The International Airport Lounge
Anybody who has passed through an airport in recent years cannot have failed to notice an International Airport Lounge or two. Usually tucked away just off the main drag you look onto and into the subdued lighting of a clone of a luxury hotel reception. More often not there is angled view of some of the joys within. Not enough though. The International Airport Lounge is seemingly not for the rabble, this is for the special people. Often the names imply that is for someone out of the ordinary 'First Class Lounge', 'VIP Lounge' or similar. Some are of course just for VIP's or First Class passengers but not all.
As a standard the Airport Lounge offers its customers deep comfortable armchairs, WiFi, satellite TV, newspapers, clean toilets, soft drinks and snacks. Once you are booked in any worries of missing a flight call or a cancellation will be shouldered by someone else. You will be updated of any changes in your flights departure. The Airport Lounge offers a peaceful escape from the the crass commercialism and stress of the main airport concourse.
Some will rise above the standard and provide fully stocked bars, places to sleep, shower or have a massage.
Most Airport Lounges are provided by airlines or groups of airlines for their business, club or first class passengers. Some lounges however are private and will take paying guests. Normal procedures demand pre-booking but some walk in customers may be considered if not too busy. There is a strict control numbers to maintain the ambiance which one will not find on the main airport floor.
Prices vary and relate usually to three hour blocks. These are in line with the necessity for airline passengers to book into their flights three hours before departure. Costs will normally be in the region of £20.00 and downwards.
Is it worth it? This really depends on the individual. Flying is tiring and no matter how many times we do it it is stressful too. We all could do with a bit of chill out time.
An Airport Lounge
Access to Airport Lounges is really a must for the regular passenger. Many will purchase lifetime membership to the lounges on their regular routes. Others may purchase or even be given VIP passes to some lounges. A first class ticket on any airline is a virtual guarantee of a pass to an Airport Lounge.
Where The Other Half Rests
My first Airport Lounge was at Manila in the Philippines. I had been searching out somewhere to sit and have a coffee. Wow I thought... Expensive! Then I was approached by a very attractive young lady who asked if I was interested in going to the lounge. "Free coffee" she
said. I enquired as to the lounge price. Roughly the cost of three and a half cups of coffee.
I took up her offer and Via a private elevator I was ushered into another world. Gone were the stone airport floors and stone hard seats. Here there was thick carpets and deep comfortable armchairs. The coffee was fresh and filtered. There was tea too and food. Hot and cold and as much as one cared to eat. There were current newspapers and magazines. There were desks for laptops. There was TV. This was a chill out zone.
Was it worth it? A definite yes. I would highly recommend adding the Airport Lounge into your travel plans in future. With your comfort assured you could also consider saving yourself a chunk of money too.