Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

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whodidntante
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:29 pm

It's not worth full sticker price, but if you game the system or you have divorce pending status on an airline, it is a great perk.

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Cycle
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Cycle » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:23 am

The lounges vary, a LOT. And this is even within the same program, including airline-specific lounges.
I recall using a lounge in Quito with my Priority Pass where they had cut up hot dogs and balogna on tooth picks; however, they also had reclining chairs and blankets. For our overnight layover before heading onto cuenca I got 5 hours of sleep. Turned out to be one of my most valuable lounge stops.

HornedToad
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by HornedToad » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:01 pm

I get Priority Pass for free from CSR or from business class flights due to points so its a nice perk.

I think CSR is overall worth it if you travel alot with a net $150/yr CC fee when you consider the other benefits of the card.

Xrayman69
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Xrayman69 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:52 pm

Fly about 60 flights a year 10 of those with the family. Usually direct flights. Hub airport in a metropolitan city.

The carriers lounge is average at best. With status for the airline $350 a year.

When flying alone a lounge is always near the gate. Variable amount of time needed to get through TSA even with precheck so typically must get to airport 1 hour before takeoff. Leaves 15 minutes before boarding. It’s good to go to bathroom before boarding and getting a cup of coffee/juice to go and loading some snacks and fruit for flight. Upon arrival for home again brief stop to go to bathroom and getting a beverage and a piece of fruit while arranging an Uber ride home (uber takes 10 minutes to arrive).

When traveling with family all enter without charge. On these occasions need to arrive 90 minutes before takeoff due to traveling with a kid and just wanting to make sure. Good place to settle and feed kid and have drinks with spouse prior to takeoff. Go to bathroom prior to boarding. A few snacks and some fruit to go. On arrival for home go to lounge while waiting for luggage and bathroom stop while arranging Uber ride home.

It’s worth it for me as I travel frequently and use the lounge often. It’s not luxurious but utilitarian for its convenience and reliability. Works out best and nicely when traveling with family.

ohai
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by ohai » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:14 am

I like to walk around the airport. So for me, the lounge doesn't offer a lot of value. Usually, airports with nice lounges also have nice things to look at. However, if I traveled more, I'd probably just want somewhere nice to hang out.

letsgobobby
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:28 am

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snackdog
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by snackdog » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:54 am

I always check out the lounge when flying business or first. They range from great (Emirates) to horrific (KLM). They are mostly full of tired, poorly dressed hapless business travelers, including some with drinking problems. I like to walk and people watch so the terminal usually is a better bet for me.

traveler901
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by traveler901 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:10 am

They vary quite a bit. The best benefits to me are good WiFi, shower if on a really long journey, free booze, and some space to hang out. Typically the food isn't very good to be honest, but again it varies by lounge.

Best ones I've been to (business class lounges, not first class):
KrisFlyer lounge in Singapore
Emirates lounges in Dubai are good
Star Alliance lounge in Auckland intl terminal
Best United lounge I've been to is Tokyo Narita

I would personally never pay for entry if I didn't have it through airline loyalty program or a credit card program. Seems the going rate is usually $40 or so. And again there's usually better food elsewhere in the airport.

rich126
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by rich126 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:15 am

Often international lounges are better than domestic (US) lounges.

It is really a question of how much flying you do, where you go, where you fly out of, etc. as to whether it is worth it. If you are single and a very infrequent flyer then in most cases you are better off paying for access when you really need it.

You can get access:
1. Pay on a per visit basis - expensive but if you don't use it often or use different lounges it may be better than paying $400+ to use a lounge 6 times a year.
2. Get a credit card with priority pass. There are different version of priority pass and some allow you to bring in guest(s). Need to check the details. PP has its own issues as well. Lounges can get very crowded and they will often close access to PP users. PP at some airports will provide a meal credit to certain airport restaurants.

3. Pay for a lounge membership - Ties you to a specific lounge brand.

4. Get a CC that provides lounge access. Also usually ties you to a specific lounge. For example there is a Citi AA card that provides lounge access. It isn't cheap (I think $450) but besides the AA lounge membership it provides some other benefits as well. So it is probably better than just buying the lounge membership itself.

It is a nice perk to have, and people working in the lounges can often help you better than people working the airline counters. Like many things in life YMMV. The best lounge I've ever visit was Lufhansa's first class terminal lounge in Frankfurt, Germany. That was only due to having a first class ticket and none of the above items would have worked.

spectec
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by spectec » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:31 am

The lounge is always nicer than the general terminal waiting areas under almost any circumstances. Even when a lounge is crowded, the terminal waiting areas & restaurants are more crowded. Depending upon the location, access to working outlets for recharging devices is much handier in the lounge. For me the savings in food cost alone helps offset the annual fee, although it doesn't necessarily cover it. (I'm not a picky eater and I don't drink alcohol when flying). It's much nicer to meet colleagues or friends in the lounge, or take them there as guests if they're not members.

The staff is very helpful when you would like to change seating or check on availability of favored seating not released online. But the real benefit is when things go wrong. If there is a flight delay, weather problem, or especially a cancellation, the lounge staff can provide way more help in actually getting things done faster than the online or phone services. And in those situations a long wait in the lounge is vastly preferable to the terminal areas.
Last edited by spectec on Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aquaman
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by aquaman » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:02 am

rich126 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:15 am
It is a nice perk to have, and people working in the lounges can often help you better than people working the airline counters.
This is only the case if you have access to the lounge of the airline that you are flying. If you are in another type of lounge, whether operated by a different carrier or an independent one, lounge attendants would not be able to help.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:56 pm

I pay for AA admirals club membership. I fly enough for work that I feel the annual cost is worthwhile. For a casual traveler, not a chance, unless the person is an alcoholic.

The “food” at the domestic AA lounges is laughably bad.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Lounges are worth the money when you travel internationally. For domestic travel, not so much. Unless the lounge is right next to your gate, it will be a hassle to visit unless you have at least 90 minutes until boarding.

My favorite domestic lounge is the main Delta Airlines Sky Club in Atlanta. My favorite international airline lounges are the Lufthansa business class lounges in Frankfurt. My favorite international non-airline lounges are the ones that accept Priority Pass in Madrid. I was not impressed by the lounges in Paris, Rome, Milan, or Geneva. I wanted to visit the airline lounges in Vienna and Copenhagen, but they wouldn't let me in with my United status. I never had time to visit the Lufthansa lounges in Munich.

Capricorn51
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Capricorn51 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:36 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:56 pm
I pay for AA admirals club membership. I fly enough for work that I feel the annual cost is worthwhile. For a casual traveler, not a chance, unless the person is an alcoholic.

The “food” at the domestic AA lounges is laughably bad.
Ha. Likewise here - I travel ~ 10 times per year, nearly always on one world/AA. The lounges are generally a respite from the main airport, especially at the large hubs. Food options ok, not great, but sufficient and perhaps better than on board.

Agree about international clubs being a cut above (especially for business or first class ticket holders). AA has started "Flagship Lounges" in domestic hubs for passengers flying international business or first, which are very good (not quite international standards though).

Also AMEX Centurion Lounges for Platinum Card holders are great if they fit with your itinerary. I've been to ones in PHL and DFW

mrsbetsy
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by mrsbetsy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:52 pm

We have the AMEX Platinum Business. It's a hefty AF at $550, but we get a $200 airline credit and $15 a month for Uber and we use both of those.

However, the best perk is getting early access to things like concerts. We just got 4 tickets to see the Eagles in Vegas this September. Reselling the extra 2 will be a piece of cake and for a pretty good profit. We'll use SW for a free ticket and points for the hotel and 1 ticket. Makes the trip nearly free.

Free Global Entry (worth $100)

Lounge access with free wine, beer, and cocktails. If the Centurion lounges are too full or not at an airport, we can get meal credits at other places in an airport like the San Francisco Giants lounge at SFO.

Our business charges about 60K a month so the points add up quickly. It's a no-brainer.

likegarden
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by likegarden » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:52 pm

15 to 30 years ago I flew 15 or so times from the Northeast to Europe and Asia, mostly Business class. I really liked those airport lounges, especially before and after 14 hour flights from/to Asia. Any money spent on airport lounges was really worth it.

jrbdmb
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by jrbdmb » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:03 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:54 am
Here is how the lounge pays off.

When flying somewhere instead of having to make breakfast at home and cleaning up after ourselves before we fly, we just make coffee, leave and then eat at the lounge. Same thing when we come home. Usually on the return flight we are tired and don’t want to cook. Instead of rushing to grab our luggage and then take out food, we go to the lounge for a bite to eat and then without any stress grab our luggage at the office instead of the carousel where they very kindly hold unto it for us.

The decreased stress and free food make it worth it for us.
Unfortunately, some lounges are now becoming "day of departure" only, so that you can't stop by after reaching your destination.

dbr
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by dbr » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Setting aside million mile flyers that are in airports a hundred days of the year, I would say that if a person is asking the question that way the answer is no. If the question is whether access to lounges is helpful and makes flying more pleasant and less tiring the answer is yes, but luxury would be an overstatement unless you think middle of the road chain restaurants and hotels count as luxury.

Note that lounge access can be conditional. Others have mentioned restrictions on who is admitted. One to add is that most often you may need a boarding pass on a departure that day on that airline to be admitted to the lounge. In the past I have used lounges of airlines I had access to but was not flying that day. Some lounges can be really crowded at bad times as well. Also there is a hierarchy of lounges by some airlines in some airports and the super first class spa lounge may not be the one you are going to be in.

staythecourse
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by staythecourse » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm

I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
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flyingaway
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by flyingaway » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
If I have my private jet waiting there, I certainly don't need airport lounges.

jlawrence01
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by jlawrence01 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm

For a couple of years, my wife was commuting from STL to BOS and I was commuting from STL-YUM/SAN/SNA each week. As we only had one vehicle and we would often arrive hours apart, having a membership atthe local airline club was really very convenient and was worth every penny.

staythecourse
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by staythecourse » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
If I have my private jet waiting there, I certainly don't need airport lounges.
Guess I am referring to the level below that. I am sure there are many UHNW (35+ million) without private planes. Where do they hang out?

But since you brought it up where do the folks with private planes hang out until their plane is ready and cleared to go? Or do they have clearance to take off once their plane is ready to go?

Now you got me curious.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

ResearchMed
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:06 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
If I have my private jet waiting there, I certainly don't need airport lounges.
Guess I am referring to the level below that. I am sure there are many UHNW (35+ million) without private planes. Where do they hang out?

But since you brought it up where do the folks with private planes hang out until their plane is ready and cleared to go? Or do they have clearance to take off once their plane is ready to go?

Now you got me curious.

Good luck.
My understanding is that they often use different terminals (specific for private aviation) or even different airports (think Teterboro in NJ, instead of LGA/JFK/Newark for example).

Point is, they are not one of those other people sitting with you, wherever you are in the terminal waiting for commercial/scheduled flights.

I think LAX has a special VIP terminal, which is available for a cost (a hefty cost last I read about it).
But for celebrities, they are often kept out of the "public areas" even if flying commercial.
In some cases, "big wigs" or very elite status passengers are brought to the plane by private car, and then met the same way.
As an aside, in FRA, for LH F lounge/terminal, this is standard operating procedure, and it was... different :happy
(We were flying with awards, but were treated the same, etc., as those paying big bucks.)

There are some airports where there is plenty of mixed us, such as Aspen, but I'm not sure that the private flyers are in the same terminal there, either.

DH flew private once, with a consulting client.
It was winter time here, and the luncheon meeting was in San Juan.
When the flight landed, and they were getting off, DH had his coat over his arm, and the flight attendant gently asked, "Would you prefer to leave your coat on the plane, Sir?"
Why, yes indeed, he would and did.
And he said that it was that one little "feature" when he realized that life IS different, even in subtle ways...

RM
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rj49
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by rj49 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:58 pm

The problem I've found with the lounges is the premium credit cards created a monster of allowing too many people trying to use the lounges, which ruined their advantages. The last one I went in at Seatac was a mob scene, with entire families getting in on a card and occupying every seat, manically munching and drinking, and with garbage and dirty dishes everywhere. From reports I've read, many lounges are having to restrict access, particularly at peak times. I had another unpleasant experience at a lounge in Copenhagen, with no seats and rude businessmen, but then I had a much nicer time at an early morning visit to Reykyavik's lounge. The lounge idea seems appealing, but in reality I find that it's like Costco samples or a buffet, where I get too excited by the idea of 'free food' (the premium credit card owners also seem more eager to get the 'value' of their card by getting free food and drink, whereas first-class and loyalty members seem to want space and relaxation). After dealing with lounges, I find it more appealing just to find a quiet area in a restaurant or seating area where I can relax before flying stresses.

I also have the advantage in many airports of being able to use a USO, with pleasant volunteers and many with comfortable recliners and showers and luggage storage.

josehde
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by josehde » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:16 am

That depends. If you fly frequently and have long layovers, yes. Many offer free food and beverages, free wifi, comfort and a bit of peace which is great since I usually find airports tiring.

Bacchus01
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:35 am

The food generally sucks

A couple free drinks is an added bonus

The chairs may or may not be a bit more comfortable

Those that have showers are huge for me. Once flew from Chicago to Italy a few days. Then to France . Then from Paris to Beijing. 5 hour layover. Got a chance to shower in Beijing. Flight to internal China for 24 hours then back to Shanghai. Shanghai lounges SUCK. Then back to a Chicago. Around the word trip. The lounges made it bearable but outside of the shower in Beijing, nothing spectacular.

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whodidntante
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by whodidntante » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:36 am

ohai wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:14 am
I like to walk around the airport. So for me, the lounge doesn't offer a lot of value. Usually, airports with nice lounges also have nice things to look at. However, if I traveled more, I'd probably just want somewhere nice to hang out.
Yes, you are exactly right. Try 20 trips in a year and see if you want to walk around the airport. LOL

Bacchus01
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:39 am

staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
If I have my private jet waiting there, I certainly don't need airport lounges.
Guess I am referring to the level below that. I am sure there are many UHNW (35+ million) without private planes. Where do they hang out?

But since you brought it up where do the folks with private planes hang out until their plane is ready and cleared to go? Or do they have clearance to take off once their plane is ready to go?

Now you got me curious.

Good luck.
I fly private plane for domestic flights on a monthly if not weekly basis. At all FBOs there is usually a small lounge. The quality of the one in say Chicago is very different than the one in say Pella, Iowa. That said, I do not wait for the plane to be ready. Ever. If the flight is for 8AM. I show up at 7:50, walk straight on the plane and we are in the air by 8. Maybe 8:05. When I land, the car is waiting on the tarmac and I get off and jump right in the car and go.

For very frequent business travel, it is obviously the way to go. Our megacorp has a fleet of planes and it is also much more economical in total.

aquaman
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by aquaman » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:46 am

staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year.
It's a more complicated calculation than it seems. Premium credit card issuers aren't just interested in their credit card revenue. There are some premium credit cards that are actually loss leaders for their respective institutions. That's because a number of these banks are using premium credit cards as a way of attracting higher net worth customers to the banks, so that some of the customers would turn to these banks for other services.

There's a similar reason that full service airlines have lounges, as they are looking at their overall revenue. Full service airlines heavily discount lounge access for frequent flyers or even give them free lounge memberships (together with seat upgrades, etc...), as they're interested in the overall revenue stream generated by those flyers.

Programs like Priority Pass are designed to give lounge owners supplemental revenue by paying them for excess capacity. For obvious reasons, while running lounges is expensive, once they are set up, the additional incremental cost per lounge passenger is quite low. So, the revenue that lounge owners derive from Priority Pass and similar programs is virtually all pure profit. This is also the reason though that Priority Pass doesn't give you access to most domestic airline lounges, as they tend to have little excess capacity and giving this type of access to folks who aren't flying the same airline cannibalizes the airlines' pitch to potential customers.

Priority Pass also runs its own lounges for the same reason that AMEX runs its Centurion lounges, as, in order for their lounge program to be attractive, they need to give their customers lounge access in busy airports and as well as those airports where a lot of their customers are concentrated and/or travel through.
I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?
There are elite airport lounges that you can't access without an international long haul first class (not business class, but first class) ticket. A premium credit card won't get you in and you can't buy a day pass to it. A few of these lounges even restrict access to revenue international long haul first class tickets, meaning that award tickets don't get you in. The airlines lose a ton of money on those lounges, but more than make up for it through the revenue generated by premium airfare.

jayk238
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by jayk238 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:54 am

10.06am wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:18 am
I have an Amex Platinum that comes with lounge access. $550/year, but I get $200 of airline credit, lounge access, and a 100,000 bonus mile sign up offer. If I renew it after this year it will be because of the lounges.

I have been in great lounges and also just ok ones. In Johannesburg I was able to take a shower and a nap while I waited for my flight. The Dubai and Las Vegas lounges are also great. Even Detroit and Portland are nice - quieter, more outlets, wifi, and plenty of free food/drinks. Always an open bar if you enjoy that. I think I need to use them 6+ times a year to make the $350/worth it. I definitely don't pay for anything in the airport anymore (meals, drinks, etc).

One hidden cost is that if you are traveling with someone else and they don't have lounge access, it is usually ~$30 to get them in. Probably rude to leave them at the gate while you go into the lounge. With the AMEX it is automatically charged to your card most places, so you will have to be comfortable asking your guest to reimburse you or just pay for them.
But its really not a 200 dollar credit. Its only for extras like extra bags food on the plane. Not even to upgrade or towards flights whereas the csr is. If you are a frequent traveler for business or pleasure and have the money chances are you travel business w no need for the 200 bucks.

atdharris
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by atdharris » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:33 am

It depends on how often you travel, to be honest. If you fly 4-5 times a year at minimum, it can be worth it. For example, I have the Amex Platinum card. The lounge access alone would be more expensive than the annual fee, and they also give me $15/month to use on Uber for rides or food, $200 I can use on incidentals or airline gift cards, and access to Delta/Amex/PP lounges (a godsend if you fly Delta often). If you spend a lot of time on layovers and enjoy drinking, it really does pay for itself. Airport bars/food can be expensive outside of the lounges.

michaeljc70
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:54 am

There are some nice lounges. The problem is I am not going to get to the airport hours earlier to enjoy them. They are most handy if you have flight delays or routinely have long connections (which I avoid like the plague). I had a Chase Sapphire Reserve which gave me access to a lot of lounges. It was nice as I had it in a period where I was going a good amount of personal travel (I don't travel for business). The lounge in Rio was new, had a nice bar, chef that would cook certain things to order, buffet, etc. Some of them have soda, coffee, donuts, and a few snacks and not much more. Most people don't want to spend more time in an airport than they need to even if it is in a nice lounge.

As someone else said, sometimes the lounge is not in your terminal so you are out of luck.

ohai
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by ohai » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:59 am

whodidntante wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:36 am
ohai wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:14 am
I like to walk around the airport. So for me, the lounge doesn't offer a lot of value. Usually, airports with nice lounges also have nice things to look at. However, if I traveled more, I'd probably just want somewhere nice to hang out.
Yes, you are exactly right. Try 20 trips in a year and see if you want to walk around the airport. LOL
You know, somehow I forgot, but in 2015 I flew coast to coast probably 45 times round trips as part of work. Under these circumstances, you develop a more efficient schedule. I would typically have very little time to wait in the airport and would rush through all the transit. So in extreme cases, there might not even be time to go to the lounge. Maybe if the destination changed and I had a lot of layovers, then the lounge would be good value.

staythecourse
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:50 pm

aquaman wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:46 am
There are elite airport lounges that you can't access without an international long haul first class (not business class, but first class) ticket. A premium credit card won't get you in and you can't buy a day pass to it. A few of these lounges even restrict access to revenue international long haul first class tickets, meaning that award tickets don't get you in. The airlines lose a ton of money on those lounges, but more than make up for it through the revenue generated by premium airfare.
Guess I was thinking there was something more elite then even that.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

aquaman
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by aquaman » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:22 pm


staythecourse
Posts: 6868
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:39 pm

aquaman wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:22 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:50 pm
Guess I was thinking there was something more elite then even that.
https://www.foxnews.com/travel/a-behind ... hrough-lax

https://www.aa.com/i18n/plan-travel/ext ... ervice.jsp

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/09/inside ... al-at-lax/
Thanks for the links. Always interesting how procedures are developed to deal with every issue. Stuff you wouldn't even think about. Again I am thankful celebs don't go through the same process. It would be a pain due to the local congestion with folks trying to take pics.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

DonIce
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by DonIce » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:36 am

I have the CSR card and use the lounges pretty regularly. In the US, they are mainly a nice place to get mediocre snacks/drinks for free. They are mostly swamped with other CSR card holders so not much for escaping the crowds and hustle of the rest of the airport. The lounges you can't get into with a super commonly held credit card are probably better. But the free snacks/drinks do offer maybe a $10-20 value per trip (given the inflated prices you would generally have to pay for them in an airport otherwise).

Overseas, on the other hand, lounges can often be MUCH nicer than what I've run into in the US. Much more luxurious and much better food. In Rome I was able to get myself and 2 guests in and we had a very nice dinner for the 3 of us for free.

Jim85
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Jim85 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:43 am

I have CSR and have visited various lounges with the Priority Pass. Some good, some just OK.

FYI - just got the Hilton Honors Ascend AMEX (with 150K bonus points), annual fee $95. This also comes with Priority Pass but I think limited to 10 visits a year. That's enough for me. I don't think I'll renew the CSR this year. Not sure I was getting enough out of the net $150 per year cost.

student
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by student » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:27 am

Jim85 wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:43 am
I have CSR and have visited various lounges with the Priority Pass. Some good, some just OK.

FYI - just got the Hilton Honors Ascend AMEX (with 150K bonus points), annual fee $95. This also comes with Priority Pass but I think limited to 10 visits a year. That's enough for me. I don't think I'll renew the CSR this year. Not sure I was getting enough out of the net $150 per year cost.
Yes. It is limited to 10 visits but you can use it yourself 10 times or one time with a group of ten.

dcabler
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by dcabler » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:20 am

capitalhockey wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:56 am
Read an article online about how luxurious some airport lounges can be.....complimentary buffet, full bar, place to take a nap and shower, etc.

Lounge access is limited to members of certain credit cards that carry very pricey annual fees ($550 or much higher), elite status with airlines or pay a hefty one-time admission fee.

Currently, we don't travel enough to justify the costs. I was thinking this is something my wife and I can do when are retired and plan to travel a lot (esp internationally). It would be useful to recharge in a nice lounge on a long layover.

Anyone currently doing this -- is it worth it? Which is the best/worse airport lounge you been to?
At my airline, membership is for:
- Certain credit card holders
- People traveling International Economy plus or higher
- People who have purchased a membership with $$
- People who have obtained the highest levels of status in the airline's frequent flier program.
- People who have purchased a membership using frequent flier miles.

I am in the last category. I travel a lot for business, meaning I get lots of miles. So spending some each year on lounge access was a no-brainer for me. Reason: It's much quieter than out in the gate area. Free food to snack on, free drinks, etc..

Cheers.

Howie
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Howie » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:02 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:40 am
TexasPE wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:33 am
+1 on the CSR card, even for domestic/ economy travel. Priority Pass offers free meals at restaurants as well as lounges.

For instance, our home airport is IAH. At IAH my wife and I have the choice of two restaurants (Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Bar - Terminal A, Landry's Seafood, Terminal C) and two lounges (KLM and Air France-Terminal D) to use. I believe the meal credit is $26/ person - no charge for a guest, See https://www.prioritypass.com/en/lounges ... ontinental

We travel to Cincinnati twice a year, normally have lunch in their lounge before an early afternoon flight. The only disappointment we have had was in Las Vegas - virtually every seat taken, felt claustrophobic (but they are expanding it this year). A couple domestic flights per year for us makes the CSR fee (net $150 after the $300 travel credit) worthwhile to us.

Recommend you check out PriorityPass https://www.prioritypass.com/en for your home and frequently visited airports to see whether it would make sense for you.
Well, well, well!
I had NO idea about the restaurant credits for Priority Pass!

Thanks!
This might make a real difference, especially for domestic travel, if we want more than a "snack", which is what many Priority Pass lounges tend to offer.

RM
Word of caution concerning Priority Pass- there are some airports, PDX for example, where Priority Pass members are denied access to lounges at the discretion of the lounge operator. At PDX Priority Pass advertises the Alaska Airlines Lounge as available to members but the last three times I’ve been there a sign was posted indicating otherwise due to capacity. The most recent time this occurred I walked in to examine just how crowded it was and found it to be about 75% full (or far less crowded than most Admiral’s Club lounges you’ll encounter).

anil686
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by anil686 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:45 am

I am surprised at the discussion of the inflated prices of drinks at the airport. Frankly, most of the drink vending machines (20 oz soda or water) are $2.50 at DFW. I normally arrive about 1 to 1.5 hours before my flight because security is so fast. I try to minimize time in the airport and so typically eat at home prior to going since I have control over that food and will unlikely have such control for the duration of my trip. But I would have to drink like 80 oz of soda/water to get to the $10 level thrown around here. I can't possibly do that in one hour at the gate. I can see the advantages maybe in international flights where overseas you are advised to be at the airport like five hours ahead of time. Sure, then it is a nice quiet place to hang out. But other than that, I have traveled to many airports and most of them are not zoo like with people all over you until you try to board. Now, if you can board via the lounge without going to the gate...

Trism
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by Trism » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:38 pm

Value is personal. Buy a day pass or a one-time admission each of the next few times you fly and decide for yourself.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:52 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:06 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:15 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm a little surprised it only costs holding cards that cost annual fees around $300- $600. Many of my kid's sports/ dance stuff cost more then that. That cost seems pretty cheap to me if you spend more then 2-3x at an airport per year. I'm surprised there are not elite airport lounges that cost more and more exclusive?

Unrelated questions, but where do the folks with a lot of money spend their time at the airport?

Good luck.
If I have my private jet waiting there, I certainly don't need airport lounges.
Guess I am referring to the level below that. I am sure there are many UHNW (35+ million) without private planes. Where do they hang out?

But since you brought it up where do the folks with private planes hang out until their plane is ready and cleared to go? Or do they have clearance to take off once their plane is ready to go?

Now you got me curious.

Good luck.
My understanding is that they often use different terminals (specific for private aviation) or even different airports (think Teterboro in NJ, instead of LGA/JFK/Newark for example).

Point is, they are not one of those other people sitting with you, wherever you are in the terminal waiting for commercial/scheduled flights.

I think LAX has a special VIP terminal, which is available for a cost (a hefty cost last I read about it).
But for celebrities, they are often kept out of the "public areas" even if flying commercial.
In some cases, "big wigs" or very elite status passengers are brought to the plane by private car, and then met the same way.
As an aside, in FRA, for LH F lounge/terminal, this is standard operating procedure, and it was... different :happy
(We were flying with awards, but were treated the same, etc., as those paying big bucks.)

There are some airports where there is plenty of mixed us, such as Aspen, but I'm not sure that the private flyers are in the same terminal there, either.

DH flew private once, with a consulting client.
It was winter time here, and the luncheon meeting was in San Juan.
When the flight landed, and they were getting off, DH had his coat over his arm, and the flight attendant gently asked, "Would you prefer to leave your coat on the plane, Sir?"
Why, yes indeed, he would and did.
And he said that it was that one little "feature" when he realized that life IS different, even in subtle ways...

RM
My husband did like the fact that they address him as sir at the business class line, it’s something I”ll never understand.
Somebody flying on British Airways first class did see a sort of celebrity, not the super famous kind, but sort of the musician type. Next time, I see my husband’s niece I will ask this question. They hang around with famous musicians from the UK.

letsgobobby
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:10 pm

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Last edited by letsgobobby on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

sc9182
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Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

Post by sc9182 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:55 pm

Some folks dog leg their business itinerary so as to get more miles and gain/maintain status. This in turn makes your extra-long route easier to bear (and free alcohol may smooth it over). In turn they could get/maintain next year status-level - which allows them lounge access.

The longer is definitely more quieter if you either need to work or to catch a good-bite/take-nap/shower etc.

Like it, only in some cases - fail to predict any pattern when I/we need the lounge access. Thus, for us, earning high status level, or buying a pricier ticket may not be worth for lounge-access sake alone. We do like it however, but not the hurdles/price you have to put up the for its access.

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