PAY YOUR WAY INTO A LOUNGE
INFO There are plenty of pay-in lounges available in airports around the world, and the number is growing. While pay-in lounge providers such as Plaza Premium Lounge come immediately to mind, there are many other providers. One significant setback of paid lounges is that these can be crowded during peak travel hours/season. To skip those nasty queues, consider going online and booking your lounge pass ahead of time. Lounge Pass is an easy-to-use website where you can pay and book lounge access before departing for the airport.
GET ELITE STATUS
INFO An obvious means of gaining lounge privileges is to acquire elite status with airline loyalty programmes. There are hundreds of frequent flyer programmes available in the market today, and choosing the correct one can be a tedious task for even the most frequent travellers.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend going for a programme offered by a carrier that is part of an airline alliance. Not only are you able to gain entry into the carrier’s own lounges, but it opens up the possibility for you to visit other facilities with other airline alliance members. For instance, gold tier members of Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club programme are afforded Oneworld Sapphire status as well and are typically able to access other Oneworld member airlines’ business class lounges.
INFO Not everybody is going to be able to acquire and maintain elite frequent flyer status. However, there are still many that do. Many frequent flyer programmes often allow elite tier members to each bring along one companion with them into the lounges, and this could be your ticket into one too. The popular air travel forum, FlyerTalk, for example, has a number of “Lounge Meet” threads where users travelling out of the same country at the same time can arrange to meet up with each other at the airport. Consider getting in touch with other members and arranging with them to take you into a lounge too!
INFO By far one of the best and most straightforward ways of gaining lounge access. When choosing a credit card to apply for, it’s always useful to select one that best complements your lifestyle. Frequent travellers are individuals that would benefit the most from getting credit cards that allow for mileage accrual and lounge access. Consider applying for an airline affiliated credit card as these typically offer such travel-friendly perks. More significantly, spending is converted into miles automatically after each calendar month, meaning that you won’t have to manage or transfer credit card points manually. Mileage conversion is also free, unlike other cards that may impose small fees to convert points into miles.
INFO Always be on a lookout for deals coming in through the wire. Plaza Premium Lounge, for example, recently partnered with Business Traveller Asia-Pacific to provide lounge access cards as gifts to our readers. The October 2015 issue saw our Star Letter winner awarded a lounge access card that guaranteed a total of 10 visits to any Plaza Premium Lounge facility around the world.