airport-loungeYears ago, flying was overly expensive – something reserved for only those who had the money and resources to spring for an extravagant vacation. Now, while flight prices have stayed relatively flat (compared to inflation), guests have had to deal with cranky reservations agents, cramped seating, and nickel and diming. So, while you won’t have to be rich to afford a flight, you also won’t be given the elegant experience of days gone by.
But, there is an option if you want to get a first-class experience at the airport – the airline airport lounge. Lounges are filled with comfy chairs, outlets, bars, televisions, friendly reservations agents, free internet and more. Though you’ll pay – either through a one-day pass, annual membership fee, first class ticket, or Amex Platinum Card – the benefits can be worth it.

What are these benefits? Here are just a few (remember that amenities can vary by airline and airport).

  • ·      Comfortable, uncrowded seating
  • ·      Lots of outlets
  • ·      Showers and large restrooms
  • ·      Free internet
  • ·      Friendly reservation agents that are more accessible
  • ·      Kids’ rooms
  • ·      Free snacks
  • ·      Food and beverage service

I upgraded to a Platinum American Express card recently, and was able to use the American Airlines Admiral Lounge with my daughter during a 3 ½ hour layover in Miami. It was such a great place to hang out – we got complimentary dinner because of a flight delay (Greek salad for me, cheese quesadilla for my daughter), free internet (which isn’t available in the Miami airport if you aren’t in the lounge), a great reservations agent who kept tabs on our flight, and a comfortable place to sit out the layover. If you are a frequent flier, those benefits are definitely worthwhile.

Have you been to an airport lounge? Which amenity do you like best?