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What is the attraction of lounges?

jetpack

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Mar 21, 2014
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I have often wondered what the attraction of airline lounges are that make people pay more to access them. This may be through buying lounge passes, Priority Pass, Qantas Club, doing status runs, choosing a more expensive airline, etc. I get that there are a handful of really nice lounges but for the most part I don’t think that the travel experience would be that much different if lounges didn’t exist. You can usually find a quiet unused terminal gate to wait in. Food & beverage options are almost always better at the retail outlets. The conclusion I have come up with is that access to a lounge gives you that warm and special feeling inside knowing that you can get in while most people can’t. Never mind that sometimes there are 500 other people in the lounge with you but as long as you are one of those 500 people then you still feel special. I sometimes also think that it is the passengers themselves that have built up lounges to be better than they are and are doing the marketing work for the airline. I am just wondering how people justify spending that extra money just to get lounge access.
 

get me outta here

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I don't spend an extra cent, no status runs, no memberships. I fly on points for hols and enjoy the comforts that access to whichever lounge that gives me. For example, I really look forward to the J Dom QF lounge when coming home from int to make at least 2 large glasses of fresh juice followed by 2 flat whites, and read the papers till the last sector home.
 

kpc

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Shower, (usually) quieter ambience, easy to find somewhere to charge devices, +/- food /drink. I don't pay extra for lounge access and don't do status runs :)
 

MEL_Traveller

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Food & beverage options are almost always better at the retail outlets.
Paid lounges... probably yes. Lounges you can only access due to class of service (or ultra high status), different story. The Lufthansa and Swiss First class lounges being two examples. The QF lounges in MEL and SYD also rank ok for food (but crowding is an issue as the bar for status entry is pretty low).

Lounges are just one part of the package of ground handling. But the more exclusive the lounge, the less of the crowding and mediocre food. And more of the amenity.
 

Denali

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Guaranteed space to sit and relax without your space being invaded by noise or people. Guaranteed conveniently placed power point, wifi, food and drink and its quite. Short stroll to a regularly cleaned toilet and maybe a shower while Im waiting.

We dont drink booze so the wine and champagne mean nothing to us.

We once met a friend of my husband that did a VA upgrade bid and it was his first visit to the lounge and he was blown away. "So I just go up and grab a drink and food?" he asked? My family have never been in a lounge so when I post pics from various lounges, they are usually interested in whats available.
 

pauly7

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Honestly these days after flying as much as I do, I try to limit time spent in airports to the absolute bare minimum, I used to be like some lounge lizards on here but no more! No time and better places to be for me.

Having said that long haul stop overs - a quick shower and a nibble make long haul business travel just that little bit more bearable. Apart from stopovers though quite often I don't even go to the lounge anymore unless whoever I'm travelling with desperately feels the need to go!

The food is nice but honestly I go to amazing restaurants and would much rather be there than in an airport :)
 
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GPH

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It's a similar question to the one about cars.
We all (or most of us at least) own and need a car , our fundamental needs are 1. Getting from A to B, 2. Space and comfort (include safety in that too) and 3. reliability , running costs etc.
for many, the choice is simple, entry level to mid range , good fuel economy, reasonable comfort and reliability.
For others, cheap and cheerful, ( no such thing IMHO) , and for others yet, above average and prestige. Offers appeal.
I fit into the above average sector. I drive a big car, it isn't as fuel efficient as I would like, but it's a compromise I make for size, safety and comfort.
So it's probably fair to say that while one person likes entry level , economical to drive, he / she is no lesser or better than one who wants a late model sports car or sedan with a price tag 2-3 times the entry - medium range buyer.

I like the lounge access, I shall miss the premium access once my ability to maintain WP (with QF) expires, but I do have my QP life membership and LTS to fall back on. Even the average QF domestic and international Biz lounge are a big step up from the jostling for food and space amongst the "Great unwashed" (my opinion here).

The last point I would make is there is a Price and then there is value.
The cost benefit analysis of having access to and using a lounge , be it J or F is a personal one.
For me, I am more about value over cost. All too often a cheap price means you get what you pay for, and often not even that.

It only remains to ask, what the original OP's lounge experiences are so far?
 

RooFlyer

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Well said GPH with the car analogy. To me a car is a way to get from A to B (some other T&Cs :) ). Why on earth would anyone spend more that $10K on a car?

jetpack: I don't understand the concept of paying for lounge access. :shock:

I use lounges because I'm a DYKWIA, pure and simple; lounges have Champagne; 'the terminal' does not. Need anyone say more? I enter the lounge, do a circuit or two, then exit and re-enter, so much do I like being seen having lounge access. Rinse and repeat.

This is all the more important in many overseas locations, where there is absolutely no point in strutting about the terminal being seen as a jet-setter, as its an absolute zoo, over-crowded and expensive. In any event, anyone worth being seen by is already in the lounge! I will tolerate the quietness and high standard of the lounge and be seen by my peers and forego the opportunity to be seen by many.

At Hong Kong, I have been known to retreat into the cabanas of The Wing and soak in the bath for a while and forego the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with lounge-deprived celebrities in the Gucci shops in 'the terminal'.

And I have a weakness for chocolate and good coffee, so in ZUR its the Swissair lounge, rather than catching up with my financiers in the cigar joints out in 'the terminal' (we make them travel Economy these days, so no lounge for them!).

Not to mention the salt and pepper squid at QF F lounge, SYDi ...
 

GPH

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Honestly these days after flying as much as I do, I try to limit time spent in airports to the absolute bare minimum, I used to be like some lounge lizards on here but no more! No time and better places to be for me.
Having said that long haul stop overs - a quick shower and a nibble make long haul business travel just that little bit more bearable. Apart from stopovers though quite often I don't even go to the lounge anymore unless whoever I'm travelling with desperately feels the need to go!
The food is nice but honestly I go to amazing restaurants and would much rather be there than in an airport :)
I am fortunate, most of my flying is for leisure, so the lounge aspect is a plus for me.
I get your point. It must begin to blur for you at some point
 

Milboo

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Because it is much more pleasant than being surrounded by the noise of the terminal, especially screaming children.

I like that I can find a spot and relax - pop to a bathroom easily (without having to take all my stuff with me), grab a coffee, have a snack.

The showers in transit are a blessing.

What I value the most is the access to the airline staff in the event there are issues with my flight - be it jumping on an earlier one, delays, cancellations etc.

Well...to be completely superficial it is also the free massage or facial and the superb dining to be had in the EY F lounge in Abu Dhabi too.
 

Simo

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I enjoy the being able to find my own little bit of space... generally I don't eat or not much at all.
 

yohy?!

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Try going to a lounge then back to the terminal and see how jarring it feels, majority of lounges out there will always be a more relaxing environment than the bustling terminal.particularly important before a long haul economy flight.
 

Daver6

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The single greatest benefit of a lounge for me is the shower. Be it on a long haul stop-over or even if your flight is at the end of the day. A quick shower before a flight just makes me feel so much better.

The other big one was free wifi. That's not such a big deal these days as most airports now have free wifi in the terminal.
 

Tazza_0712

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Much like a couple of others here, I don't pay for lounge access specifically. It comes with the airfare that I book, which is usually by way of a points redemption or an upgrade. In some cases, passes via my CC or FF status.

I love the lounge. It has nothing to do with feeling like others are excluded. It has everything to do with a quiet(ish) space, decent amenities, and the comfort factor of being able to grab a drink, a coffee, a snack, a meal when I feel like it and not having to touch my wallet or fumble for change (I jest, #applepay).

Perfect example of this, was when I was returning home from OOL a few weeks ago after a very unpleasant day trip there. Being able to unwind in the peace of the lounge made all the difference. Exiting the lounge and heading into the terminal to reach the gate for the flight home, I was hit with the volume of chatter and announcements and crowds - all things I was able to avoid for a solid hour or so. I can't over express how valuable this was.

Lounges = one of the better aspects of flying.
 

jetpack

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Thanks for the responses. My SG status is about to end and I am trying to decide if I should spend money to maintain lounge access. It's been a nice thing to have so far and am tempted to maintain it but I don't think think I value it enough to pay for it.
 
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I have paid for lounge access once in my life. I was in Dhaka awaiting a 11pm flight to Bangkok. It had taken me two hours to reach the airport then another hour in a security queue to get into the airport itself. My plane was delayed and there were no seats. I finally found one only to have a startled stray cat fly between my legs, once I sat down.

That was enough for me.
 

GPH

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Thanks for the responses. My SG status is about to end and I am trying to decide if I should spend money to maintain lounge access. It's been a nice thing to have so far and am tempted to maintain it but I don't think think I value it enough to pay for it.
With the loss of status, you don't necessarily need to lose Lounge access, I'm sure you would find some way (long haul anyway) of upgrading your flight to J , (if that's what you wanted) and you will have lounge access anyway.
 

Dr Ralph

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OP may as well asked what's the attraction of flying F or J. Some people appreciate luxuries and being treated differently.

If you don't like relatively quite spaces to relax before a flight, don't want a shower, something to eat and drink and access to a business centre then using a lounge may not be for you.

For me, a friend introduced me to the Qantas club about a decade ago. I had no idea it existed prior to that time. I've never taken a flight subsequently without using a lounge.
 
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AustraliaPoochie

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Am in the QF MELd QP.
A lounge is a nice place to be a lounge lizard between SC or mileage runs.
Ability to charge devices.
Some good food.
Good seats.
Less people.
Grog after 12 noon.
 

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