What makes a great airline lounge

Instead of responding to Gary Leff’s blog post in the comments I decided to post on my own blog.

He asserts:

  • Bare minimum acceptable: requires free wireless internet, ample seating, power, snacks, and ticketing assistance (useful for irregular operations, same-day changes, upgrade issues).
  • Superior: showers, hot food, ‘plus’ services
  • World class: restaurant, spa, escort to plane, dedicated/expedited security.

While I am more concerned with the day-to-day lounge experience I do like knowing that first class lounges exist as well.

Although I live in Charlotte I’m a member of the Delta Sky Club because when I layover it is usually because I’m flying on Delta.  I try to get to Charlotte with just a moderate amount of time before the flight so I don’t stop by the lounge then and I’m flying Delta more weeks than US Airways so I don’t have irregular operations issues on US Airways as often.

What do I expect:

  • Easy to find outlets that work (LAX Sky Club I’m looking at you!)
  • Free WIFI
  • Coffee/tea/soda/water accessible without dealing with a person.  I’ve been drinking hot tea for the most part and all of the Sky Clubs seem to have the Douwe Egbert machines with hot water and tea bags, but many of them require you to see a bartender for fountain sodas.
  • free alcohol – I’m not drinking much these days because I felt that I was just drinking too much.  I try to avoid the trap of free alcohol
  • Fresh fruit on the snack bar.  Travel leads to too much access to free junk food
  • Some kind of snacks available the duration of when the lounge is open.  Just because it’s 2 pm in LA doesn’t mean it’s not 5 pm to my body and after a long flight I want something.
  • Ticketing assistance.  Now that Same Day Changes have been changed significantly by Delta this is less important, but still good for IROPS.

 

Comments

  1. I agree with all your points, but the only time I use a lounge is when I fly AA for international. As a PLT member, I get free lounge access only on international trips. For domestic, I just can’t justify the cost. But if I was to join, I would agree with all of what you wrote above.

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