Why an Airline Lounge is worth the money…especially with kids.
One of the not so secret secrets to a very enjoyable and relaxing layover is finding an airline lounge and going inside for the duration of the layover. Now, before you decide that they are too expensive and not worth it, hear me out.
Jimmy and I always use the Delta Sky Clubs when they are available. We have the Delta Reserve American Express Card***, so we get in free as a perk to having the card. When I travel alone, we obviously don’t pay for the second person – our baby is free. Initially I realize the upfront cost is a turn off, but consider this: free food, free drinks, very clean bathrooms, a fully staffed facility, lots of clean space/chairs to be comfortable and the kids can play, free Wi-Fi, AND the front desk will provide you with updates on your flights.
We have spent many hours waiting on airplanes in the comfort of a lounge. I absolutely love the ability to leave my bags at my seat and get up, grab some free food, get a free cappuccino and relax. The seats are typically large leather or plush and big enough for me to comfortably nurse. Almost all of the clubs I have been in have “privacy chairs” that have high sides and a back so that I can face the window and nurse “privately.” I have also used the executive cubicles to pump.
The food and drinks in the club are legit too. I have had everything from bagels with cream cheese to tortellini and gumbo. They serve food appropriate to the time of day, so if you’re there in the morning you are most likely going to be served breakfast. There are several complimentary alcoholic beverages as well as more options you can pay for. My absolute favorite thing is the Starbucks machine that makes all kinds of coffee drinks and they are no additional cost.
Children are welcome in the lounge. I try to find the area that is the least crowded in case Charletta cries or is extra loud. I also try to be aware of people who are working or having meetings, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. Since she likes to be independent these days, I put her on the floor and let her crawl around and I just follow behind her. No one really seems to mind, but I also don’t let her get near other guests. Per usual with kids, it’s about balance and being conscious of other people.
While not all airline lounges are created equal, you can be sure that they are going to be less crowded, cleaner, way more quiet and more relaxing than the public terminal space. There are several things to consider before you drop cash to get into the club.
- How long is your layover?
- Were you planning on eating a full meal during the layover? If so, you’ll likely spend more on that meal than what you would pay to get into a club where there is free food, free drinks and Wi-Fi.
- Airline reward credit cards give discounted or free entry to the club
- Some airports have an “airport lounge” that may cost less than the airline lounge
- First class tickets come with a free pass into the lounge
- United allows you to buy a pass in advance for $29 instead of $50 the day of
- Unless you travel several times a month, an annual lounge pass is probably not worth the cost
Here are some airline lounge costs for day passes:
- Delta Sky Club- $59 per person for one day
- American Airlines Admirals Club - $50 per person for one day
- United Club – $59 per person for one day
- US Airways Club - $50 per person for one day
***NOTE: Big Brave Nomad will never recommend anyone getting a credit card because we don’t know your life or your financial situation.
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