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 – children under 18 are free with accompanying adult. 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.
Here are 6 Reasons An Airport Lounge is Worth the Money:
1) Security: I absolutely love the ability to leave my stroller & diaper bag at my seat while I get up, grab some free food, get a free cappuccino and relax. I don't suggest leaving valuables, but unlike the main terminal, there is less worry about when leaving my diaper bag while I grab a snack.
2) Comfort: The seats are typically large leather or plush with plenty of table space if needed. They also offer executive areas where there are plugs for computers and desk space.
3) Privacy to 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. These chairs are perfect for a nursing mother looking for a little privacy.
4) Free & Unlimited Noms: The food and drinks in the club are legit. I have had everything from bagels with cream cheese to tortellini and gumbo to fresh warm chocolate chip cookies. 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. Drink up!
5) Children are welcome in the lounge: The staff of the lounges have always gone above and beyond to accomdate our family. From bringing me drinks & snacks, so I didn't have to carry both kids back and forth to the buffet while traveling solo with the kids to graciously sweeping up a giant bowl of popcorn our son threw across the room. (So embarassing on that last one) I do try to find the area that is the least crowded so that my kids have more freedom to move around without bothering other patrons. I also try to be aware of people who are working or having meetings, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. Per usual with kids, it’s about balance and being conscious of other people.
6) Cleanliness: The staff is constantly cleaning and refilling and restocking food. The difference in the bathrooms from the main terminal to the clubs can sometimes be huge. I definitely feel more comfortable in the lounge bathrooms.
While not all airline lounges are created equal, you can be sure that they are going to be less crowded, cleaner, way quieter and more relaxing than the public terminal space.
There are several things to consider before you drop cash to get into a club or lounge.
- 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 (See our recommendations HERE)
- 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, Free for Delta Reserve Card Holders (More ways to get in HERE)
- American Airlines Admirals Club - $59 per person for one day (More ways to get in HERE)
- United Club – $59 per person for one day (More ways to get in HERE)
For a full list of airline clubs by airline:
The USO is a MUST for military families. It is a completely FREE service for Active Duty & Retiree personnel & families.
As a mother who is frequently traveling alone with both kids, I find these lounges and USOs to be a welcomed break from constantly worrying about my kids running off, having a melt down or spending an outrageous amount of money on food. We are happy to have a clean couch to sit on, clean bathrooms to use and, of course we absolutely LOVE having free food/drinks.
As always, we love your feedback, questions and additional tips! Please comment below or contact us!
***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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