I’m Late to the Awesome-ness of Airport Lounges
I hate waiting in airports. If I can get to the gate just in time to board my flight, I am a-okay. I am proud to say that I have the time required to get to my “home” airport, through security, and to my gate without having to run down to a science.
The flip side: short layovers make me nervous–especially layovers between international flights or any layover in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. I hate the airport, but I hate missing a connecting flight even more. AND I am a budget traveler–so I am often looking for the least expensive flight. How ironic it is that the cheapest flights tend to have the longest layovers. This dilemma has been a thorn in my side for years. For international layovers (or layovers in Atlanta), I try to schedule at least a two hour layover. But some international flights may have only one or two flights leaving per day and an extended layover is necessary.
So I recently started using a credit card that offers a reduced rate for access to their airport lounges. During an international flight with a 5 hour layover, I decided to try it out. I was too tired to leave the airport and wanted just a little bit of space to spread out–which can be almost impossible in Hartsfield-Jackson. Of course I justified the expense since the price was discounted :).
Well, this budget travel is now a believer. Some have showers. Free Wi-Fi. Comfortable seats. Quiet areas. Soups, salads, hot teas, bottled water, and snacks included. Cash bar. Business centers. CLEAN bathrooms. Honestly, I was in weary-traveler heaven! The airport lounges can definitely be a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the airport.
Now, I can’t say I would utilize the service enough to pay for a full year membership–because at the end of the day–I still hate waiting in airports. But it is definitely something to consider if you have access at a reduced rate or have a long enough layover to justify the cost.