Airport lounges are a somewhat luxurious haven offering travellers comfortable seating, a selection of complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary snacks and meals, dedicated bathroom facilities (in some cases also including showers), complimentary newspapers and magazines, and for some classes they even include chauffer and complimentary spa services! Sounds awesome, right? So, how do you get access to airport lounges without travelling business class?
1. Purchase a day pass
Yes, you can actually do this! It’s a great option if you want access for a special trip. And the best things is, it won’t break the bank! Prices for day passes vary and are available from several suppliers. Try checking out APH’s selection of great lounges across the U.K., Europe and the rest of the world for as little as £13.50. They are also offering a 10% discount on airport lounge access valid until 31 May 2019 (terms and conditions apply). To book, click here, and add the voucher code 8K5WNS.
2. Invest in a lounge membership
If you’re doing a lot of travelling, and fancy a little bit of peace and quiet ahead of your flight, it might make sense to get yourself a lounge membership.
Priority Pass’ Standard Plus annual membership costs £189 and include 10 visits per year (which works out to £18.90 per visit). Additional visits can be booked for £20 each. With 1,200 airport lounges, across 143 countries globally, these guys have the largest selection available.
They also allow you to bring guests for £20. Hint: Groupon is offering 25% off Standard Plus membership for £6 (must be redeemed by 30 October 2019). That brings each of the 10 included visits down to only £16.35 each! To get the offer, click here.
That’s not bad for access to food, alcoholic beverages and free unlimited Wi-Fi access in a spacious and comfortable setting with private facilities, where you won’t need to jostle with hordes of other travellers.
3. Become a frequent flyer
There are a number of frequent traveller programmes offered through the airlines. Personally, I mostly fly British Airways, part of the oneworld® network. I collect Avios by flying with them, as well as via my travel credit card (through Lloyds), which help me to maintain my status as a Silver Executive Club member.
Makes sense that the more you fly, the more points and benefits you get. To gain access to BA airport lounges you have to be flying business or first or at least have silver status. To get silver you will need to fly at least four times in a year and earn 600 tier points, or take 50 BA flights. Every airline’s programme is different and worth checking out.
4. Premium bank accounts and travel credit cards
There are a few retail banks on the high street offering airport lounge access as an enticing benefit for customers. Given this is normally alongside other benefits, the monthly account fees become quite reasonable. Shop around for the best account to suit your needs. Here is a couple that are available to give you an idea.
Barclays Travel Plus Pack – current account
For £18 a month, a host of incentives are offered, including six free lounge visits a year from a choice of 800 lounges. This account also includes ‘complimentary’ family travel insurance. For more information, click here.
Natwest Premier Reward Black – current account
Offering worldwide family travel insurance and access to over 1,000 airport lounges via DragonPass, this account is worth considering if you meet the eligibility criteria. It also has the added benefits of no foreign purchase fees when you make a payment outside the U.K. or make a payment in a foreign currency. And you get access to 0% commission on all foreign currency orders. It is £31 per month – for more information, click here.
There are a whole host of travel credit cards including the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, American Express Platinum, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard, HSBC Premier Mastercard, Santander World Elite Mastercard; that offer airport lounge access among other benefits. All of these credit cards have associated annual fees. They may initially look quite pricy, but when you break down the value of what they’re offering, and so long as you are going to put them to good use, then it might just be money well spent. To find the best travel credit card for you that offers airport lounge access, try researching price comparison sites such as Compare the Marketor Confused.com.
5. Fly business!
Now, I know I said I’d tell you how to get lounge access without flying business, but it is worth pointing out that business can actually be cheaper than economy! Yep, that’s right. It’s to do with seat and class availability. Or, you can fly business for only a small amount extra. So, it is absolutely worthwhile checking to see the price and the fare difference.
Another way to get a business class ticket for less (and access to the lounges), is to fly indirect. Sometimes it is worth it for that flatbed on a long-haul flight.
So, you see, there are lots of ways to get airport lounge access, that you may not have initially considered. I hope these hacks see you through to getting access to the creature comforts of the lounges.
Until next time, safe travels.
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