Travel tip – Airport lounges

I recently flew American Airlines and two of their partner airlines, Iberia and British Airways. American offers customers the option to purchase a one day or a 30 day pass to their Admiral’s Club lounge and,  you don’t have to be a first class traveler. Anyone has this option regardless of where your seat on the plane is.

Traveling is full of uncertainty. Will the plane be on time? Will your checked luggage arrive when you do? Will you make your connections? etc. I don’t know about you but,  nine out of ten flights I’ve flown recently have been delayed.  Usually at the gate. With odds like that I decided to purchase a one day pass to the Admirals Club. I go straight to the lounge and if the flight is  delayed and I’m much more comfortable, plus I can use the free computer access ( didn’t carry my laptop this trip) and I can use it at Heathrow airport when I arrive in London. I also had a vague recollection of pretty good snacks at the last airport lounge I visited.  Expectations!

First the pros of an airport lounge. It’s comfortable! Comfy chairs and space around you. I like that. It’s quiet. There are plenty of ports to charge your electronic devices. There is  complimentary coffee, water, juice and a some kind of mixed nuts and pretzels snack and apples. There’s a bar and a there’s a small menu to order from, however those items are not  free at the Admirals Club.  There are showers. Ok so you can sit in a comfy chair working on your laptop or iPad etc. with your glass of wine and pizza. Or if you’ve arrived after a particularly long flight and you have to go to business meeting straight away, you can shower.

The cons, and now I’m talking about the Admirals Club only. The only snacks were the ones mentioned above. No free drinks. And though my flight was delayed,,,it boarded on time. Yep. Sat on the runway for an hour. By the time I arrived at Heathrow the next day I had to run like the wind to try to make my connection. No time for the lounge. And I didn’t make my connection either. So now I’m in terminal 3 and the lounge is in terminal 5. At Heathrow this is very, very bad. No way you’re going back to terminal 5 unless you’re laid over for more than two hours!

Getting to the point,  is it worth it to purchase a one day pass? Maybe. For me it wasn’t. I definitely did not feel I got my $50.00 dollars worth. However, if in the next 30 days I find I have the opportunity to travel more frequently and want to purchase an annual pass I can apply that $50.00 towards the membership fee.

Then there’s  Priority Pass. They offer some great deals on over 600 lounges world wide. Unfortunately the Admirals Club lounge was not part of the package at DFW. So check it carefully and make sure you will have access to the lounges you can actually use before you get too excited about the great price for an annual membership, only $99.00.

In short if you travel more than twice a month I think a lounge membership is a great deal. If not,,,maybe not.


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