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A guide to airport lounge access

A guide to airport lounge access

When you hear the word "stopover," at the airport, if you're like most people, you probably imagine expensive food and drinks, spotty Wi-Fi, and cramped chairs—with little or no chance to relax or be productive. But there are ways you can get into an airport lounge to convert your stopover into a mini-vacation.

Behind the glass doors lie luxuries like complimentary snacks and drinks, clean bathrooms and showers, comfortable seating, an abundance of electrical outlets, speedy Wi-Fi, and quiet spaces to work. And that's just the basics which are now necessities as well. At select lounges across the world, you'll find full-service dining, spa services, hotel rooms, bars, and other indulgences that will provide for a truly immersive first class service.

In the case of delays or cancellations, it's infinitely better to be within a lounge than at the terminal.

So, how do you get into one of those lounges to enjoy the luxuries it has to offer?

There are five main ways of accessing an airport lounge:

1. Fly First or Business Class

The very first way to get into an airport lounge is by flying first or business class, but the rules of access vary depending on the airline and where you're flying.

If you are flying first class on a fully-domestic flight, you most likely do not have lounge access for just flying first class. However, if you're flying internationally on an international airline, you'll usually have lounge access just for flying first or business class. International rules differ from airline-to-airline, but this rule is generally applicable.

2. Gain Elite status

When you earn status with your favourite airline for frequent flying, you’ll also gain an equivalent status in its alliance partners. This means you gain access to their partner lounges as well.

3. Get the right credit card

Credit cards are the easiest and probably the cheapest way to gain access to lounges. Getting a travel card like Citi PremierMiles Credit Card is your best bet. Several cards offer lounge access as a perk of membership in addition to miles bonuses. Just make sure you have excellent credit and are responsible with credit cards.

4. Buy a lounge membership

Of course, you can always buy your way in! Membership is sold. So you can always have lounge access when you fly. This is of course expensive.

5. Get a day pass

You can purchase a day pass. While domestic lounges are costly, "third party" lounges often cost much less, about 50% of the domestic lounges. The best way to do this is to go online and buy one-day use passes.

You can also earn all these privileges and more with premium banking at Citigold. Go ahead and make your flying experiences pleasurable. Use one of the above methods to enjoy the stopover than merely survive it.

For more, visit Citi Help, the one - stop destination for all your queries.