Paid-For Airport Lounges: Are They Worth It?

Whenever I’m travelling through an airport, I’ve only really spent the majority of my time in the departures area seeing as I personally never saw the need to pay some money to enjoy the facilities of an airport lounge.

Over the past few years there have been occasions where I decided to shell out the £30 entry-fee to see what all the fuss is about. The result? I’m still in two minds. Below I’ve complied a little thought comparison between visiting an airport lounge or just roaming around the departures area just to see if I can actually come to a definitive conclusion.

WiFi

A lot of airports now offer complimentary WiFi to everyone, something which only used to be available to customers who accessed an airport lounge. Although dubbed as a “faster speed”, I’m not sure I could justify spending money to access an area purely for internet access if it’s now available everywhere. As long as I can eventually load a webpage, I’m happy.

Food and Drink

Of course this is one of the biggest benefits of visiting an airport lounge. The ability for food and drink to be included with the price of admission. Sometimes the inclusions may be unlimited drinks and snacks from the bar, others might be 1 entrée from the menu. With the premium prices that airside restaurants charge, I probably would enjoy the lounge for this offering; but if I’m travelling alone I wouldn’t Why? Because when I travel alone my total F&B bill is usually around £12, including tip.

Peace and Quiet

Airports are those sorts of places that can seem quite relaxed and civilised, or the equivalent of a crowded day at a theme-park. I admit that I did pre-book to visit an airport lounge during a school-holiday period in 2015, but that was a mistake. It was over-crowded and felt seriously claustrophobic, add a few screaming kids too. Bizarrely enough, the actual departures lounge was quite a civilised and peaceful environment. Airports really can be peaceful, you just need to look around for those quiet spots. Of course it really does depend at what time of year you are travelling and more specifically; what time of day. Again I’m probably 60/40 on this one. With the latter of paying the money for the lounge.

Value for Money

Whether it’s a special occasion or just your travel routine, I admit a visit to an airport lounge is nice. But I still can’t really justify the cost for visiting alone. If I were entitled to complimentary access based on my frequent flyer status or class of travel; I may only use it 50% of the time. But as it stands, I’m still to come across an fee-paying airport lounge which I’d actually like to return to.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I used to enjoy the quiet of the lounge. But now quite often lounges are both crowded and noisy. I hate the fact children are allowed in there and I would have a preference those travelling in economy (unless it is an economy only flight) were not allowed in the First Class Lounge just because of airline status. I think access to the business lounge is adequate. I say that strictly on the basis that it would keep the First Class Lounge less full rather than snob factor.

  2. Best lounge is the Cathay Pacific Business lounge in HongKong. It’s worth it for the Dan Dan Noodles all by themselves!!! Beg or borrow a business person and get in with them!!! So worth it. Real food and quiet comfy seating.

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