You’ve done the tour of duty free and stocked up on Toblerone, but there’s only one spare seat by your gate – and that’s next to a screaming baby. So, if you’d rather get away from the crowds then a few quid for some pre-flight peace in an airport lounge could be money well spent.
No longer exclusive hideaways for high-flying execs, most airlines have opened up their lounges for all travellers. Unlimited complimentary soft drinks, tea, coffee, snacks, newspapers and internet access are provided. Some of the more luxurious options even include free spa treatments, showers and shoe shining!
Here’s our quick guide to lounging in style before you board:
1. Can I book?
This depends on the airline you’re flying with:
- British Airways lounges are open to those travelling in First Class, Club World and Club Europe, or if you’re a Silver or Gold Executive club member.
- Virgin run exclusive Clubhouses at Gatwick and Heathrow Airport for Club Gold members, offering luxurious massages and even haircuts. They also have lounges open to Upper Class passengers.
- Flybe executive lounges are open to anyone redeeming Rewards4All points and flying in Plus, as well as those with a Premiercard.
2. How do I book?
Usually you can book directly with the airline you’re travelling with on their website, there are several travel extras websites that offer lounges at 22 airports around the UK, from £13.50 per person.
3. Open all hours?
Most lounges operate the same opening hours as the airport and you can recharge your batteries anytime between 5am and 10pm. But your stay is limited to three hours prior to take-off. Still, that’s plenty of time to take full advantage of the free tea and biscuits!
The majority of UK airport lounges accept children, some even offering a babysitting service and game consoles to occupy them. However, a few do stipulate that they must be over the age of 12, or if not, are accompanied by an adult. So if you’re travelling with little ones, it’s worth checking before you book.
5. On a budget
If the idea of getting a bit of r&r before you’ve even hit the runway sounds like a plan, but you’re travelling on a tight budget, then check out easyJetLounges for some low-cost comfort. For only £12 per person, they can be found in most of the airline’s UK bases and offer the standard free drinks, snacks, newspapers and internet access.