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Airport lounges

cubigbird

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Looking for some advice on airport lounges, domestic and international? Which airline has the best and most airport lounges? Also, which are the most flexible, meaning I don't have to have a boarding pass for that particular airline to use that airline's lounge. I live in a United hub city but don't fly United all that much. We travel fairly often and sometimes have longer connection times so having lounge access could be valuable.
 

bnoble

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You might be best off just paying as you go, unless you tend to fly the same airline often. Having an affinity credit card with an airline often gets you a discount on the daily pass cost.

Some higher-end credit cards include Priority Pass Select, which gives you access to the good-but-not-great lounges in many international cities. Usually you have to pay a fee to bring a companion in with you. The AmEx Platinum is one that does, and it also includes Delta lounges when flying with them.
 

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Looking for some advice on airport lounges, domestic and international? Which airline has the best and most airport lounges? Also, which are the most flexible, meaning I don't have to have a boarding pass for that particular airline to use that airline's lounge. I live in a United hub city but don't fly United all that much. We travel fairly often and sometimes have longer connection times so having lounge access could be valuable.

As to which as the most/best, I can't answer. I wasn't aware any required a boarding pass to enter, just their membership card or the proper status. I've never been asked for a boarding pass to enter UAL's lounge when I had a pass for that lounge. We're given 2 UAL lounge passes each year for having a Chase United Explorer card.
 

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As to which as the most/best, I can't answer. I wasn't aware any required a boarding pass to enter, just their membership card or the proper status. I've never been asked for a boarding pass to enter UAL's lounge when I had a pass for that lounge. We're given 2 UAL lounge passes each year for having a Chase United Explorer card.

From the United website:

Access policy changes
Effective August 18, 2016, all United Club customers, including members, are eligible to access United Club locations only when they have a flight arriving or departing on any airline the same day, and must show a boarding pass for entry. See the complete United Club terms and conditions
----

And even though this says the changes don't become effective until 2016 everything else on the website makes it look like a boarding pass is required now.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/airport/lounge/access.aspx
 

SMHarman

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Does United share the same terminal?

United club card plus credit card with lounge access could work well for you.
 

Luanne

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Does United share the same terminal?

United club card plus credit card with lounge access could work well for you.

It would work as long as you have a United flight and boarding pass (as found on the United website).
 

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Interesting that this topic comes up now because I'm looking to get a card that gives lounge access. We fly out of Philly, which there are no Priority Pass lounges. Did a bunch of research and looks like the Amex Platinum card ($450/yr) makes the most sense for us. Since there are no Priority Pass lounges in Philly, I checked what lounges are there. Only Delta, British Air, Qatar, United and AA. Looked at the AA card and it doesn't have great access around the world, especially the Caribbean where we travel often. Same with the others. The Amex card gives us access to Delta (only one and not in a convenient terminal) and access to Priority Pass Select, which gives us access to lounges around the world. So, for us, based on the amount we're going to be travelling, it makes sense to pay the $450 for the Amex card. Would prefer the AA card, but not much out of the US.
 

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I just went to the United Club yesterday and it was the first time I had to show
A boarding pass. So it was the first time I went since the change. I usually
Always fly United so I guess it won't affect me too much.
 

am1

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I have the united club credit card which gives me a United Club membership. You have access to all star alliance lounges if flying on star alliance metal or possibly even just ticket.

Too bad as I would like to still use it when flying with other alliances. My home airport is still one terminal. I just got a difference credit card that offers priority pass with the first 6 visits free.
 

SMHarman

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It would work as long as you have a United flight and boarding pass (as found on the United website).
If you have the Club card you don't need a United flight to go in a United lounge. Just a same day boarding pass for a flight.
https://www.theexplorercard.com/Benefits/Club

United ClubSM*MembershipYour MileagePlus Club Card grants you, the primary Cardmember, membership to the United Club, with full access to all United Club locations. Enjoy the comforts and luxuries of the United Club with complimentary bar service, light snacks, Wi-Fi, and more. As the primary Cardmember, simply present your United Club membership card and a valid ID when you arrive before you fly, and you and your eligible travel companions are invited to work or relax in the Club. Your United Club membership gives you access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™-affiliated lounges worldwide.

Seems more to focus on this being a benefit to the primary card holder.

Here is the United page.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/products/subscriptions/unitedClub.aspx



Once signed up to the Chase card the benefit is delivered with a United airlines club membership card. Just like you also get the avis and Hyatt platinum cards.
 
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Luanne

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If you have the Club card you don't need a United flight to go in a United lounge. Just a same day boarding pass for a flight.
https://www.theexplorercard.com/Benefits/Club

United ClubSM*MembershipYour MileagePlus Club Card grants you, the primary Cardmember, membership to the United Club, with full access to all United Club locations. Enjoy the comforts and luxuries of the United Club with complimentary bar service, light snacks, Wi-Fi, and more. As the primary Cardmember, simply present your United Club membership card and a valid ID when you arrive before you fly, and you and your eligible travel companions are invited to work or relax in the Club. Your United Club membership gives you access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™-affiliated lounges worldwide.

Seems more to focus on this being a benefit to the primary card holder.

Once signed up the benefit is delivered with a United airlines club membership card. Just like you also get the avis and Hyatt platinum cards.

Thanks for clarifying. I was reading it as needing a United boarding pass, and in fact that's not what it says.
 

SMHarman

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Though I was travelling in AA business and denied access to the Star lounge in Sao Paulo which this indicates should not happen.

Could well be a misunderstanding of the staff there. The point of the card is it allows you in regardless.

On the flip side I was in London Flying United and the lounge staff moved my seat you premium economy.
 
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slip

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Thanks for clarifying that. I was thinking the same thing since it didn't say a
United boarding pass.
 

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Amex Platinum

The Amex Platinum allows you in the Delta Lounges IF you are flying Delta. As for priority pass, two things to consider are: 1. The lounges you have access to may be as much as 2 or 3 terminals away from your gate. Make sure the lounge is nearby; 2. Make sure how many people are admitted free with the PP. I probably have PP through 4 different cards, but all but one allow only me in for free. The others will allow me to bring guests in BUT at $27 each.

The best thing about the Platinum card is you get into Centurian Lounges and you can take in guests for free((subject to some limitations). Centurian lounges offer a quality product-they even feed you real food. The downside is that there are only 5 or 6 in the US.

Most lounges in the US are often barely worth the effort to enter. In contrast, once you get access to lounges in Asia and Europe, you get spoiled because those offer a better environment and a more expansive range of services.
 
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GetawaysRus

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Most lounges in the US are often barely worth the effort to enter. In contrast, once you get access to lounges in Asia and Europe, you get spoiled because those offer a better environment and a more expansive range of services.

I agree. If the goal is to get into lounges in the USA for our main domestic carriers, it's just not worth the cost or effort. The service is limited and they tend to be crowded. You'll probably do better to find a decent airport restaurant and enjoy a decent meal.

Lounges for the international carriers (both in the USA and abroad) are usually much nicer.
 

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Is it even possible to be in the terminal where the lounges are located without a boarding pass from an airline?
 

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I've never been in one of these lounges myself so out of ignorance, I ask, What is the big deal with these lounges? They cost a fair amount of money. What are the perks or benefits of lounging in these between connecting flights? If one does a "pay as you go" thing rather than having a membership, are the perks worth it?

I know people's tastes and preferences vary but please enlighten me.
 

Luanne

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I've never been in one of these lounges myself so out of ignorance, I ask, What is the big deal with these lounges? They cost a fair amount of money. What are the perks or benefits of lounging in these between connecting flights? If one does a "pay as you go" thing rather than having a membership, are the perks worth it?

I know people's tastes and preferences vary but please enlighten me.

It depends on the lounge.

Most of the time they are more comfortable, have nicer bathrooms, places you can plug in to recharge. They also provide free food (not always the best, but free) and I think drinks might be free as well. This is all based on the United lounges I've been in.

My dd had access to the Cathay Pacific lounge when she flew from San Francisco to Bangkok, then on to Thailand and she said it was great. They provided showers, and may have even had places where people could sleep.
 

slip

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If I didn't get in for free, I wouldn't pay for it. I would have to do a lot of
Traveling before it would pay off to be a member. But with that being said, it's
Nice to get free drinks and snacks. The chairs are much more comfortable and
The bathrooms much nicer than in the airport. I get free passes with a few
Credit cards I use so I save them for our Hawaii trips where we have a little
Longer of a layover. I usually only go there when I have at least two hours.
 

Luanne

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Another thing I didn't mention is, if you have a flight at an off time (very early or very late) many times there isn't much of anything open in the terminal. The lounges are a nicer place to hang out and they are usually still serving something.
 

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lounge access

Is it even possible to be in the terminal where the lounges are located without a boarding pass from an airline?

In some airports, yes. In others no. Ohare is a good example. If you are flying domestic, those terminals are connected. If you are flying international out of Ohare, the international terminal is not connected. In other places, like SFO the terminals are connected. So you have to know your airport as to whether or not you can get from one to another. OTOH walking from terminal 1 to 3 in Ohare will wear you out and take 15 minutes.
 

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In some airports, yes. In others no. Ohare is a good example. If you are flying domestic, those terminals are connected. If you are flying international out of Ohare, the international terminal is not connected. In other places, like SFO the terminals are connected. So you have to know your airport as to whether or not you can get from one to another. OTOH walking from terminal 1 to 3 in Ohare will wear you out and take 15 minutes.

And in a few airports the club lounges are outside of the security area. Las Vegas was like that and probably still is, although I have not been to a lounge at McCarran for several years.
 

cubigbird

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Does United share the same terminal?

United club card plus credit card with lounge access could work well for you.

I know you can use "Star Alliance" lounges but can you use the lounges of airlines of Star Alliance members ie: Avianca???
 

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"I would have to do a lot of Traveling before it would pay off to be a member."

Very true. That was the primary reason why I did the research I did. Up until March of this year, my credit card gave me free Priority Pass access, which was nice. At $395 or $450 per card to get access to the lounges and figuring each lounge was gonna cost us $50 (2@ $25) per airport, that comes to $200 per trip. So, we'd need 3 trips per year to make it worth our while. Up to now, we were just doing that, but didn't feel it was worth it because when we fly from PHL to the Caribbean, the flights are very early and it's not a big deal. However, with wifey retiring at the end of the school year, we started looking into it again. Was t thinking about the Amex Platinum card, but not so sure about it now....

May just forget about it and use the restaurants. The only benefit of the card is that we can get an additional $200 airline travel credit, and I can take it as a business expense which brings the break even point down.

Why so darn complicated? :confused:
 
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