Travel News

How to Get Into Any Airport Lounge

These apps and more will help you score VIP treatment, even if yoU are flying economy.

If you fly economy, or only travel once or twice a year, I bet you’ve seen the signs for VIP airport lounges and automatically ruled yourself out. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. You’re in. Seriously. Even coach passengers can escape the chaos, crying, and hustle of the terminal for the wonderment of unlimited cocktails, free Wi-Fi, comfy couches, and decent food with just the tap of a button. You guessed it, there are apps for that—and yes, they’re really easy to use.


It doesn’t matter what cabin you’re flying in. If you find yourself trying to pry open lounge doors with your eyes during a cancelled flight or extended layover, or want to book a lounge in advance, LoungeBuddy ( will get it done. The free app allows you to purchase instant access at hundreds of airports worldwide, without any annoying membership cards, up front fees, or fuss.


Once you’re hooked on airport lounges, you’ll find Priority Pass ( to be a great deal. The membership-based app features access to over 850 lounges, which you can access just by pulling up your mobile membership card on your phone. You’ll pay $99 bucks to get started and just $29 per visit after that. For those traveling more than five times a year, the app also features an enhanced membership option at $249 for the year, which includes 10 visits, effectively giving you access for $24 a pop. That is an excellent value considering what you will find inside.


The plastic already sitting in your wallet may be the golden ticket to all things that don’t suck in an airport. American Express has a growing network of Centurion Lounges, which are among the best in the U.S. and around the world, and anyone with an Amex card can get in for $50 (note: its free for Platinum cardholders). Additionally, Citi and Chase both feature credit cards that come with complimentary Priority Pass membership: the Citi Prestige card and the Chase Ritz Carlton card. Both offer unlimited free access, saving you from waiting in the terminal.

Written by Gilbert Ott