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Airline Lounge Benefits
Ever had a two or more hour layover at an airport between flights? Was your flight delayed for an endless stretch of time? Well, if you have, chances are you have experienced the conundrum of what to do with your time. For those of us who frequently travel for business, it becomes a question of whether or not you find a station to hunker down at and work or do you go partake of breakfast or lunch. –Or perhaps you should just go on to your gate and find an uncomfortable spot close to the nearest charging station and prepare to simply stage a sit-in until your scheduled flight time. –Or if you’re lucky enough to be at one of the larger airports, you just might go shopping for a spell.
Depending on the airport, one might consider taking advantage of the designated airline lounge or clubs. Various airlines have clubs and/or lounges that for a nominal fee, passengers can pay and attain a bit of respite from the busy flurry of the airport.
A couple of years ago, this author found herself caught in an ice storm that created a situation where she was stranded at an airport for ten hours. After having spent the night at my connection site on the way home the day before, this author decided to take advantage of the club, paying $60 for a full day. After having only achieved two hours of sleep and sitting at my new connection site for a couple of hours with chattering teeth because the airport was cold, I gave in to the need for more comfort than I thought I might achieve sitting in the food court or at my terminal hoping that might flight might depart for home that day. Whereas previously I would have rolled my eyes at spending money for something like this, I felt as though I had walked into First Class.
How to Gain Entry into an Airline Club or Lounge
Many if not all of the major airlines like Delta and United will offer you the chance to pay for access to their club as an upgrade or amenity to your plane ticket online. Once you pay online, all you need is your pass and identification. You also have the ability to pay at the airport should you choose.
Food at the Airline Club or Lounge
Depending on the airline, the club/lounge will have complimentary drinks and snacks available for the choosing ranging from bottled water to sodas to coffee. Periodically, a staffer will come out and replenish the snacks. Snacks may vary but simple foodstuff like fruits, cookies/muffins, chips, nuts and candy will be readily available. Some may even offer hot meals depending on the airport and your timing of arrival.
Looking to stretch out? In the club you might find recliners or chairs with ottomans that allow you to stretch out a bit and either watch a bit of television or cautiously rest your eyes. Looking to do a little work? Workstations may also be found in some if not all of these clubs, giving you the opportunity to plug in and get a little work done.
United Airlines Lounge Houston IAH
My stay at the lounge was a beautiful thing given my travel woes the day prior and that morning. I spent 8 hours in that lounge until the time the feasibility of travel reared its head and I knew it was time to locate my gate.
This author recommends that if you ever find yourself stranded in the airport for several hours, look into going the airline club to cool your heels!