Ever felt envious of frequent flyers who can enjoy access to airport lounges before enduring a 7+ hours flight?
The airport experience can be chaotic, so we’ve got some tips on how you can slip away to a lounge and relax in peace, even if you’re not a Platinum or Business class flyer.
Qantas has opened paid access
Traditionally you needed to be a Qantas Club Member or frequent flyer with Silver status and above to gain entry, but that’s changing. Qantas has recently allowed paid access to select first-class and business class airport lounges. There are no requirements for travellers to be flying with Qantas or any partner airlines.
The available lounges include:
- Los Angeles first class lounge: US$150 (A$215)
- Los Angeles business class lounge: US$75 (A$108)
- London Heathrow lounge: £55 (A$103)
- Hong Kong lounge: HK$450 (A$83)
- Auckland business class lounge: NZ$60 (A$56)
- Wellington business class lounge: NZ$55 (A$51)
- Perth T1 international lounge: A$70
Irrespective of airline, travel class or frequent flyer status, you can stay up to 3 hours. But, to avoid overcrowding the admittance of paid visitors will be subject to capacity.
American Express member lounges
Many credit cards are now offering airport lounge access amongst their perks and Amex has taken it a step further with opening their own lounges. As an American Express member, depending on your card type, you could escape the crowds to enjoy complimentary food and beverages, free Wi-Fi, shower facilities and more.
American Express lounges are located around the world, including Sydney and Melbourne international terminals. Visit the American Express website for more info and to check if you are eligible.
Pay for a Priority Pass
If you’re travelling frequently and using a variety of airlines or not racking up the status points, then it’s worth considering buying a Priority Pass. Priority Pass gives you access to over 1300+ lounges around the world. You can get the same VIP lounge experience, but it doesn’t matter which airline you are flying with or which class. Membership rates start from US$99 (AU$145) with additional visit fees from US$32 (AU$47) depending on the membership tier that you choose.
A tip: double check with your credit card provider, because some companies are including Priority Pass in their benefits.
A one time treat
For that one time when you feel you could really do with some breathing space before you take off, then you can buy single visits for many lounges. These passes can also be purchased as gifts.
Plaza Premium Lounges can be found in over 30 airports and offer all the lounge comforts that can be enjoyed either pre or post flight. Marhaba is another independent lounge option, where you can by an entry pass for Dubai, Geneva, Melbourne, Zurich and Singapore.
Apps like LoungeBuddy make it really easy to choose a lounge from as little as $35. The advantage here is no membership fees, but the other feature is you can load your personal info so the app can tell you which lounges you are already eligible to access.
Loyalty has its rewards
Finally, you can’t beat getting something for nothing. Well it’s not really ‘nothing’, because you’ve had the fly the miles to get there, but there are rewards for flying with the same airline or their partners as much as possible. This will boost your frequent flyer points and all-important status credits, that can lead to free lounge access.
Hopefully these tips save you from loitering around the airport lounge doors in hope of gaining entry. If you would like any help on how you can access airport lounges, don’t hesitate to ask your CBT team!