Airline Lounges…To Join Or Not To Join?

Airport Sign

Updated on 1 November 2017

Most people walk right by them and take a peak while others don’t even know they are there.  I’m talking about the airline lounges. They are nothing to some and a haven for others.

Most frequent travelers are members of one or more airport airline lounges as they provide a safe haven from the madness found at airports today.

If you travel more than a few times per year, you should consider joining an airline lounge program.  I am a member of a few of them and can honestly say that it is the single most important investment that directly ensures my travel comfort.

Before you decide one way or another, here are a few things you should know:


In recent past, membership to the lounges was complimentary with airline premium status but those days are long gone. You can expect to pay at least $400 per year. However, if you travel at least 12 weeks a year, the cost can be well justified considering access to the lounges include free coffee, snacks, and internet.  Some of the larger locations even have showers, full meal menus and spas.

If you want to try one out before you join, you can call the membership services department of the lounge you are planning on joining and ask about a complimentary pass. Your other option is to buy a day pass to check it out before you take the plunge.

Peace and Quiet

Airports can be crowded, loud and downright busy.  The lounge offers you a reasonably quiet space with comfortable chairs, televisions, newspapers and magazines.

Cathay Pacific Wing Lounge Hong Kong

Get some work done

Most lounges have individual, private workstations you can use to catch up with work, email or just browse your social media.  If you have your own laptop or tablet, wifi is generally free so don’t be shy to ask for the password at the reception desk. Likewise, if you’re traveling with a group of colleagues or meeting with a customer, you can inquire the front desk for access to the conference room which routinely requires advanced booking but is generally free.

JFK AA International First Class Lounge

Customer Service

If your flight is cancelled or delayed which may cause you to miss your connection, head to the airline lounge (if you’re a member of course) where you’ll get personal, immediate assistance. This will avoid you having to battle your way to the gate agent to try to address your issue.

Long haul recovery

If you are on transoceanic travel with multiple connections like I routinely do, an airline lounge membership is a life saver.  You can reach your first connection after a 12-hour flight and freshen up with shower and a meal. It is a true booster that makes a huge difference if you still have another long flight ahead of you.

Cathay Pacific Wing Lounge Buffet

JFK AA International First Class Lounge Food

Cathay Pacific Wing Lounge Showers

Reciprocal Membership

Most airline lounge programs have reciprocity memberships with international lounges worldwide. Therefore, do your research and find out which one benefits you the most based on your preferred airline and where you mostly travel.

Cathay Pacific Wing Lounge Hong Kong

Credit Cards

Some credit cards offer free lounge memberships as a benefit. Therefore, check with your credit card to see if you already have access. If not, consider getting one that does offer you the complimentary benefit.


If you spend half or more of your work life traveling, there is absolutely no reason to not join an airline lounge program. It will improve your travel experience, enhance your travel productivity and make life so much better.  I guarantee you that once you join and experience it, you’ll question yourself why you didn’t do it it before.


1 Comment

  1. MR

    … and some credit cards have these programs also included like Priority Pass which allows entrance on many lounges all around the world !


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