You have just got off the first flight on your long haul trip. It’s been a tiring nine-hours. The baby in the seat in front of you screamed the whole way, your entertainment system was broken, your eyes are bloodshot and the vein in the front of your forehead is throbbing. You have a three-hour stop over before the next flight leaves. You are hot, you’re sticky, you smell and you badly need a shower. Feeling anything but refreshed you get ready for three hours of walking around an airport or sitting in one of the uncomfortable plastic seats in the waiting room hoping against hope that the flight for the next leg of your journey won’t be delayed.
If you haven’t felt or experienced this sensation then you a have a) never travelled or b) are stinking rich. However it doesn’t need to be like this. If you follow any one of these simple steps you can go from stopover hell to business lounge bliss, because you just don’t need to pay premium rates to get executive treatment.
1) Join a Club
Airports know that accessing premium lounges is a great business opportunity, which is exactly why you can buy cards to get you access to these lounges. Ok, so you know you can buy a card? Well I bet you didn’t know that you can also get these cards for free simply by signing up for a free 12 month membership (look up Regus Goldcard free 12 month membership for example).
2) Pick Up a Loyalty Card
I wish I’d known about this most simple of options sooner. Simply sign up to an airline loyalty scheme and after three or four long haul flights you will get elite status. This means that you get totally free access to the business class lounge and you get first on the list for any upgrade from coach to business or business to first.
3) One More Credit Card
American Express Etihad Credit Card anyone? Whatever you happen to pick, these credit cards will allow you to not only gain a significant amount of air miles if you use them regularly enough (free flights anyone?), but also give you access to business class lounges.
4) Special Deals
Another option is to look out for special deals. Join the Skyguide Executive Privilege Club for example at the cost of just $20 and you get 12 days free access to a business class lounge in an airport each year. Unless you’re a frequent flier, that’s probably eight days more than you’re ever likely to need.
5) Just Pay
Ok. So I’m not really sure if $50 for a shower is really worth it and personally I wouldn’t take this option myself, but you can just pay to access the business class lounge. This is probably the worst travel hack out there, but hey at the time it might seem worthwhile and it’s definitely a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for a business class ticket.