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Travel Tip: Is Service Declining at Airport Lounges?

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There’s a myth that VIP lounges are just private spaces designed for wining and dining premium-class passengers. But you can fly coach and still get access to the airport lounge. You just pay a day fee to get in, usually $50 at the door.

You can also buy an annual membership with a specific airline, or purchase a membership through Priority Pass or with particular credit cards. But remember the perks may not be as great as you’d think.

Free Wi-Fi and power outlets? That’s becoming increasingly available in the regular terminals.

In domestic lounges, the free food is pretty much limited to snacks—the kind of stuff you can carry yourself. And the drinks?  Take United for example. They recently announced they’re expanding the drink options, but what that really means is your free options are limited to very specific house brands of beer, wine and spirits. Everything else…you have to pay for.

For me, the biggest perk is having easy access to customer service to deal with any flight issues. But if you’re thinking of paying for a VIP lounge just for the free nuts and cookies, think again.

For more information, visit the airport category.

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