The Ultimate Guide to Airport Lounges

Alaska Airlines Lounge
Alaska Airlines Lounge at JFK Terminal 7

In This Post:

      1. What Are Airport Lounges?
      2. Delta Sky Club
      3. American Airlines Admirals Club
      4. Alaska Airlines Lounges 
      5. United Airlines United Club and Polaris Lounges
      6. Turkish Airlines Lounges
      7. American Express Platinum Card Lounges
      8. The Club Lounges
      9. Priority Pass
      10. Capital One Lounges
      11. Conclusion

What Are Airport Lounges?

Airport Lounges are a great way to relax before a flight.  They offer free food, free drinks, fast WiFi and comfy furniture.  Some lounges even offer showers, nap pods, spas, barbershops and exercise equipment.  In this post I am going to breakdown all of the major airport lounges and how to access them.  Some lounges are available by paying a fee per visit, some offer yearly memberships, some can be accessed by flying in First or Business Class and most can be accessed by having a certain credit card.  NOTE:  Delta, American and United now require that you are flying on their airline into to access their lounge.

Delta Sky Club

Delta Sky Club

  • Over 50 Lounges Worldwide
  • Purchase a SkyClub Individual Membership for $545 or 54,500 Miles ($39 Per Guest)
  • Purchase a SkyClub Executive Membership for $845 or 84,500 Miles (2 Guest For Free, $39 Each Additional)
  • Delta Diamond Choice Benefit: One Choice for Individual Membership, Two for Executive Membership
  • American Express Platinum Card, Allows Two Guests for $39 Each ($695 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Delta Reserve Card, Two Free Guest Passes Per Year and $39 Per Guest ($550 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Delta Platinum Card Charges $39 Per Visit and $39 Per Additional Guest
  • Delta One, I was able to access the SkyClub last year before a flight to Honolulu because I was flying in Delta One
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus Members on an International Flight.  One Guest is Allowed to Enter for Free.

Admirals Club

American Airlines Admirals Club

  • There are over 50 Admirals Clubs and 60 Partner Lounges
  • Buy a Day Pass for $59 or 5,900 American AAdvantage Miles
  • Fly on a First Class or Business Class on an International Route
  • Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members flying in any cabin on an International Route
  • Military members traveling in uniform can access for free and bring two guests for free
  • Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard, Allows Two Guests for Free.
  • Purchase Annual Membership (550 – 650 Depending on Status Level)
Alaska Airlines Lounge

Alaska Airlines Lounges

  • Purchase a First Class Ticket (The Only US Airline that Gives Lounge Access on Domestic Tickets)
  • Have Priority Pass – JFK ONLY – (The Only Major US Airline that Has a Lounge in Priority Pass)
  • Get Access for $25 if you have an Alaska Airlines Bank of America credit card
  • Buy a Day Pass for $50
  • Have the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card
  • Alaska MVP Gold 75K and 100K Receive Four Free Lounge Passes Per Year
  • Active Duty Military Members Receive Complimentary Access

United Club

United Airlines United Club and Polaris Lounges

  • United Club Members can bring Two Guests for Free regardless of how they acquire membership
  • Buy United Club Membership (Depending on Status – ($550 to $650 or 75k to 85k United Miles)
  • Chase United Club Infinite Card ($525 Annual Fee)
  • Buy a United Club Pass, $59 Per Person, No Guest Access
  • Chase United Explorer Card, Features Two United Club Passes Per Year
  • Chase United Business Card, Features Two United Club Passes Per Year
  • United Transcontinental Business Class between Newark – LAX/SFO or JFK – LAX/SFO.
  • United Polaris or Business Class Ticket, No Guest Access Allowed
  • Fly a United Partner Airline in Business Class or First Class
  • Have United MileagePlus Elite Status, One Guest Allowed
  • Star Alliance Gold Status with a Partner Airline (One Guest Allowed)
  • Active Duty Military Members

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines Lounges

I included Turkish Airlines in this list because I visited their lounge in Istanbul on a layover on the way to Egypt last year and it is the best lounge I have been to so far. They have lounges in Washington, DC in Concourse B and in Miami in Concourse E which are available via a Priority Pass membership.

Amex Platinum Card

American Express Platinum Card Lounges

  • There are Seven Different Lounge Networks that Are Available with the Amex Platinum or Centurion Card
  • The American Express Centurion Lounge (24 Centurion Lounges Worldwide)
  • Delta Sky Club (When Flying Delta Airlines)
  • Air Space Lounge (San Diego, 2 Guest Allowed for Free)
  • Plaza Premium Lounges, Features many worldwide lounges and the Virgin Clubhouse Lounges
  • Lufthansa Airlines Lounges (Requires ticket on a Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian Airlines Flight)
  • Escape Lounges (12 US Lounges in smaller regional airports and 5 UK Lounges
  • Priority Pass, Features over 1,300 Lounges in 148 countries 

The Club Lounges

  • 15 US Lounges and 2 UK Lounges
  • Not Required to Fly on a Specific Airline
  • Purchase a Single Visit Pass for $40
  • Included in Priority Pass Membership
Priority Pass

Priority Pass

– The following credit cards offer a free Priority Pass membership

  • American Express Platinum Card (2 Free Guests, $27 for Each Additional Guest) ($695 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Business Platinum Card (2 Free Guests, $27 for Each Additional Guest) ($695 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card (2 Free Guests, $27 for Each Additional Guest) ($450 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card (10 Free Visits Per Year, $27 Per Guest) ($95 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Hilton Honors Business Card (10 Free Visits Per Year, $27 Per Guest) ($95 Annual Fee)
  • American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card (2 Free Guests, $27 for Each Additional Guest) ($450 Annual Fee)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 Free Guests, $27 for Each Additional Guest) ($550 Annual Fee)
  • Capital One Venture X (2 Free Guests) ($395 Annual Fee)
Capital One Lounges

Capital One Lounges

– Capital One recently opened at lounge at Dallas Fort Worth airport (DFW), they have lounges opening this year in Denver and Washington, DC Dulles (IAD).

  • Free Entry for card holders of the new Capital One Venture X Card ($395 Annual Fee)
  • Capital One Venture – Two Free Passes Per Year
  • Capital One  Spark Miles – Two Free Passes Per Year

Conclusion

If you are a frequent flyer it is a must to have lounge access. I highly recommend having a credit card that gives free access.  Depending on your airline of choice and your home city the card you choose might be different.  I highly recommend the Amex Platinum Card, Apply with my Referral Link HERE.

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