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3 Reasons To Pay for that Airline Lounge Visit

by Kay Lynn

Singapore Airlines Lounge at Seoul-Incheon

This post is being written in he comfort of the Delta Club at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  No, I’m not a regular or even a member.  With the purchase of a $50 pass, entrance was granted for the same experience as the very frequent fliers.

Why Pay for an Airline Lounge Visit?

I’ve been traveling for years but this is the first time I’ve ever been in an airline lounge and let me tell you, I could get used to it!  You may think it’s extravagant (and I’m not disagreeing) but here are three reasons purchasing a pass could be worth the price.

Long Layovers

After a brief flight at the crack of dawn (okay, 6:30 am), I had 3 hours scheduled between flights.  I could choose to spend them in a crowded terminal where a quiet space is not to be found, paying outrageous prices for food and drink and without internet access (at least for free).

Instead I decided to spend some money and use the Delta Sky Club.  IF nothing else, it would be much more relaxing and comfortable.

Recover from International Travel

A lot of the people already in the lounge when I arrived at 7:30 a.m. were international passengers.  The lounge gave them a place to shower, eat and decompress after a long and overnight flight.

Using an airline club would have drastically improved my day when I returned from my first trip to Europe.  A three hour layover in Dallas was not enjoyable.

Lounge Perks

In addition to the relaxing environment during my layover the real reason I shelled out $50 was because of the amenities in the lounge.  I could get breakfast, free wi-fi, magazines and newspapers, beverages (alcoholic and virgin) and access to printers/televisions.

Last month I had the same layover length and paid over $17 for a breakfast burrito, coffee and bottle of water.  I didn’t use wi-fi because I hate paying so much for a couple of hours of access.

I didn’t even like the breakfast burrito but there were very limited options.  Today,  I had oatmeal, half a bagel with cream cheese, an apple, coffee, juice and bottled water.  I also had unlimited wi-fi and found a couple of interesting magazines to read.

All this (and many more menu items) were included in the price of the pass.

Value for the Money?

Only you can determine if the cost of an airline lounge is worth paying.  For me, it was definitely $50 well spent.  Ironically, that was the same price to upgrade to first class on my short 25 minute flight.  That was not a good value for the money.

I also think it depends on where you are in life.  If I was still paying down my student loans I wouldn’t have splurged.  However, having money in the budget for fun makes it a guilt-free pleasure that I will do again.

Do you think airline lounges are worth the price?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle May 25, 2012 at 6:51 am

I would think it’s worth it only if you can use it for more than a couple of hours. If you had a five or six hour layover, chances are it’s a no-brainer.

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krantcents May 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

Since the lounge is part of business or first class service, I enjoy it as a perk. It spoils you so it is difficult to return to the ordinary waiting room. Although I like the additional services of snacks, drinks and such, I just enjoy the quiet and better seating.

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Jai Catalano May 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

I have traveled all over the world. I probably have traveled over 300 times. I would agree that the most memorable were the REALLY BAD ones and the lounge visit or 1st class upgrade.

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Lance@MoneyLife&More May 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Seems like an awesome place but I don’t travel enough to get bored in airports. I always like exploring and try to pack some snacks so I don’t have to buy food. I also empty a water bottle before going through security so I can fill it up at the water fountain on the other side.

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maria@moneyprinciple May 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Glad you are enjoying it (though you have certainly left by now). I have been spending time in lounges lately as well – with us it came with an upgrade of our account that the bank offered. I do enjoy sitting comfortably, having access to drinks and food, the free Wi-fi and the fact that as a rule there are no noisy people in and I can get on with some work. Sometimes, I even take a shower – yeah, I know it is a bit wierd but depends how long you have and where are you coming from.

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Sid @ RealEstateGrasshopper May 28, 2012 at 8:33 am

It is definitely worth the money! Especially if you are stuck on a long lay over. Some lounges even have showers like the American Airlines lounge at Dallas-Ft.Worth (DFW), which I was able to take advantage of during our long flight from Florida to Hawaii. And on our return, my wife and I were able to relax at the AA lounge in Hawaii and enjoy a complimentary snack. Oh not to mention we were the only ones there! Imagine it being peaceful and quiet….at the airport!

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Janette May 30, 2012 at 3:54 am

My company paid for lounge access for the airline we most often frequented. The best perk? If something happens to your flight you have someone there to “fix” it for you!
I haven’t thought about a daily pass. Maybe the next trip with a big layover….

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Dr Dean May 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

We’ve only used this perk once and only because we were tagging along with someone else-but it was great. You make a great case for the daily pass. Thanks for the thought.

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Crystal & Co June 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Wow. I had no idea this even existed. Great info!

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Lisa @ Cents To Save August 26, 2012 at 6:35 am

Definitely a great idea to consider for our next trip!

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