Are lounge memberships evil?

Here at AirportBliss.com, we like sarcasm and caustic viewpoints. Over at HackMyTrip.com, blogger Devils Advocate tells you all about why lounge memberships are a terrible waste of money, in an entertaining diatribe.

He has valid points.

United's dreadful D8 United Club at Washington Dulles airport

United’s dreadful D8 United Club at Washington Dulles airport

And yet, he (humorously) undermines his own points by disclosing that he actually does pay for multiple annual memberships, through credit cards. Indeed, while annual fees can be high, lounges offer more than basic snacks and free drinks. The ability to find a quiet place to sit and catch up on work, as well as the availability of Wi-Fi, are paramount to many travelers. While some airports offer free Wi-Fi, most don’t, and complimentary public Wi-Fi is often slow or limited. Working from a bar or restaurant is certainly an option, but the environment tends to be noisy, and costs escalate rapidly. Many restaurants will also frown at patrons who squat for multiple hours. The availability of power outlets is also a key selling point in favor of lounge access.

Another selling point is the availability of customer service agents in virtually all lounges. These miracle workers can make a huge difference during irregular operations. This may not be something that one plans for, but for the frequent traveler, disruptions are bound to be a fact of life. Convenient access to an agent who treats you as a premium passenger beats waiting in a 200 person line at the nearest customer service center.

And finally, there is little comparison between lounges in the US and abroad. Foreign lounges often offer high-end amenities, including complimentary full meals. Even in the US, a traveler may be able, at a few airports, to use their membership or status to get into lounges operated by foreign airlines, which are typically far superior. Check out our reviews of Lufthansa’s Senator Lounge in Washington Dulles or Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kriss lounge in San Francisco, for example.

AirportBliss.com aims at providing unbiased reviews and information that help you make your own choice. The reality is somewhere in between Devil Advocate’s provocative standpoint, and the airlines’ rosy marketing pitch. Happy lounging!

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