Three Alternative Airport Lounges

Airports, by their very nature, are busy places. With so many business and leisure travelers simultaneously occupying airports, it’s hard to find a seat in the lounges, but a few special options, including the following, help address the problem.

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The Centurion Lounge

Travelers who hold an AMEX Platinum card have access to the eight Centurion lounges—including those at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas—for free at major airports. There is a steep annual fee for the card, but the lack of hassle and superb lounges make it well worth it.

Lounge Networks

With the Priority Pass, you’ll have access to more than 1,220 lounges at 629 airports in 140 countries. Generally, they aren’t quite as large and luxurious as some other airline lounges, but they’re quiet, provide great work space and are equipped with preflight food and beverages. The least expensive membership is $99, plus $32 each time you enter a lounge. You can obtain the Priority Pass membership for free with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

LoungeBuddy allows travelers to use an app to buy passes at more than 200 lounges. No membership is required, and day passes are about $50 each.

Club Airport Lounge has lounges in 11 U.S. airports and two London airports. There’s no membership fee. The $40 day passes can be used within a six-month period.

Think Outside the Club

Maybe the best place to lounge in an airport isn’t a lounge, after all. Airports have taken tremendous strides to upgrade the dining and shopping areas equipped with comfortable seating and desks. If the weather allows it, consider going outside and getting some fresh air.