International travel and long-haul flights can be stressful experiences, leaving you feeling frazzled – especially if you’re on a last minute flight. To make your journey more comfortable and relaxing, it’s possible to gain access to airport lounges, which offer a range of complimentary and luxurious services.
The Benefits of Airport Lounges
Airport lounges offer respite from the crowds of the terminals, and are a wonderful way of relaxing or finding some quiet in which to catch up on work between flights. There are numerous services which are a standard part of most airlines’ lounges:
- Free wi-fi and internet access.
- Conference rooms.
- Complimentary newspapers and magazines.
- Complimentary drinks and snacks.
- Entertainment facilities, such as televisions.
All of this translates to a quiet, comfortable space in which to relax or get some work done, and provides a welcome intermission from the trials of air travel. But that’s not all: many lounges, particularly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, offer a more luxurious service for their first class passengers. Things such as:
- Hot and cold buffet meals.
- Spas and massages.
- Swimming pools and fitness centres.
- Beds and showers.
- Cigar rooms.
So if you’re tired of the tribulations that come with economy class air travel, you may wish to consider getting your hands on an airport lounge membership. Depending on the degree to which you travel, there are several options which may suit you.
How to Get Access to Airport Lounges
The most obvious way to gain access to airport lounges is to travel by business or first class; most airlines allow these passengers access to their lounges on the day of travel.
If you don’t always travel business or first class, but still want to enjoy the benefits of airport lounges, all is not lost. There are several options available to economy class travellers, which could be more economical, depending on how often you travel.
An airline status card allows access to an airline’s own lounges, and for top frequent flyer customers, access is also offered to the airline’s partners’ lounges. These memberships can be used regardless of the class you’re travelling in.
Some banks and credit cards offer access as a part of their rewards schemes. Often these require you to have taken out one of their premium products, so you should do some calculations to figure out whether using this method will work in your pocket’s favour.
There are also several independent programmes that offer airline lounge memberships for an annual fee and some that offer pre-bookable day passes without the need for a membership.
So regardless of the class you usually travel in or whether you’re travelling on a last minute flight or regular long-haul flights, there are ways in which you can gain access to the most luxurious airport lounges – just carry out some research to figure out the most cost effective method for you.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Usula Jones is a writer who also has several years of travelling the globe and navigating airports. She now writes on behalf of Cheapflights.com.au