Amidst the whirlwind of air travel, there is a little oasis of tranquility and luxury – the airport lounge.
Your gateway to ultimate travel comfort starts here – read on to find the best airport lounge membership to suit your travel requirements.
(Jump to a quick video guide)
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Membership Schemes
What’s the Best Airport Lounge Membership?
The best is one that provides the most lounge access for the lowest price based on your travel plans and frequency of use. Generally speaking, if you are going to use a lounge more than 6-10 times a year a membership plan will be cheaper than paying as you go.
Airport lounge membership schemes can be a great value way to access airport lounges.
The best lounge access membership scheme for you depends on when, where, and how often you plan to use airport lounges.
Other factors include whether you will be regularly travelling with guests.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Priority Pass
- One of the most popular airport lounge membership schemes
- StandardPlus plan works out to £22.90 per visit based on 10 visits
Priority Pass is probably the most widely known of the airport lounge membership schemes.
Members can access over 1300 lounges in 600 cities, across 148 countries!
Priority Pass has three membership levels;
- £69 per year and each lounge visit whether for the member or guest is £24 per person. This is ideal if you plan to use a lounge around 6 times or less per year.
- 6 visits per year = £35.50 per visit
- 8 visits per year = £32.62 per visit
- 10 visits per year = StandardPlus is a better option
- Standard Plus Membership
- £229 per year and includes 10 lounge visits for the member, with guest visits £24 per person. Every visit over 10 is charged at £24 for the member.
- 10 visits per year = £22.90 per visit
- 12 visits per year = £23.08 per vist
- 14 visits per year = £23.21 per visit
- 16 visits per year = £23.31 per visit
- Prestige Membership
- £419 per year includes unlimited visits for the member with guest visits charged at £24. For heavy usage, this can be the best value.
- 18 visits per year = £23.27 per visit
- 20 visits per year = £20.95
- 22 visits per year = £19 per visit
- 24 visits per year = £17.45
Membership can be accessed online and there is a membership card as well as a digital app with a digital membership.
This is handy for contactless travel.
Priority Pass has a great choice of lounges.
Benefits include member discounts at airports, for shopping outside of the lounges for example.
If you want a more detailed review of Priority Pass then check out my review of Priority Pass Membership UK and all its features.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Dragon Pass
- Competitive pricing makes Dragon Pass a great option
- Discounts for meals at airport restaurants
- Preferential Membership £16.70 per visit based on 10 visits
- Can buy single-visit passes through Dragon Pass on the website as well
Dragon Pass members can access 1300 lounges all over the world.
Membership is accessed online through their app.
- Standard Membership
- £68 per year with 1 free visit for the member, then additional visits and guest visits charged at £19.50 per each
- 6 visits per year = £27.58 per visit
- 8 visits per year = £25.56 per visit
- 10 visits per year = £24.35 per visit
- Preferential Membership
- £128 per year with 8 included visits, guest and additional visits charged at £19.50 each
- 10 visits per year = £16.70 per visit
- 12 visits per year = £17.16 per visit
- 14 visits per year = £20.28 per visit
- 16 visits per year = £17.75 per visit
- Prestige Membership
- £268 per year with unlimited visits for the member and all guest visits are charged at £19.50 per person
- 18 visits per year = £14.88 per visit
- 20 visits per year = £13.40 per visit
- 22 visits per year = £12.18 per visit
- 24 visits per year = £11.16 per visit
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Dragon Pass (Free Membership)
There is a little trick that can help you save the cost of a Dragon Pass membership meaning you can just buy the lounge access directly.
Simply sign up for a free account at Regus (an office workspace company) and you get free Dragon Pass membership.
Before you visit the airport lounge you need to have purchased a one time lounge access through the app.
Access is charged at £24 per airport lounge visit.
Here is all the information about how the scheme works from Dragon Pass.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Aspire and Swissport
- The best option for regular use of lounges in the UK and some other parts of the world (limited choice)
- The best option for two people to use as membership includes free guest visits (annual memberships are currently not for sale but scheduled to return in Summer 2023)
- Currently, you can book lounges online through the site with a price match guarantee.
- Operates a loyalty reward scheme that gives points every time you use a lounge.
Aspire, members, have access to lounges across the UK and in some European countries as follows;
- London Heathrow Terminal 3
- Calgary International
- Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau
- Helsinki Vaanta
- Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)
There is access to Heathrow Terminal 5 but only with a Platinum Annual Membership which gives access to more European countries
You can book lounge access online through Aspire with lounge access costing around £25 per person.
They also have two membership schemes;
- Aspire and Swissport Lounge Membership – for access to lounges above £259.99 which includes unlimited visits for the member and 1 guest (Please note annual memberships are currently off sale but hopefully returning in Summer 2023. It’s Summer 2023 and still not available!)
- Platinum Plus Lounge Membership – £399.99 which includes all lounges above plus London Heathrow Terminal 5 plus Cologne, Dublin, Faro, Geneva, Graz, Helsinki, Larnaca, Sofia, Zurich, Dubai, Kigali, Kingston, Montego Bay, Nairobi (Please note annual memberships currently off sale but hopefully returning in 2023)
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – LoungePass
- A good option for occasional airport lounge access
LoungePass is an online directory of airport lounges that you can book at a discounted price.
It has over 650 lounges at 350 airports worldwide.
Prices are from £17 per person per lounge. This varies depending on the location.
They have access to 45 lounges in the UK.
They also offer non-lounge options such as meal deals at airport restaurants.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – LoungeBuddy
- A good option for finding out if you can access airport lounges through your flight tickets or other membership
LoungeBuddy has an online site where you can book lounge access.
You need to book for each time you want to use a lounge.
Costs are from £20 per person per visit, depending on lounge location.
Use of the Number 1 Lounge in Gatwick Airport is from £40 per person.
It also has an app where you can enter details of your airline ticket, membership schemes etc and it will let you know if you are eligible to use any airport lounges.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – Bank Account & Credit Card Scheme Memberships
You can get access to airport lounges as part of your credit card.
Finder has an easy comparison of airport lounge access cards.
The top one currently is American Express Preferred Rewards which offers two free visits per year.
However, for it to be worthwhile you would need to clear all spending before getting charged interest.
Barclays previously offered the Travel Plus Pack packaged bank account which cost £18 per month. This is currently suspended due to Covid19 but included;
- Worldwide multi-trip insurance cover
- RAC cover for the UK and Europe
- 6 Free airport lounge visits
- Discounts on hotels and airport parking
If you were going to use all these things then this might be a cheaper way to access airport lounges.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison: Professional Traveller Summary
- Airport Lounge Membership is generally a better value option if using lounges more than 6 times per year
- If basing your buying decision purely on price Dragon Pass offers the best value airport lounge membership
- Priority Pass is a good option for membership especially if you plan to use Number 1 Lounges and it has more benefits than just lounge access
- Aspire is a great option if planning to use mainly UK lounges and is a great deal if you have a guest (however, still awaiting membership to be back on sale!)
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison FAQs
Which Is The Best Airport Lounge Card?
The best airport lounge card is the one that offers the best value for you given the number of times you plan to use it and where you plan to use it. Check out my quick quiz (at the top of this page) which will tell you which option is the best for you based on your individual requirements.
Is It Worth Paying For An Airport Lounge?
It is well worth paying for an airport lounge if you intend to use all of it’s facilities. An airport lounge generally includes free snacks and drinks, upgraded WIFI, more comfortable seating, toilets, and a quieter environment than the airport main building. If you value these things then yes an airport lounge is worth paying for.
How Long Can I Stay in An Airport Lounge?
Generally, the maximum stay is 3 hours. If you are buying a one-time pass online some schemes only allow a 2 hour visit. If your flight is delayed you can stay in the lounge until your flight departs.
How Do You Become a Member of An Airport Lounge?
You can either buy access on a pay-as-you-go basis – either through the airport or online via sites such as Holidayextras. For more regular use you can join a membership scheme such as Priority Pass or Lounge Pass which gives you discounted lounge access. Another option is if you have a travel credit card where one of the benefits gives you lounge access.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison Pros and Cons
- Airport lounge membership can offer good value if you are using lounges more than 6-8 times a year
- Membership schemes generally have a large selection of lounges available to choose from
- Being a member of a scheme means you don’t have to book and pay in advance. This gives you the flexibility to use a lounge when suits you.
- At busy times some lounges restrict access to lounges to only those that have booked directly. This means that occasionally you might not get access to a lounge.
Airport Lounge Membership Comparison Video
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Cheap airport lounges – how to find your cheapest access based on your usage and travel plans
Find more information on my Airport Lounges page
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