How to Get Airport Lounge Access



Airport lounge access is one of my favorite benefits that I get with some of my credit cards. I usually try and arrive earlier when I fly so I can visit a lounge, have a small meal, and unwind a little. It is such a nice perk! When you have a layover between flights, time flies in an airport lounge. A few times, I have even showered during a layover. It makes all the difference in how I feel when I arrive at my final destination. It’s hard to believe that I traveled for so many years and never knew that “normal” people could enter an airport lounge!

The two lounges I use most when traveling domestically are the Priority Pass Lounges and the American Express Centurion Lounges. If you are traveling business or first class, airport lounge access is included with the price of your ticket. And I always assumed that these lounges were just for these jet setters. But having certain credit cards also allows airport lounge access even when traveling economy class!

Priority Pass Lounges

Priority Pass Lounges are found in many airports. There are over 1,200 lounges in more than 500 cities across 143 countries. Sometimes there is more than one lounge in a single airport. I usually look up their locations in any airport I am traveling through and read reviews to decide which is the best one to go to. With Priority Pass, you can access the lounges for yourself and two guests. It is always fun to share a lounge pass with someone because they are so impressed I can get them in for free!

Recently, my sister, friend, and I went to the Priority Pass Lounge in Puerto Vallarta. We enjoyed sandwiches, chips, cookies, and cokes before flying home. Having a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner every time I travel makes the cost of the annual fee a lot less daunting!  


woman sitting in priority pass lounge in puerto vallarta

The Priority Pass lounge in Puerto Vallarta was nice to visit instead of sitting in a crowded terminal!


Credit Cards that come with  Priority Pass include:


women in priority pass lounge in Bangkok

Priority Pass Lounge in Bangkok, Thailand – airport lounge access is a game-changer!

Restaurant Access

A great perk with Priority Pass is access to 25 restaurants in U.S. airports that don’t have an actual lounge. I can order $28 worth of food. Yes, that’s right! $28 for me and $28 each for two guests! This huge saving beats grabbing an overpriced, premade deli sandwich.

Sadly, American Express is not offering this with their Priority Pass access. However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and  U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card continue to offer this benefit.

American Express Centurion Lounges

The other airport lounge I use and like, even more is Centurion Lounges. They usually have a shower available, a little better food, and are just a little nicer, in my opinion. I get so excited when I am traveling to an airport with a Centurion Lounge and can use my airport lounge access!

Currently, there are lounges in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver (read my review here), Hong Kong, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK and La Guardia), Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and London.

You can access these lounges with an American Express Platinum card – a huge reason it will always be in my wallet. Again, you can bring in two guests for free (coming Feb 1. 2023, guests will no longer be free). My husband or another guest enjoys this perk when flying with me!


Woman sitting at table in airport lounge

I love my Denver Centurion Lounge!


Delta Sky Club Lounge

With the American Express Platinum Card, you can enjoy the amenities of a Delta Sky Club Lounge anytime you are traveling on a Delta flight. You can’t bring in a guest for free but can buy them a pass at a reduced rate. You can also access Delta Sky Clubs with the Delta Reserve credit card. Guests will need to pay $39 to join you. 

Airport lounge

Having the right credit card will let you access this SLC Delta Sky Lounge.


United Club Lounge

Another nice lounge to hang out in is the United Club Lounge. Having the United Explorer Card in your wallet gives you two free lounge passes. This allows you to use the lounge if you are traveling on a United flight and does not allow for guests. If you have the United Club Infinite card, you get a United Club membership and can bring up to 2 guests.

Airport Lounge

United Club Lounge Heathrow Airport, London


Capital One Lounge

These are some of the newest lounges, presenting their food in such a cute manner! The Capital One Venture X card will let you into them, or The Capital One Venture Rewards card will let you have two passes/year to enter.  Unfortunately, there is only one open in DFW right now, with two more openings soon in Denver and Washington, DC (IAD). 


Airport Lounge with food

Capital One Lounge in Dallas – I can’t wait for Denver’s to open!


Admirals Club

To visit the American Airlines Admirals Club, you must have the AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard. You can bring up to 2 guests with you. 


Bottom Line

If you travel often, or your husband does, having a card that allows you airport lounge access is a game-changer! My husband laughs that I enjoy airports so much. He thinks I am crazy, but I go to airports early just for the lounges. Yes, I am addicted to my lounges! Having an hour of quiet and a nice snack is part of my preflight routine. Airport lounges have completely changed my flying experience.



American Express Centurion Lounge

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