How to Access Airport Lounges

Retire to the airport lounge to avoid an uncomfortable scene on the airport floor.
Retire to the airport lounge to avoid an uncomfortable scene on the airport floor. (Image: White Packert/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Frequent travelers have a few tried-and-true tricks of the trade to help them slog through hours of layovers and time away from work and family. Airport lounges are one of those tricks. The quiet, relaxing atmosphere, free food and alcohol, work stations, Wi-Fi and sometimes showers and massage tables can make you forget how far you've trekked with your bags and how cramped you were in the plane. Make your way through those mysterious, frosted-glass sliding doors and towards a bit of airport bliss.

Things You'll Need

  • Lounge pass
  • First or business class ticket
  • Credit card

Buy your way in. A first-class or business-class ticket, a specialty airport lounge pass and some platinum credit cards all offer instant access to participating lounges, year-round. You can also buy a single-airline annual pass if you're loyal to one carrier or network; a day pass might be more appropriate if you don't travel frequently or with a single carrier.

Find the relevant lounge. While a third-party airport lounge pass grants you access to a variety of lounges all over the world, your tickets and annual or daily airline passes will only let you into lounges connected to your airline. Ask the gate agent or an information desk where your airline's club lounge is located.

Show your plastic to gain access. Present your club card, credit card or airline tickets to the front desk when you arrive at the lounge.

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