On a recent trip to Hawaii, I entered the Qantas Airport Lounge. In a tired daze, I found myself a dark leather club seat, which looked like it had been pulled out of a men’s cigar room. As I felt the luxurious leather against my weary body, I found comfort in the well-worn seat. I plugged my iPhone into the USB port and relaxed. How convenient!
There were a multitude of club chairs, which seem to be occupied. 8 pm and it felt like peak hour! The lounge was packed. Surprisingly there was no background music just the sound of cutlery and the Bay Marie opening and closing.
The line at the bar was never-ending. The Jet-setters eagerly wait for their favorite beverage. It’s as if they are seeing alcohol for the first time. Perhaps they are stocking up for the long haul ahead. I just hope I’m not sitting next to any of the inebriated ones, on my flight. With unlimited food available, it should help these Jet setter soak up the alcohol.
My iPhone is completely charged and I’m ready for a shower. Surprisingly they are clean and well stocked with delicious smelling soaps and shampoos. Feeling like a new woman, I decided to sit by the bar and enjoy a podcast and watch the jet-setters in action.
It’s like a secret club, which you instantly, and strangely feel part of. It’s the type of club you want to be in. This secret club has access to extra baggage allowance, priority waitlist, upgrades, and luxurious lounges in airports all over the world. The part I like is the customized service. They know my habits, my needs. It’s too good.
When I used the airport lounges in the 1990’s it was full of middle-aged men, in suits, reading the Financial Times and dashing off to ‘important’ business meetings. Thank goodness times have changed. The majority of the modern jet-setters are young, trendy and glued to their iPhones, either on live chats or streaming movies!! What happened to reading books made of paper!! Then I hear the announcement, my flight is boarding.
It’s a great experience, and certainly beats walking around the airport. Here is what you need to know before you venture into the lounge
Choose your airline
When thinking of airport lounges, select an airline you plan to use frequently.
I fly Qantas as they have a variety of lounges. International, Australian Regional and Partner Lounges. Very convenient!!
Earning frequent flyer points is important. They can go towards flights, lounge membership, and other benefits. The easiest way to earn points is to apply for a credit card which offers points for your airline.
Select a credit card which offers airline points as an incentive,
- Select a credit card which offers the most points
- Investigate the minimum limits for taking out the card
- Investigate the minimum amount you need to spend to gain these points. Also look at the type of items you will gain points with, eg everyday spending or large purchases
- Look at the minimum time you need to hold onto the card. Usually, it’s for three to six months
- Review the exit clause. Try to find a bank which will not charge you when you cancel the card.
I often apply for credit cards (through different banks) to gain the points for Qantas. The incentives available can provide trips around the world. Many also provide complimentary lounge passes which I often give to friends or family members.
Guest Complimentary Passes
If you are not a club lounge member, then here is what you need to do.
- The lounge members have access to guest complimentary passes. These complimentary passes are a great way of experiencing the lounge. The passes, unfortunately, expire at the end of each calendar year. I would ask your network to see if there are any passes which will not be used before the expiry date
- If you have applied for a credit card which offers frequent flyer points, check if they are also offering complimentary passes.
- Some airport lounges will give priority to club members and may ask you to leave if it becomes too crowded
Bring your charger and access the free Wi-Fi
Make sure your phone charger is in your hand luggage. This is a fabulous opportunity to recharge your phone while you queue at the bar. Also, access the free Wi-Fi to download the latest news or your favorite show
Bring something warm
As you hoover down that second serving of the chocolate brownie, you will notice it’s rather cold. Ensure you have a jacket with you.
With all the distractions, it’s important to keep an eye on the flight schedule. It would be terrible to miss your flight! I position myself near the flight board so that I can glance at it during my movie watching.
What to wear
The majority of people are in jeans. Which feels natural for a long haul flight. It’s interesting to note the majority of men wear shirts and jeans. It reminds me of casual Friday at work. I couldn’t think of anything worse than sitting on a flight in a business shirt! So keep it comfortable
Accessing the Business Airport Lounge for all your flights is defiantly something you should do. This is easy when you have accumulated the points, selected your membership and relax in a luxurious club chair.