Airport Lounges

Airport Lounges – A Travel Essential

Want to find the cheapest way for you to access airport lounges based on your usage?

Just take the quick quiz above to get a speedy answer 🙂

In the meantime I have a little confession to make!

Don’t tell anyone but I have a real fear of flying.

Infact it was so bad that for many years I was too scared to fly but I wanted to see the Yangtze Gorge before it was flooded so much that I just had to deal with my fear.

One of the things that helps me deal with my fear of flying is to upgrade the airport experience.

Being able to work in a lounge, or simply enjoy a bit of a quieter environment while sipping on something nice and eating a few snacks can really help take my mind off the upcoming flight. It also feels like a little treat.

As a Professional Traveller I am generally travelling for work so having lounge access means that I can get some work done ahead of or after a trip. I hate to get home and have loads of paperwork to do preferring to get it all done before I get back.

A lounge enables me to do that and I often complete my tour reports in a lounge while waiting for a connecting flight.

I find lounges a good option for when I have a longer flight to deal with, when I have plenty of time at the airport inbetween connecting flights.

The airport lounge at Istanbul SAW was a lifesaver when there was no vegetarian breakfast options available at the airport!

On the rare occasions I travel with family I have enjoyed taking them into a lounge. My nephew has Asperger’s and after much preparation work for his first flight one of the things that took his mind off being nervous was discovering the lounge and the free snacks – it was time to fly before he knew it.

airport lounge food the professional traveller

Airport Lounge Membership Schemes

Priority Pass

Best for the most amount of lounges available worlwide

Best for mid range use of lounges – StandardPlus plan works out to £18.90 per lounge use

Priority Pass is probably the most widely known of the airport lounge membership schemes and it is the one I have.

Members can access over 2000 lounges all over the world.

They have three membership levels;

  • Standard – £69 per year and each lounge visit whether for the member of guest is £20 per person
  • Standard Plus – £189 per year and includes 10 lounge visits for the member, with guest visits £20 per person. Every visit over 10 is charged at £20 for the member.
  • Prestige – Unlimited visits for the member with guest visits charged at £20

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 Membership

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

Confuscius
airport lounge the professional traveller

Dragon Pass

Best option for less frequent use, or higher use (over 10 visits per year)

Discounts for meals at airport restaurants

Good range of lounges available

Dragon Pass members can access 1300 lounges all over the world.

Membership is accessed online through their app.

  • Standard – £68 per year with 1 free visit for the member, then additional visits and guest visits charged at £19.50 per each
  • Preferential – £128 per year with 8 free visits for the member, then additional visits & guest visits charged at £19.50 each
  • Prestige – £268 per year with unlimited visits for the member, and all guest visits charged at £19.50 per person

Dragon Pass with Free Membership

There is a little trick that can help you save the cost of Dragon Pass membership meaning you can just buy the lounge access directly.

Simply sign up for a free account at Regus (an offfice 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.

airport lounges the professional traveller

UK And Europe Lounge Access

Aspire and Swissport

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

Aspire members have access to lounges across the UK and in some European countries as follows;

Belfast

Birmingham

Bristol

Edinburgh

Humberside

Glasgow

Inverness

London

Gatwick

London Heathrow Terminal 3

Liverpool

Luton

Manchester

Calgary International

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Copenhagen

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
  • 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
airport lounge service the professional traveller

LoungePass

Good option for occassional 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.

LoungeBuddy

Good option for finding out if you can access airport lounges through your flight tickets or other memberships

LoungeBuddy has an online site where you can book lounge access.

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.

Bank Accounts and Credit Card 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.

Free Airport Lounge Ebook

cheap airport lounge access the professional traveller

Which Is The Cheapest Way For You To Access an Airport Lounge?

I’ve done a comparison of how to buy airport lounge access.

For ease of comparison I based my pricing on accessing airport lounges at London Gatwick airport.

I’ve also assumed that for lounge membership schemes one person is the member and one person is the guest, unless advised differently.

If you haven’t completed the quick quiz above you might want to do this now and it will guide you to the cheapest prices for you based on your airport lounge usage.

Otherwise follow through the guide below for all the information you need.

1 airport lounge the professional traveller

1 Visit Per Year

Cheapest = Best Online Deal

Whether travelling on your own or as a couple the cheapest option for you is to get a good online deal. Prices vary depending on the airport so here are prices for Gatwick lounge access.

These are for the cheapest lounge options available, not necessarily the same lounge. All are for 3 hours lounge access unless advised differently.

Find airport lounge deals at;

Travelsupermarket – £28 per person

HolidayExtras – £24 per person (maximum stay 2 hours not 3)

Aspire Lounges – Approx £25 per person (lounges currently closed)

LoungePass – £27.49 per person with option to upgrade to Premium Security for £5.00

LoungeBuddy – £20 for Aspire Lounge (currently closed)

1 VisitOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free Membership
1 Person248927.496827.25
2 People4810954.9887.5054.50
3 airport lounges the professional traveller

3 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Best Online Deal or Dragon Free Membership

Whether travelling on your own or as a couple the cheapest option for you is to get a good online deal. Prices vary depending on the airport so here are prices for Gatwick lounge access. These are for the cheapest lounge options available, not necessarily the same lounge. All are for 3 hours lounge access unless advised differently.

Find airport lounge deals at;

Travelsupermarket – £28 per person

HolidayExtras – £24 per person (maximum stay 2 hours not 3)

Aspire Lounges – Approx £25 per person (lounges currently closed)

LoungePass – £27.49 per person with option to upgrade to Premium Security for £5.00

LoungeBuddy – £20 for Aspire Lounge (currently closed)

The other option is to use a Dragon Pass but avoid the membership fee by signing up as a member of Regus where you can get free membership to Dragon Pass and just pay directly for airport lounge access.

3 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free Membership
1 person7212982.4710781.75
2 people144169164.94165.50163.50
6 airport lounges the professional traveller

6 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Online Deal, Priority, Dragon or Aspire Pass

Whether travelling on your own or as a couple the cheapest option for you is to get a good online deal (unless using mainly UK and very limited European airports then see below).

However, for more lounge choices and options a Priority Pass or Dragon Free Pass might be the best option. Around 6 visits is the ‘tipping point’ for when passes are better value than buying airport lounge access as you go.

Prices vary depending on the airport so here are prices for Gatwick lounge access. These are for the cheapest lounge options available, not necessarily the same lounge. All are for 3 hours lounge access unless advised differently.

Find airport lounge deals at;

Travelsupermarket – £28 per person

HolidayExtras – £24 per person (maximum stay 2 hours not 3)

Aspire Lounges – Approx £25 per person (lounges currently closed)

LoungePass – £27.49 per person with option to upgrade to Premium Security for £5.00

LoungeBuddy – £20 for Aspire Lounge (currently closed)

If you are a couple who are planning to use airport lounges mainly in the UK, with a very limited number of European airports an Aspire/Swissport lounge pass is your cheapest option. It provides unlimited lounge access for two people for £259.99 or £129.00 per person

Airports included are:

Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Humberside, Inverness, London Gatwick, LHR Terminal 3, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Calgary International, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Copenhagen, Helsinki Vaanta, Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

6 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free MembershipAspire Pass
1 person144169164.94165.50163.50259.99
2 people288289329.88282.50327259.99
8 airport lounges the professional traveller

8 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Dragon or Aspire Pass Depending on Airport Lounge Locations

If you are a solo traveller then the Dragon Preferential Pass comes in at the cheapest option £128 for 8 lounge visits

If you are a couple and plan to use mainly lounges located in the UK with some very limited European airports then the Aspire/Swissport pass is the cheapest option as it provides unlimited lounge access for £259.99 or £129.99 per person

Airports included are:

Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Humberside, Inverness, London Gatwick, LHR Terminal 3, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Calgary International, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Copenhagen, Helsinki Vaanta, Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

8 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free MembershipAspire Pass
1 person192189219.92128218.24259.99
2 people384349439.84284436.48259.99
10 airport lounges the professional traveller

10 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Dragon Pass or Priority Pass

If you are a solo traveller the Dragon Pass Preferential comes in cheapest at £167

Priority Pass comes a close second at £189

If you are a couple and plan to use mainly lounges located in the UK with some very limited European airports then the Aspire/Swissport pass is the cheapest option as it provides unlimited lounge access for £259.99 or £129.99 per person

Airports included are:

Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Humberside, Inverness, London Gatwick, LHR Terminal 3, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Calgary International, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Copenhagen, Helsinki Vaanta, Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

10 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free MembershipAspire Pass
1 person240189274.90167272.50259.99
2 people480389549.80362545259.99

Free Airport Lounge EbookSee Details 

15 airport lounges the professional traveller

15 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Dragon Preferential Pass or Priority Pass Standard Plus

If you are a solo traveller then the Dragon Preferential Pass is your cheapest option at £167

Priority Pass Standard Plus is £189

If you are a couple and plan to use mainly lounges located in the UK with some very limited European airports then the Aspire/Swissport pass is the cheapest option as it provides unlimited lounge access for £259.99 or £129.99 per person

Airports included are:

Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Humberside, Inverness, London Gatwick, LHR Terminal 3, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Calgary International, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Copenhagen, Helsinki Vaanta, Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

15 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free MembershipAspire Pass
1 person360289412.35245408.75259.99
2 people720578824.70490817.80259.99
20 airport lounges the professional traveller

20 Visits Per Year

Cheapest = Dragon Pass Prestige Pass or Aspire Pass

If you are a solo traveller then the Dragon Prestige Pass is your cheapest option at £268

If you are a couple, and want to access lounges worldwide, then the cheapest option is to buy two Dragon Prestige Passes for a total of £536

If you are a couple and plan to use mainly lounges located in the UK with some very limited European airports then the Aspire/Swissport pass is the cheapest option as it provides unlimited lounge access for £259.99 or £129.99 per person

Airports included are:

Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Humberside, Inverness, London Gatwick, LHR Terminal 3, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Calgary International, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Copenhagen, Helsinki Vaanta, Amsterdam Schiphol (26 & 41)

20 VisitsOnline DealPriority PassLounge PassDragon PassDragon Free MembershipAspire Pass
1 person480339549.80268545259.99
2 people9606781099.605361090259.99
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