Airport lounges are luxurious zones at the airport complete with facilities such as private bathrooms, showers, comfortable seating, complimentary snacks and beverages, televisions, newspapers, magazines, and in some cases workstations, photocopiers, fitness centres, pool tables and video games. However, not everyone has access to this world of comfort and leisure as their use is restricted to business and first class passengers by airlines. But does that mean the economy flyers should forever destined to waiting in public halls and sleeping in uncomfortable chairs while they wait for their flight? Not necessarily!
Here are top five tricks that can get even an economy flyer an access to the opulent airport lounges:
Buy a Lounge Pass
Most frequent flyers make use of the one-day lounge passes to gain access to all facilities offered by luxurious lounges on leading airports around the world. After a paying a small amount to the airline, usually between $20-$60, you can access their airport lounges, otherwise open only to business or first class passengers. There, however, might be restrictions on the number of hours you can stay at these lounges and the kind of passengers who are allowed in these lounges (domestic or international).
Join a Frequent Flyer Programme
A majority of airlines run their own frequent flyer programmes for their regular passengers. Upon enrolling in these programmes, you earn miles on every flight that you take. These miles can be collected over a period of time and be utilised under different programmes offered by the airline. Some of these programmes include free access to all airport lounges of that airline across the world, and you can avail this facility upon deduction of required miles from your quota.
Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card
A wide number of credit card companies, in addition to the exclusive benefits and rewards reserved for their customers, also offer access to airport lounges of the airlines they have tie-ups with. While some of these companies might offer complimentary access, the others might require you to pay an annual fee to be eligible for the facility. Be sure to check the terms and conditions, however, before you invest in any such programme as there might be restrictions on accessibility basis the kind of programme you are purchasing.
Ask for an Upgrade
A lot of times it so happens that the airport’s ticketing staff gives a business-class upgrade to some passengers basis availability, which automatically also earns the passengers the access to the airline’s lounge at the airport. While pregnant women, elderly, children are put for an upgrade, a lot of times people get upgrades just because they were nice to the ticketing staff and have a pleasant personality. Moreover, a number of people get an upgrade just because they ask for it.
Try Your Luck at Befriending a Stranger with Access
Though the success rate of this trick is highly debatable, several travellers just stand outside the airport lounge, and request a kind stranger with access to take them along as guests. This trick can work specifically for travellers who can befriend people easily and are flying solo.