The Simple Joys of the International Airport Lounge

It is often the case that air travel can be somewhat less than enjoyable.  Personally, I love airports.  There is a feeling of excitement that comes from the beginning of the adventure and the anonymity of flying that I crave.  However, even I have had some less than stellar experiences.  Sometimes your flight is delayed.  Sometimes you lose your wallet and passport on the way to the airport.  Other times you just so happen to have a pass for the International Lounge and not only is your flight delayed, but you caught a ride from your neighbour 4 hours before your flight.  This is the only time these two unfortunate events are more than acceptable, perhaps even enjoyable.

Andrew Christie 2012

When you arrive to the airport 4 hours before your scheduled flight, there are no feelings of panic, confusion or frustration.  You have all the time in the world.  You can just relax and soak it all in.  I realize that your average business traveller may have lost all appreciation for airports, but not me.  Even though I have done what some would consider my fair share of travelling already, I still love rolling up to departures with my backpack and passport.  When I also have a lounge pass – I’m unstoppable.

Andrew Christie 2012

For several years now, due to my fathers frequent flyer rewards program, I’ve had the good fortune of getting forwarded several lounge passes a year.  Sadly, even with all the flying I’ve done this year, it appears as though I will still come up short to join the Elite on a regular basis with my own membership.  Unfortunately next year will be no different.  You never know what the future will bring, I remain hopeful that this becomes more than a once in a while deal for me.

For those of you who have yet to experience the simple joys of an international lounge and are thinking “What’s the big deal?”  Well, friends, the big deal is this – You can, quite literally, lounge around in plush leather chairs for as long as you like right up until your boarding call.  They will even announce it for you with plenty of time to stroll up to the gate just in time to board.  There are magazines, free wifi, a buffet, gourmet coffee machines, newspapers from around the world, clean well stocked bathrooms and best of all – free booze.  Perhaps you’d enjoy a Caesar with your pita chips and hummus.  Maybe you’d like a glass of wine with your cheese and cracker plate.  How about a cold beer right out of the tap?  It’s all there for you to enjoy – free of charge.

Andrew Christie 2012

As I write this, I’m looking out onto the tarmac at the comings and goings of thousands of stressed out, jet lagged, aggravated miserables and can’t help but think about the little things that are making my day better.  There’s the perfectly spiced Caesar, the asian stir-fry with crispy noodles and the supple leather arm chair you seem to just sink into.   I don’t always fly with lounge access, but when I do, I fly in comfort.

Andrew Christie 2012

You can, I believe, buy passes to most lounges now and depending how long your flight is delayed or how early you get to the airport – it might just be worth looking into.  Air travel can be stressful, irritating and for some, it can be unbearable.  If this is you, I urge you to give a lounge a try.  You won’t regret it.  It doesn’t look like my seat will be upgraded today, but yes, I will make that a double…

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10 Responses to The Simple Joys of the International Airport Lounge

  1. I haven’t had the pleasure all that often but they really make a difference don’t they? If i have a pass i’m usually keen to go to the airport early just to enjoy it! haha

    • jac1981 says:

      All the difference in the world. I hope one day to travel enough that they give me full-time access. The Thai Lounge in Hong Kong was awesome, great spread – showers too!

  2. miestravels says:

    I’ve never had the pleasure but it definitely sounds tempting… Might just get one for my next flight!

    • jac1981 says:

      I’m a huge fan, you might have been able to tell. Definitely give it a shot. Flights are pricey anyway, what’s a few extra bucks to really enjoy the experience?

  3. arnoldthearmadillo says:

    Sounds better than cattle class 😀

  4. henry says:

    I haven’t had the privileged of going into the airport lounges before however I have just changed my job and will be travelling quite a bit. As I am new to the company the perk of lounge membership isn’t an option until I have been there for over a year. I want to go into these lounges so I can get some work done before hand as well as enjoy myself!! Would you recommend getting airport lounge membership- ( for the year or paying as I go? I will be travelling quite regularly.

    • jac1981 says:

      I guess it depends on what the cost for a membership is. With Star Alliance you can earn a membership through flying frequently, but I’m not sure about other airlines. It certainly makes flying far more pleasurable. If I were you I’d pay once and see if it is worth it to you!

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