Are you flying economy class on your next business trip or beach vacation? You are probably getting ready to handle loud, crowded airports, cramming into uncomfortable seats at the gate, and waiting in long lines to get food and drinks during your layover.
You may pass by those swanky airline lounges and feel like pressing your nose to the glass and yelling "let me in!"
Great news! You don't have to deal with the masses when it comes to air travel.
Scoring admission into the plush airline lounges is easier than you might think. All it takes is a little research and planning. Here are four ways to gain access to airline lounges and wait out your layover in style.
First, you can pay for it.
In many locations, airline lounges aren't just for premium passengers. For a nominal fee, usually between $60-$100, you can gain admission through a day pass. This opens doors to the same amenities as the eligible premium-class passengers. Shelling out the extra money for access is definitely worth it for long layovers, if you are desperate for peace and quiet, or if you need to complete some work. Buy these passes online before you trip or snag them directly at the check-in desk in the lounge when you get there. This is a fantastic option for a person who flies only a few times a year.
...You can find an online option.
If you are a frequent flier, a membership might be a better choice than paying every time you want to enter an airport lounge. There are several websites that offer airline lounge access for discounted fees. If you typically fly the same airline, then check into their membership options. Make sure the airports you frequent offer lounges before you purchase. If you fly various airlines, then check into a pass that gives you access to multiple airline lounges. Plan on paying a few hundred dollars for a pass like this. While that sounds steep, remember it gives you access to WiFi, snacks, and drinks.
Another idea is to open a credit card that offers lounge access.
Some credit card perks include airline lounge access. For example, American Express cardholders can access Delta lounges for a deeply discounted fee. Before you jump on this idea make sure the credit card fees are worth the perks you will receive and that you fly the airline the credit card connects with.
Finally, you could ask someone to let you in.
There are coupon websites where you might be able to score a day pass from frequent travelers who receive them free from the airlines. You can also post the request on social media and Craigslist and offer to pay a fraction of the original cost. This is definitely a hit-or-miss option, but if your money is tight, it's worth a shot.
Relaxing in an airline lounge is within your reach even if you can't afford a first-class airline ticket. With a little planning, and a bit of cash, you can enjoy the comfort and peace of a lounge away from the hustle and bustle of the main airport.