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Are Airport Lounges Worth It? Here’s a Cost Comparison ✈

are airport lounges worth it

Thinking of using an airport lounge?

Trying to decide if it’s worth paying for or not?

Airport lounges can be cheaper than eating and drinking in the public area of the airport, but that depends on how often you plan to use lounges, whether you buy access as you go or through a membership scheme, and if you will be travelling with someone else.

For example, Priority Pass Standard Plus membership works out to Β£22.90 per visit for 10 visits a year – that’s cheaper than eating and drinking somewhere in the airport!

Read on for a detailed comparison

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Are Airport Lounges Worth It? Let’s Look at Airport Costs

Are Airport Lounges Worth It?

If you value a quieter environment, free food and drinks, better WIFI, comfier seating, charging points, and more suitable work spaces then airport lounges can be better value when compared to eating and drinking in the public airport space.

Airports can be expensive places to spend time, especially if you want to get something to eat or drink while you wait.

For this comparison, I am going to look at costs at Edinburgh Airport, given it’s an airport I use fairly frequently.

I’m going to base this comparison on travelling for a morning flight.

Food and Drink Costs

  • Wetherspoons operates at Edinburgh Airport. A regular breakfast costs around Β£12 and a coffee is around Β£3.50 – so that’s Β£15.50 for something to eat and drink.
  • If you were to have a gin and mixer or a beer these would be another Β£6.50 each.
  • One person for breakfast, coffee, and an alcoholic drink the cost is Β£23.00

WIFI Costs

  • WIFI at Edinburgh Airport is free but only for 2 hours. For international flights where check-in can be 3-4 hours ahead of departure that’s not quite long enough.

Seating at Edinburgh Airport

  • The public seating at Edinburgh airport is metal seats. These are distributed throughout the airport terminal. They are not very comfortable to sit on and certainly not for anything over an hour.
  • There are some charging points throughout the airport but not at every seating area. There are more in cafes and restaurants.

Airport Lounges Worth It?

Edinburgh Airport Lounges

There are 3 airport lounges available at Edinburgh Airport.

The Premium Plaza lounge is available for around Β£33 per 3-hour booking. Entry includes Edinburgh Gin drinks some of which have been specially created for lounge visitors. There is a quiet zone for working and a children’s play area. The price is based on booking via Get Your Guide which have a discounted rate.

There are two Aspire lounges. They are available for around Β£40 per 3-hour visit if you book direct via Aspire or Edinburgh Airport. They are Β£35 per 3-hour visit if you book via LoungePass.

Facilities include;

  • Family booths
  • Work booths with unlimited high speed wifi
  • Comfortable seating
  • Charging sockets at each seating area
  • Runway views
  • Unlimited food and drink (menu below)

Aspire Lounge Breakfast Menu

Available from opening until 12pm

Cooked Breakfast 

Bacon (GF)
Cumberland Sausages
Scrambled Eggs (V)
Baked Beans (Ve)
Tomatoes (Ve, GF)
Mini Hash Browns (Ve)
Vegan Sausages (Ve, GF) available upon request

Continental Breakfast

Pancakes
Selection of Breads and Pastries
Selection of Yogurts, with Compotes, Dried Fruits, Jams and Honey
Selection of Cereals and Milk
Selection of Fresh Fruit

All served buffet style, help yourself to as much or as little as you like


Aspire Lounge Afternoon & Evening Menu

Available from 12pm until close

Deli Counter

Selection of Leaf, Bean, Pasta and Veg-Based Salads
Sliced Ham
Selection of Cheeses

Soup of the Day

Selection of Bakery Goods, Crisps and Biscuits

Afternoon Tea
Scones, Jam and Clotted Cream

Hot Dishes
A meat based dish and a vegetarian or vegan dish from the following lists will be available

Meat-Based Dishes

Beef Ragu with Pasta
Chicken and Chorizo Pasta
Chicken Tikka Masala with Rice (GF)
Chili Con Carne with Rice (GF)
Chicken and Chorizo Paella (GF)

Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes

Cauliflower, Butternut Squash and Spinach Dhansak with Rice (Ve) (GF)
Macaroni Cheese (V)
Pea and Pesto Gnocchi (Ve)
Herby Potatoes (Ve)

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Are Airport Lounges Worth It?

How Do You Value Airport Lounge Access?

Lounge Access Includes Unlimited Drinks and Snacks

  • In some lounges, there is an extra fee for premium drinks. Some lounges only provide snacks such as hot soup rather than full meals for example.
  • If you are planning on eating a meal at the airport and having a couple of drinks then airport lounge access can easily pay for itself on food costs alone.

Lounges Have More Charging Points

  • This is especially handy if you are doing a longer flight where devices might not last if you have used them for a long time at the airport.

Lounge Access Includes Unlimited Faster WIFI

  • This is especially valuable if you plan on doing some work while you are in the airport.

Lounges Usually Have Comfier Seating

  • If you are taking an international flight then having a more comfortable environment before the flight can ensure you board ready for your flight, feeling relaxed and ready to go rather than uncomfortable and sore.

You Can Stay in the Lounge if Your Flight is Delayed

  • Airports can become crazy when flights are delayed as there is quickly a build up of people which can overwhelm services, result in a lack of seats and there can also be a great deal of noise.
  • If you are using a lounge and a flight is delayed you can stay in the lounge until your flight is ready to go. Whilst the lounge might also get busy they will restrict entry so it doesn’t become uncomfortable.

Airport Lounges are Quieter

  • At a recent trip to Edinburgh airport the announcements ran continually for over 10 minutes – boarding calls, departure calls and gate changes. It can make airports an overwhelming place to be and senses can easily get overloaded.
  • Thankfully most lounges rely on displays rather than announcements making them a little oasis of calm.

Airport Lounges are Better for Nervous Flyers

  • Airports can be overwhelming, noisy, full of people, and all that can add to any stress you might have about flying. Airport lounges are quieter, calmer spaces that feel like a special treat. It’s harder to be nervous about a flight when there is free food and drink to graze on, along with comfy seating and generally great views too.

Are Airport Lounges Worth It?

Airport Lounge Costs When Booking Through Priority Pass

You can access either of the Aspire Lounges at Edinburgh Airport via Priority Pass.

For standard membership, the cost is Β£69 plus Β£24 per lounge visit. If used for 6 visits per year that works out at Β£35.50 per lounge visit.

If you are using a lounge more than 7 times a year then Priority Pass Standard Plus Membership offers great value with up to 10 visits included for Β£229. That works out at Β£22.90 per visit.

If you are using lounges more than 17 times a year then Prestige membership is the best option as visits work out at Β£24.64 per visit.

priority pass

Are Airport Lounges Worth It? – Conclusion

  • If you value the facilities and services that a lounge provides they are definitely worth it when compared to the cost of eating and drinking at the airport.
  • If you are planning on using airport lounges occasionally Lounge Pass offers good value pay-as-you-go access.
  • For regular use, Priority Pass Standard Membership is great value for 7 or more visits.
  • Using lounges more than 17 times a year means that Priority Pass Prestige is the best value.
  • If you are regularly going to have a guest then another membership scheme such as Aspire might be the better option. Keep an eye on their membership page to see when they go back on sale.

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Airport Lounge Membership Comparison – comparison of the major membership schemes

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access – everything you need to know about this popular scheme

You can find lots more articles and information on my airport lounges page.

Author Bio

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Melanie Newdick, The Professional Traveller

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