Flight secrets: Airline insiders reveal how to access airport lounges for free

Airport lounge access is usually very limited and only available to certain club members and people. With many wanting to relax before their flight and not be surrounded by the rush and atmosphere that an airport brings, airline insiders have shared some tips on how to get into an airport lounge before you fly.


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Many may prefer an airport lounge to avoid the chaos that an airport can bring.

Taking to Quora to share their tips and tricks, one insider revealed that having specific credit or debit cards can be very helpful.

They wrote: “If you use master debit/credit card then you will get free passes per quarter depending on type of card. There are few Visa cards which offer the same.

“The number of free passes depends on the level of card and the type of bank account you hold.”

Another insider revealed how you don’t need a specific debit or credit card and it is more to do with being loyal to a specific airline.

They said: “Be loyal to an airline that is part of an alliance. For example, if you often fly out of London Heathrow, you can access all Oneworld across the world lounges for free as long as you fly British Airways at least four times a year and earn 600 tier points (which can only be earned by flying, not by credit cards or buying miles).

“This will also bring you other benefits such as priority check-in and boarding. This could be done with any airline, not necessarily BA.”

While this may be useful for those who are regularly fliers, those who fly just one or twice a year will find it much tricker to get free access to a lounge, however if you visit them on the day and they have available spaces, you can get them for a discounted price.

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Another Quora user explained how turning up on the door of the lounge and asking if there are any available tickets could cut the price down by half, and kids can usually get in for free in some lounges too.

MoneySavingExpert also shared some top tips on how to make the most out of your airport experience and offered top tips on those wanting to access lounges to experience their facilities and free complimentary items.

The website says: “Lounges at airports are often seen as reserved for those who can afford luxury travel. True, to get into an airline lounge run by the likes of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic etc, you often need a business or first-class ticket – or to be a serious frequent flyer.

“But there are also airport lounges, usually run by companies that own lounges in terminals, such as No1 Lounges and Swissport (which runs Aspire Lounges). These are open to all, regardless of ticket class, and as we explain below you can often buy one-off passes or even get in free.


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“If you can get a cheap pass, and the facilities are decent, it could work out cheaper than a meal, drinks and snacks at the airport which could cost about £20ish anyway.

“However, do weigh up the cost – lounge access is a luxury but if you are going to do it, make sure you get a good lounge at the best possible price.”

Typical prices usually start at around £20 but can vary depending on the lounge and what it has to offer.

Other secrets revealed by airline insiders include how to get a free upgraded ticket from economy to business or first class.

Skyscanner is a search engine that searches for hundreds of airlines, hotels, cars, flights and displays all the cheapest options in one place.

One option may be to travel at quiet times as less people may be on the flight, resulting in more of a chance for an upgrade.

Lynn Unick, a growth manager at Skyscanner says you’ve got a better chance of upgrading to business class by booking a flight on bank holidays and at other times of the year when business users are less likely to fly, as the seats tend not to be taken up.

You can always ask at the check in desk whether there are upgrades available and these may not always be free upgrades, but they will definitely be a much lower price.

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