How Can You Access Airport Lounges?

Airport lounges can be a relaxing place to rest or a helpful place to do some work while waiting for a flight. But how can you access them?

We recently published a post on how to get into Cathay lounges. Here we look more generally at getting into lounges.

Airline Tickets

Most business or first class tickets will grant you access to a lounge on the day of travel where the airline offers such a facility.

Frequent Flyer Membership

If you have membership of a frequent flyer scheme, you may be able to gain access to a lounge before your flight. Normally this requires a premium level of membership and will afford you access even if you are flying economy class.

There are several benefits to this type of access. First, often if an airline is in an alliance, you can access a lounge if you are flying any airline within that alliance, not just the one of whose scheme you are a member. Secondly, this approach often allows you to bring in a guest travelling with you.

You can read full details of the respective alliance lounge access policies on their websites: One World, Star Alliance and Skyteam.

We have given some perspective on which programmes are most useful for many of our readers to join, which are still helpful though some of the details may have changed since we published them. Asia Miles vs British Airways Avios and American AAdvantage, Easy Star Alliance Gold and Silver Status via Aegean Airlines and the best Skyteam rewards programme.

Lounge Networks

There are some membership schemes which offer access to lounge networks. These are sold on their own and often offered as part of credit card incentives. Sometimes a number of lounge passes per year are offered and sometimes membership includes unlimited access. Often they utilise lounges like those run by Plaza Premium. To gain a flavour of these lounges you can read our reviews of the Plaza Premium lounge in Hong Kong at gate 40, Taipei Taoyuan terminal two and also an airside review of their HK arrivals lounge.

Priority Pass is one of the leading schemes, and we covered previously how some local credit cards offered free Priority Pass membership.

Paid Access

Many lounges offer paid access. This tends to vary by country and airport – often lounges that do offer this post it by their door.

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