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A guide to airport lounges

Want to travel in a little more comfort and luxury? The next time you fly, you might want to consider getting airport lounge access

Airport lounges are becoming more and more popular these days. They offer a way to make flying more enjoyable, as well as making the journey part of the overall holiday experience. 

But what exactly is an airport lounge, and what’s on offer inside one? We’ll run through everything you need to know here in this handy guide, including details of facilities, food and refreshments - and of course, how to get access to an airport lounge for your next trip. 

What is an airport lounge?

Airport lounges offer a quiet, comfortable space to wait for your flight, or for a connection to another destination. They have comfortable and spacious seating, along with calming modern decor and facilities such as toilets. 

You can expect to find food and drink facilities or other refreshments in airport lounges. Some premium lounges even have showers, sleeping pods, dedicated work areas and entertainment such as flatscreen TVs. 

An important thing to remember about airport lounges is that they aren’t open to the general public. They aren’t usually free either. This helps to preserve the exclusivity of the lounge, making it a quiet and relaxing space to spend time in. 

To access an airport lounge, you’ll need to either purchase entry or be flying with an airline or on a ticket that comes with lounge access included. We’ll look at how to gain access to an airport lounge later in this guide.  

The purpose of airport lounges is to help travellers relax and ease into their journey, while escaping the noise, crowds and hectic pace of the airport. 

They’re popular with business and long-haul travellers. But more and more people heading off on holiday are starting to use them as a way of making their trip a little more special. It’s easy to see the attraction, as reclining with a coffee or a glass of fizz in a comfortable airport lounge can make you feel like a VIP. 

Is food free in airport lounges? 

Airport lounges offer a lot of perks, including free food and drink in some cases. What’s included in the price of entry all depends on the lounge you’re booking.

Most offer complimentary light bites and snacks, along with free tea, coffee and soft drinks. If you’re looking to start your trip with a tipple, many lounges also have a bar where you can purchase prosecco, champagne and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  

The range of refreshments on offer will vary from lounge to lounge. You can always enquire in advance if you need information before purchasing access.

Other benefits of airport lounges include things like free Wi-Fi, which can be useful if you need to get some work done or stream entertainment while you wait. You may also get access to reading material like magazines or books, or even exclusive reading and entertainment apps to use while in the lounge. 

How to get airport lounge access 

Love the sound of the airport lounge experience? Then you’ll need to know how to get access for your next holiday or business trip. 

There’s a common misconception that only first-class or business travellers can access airport lounges. This may have been the case in the past, but it isn’t anymore.

Anyone can access an airport lounge, no matter which airline you’re travelling with and whatever ticket type you have. The only condition is that you purchase access, and abide by the terms and conditions of using the lounge. 

Some lounges may have a dress code, where you’ll be required to wear smart-casual clothing or avoid wearing shorts or football shirts. But most others are pretty relaxed and informal, with no dress code. All that’s required is respect and consideration for other passengers using the lounge. 

There are a few different ways you can access an airport lounge, which vary depending on the airport and the owner of the lounge. In some cases, you can just book access online for your preferred day and time. It’s usually best to do this in advance, as places may not be available on the day. You may also benefit from a lower price when you book in advance, rather than walking up on the day. 

You might also be able to get airport lounge access as part of a bundle or premium package of travel extras. For example, you can book parking and fast track security access at the same time. This is a popular option to make your time at the airport as smooth, streamlined and as stress-free as possible. You can park close to the departures terminal, sail through security and then settle in comfortably in a luxurious airport lounge before your flight.