Pretravel checklist–Part 3–Airport Lounge Access

I’m checking our flights and cruise itinerary every couple of days to make sure that there are no major changes.  Airline schedules are fluid, and even cruise ship itineraries can change–Celebrity has cancelled all stops in Istanbul.  This is (in my view, a VERY conservative) response to the possible involvement by the Islamic State in the Russian plane crash in Sharm-El-Shiekh on Oct. 31.  We have layovers in Amsterdam and CDG in Paris, so I’m checking what I need to bring for lounge access at these airports.

Lounge Access

Having lounge access is really nice at any time, but is especially helpful when you have long itineraries with multiple stops.  There are some airports that have such nice lounges that I look forward to stop-overs there. In general, overseas lounges are nicer than domestic ones.  LIM (Lima, Peru) is not one of my favorite airports, but I don’t mind long stopovers there because I can go to the excellent SERVAS lounge there.  We feel at home at the cozy Aegean Business Lounge at SKG (Thessaloniki) because of nice Greek wines and beers, and the private boarding directly from the lounge.  We are flying economy on this trip, so access will be due to credit card benefits, so I have to make sure I bring the correct credit cards along for lounge access.

Star Alliance Lounge Access

I have the United Club card that gives both of us access to Star Alliance Lounges.  There are 27 airlines in Star Alliance, and we have access to any of their lounges.  This will be the first time that we will try to gain access without flying on a Star Alliance ticket (we’re flying on Delta award tickets.)  I’ve had the United Club card for almost a year now, and will probably cancel when the $450 fee comes due.  But I’ve had it fee free for a year now, and have enjoyed the lounge access as well as the ability to get 1.5 United miles per dollar spend.  I have a separate Star Alliance lounge access card that I’ll bring.

Priority Club Lounge Access

Now this is a little complicated.  I have lounge access for free with my American Express Platinum card, but I would have to pay $27 to admit Bruce.  He has two free passes that came as a benefit with his Ink Bold card.  We’ll both bring our Priority Club cards.

Delta SkyClub Access

I have free access with the AMEX Platinum, but I’ll have to pay $29 to guest Bruce into one of their lounges.  Might be worth it in case of IRROPs to get help from the front desk people in the club.

Centurion Club Access

These are really nice lounges that we both would have access to with my AMEX Platinum card.  There only five of them–Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York-LaGuardia, and San Francisco.  Unfortunately we don’t plan to visit any of these airports on this trip, but you never know!

Airspace Lounges

Both of us would have free access on my AMEX Platinum.  I’ve never been to one of the lounges.  They are at New York–JFK, Cleveland, BWI (Washington, DC ) and San Francisco.  They have a daily rate that starts at $20, and that can go higher depending on how busy the lounge is.  They will give a small credit to be used on food and alcohol.  None of their locations is on our agenda this trip.

What I’ll Bring

My Star Alliance Lounge Access Card, both Bruce’s and my Priority Club lounge access cards, and my American Express Platinum card.

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