How to Get Airport Lounge Access

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One of the biggest travel myths is that flying in domestic first class gets you lounge access. Even I had this misconception for years – I longed for elite status upgrades so that I could get in the lounge only to discover that wasn’t enough.

So if flying first class domestically (flying internationally as an elite or in business/first class does) doesn’t get you in, what does?

  • Purchasing a day pass. Not your most cost-effective option, but the most direct. If you’re going to buy a day pass, do so in advance when booking your ticket. The price is often half the price you’ll pay the day of travel.
  • Gold Elite Status on an international carrier. If you’re Star Alliance, go for gold on Turkish or Aegean although any Star Alliance airline based outside the US will count. If you’re One World, try to British Airways Gold.
  • SkyGuide Executive Privilege $20 membership reimburses up to 12 lounge visits a year (and 12 health club visits as well).
  • With the right credit card.
    • United Club Card – United Club Lounge and participating Star Alliance lounges, including US Airways Club.
    • American Express Business Platinum Card — American Airlines Admirals Club, Delta Sky Club, and US Airways Club.

Gummy bears, Shocktop on draft, and more at the Lufthansa Senator Lounge


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