How to access an airport lounge

by Nick

Airport lounges are the perfect way to relax before boarding a flight. They range from the basic to the lavish, like something out of a 7-star Middle Eastern hotel. Wine, dine and recline in the very best airport lounges worldwide. There are different lounges types and various ways to gain access. Read our post for how to access an airport lounge.

Types of Airport Lounge

Airline or private companies operate these airport lounges, which offer a break from the chaos of departure lounges at most destinations.

Airline Lounge

The two types of airline lounge are First Class and Business Class.

First Class

These are only accessible with a First Class ticket. The service and the attention to detail are excellent.  Business and celebrity passengers frequent these lounges.

Business Lounge

Business-class ticket holders can use these lounges. They serve food and beverages, plus amenities like spas and massages. Although busier than First Class lounges, they are still a better option than departure halls.

An airline usually belongs to an airline alliance. The major alliances are:

Star Alliance is the largest with 26 members, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways, and United Airlines. These are the five original founding members. Affiliate members can transfer air miles, points, and even lounge visits between them. 

Futuristic pods at the Pearl Lounge, Marrakech (RAK), Morocco

Futuristic pods at the Pearl Lounge, Marrakech (RAK), Morocco


Types of Airport Lounge Membership providers

Some airport lounges allow access with a valid membership irrespective of the airline class. These memberships can be acquired as a credit card benefit, or by opening a bank account and in other cases purchasing a membership directly from the lounge membership provider. The promary UK ones are:

Priority Pass

With access to over 1300+ airport lounges worldwide, Priority Pass is the leader in airport lounge access. I always carry my Priority Pass card. The selection and standard of lounges are excellent. Priority Pass member lounges will add calmness and comfort to your journey for business or pleasure. There are three types of plans available, Standard (pay per entry), Standard Plus (pay per entry) and Prestige (unlimited access).

Lounge Key

LoungeKey allows access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide with an eligible credit card. Lounge Key is limited to select Mastercard products. Having an HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard in the UK allows unlimited complimentary access to over 750 airport lounges worldwide. Possessing the HSBC Premier Card provides access to over 750 airport lounges worldwide, but there is a charge of £20 per person per visit. The card is better suited to infrequent travellers.

What is Lounge Buddy then?

Lounge Buddy is a portal for lounge access. Travellers access any lounge in the network with no memberships or airline tickets. Select an airport of your choice and purchase access.


Final thoughts

Lounge access helps to travel in style and comfort. With fast track access and airline membership programs, especially for budget airlines such as easyJet or Wizz Air,  one can enjoy a business class experience whilst flying economy. The real benefit of lounge access is when taking long haul flights and recommended for all economy class travellers. Read our post on the best way to travel comfortably.


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