Lounges are designed to offer a more comfortable way to wait for your flight. You can look up specific lounges online, but some of the amenities you may find when you have access to lounges include:

  • More space: Lounges are generally an oasis of calm amidst the storm of travel. While many gates and terminals can become noisy and crowded, lounges tend to be quieter and more spacious. The seating is also more comfortable, allowing you to rest and recharge before your next leg of travel.
  • Complimentary food: Many lounges offer complimentary food and drinks to members. Some lounges offer complimentary beer and wine, while liquor and cocktails may also be available for purchase.
  • Workspaces: Many airport lounges offer workspaces with complimentary Wi-Fi, allowing you to plug in and get some work done on the go. Some lounges even have printers and other equipment for you to use.
  • Showers: Many lounges offer private bathrooms and showers, giving you a place to freshen up during your journey.
  • Sleep spaces: Some lounges include private rooms with beds or sleeping pods where weary travelers can potentially catch up on some sleep during a long layover.
  • Spas: Some lounges have spas where you can book a massage, facial or other treatment while you wait for take-off.
  • Outdoor space: After a few hours on a plane, you may find yourself craving a bit of fresh air. Some lounges have decks for travelers to relax on, take in the views and watch the planes take off and land.

In summary

So, is having access to airport lounges worth it? It all depends on your travel habits and what you value while traveling. Spend some time thinking about the amenities and different ways to gain access to airport lounges to find out what is right for you. Check out some travel credit cards that fit your lifestyle and see where the benefits may take you.