Back in the golden age of air travel, airport VIP lounges used to be a place where social status was one of the perks. Wealthy travelers and powerful business people were seen entering and exiting airport lounges. Other passengers only dreamt of the ability to gain access to these pillars of air travel. Inside these exclusive clubs, members received complementary beverages, meals and snacks, and plush, comfortable seating. It was a place to socialize, to work, or to sit quietly and rest before boarding a flight. Today, however, airline club lounges are for more than just the wealthy and the powerful. Access is now available to anyone willing to pay for it, or lucky enough to be granted access due to their elite air warrior status.
There are more than 600 airline lounges located all over the world. Examples of airline clubs include In some you can enjoy complementary cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, while others only offer non-alcoholic beverages. Generally, passengers can expect to find comfortable seats, a quiet atmosphere and a place to work. Wi-Fi is available at no charge. Charging stations are available for electronic equipment and travelers are quietly offered their choice of snacks and beverages. Some clubs, especially in international airports, offer shower facilities. There are places to stretch out and lie down as well. Since access requires passengers to pay a fee, there are fewer passengers waiting in the lounge than outside in the terminal, which means it is far quieter and much more relaxing.
The fee for access to a lounge varies, and has for many years. Most passengers pay for a membership. Others can enjoy the benefits to clubs because their credit card offers it as a perk for being a good-standing member. Most airlines will let anyone in if they are willing to pay a fee, which varies depending on the airline. Some offer a day pass that allows passengers an unlimited amount of time for the course of 24 hours. Other access fees provide travelers only an hour or a few hours depending on how long their layover is. The fee for one day pass is not too expensive. A fee of $50 is among the highest a traveler will pay during their travels, although some fees are less expensive. There are, however, certain airline club areas dedicated only to those flying first class, and are aptly called first class lounges.
To purchase entry to an airline club area, travelers need only to visit their airline's website or the airline counter at the airport. Since many clubs are operated directly by the airlines located in a specific terminal, passengers can purchase annual or one-day passes on the airline's website, where they will provide their name, date of travel and contact information. Their printed pass will allow them access to the airline's lounge for 24-hours.