Experience luxury, even during long layovers or delayed flights.

Airport Lounge
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You’ve rushed to the airport and braved through long security lines and crowded terminals. And then… your flight gets delayed. Whether you’re on a business trip and looking for some rest between long layovers or trying to make traveling with kids just a bit easier, airport lounges can add a bit of luxury to your travel day

“Airport lounges are getting bigger and better,” Zach Griff of The Points Guy says. So, now is a better time than ever to maximize your lounge access. Here’s what to keep in mind before your next trip.

Airport Lounge Champagne Passport

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1. Take Advantage of Hidden Gems 

Among throngs of anxious travelers, lounges’ amenities are a much-needed asset to optimize your travel experience. For a chance to slow down and relax, or to meet some last-minute deadlines before business, look around to use all the amenities these lounges have to offer. Lounges can be a sanctuary from the chaos of travel, with comfortable seating, dining and drinking, and amenities galore—often free once you’ve entered. 

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Take a shower, and visit a lounge spa or use wellness gadgets. Griff also recommends getting some fresh air while you can with lounges’ outdoor decks: “Many of Delta’s Sky Clubs offer year-round outdoor terraces that make for a pleasant way to pass the time until your next flight,” Other lounges, Griff says, offer exercise spaces: Try out a Peloton bike to amp up your endorphins before a long flight.  

For families, “lounges offer a more contained and relaxed environment for children to play and rest and often provide snacks and drinks that are child-friendly. Some of the bigger lounges even offer specially designed family rooms,” Griff says. “Meanwhile, business travelers can enjoy amenities like conference rooms, high-speed Internet, and private workstations and phone booths.” 

As airport lounges continue innovating and expanding, even more benefits are on the way. And, travel experts like Griff say that features such as real-time tracking, advanced amenity booking, and digital waitlists are on the way.

2. Know the Essential Etiquette

Of course, you should make the most of a lounge, but that doesn’t mean go overboard, either. Keep traveling etiquette in mind. 

“Be mindful of your noise levels—no one likes listening to a business meeting on speakerphone near them,” Griff says. “Also, make sure to respect the time limits on showers and other facilities.” 

Griff also notes that many lounges only allow entry up to three hours before scheduled departure, so don’t overstay your welcome. 

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3. Understand What to Expect 

Being prepared is always best. “Always stay updated with any changes in lounge policies, especially in terms of access and available amenities, to ensure the best experience,” Griff says. 

Get ready for summertime hustle and bustle. May, June, July, and August are in the top five busiest travel months when passenger volume is higher—especially because 40% of U.S. travelers anticipate traveling more in 2024. 

Airport lounges make a luxurious space outside of hectic crowds, but be aware of potential waitlists to enter: “Because airport real estate is limited and demand outstrips supply, many lounges are suffering from overcrowding these days,” Griff says.

4. Unlock Lounge Access Through Credit Card Perks

Airport lounges are more accessible than you’d think—don’t feel like this level of luxury is out of your reach: “Some travelers think that lounges are exclusively available to those spending the big bucks to sit in the pointy end of the plane. These days, however, getting into the club is much easier than ever. In many cases, all you need is the right credit card,” says Griff. 

Some lounges are operated by airlines and others are affiliated with credit card companies. Have an Amex Platinum card? Check out the Amex Centurion Lounge, with Western locations in Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Francisco. A Chase Sapphire Reserve card will let you into Chase Lounges—a Las Vegas location is coming soon. Major airlines’ credit cards also often include unlimited lounge access for their flights.

The lounge at PS LAX looks more like a luxury hotel lobby than an airport lounge

Photo courtesy of PS LAX

5. Visit These Lounges We Love

With so many lounges around the globe, you’re able to enjoy your travel no matter the destination. But some lounges have caught our eyes. 

“Some are much nicer than others with extra amenities and hidden gems that make them worth a visit,” Griff says. 

At Gameway at LAX International’s Terminal 3, turn your airport wait into a gaming adventure. A retro game bar allows you to play everything from Super Mario Bros to Pac-Man and more on different consoles, large 4k televisions, and premium gaming headphones. This lounge in Los Angeles won Pioneer of the Year from Priority Pass, a program providing access to more than 1,500 airport lounges around the world. 

“Utilizing a concept that appeals to an up-and-coming audience, [Gameway] offers a refreshing take on traditional lounge experiences while providing an engaging and distinctive choice for our members and customers,” the Priority Pass judges say.

Maybe gaming isn’t your thing. No worries—also at LAX is the Private Suite, featuring luxe decor, gourmet meals, spa amenities, and more for an extravagant experience. 

No matter your needs, airport lounges elevate your travel experience, offering a mini getaway en route to your final destination.

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