Cheap Airport Lounge Access to All? For Only $20? Well — Yes and No…
Y ou have thought about wanting to escape the crowds at the airport while waiting at the gate for your flight to depart; but for whatever reason, you just cannot see yourself parting with several hundred dollars for an annual membership offered by your preferred frequent flier loyalty program for access to their airport lounges — especially as those membership fees have significantly increased in recent years. You might even think that shorter membership durations and day pass options may still not be worth it to you.
Unlimited complimentary fruit and select snacks offered throughout the day
A complimentary credit towards a premium menu or bar item — seven dollars in Baltimore and Cleveland or ten dollars in New York and San Diego — which is included with lounge entry sufficient to purchase a meal or alcoholic beverage
Complimentary access to wireless Internet service
A dedicated business work area; and an additional $50.00 will reserve the business area for private use
A full bar
Electrical power outlets at every seat — including at the bar
Complimentary access to computers and business technology on site — including printing and scanning at no extra charge
Comfortable seating and workspace areas in a “relaxing atmosphere”
Semi-private conference room with seating for a maximum of six people
Separate restrooms in most lounges
Use of shower facilities at the New York and San Diego locations; and there is a charge of ten dollars — which cannot be refunded — to reserve a shower time slot
…and the lounges are open to everyone — regardless of the airline or class of service flown; but when the Airspace Lounge becomes more crowded, the entry fee to the Airspace Lounge may become more costly — similar to the concept of the pricing of variable toll lanes on highways where the toll increases as traffic becomes slower and more dense during peak times such as rush hour. The maximum price could potentially more than double at peak times. This policy supposedly helps to prevent overcrowding and not render the cheap airport lounge access for all concept as an oxymoron.
If you are already a member of the Lounge Access Program of American Express, entry to the Airspace Lounge is complimentary for you if you have a personal, business or corporate American Express Platinum Card, your immediate family, or up to two guests — including all amenities.
Plans were to open an Airspace Lounge in as many as 40 locations at airports throughout the United States, as lounge access at domestic airports is perceived to be diminishing; but since I wrote the aforementioned article greater than two years ago, Airspace Lounge has only opened four locations — reaching only ten percent of its goal. I suppose the concept is not as popular as it was originally intended.
For $20.00 or less, I can get a decent meal at an airport restaurant — also open to everyone — and probably eat better. More airports are offering free access to wireless Internet service — although the reliability of that service can vary due to a number of factors. For these reasons and more, I have never purchased a membership to an airport lounge — and probably never will do so — but I do intend to keep an open mind if the opportunity arises.
However, I must admit that $20.00 sounds reasonable for the amenities offered — but it depends on the amount of amenities, as well as the quality of the experience overall. Reviews are generally mixed pertaining to experiences in Airspace Lounges — although FlyerTalk member FlyAO2 would supposedly rather patronize a Minute Suites than an Airspace Lounge.
I still have never been in an Airspace Lounge; but if you have been in an Airspace Lounge, please impart your experience in the Comments below. If you have not been to an Airspace Lounge, would you try it? Please share your reasons why or why not…