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Are Airport Lounges Worth the Cost?

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by MULTIZ321, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Are Airport Lounges Worth the Cost?
    By Aimee Picchi/ Airports/ Consumer Reports/ consumerreports.org

    "Airport lounges can provide a haven of quiet amid evermore crowded airports, but they don’t come cheap.

    Lounges are privately operated hospitality clubs that typically cater to frequent flyers and passengers with business- or first-class tickets. Most are operated by airlines, such as Delta’s Sky Club, and are discretely tucked away in airport terminals.

    Annual passes can set you back about $500 for individuals, but there are several less expensive ways to gain access, such as buying day passes or through credit card perks...."

    [​IMG]


    Richard
     
  2. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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    I have Delta + Priority Pass Select via my Amex Platinum. I live near a Delta hub, so that's my airline of "choice". The card is not cheap, but this combined with the other Plat benefits make it worth it to me.
     
  3. linsj

    linsj TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I have United's club membership via a credit card (cheaper than paying outright). It only takes one irregular opps to make it worthwhile since I've never seen a line for the agents inside the club, and they are some of the best agents. I also like the clean restrooms, food, and quiet.
     
    slip and OKPACIFIC like this.
  4. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We got the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that provides the Priority Pass for lounges. There is a separate thread on the benefits of the card. We have enjoyed the lounges that we have gained access too, but we haven't always had access depending on the airport and location of the lounges.

    I don't think we would pay a significant fee for lounge access unless we were flying a significant amount.

    Mike
     
  5. jehb2

    jehb2 TUG Member

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    We had free access to American's Admiral lounge via AAdvantage credit card for several years. It was fun when it was free. They had light snacks, free beverages, comfortable chairs, tv. But it wasn't so special that I would be willing to pay anything for it. And the last couple of AA lounges we went to were quite crowed and we had a hard time sitting together. It's been a long time since I've been to a crappy airports. Most airports I go through now (international & domestic) are like nice modern malls.

    I should add my husband who travels a lot for business really misses the lounge. He & the kids really liked the free wifi.
     
  6. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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    This is true of Delta SkyClub's agents as well.
     
  7. Jimster

    Jimster TUG Member

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    If you ever have a canceled flight or an en route disconnect, you won't question the value of airport lounges again. If you fly transpac, there is nothing like a shower in the lounge before continuing your journey. Also Asian lounges put US lounges to shame.
     
  8. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    I would consider paying for the use of British Airways lounges (not affiliates) Virgin and the Middle East carriers but all the other lounges I've experienced have been pretty poor. It's a nice perk to have complimentary access as part of your frequent flyer status but some of the lounges have been so bad it was actually better being in the terminal (Rome for example).
     
  9. A.Win

    A.Win TUG Member

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    The simple answer is that it depends. Some cost more than others. Some are really nice and some are not. Some allow guests and children, others charge extra. Some are crowded and some are not. Your layover could be 30 minutes or 8 hours. How will you use it? Will you eat a lot? Drink a lot? Use wi-fi? Watch TV? Shower? Sleep? What are these benefits worth to you? How many times will you fly? So there are too many variables to answer conclusively. It is a case by case decision.
     
  10. BocaBoy

    BocaBoy TUG Member

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    I have personally never found Priority Pass to be of any value domestically. Most of their lounges are international, or at least in international terminals. There are exceptions, of course, but I have not yet been able to use Priority Pass.
     
  11. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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    That's why I like the Amex Plat; it combines my captive-audience domestic lounge network with PP's international lounges.
     
  12. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    For some, no price is too great to escape the madding crowds.
    As for me, I do not mind dealing with the unwashed masses.

    That said, as a FF or CC perk, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?


    .
     
  13. MuranoJo

    MuranoJo TUG Member

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    After not having been in a lounge for a couple of years, we were surprised to see how busy Chicago's UA domestic lounge was last fall. We couldn't find room for the two of us to sit together. When they're that crowded, I'm not as willing to pay the price.

    Very different from some years ago when I used to travel a lot for work.
     
  14. "Roger"

    "Roger" TUG Member

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    While I do not use the lounges often (only on international flights) two observations:

    The lounges at airports outside the United States are far nicer and offer more amenities than those in the United States.

    In line with the quote, the lounges in the United States are often extremely crowded and offer little advantage over being in the general waiting areas. (Certainly not worth the price they charge.)
     
  15. BocaBoy

    BocaBoy TUG Member

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    I agree with the statement that lounges outside the US are usually nicer, but I strongly disagree the the domestic lounges offer little advantage over the airport's general waiting area. Occasionally they are extremely crowded, especially in the smaller lounges, but even then they have many amenities like food and drinks. Usually we have found them to have plenty of space. The price of a day pass is steep, however, so whether they are "worth it" is very much an individual thing. For us, they are probably worth it if the layover time in the lounge is 2-3 hours or more. In my opinion, an annual Club membership is worth it only if you fly a lot. I was an airline club member when I traveled a lot for work, but dropped it after I retired.
     
  16. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    When we are going down under we like to fly Fiji Air. The downside is that the flight leave LAX and go to Nadi. If you have a several hours layover it is worth paying the daily fee for the Tabua Club. It has AC, free showers, food, drink, comfortable seating, free WIFI, lots of electrical, outlets, etc.
     
  17. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    The 9 Best Airport Lounges in America (and How You Can Get In)
    By Eric Rosen/ Greatest Escapes Week/ Bravo/ bravotv.com

    "What's behind the most elite doors in the airport — and how to open them.

    Forget fluorescent lighting, faux-leather furniture, day-old pretzels, and the endless hunt for a free electrical outlet to charge up between flights. Airlines are raising their lounge game, both abroad and in the U.S., in the hopes of wooing high-paying high-fliers with perks like classy cocktail lounges, celebrity-chef menus, spa treatments, shirt pressing, and more. Here are nine of the best lounges in the country, the epic amenities you’ll find there, and how you can get in...."

    [​IMG]


    Richard
     
  18. "Roger"

    "Roger" TUG Member

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    I love the fact that attached to the article that Richard posted, they show pictures of the lounges either devoid of people or with just a couple of casual travelers (none of whom have carry on luggage) spread out relaxing. While I have only been in only two of these lounges, devoid of people, NOT!

    I have not been in a ton of lounges (I am sure that there are some TUGGERS much more experienced), but the lounge that totally blew me away was the one in the Istanbul airport. Hopefully this link will take you to some pictures. (Click on some of the individual pictures to fully appreciate them.) Not pictured are some features like the on site omelet chef, the thirty to forty foot toy car racing track, the golf driving range (into a screen which then gives you a picture of where your ball landed), the marble rest room with a large bouquet of roses, etc.
     
  19. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    The ANA lounge in Narita was amazeballs. The made to order ramen bar was a nice touch.
     
  20. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Hi Roger,

    I'm sure that if the creators of the Lounge List had expanded the map area of where the airport lounges were located, I'm sure that the Istanbul airport lounge would have made the list. Simply amazing - thanks for including the link.

    Best regards,

    Richard
     
  21. MuranoJo

    MuranoJo TUG Member

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    Ditto! Looks great--but not sure I'll ever have a chance to try it out.
     
  22. wackymother

    wackymother TUG Member

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    The only lounges I've ever been in are the big United one at Newark, and a small United one at Newark. The big one was pretty amazeballs! It was crowded, but if you've never even realized that these lounges existed...it's like a whole world opening before your eyes.

    And it's only from reading this thread that I realize that there are agents in the lounge who can help you with flight delays. Is that right?

    Also, bnoble, could you explain the perks you get with that Amex Platinum? Does it get you into EVERY airline lounge at EVERY airport?
     
  23. MuranoJo

    MuranoJo TUG Member

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    The lounges usually have several people up front who'll help you with seat reassignments, upgrades, flight delays, whatever. And the service is usually top-notch--the results in my experience were also very good.
     
  24. joestein

    joestein TUG Member

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    Since this topic came up.... I gotta say that I don't understand why domestic first class doesn't get access to the Lounges. Neither does first class to closer international locations such as the Caribbean or Mexico.

    I don't fly first class often, but sometimes we will if the price is not much difference.
     
  25. Pompey Family

    Pompey Family Guest

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    From what I've seen on the limited number of US domestic flights I've taken first class appears to be little more than a nicer seat with more legroom. What exactly do you get when flying first class?
     

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