If you’re a regular at airports, you’ll know that waiting rooms aren’t especially comfy nor great places to get work done. Which is why frequent flyers turn to lounge programmes.
Lounge Club isn’t necessarily the first airport lounge programme that comes to mind, but it still does the job handsomely. Let’s see how it works and what it offers.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
- 10,000 Membership Rewards point welcome bonus
- 2 complimentary airport lounge visits per year
- No annual fee in year 1
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 57.6% APR (variable).
What lounges can I access with Lounge Club?
While not the most comprehensive lounge programme available out there, Lounge Club grants you access to over 350 lounges in more than 200 airports, so a good portion of the main tourist and business destinations around the world are covered. Just to give you an idea, here’s a (by no means comprehensive) list of cities/airports where you can find a Lounge Club lounge:
- United Kingdom: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle.
- Europe: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Valencia, Venice, Warsaw, Wien.
- United States: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.
- Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver.
- Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney.
- Asia: Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore.
You can search the full list on the Lounge Club website.
How does Lounge Club work?
Unlike with other airport lounge schemes, you cannot subscribe to Lounge Club independently. You can only join it if you have one of its partner credit cards, which in the UK means the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card.
Once you’ve applied and are accepted for the card, you’ll also receive your Lounge Club card. Amex says this may take up to 28 working days. Once you get your membership card, you can start using it.
- You’ll get two free lounge visits per year. Either you or the additional cardholder can benefit from them.
- Extra visits and guests come for a fee. This is currently £20 per person per visit, according to the Amex website.
- You can search for participating lounges on the Lounge Club website. You can see the features and the services provided by each lounge and plan your trip accordingly.
- Request entry to the lounge. When you’re at the airport, go to your chosen lounge and let staff know you are a Lounge Club customer. You’ll need to present your Lounge Club membership card, so don’t forget to take it with you. Depending on the lounge, you may also need to show your valid boarding pass and passport.
Lounge Club doesn’t directly run the lounges it features, but has a partnership with the airlines, airports and companies that manage them. So the lounges can be quite different from one another.
It’s thus a good idea to check the services offered by the lounge you’re interested in beforehand. Here are some of the things you can often find:
- A quiet seating area (with Wi-Fi). Which is great if you want to get some work done while you wait.
- Refreshments. Alcoholic or soft drinks, depending on the lounge. Disclaimer: the alcoholic option is not great if you’re trying to get some work done while you wait.
- Newspapers/TV. Especially good if you’re coming back from a holiday and trying to catch up with what the rest of the world has been up to.
- Showers. A luxury that only the best equipped lounges usually provide.
Be aware that not all lounges have a monitor with flight information. Make sure that relaxing in those luxurious armchairs doesn’t make you lose your flight!
What else do I need to know about the Lounge Club programme?
The other main thing to take into account is that lounges have specific requirements/rules you need to be aware of, such as:
- When you can get in. Usually it’s no more than three or four hours before your flight is due to depart. Lounges also have their own opening times and many are not open during the night.
- Dress code. Usually smart casual; shorts and flip flops, for example, may not be accepted.
- Guest policy. Most lounges will allow as many guests as you want in with you, but be aware that the fees will be directly charged to your credit card.
- Children. They are usually allowed in; for free if they are younger than a certain age.
- Extra fees. Some of the services (e.g. showers, alcoholic drinks) may come for an extra fee.
What are the alternatives to Lounge Club?
A more popular option is LoungeKey, a scheme that allows you to access over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. A few Mastercard credit cards come with Loungekey membership, so you also have a bit more choice from that point of view.
If you’re a loyal Amex customer instead, you can check out the Platinum card. The annual fee is far from cheap, but the card comes with a whole lot of benefits, including unlimited free airport lounge access at more than 1,200 lounges worldwide.
Finally, Priority Pass is an airport lounge scheme that anyone can join, no matter which credit card you own. You simply pay an annual fee to access the 1,200 lounges featured in the programme.