How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Airport waiting lounges are the perfect places at an airport where you can spend your time in a pleasant and productive way. They offer a variety of different amenities and facilities that help passengers unwind before catching their flight.

Having exclusive access to a first or business class lounge guarantees you a high level of comfort, privacy and space to rest, work, sleep and rejuvenate before catching your flight.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

If you are a frequent traveler, then you probably recognize the importance of having access to a comfortable airport lounge. Having access to an airport lounge  is one of the things every frequent traveler should strive for. There are many great reasons to wish to get exclusive lounge access.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

There are some smart and easy way to get lounge access everywhere.

What are the ways to upgrade to a higher air travel class?

Getting an upgrade isn’t  always easy but here we will provide you with some tips to score an upgraded seat. The general rule is that the more air travel classes a certain flight has, the more difficult it will be to upgrade your seat and fly on a higher class.

Frequent flyers are more likely to get flight upgrades and enjoy a full access to a luxury airport lounge. To get premium lounge access you need to become a loyal flyer of an airline company and join a loyalty program

Every air carrier has different rules for status tiers and by receiving a high status in your airline’s hierarchy you are closer to getting an upgrade and enjoying premium lounge access.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

You can have the option to use a co-branded credit card. In this way you can earn the needed amount of miles and points. Sign up for an airline credit card which will help you get a VIP airline status in a quick way.

Use miles and points to upgrade

One way to get a flight upgrade is to get an economy class ticket and then upgrade your ticket by using reward points and flyer miles. Make sure to check the fare class of your ticket because some tickets offer a more easy way to upgrade than others. Basic economy class for example doesn’t offer any options for an upgrade.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Ways to get airport lounge access:

Join an airport lounge program

One way to obtain exclusive access to an airport’s lounge is to become a member of an airline’s loyalty program or get a lounge membership to an alliance.  This option is suitable for those flyers who prefer to fly with a certain air carrier and don’t travel to a destination that is too far away.

The people who will get the biggest advantage out of this option are business travelers who prefer to fly with a certain airline or alliance as well as fly to large airports or fly on domestic or international flights. There are annual airport lounge programs for those of you who want to use premium lounge access and get advantage of different lounge amenities.

The standard cost of a membership in an airline’s loyalty program is between $300 and $700 and there can be also an additional fee of up to $100. It’s good to know that if you frequently catch international flights, it will be better for you to be a member of an alliance rather than join the membership program of a specific airline. That’s because alliances include several airlines that have more bases than one single airline.

Being a member of a lounge program offered by an alliance offers you the option to collect points and get frequent flyer advantages with their airlines. One popular airline alliance for example is Oneworld which offers you access to different lounge locations around the world such as British Airways, Qatar, Qantas, Japan, Malaysia.

You should check in advance if the airline or the alliance of your choice has airport lounges at the airport locations you are going to travel to.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Sometimes you are likely to get an upgrade if your chosen flight is overbooked. You can give up your seat and ask for an upgrade to a seat at a higher air travel class.

Get a frequent flyer status with an airline

Getting an elite status with an airline or an alliance definitely guarantees you the option to enjoy a variety of lounge services and amenities.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Airlines and alliances offer exclusive airport lounge access for some of their passengers who own an elite membership. Travelers with a frequent flyer status get airport lounge access that grants them perks extending through a wide network of airport lounge locations.

You should know that there still can be limitations  as some airlines don’t grant access to some of their passengers who travel on international flights. Getting an elite status with either an airline or an alliance is the perfect option for business flyers or travelers who prefer to fly with a certain airline.

So if you are a frequent business traveler who prefers to travel exclusively with one airline, you can check your membership to see how you can get an elite flyer status and what lounge amenities and perks you will be able to enjoy.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Make a bid on an upgrade

Bidding on an upgrade is a wonderful way to save money on a flight ticket price while enjoying high quality air travel service. Some airlines offer you the opportunity to make a bid to get a seat upgrade when you book a ticket for a lower air travel class. So you should check what are the airlines with available upgrades.

Usually when an air carrier offers a new seat upgrade option, it will send you an email with the option for you to bid on a seat of a higher airfare.

You should check if there are any restrictions of this option as they are different for each air company. So you should acquaint yourself with the rules of your airline.

If it allows passengers to make bids on upgrades, you have a chance to get a seat at lower price than this you would pay if you book it originally.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Get an upgrade voucher

Upgrade vouchers are a great way to get a comfortable seat at a higher air travel class. Airlines give upgrade vouchers to frequent flyers with an elite status each year. The advantage of having an upgrade voucher is that you can give it to someone else even if they aren’t the person who received it originally from the airline. Any flyer can use an upgrade voucher.

Get a frequent flyer credit card

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Airlines offer their high status elite flyers special credit cards that allow them exclusive access to lounges. Getting a credit card is a common way to gain access to an airport lounge for many passengers. And it’s one of the easiest ways to get such type of access.

Some credit cards offer exclusive airport lounge access to certain lounges while others offer you access to hundreds of airport lounge locations worldwide. There are credit card programs that offer lounge access with a third-party program at a cheap price. Such a program is Priority Pass for example.

Credit card programs often offer different perks, so it’s good to check your credit card as it’s possible that it already offers you some type of airport lounge access. However, sometimes these credit cards bring some annual fees.

Besides free lounge entry, credit card programs offer other great perks such as  $200 in credits which you can use for airline fees, one of which are fees for checked baggage.

Credit cards remove foreign transaction charges and provide you with different travel extras and one-time-use passes and free or discounted day passes for airport lounges.

If you don’t have such a card, it’s recommended to sign up for such a program, if you want to get premium lounge access. Make sure to read the fine print and the usage rules and details before signing up for a credit card program.

The number of credit cards that offer exclusive airport lounge access in one form or another is high. Every credit card is different and it offers a specific airport lounge access and different rewards and perks. Some of the perks can be points which you can use for booking travel, hotel status, an option for a car rental upgrade.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

These credit cards offer you a premium lounge access for a certain fee at some lounge locations. There are also credit cards that offer worldwide lounge access for their special flyer status passengers.

Credit card programs are suitable for business class flyers or passengers that use credit cards solely for travel purposes (booking flight tickets with points).

The annual fees tend to be high but that investment is high, especially if you are a frequent traveler.

Get a one-day  lounge pass

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

If you don’t want a long-term commitment, one-day lounge pass it’s a good alternative. One-day lounge access is a simple way to get advantage of some of the amazing facilities a premium lounge offers before a long-haul- flight.

You should know that one-day passes don’t offer 24-hour access. Airlines offer one-day lounge access of different duration which can be just 4 hours.

One-day lounge pass is a suitable option for infrequent flyers who have long layovers but don’t want to join a lounge program that requires a long-term commitment. Infrequent flyers usually don’t want to use the perks of airport lounges all year round. The option of a one-day lounge access still offers convenient amenities and perks.

The lounge offering depends on the airline and you can usually choose either one or several lounge locations. It’s recommended to do  some research in advance. Check up what are the available lounge options your chosen airport offers.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

You can either buy a one-day pass through your chosen airline’s website or get it directly at the airline’s desk. The recommended option is to get your one-day pass online.

Annual and program members of a given airline are more likely to get premium lounge access. So, if you try to get access to a crowded lounge and you don’t have a special flyer status, the airline may not give you entry.

Buy a public lounge access

Exclusive lounge access is no longer a privilege only for alliance members or members of third-party programs. You can buy a premium lounge access to an airport lounge. Such lounges are categorized as public and they can be accessed by all flyers who pass through the airport.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

It’s a fact that many airports have their own lounges that are in affiliation with a certain airline or alliance. One of their goals is to compete with the major airlines. And the number of those airports with public lounges is expected to grow as more and more airports are opening lounges with their own design.

Most often these public lounges offer the same services and amenities as their exclusive counterparts. The perks offered by those lounges include complimentary snacks and drinks, entertainment options, high-speed Wi-fi.

The prices for public lounge access vary depending on the airline as some airlines charge you by the hour or for day access. Therefore it’s good to check what are the available services and amenities at the lounges of the airports you are going to visit while flying.

Buying  exclusive access to a public lounge is a suitable choice for flyers who don’t want a long-term membership in an airline, alliance or a third-party program.

How To Get Airport Lounge Access – The Ultimate Guide

Becoming a guest of a traveler with a lounge access

You probably know that being a member of an airline or alliance and having access to an airport lounge allows you to bring a set number of guests with you for free. One of the easiest ways to get access to an airport lounge is just to fly with someone who already has a lounge access.

Being an active military member

There are many airports that offer exclusive airport lounge access to active military members as well as their families. Active military members receive credit cards which grant them exclusive access to a large selection of airport lounges around the world.