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Travel Tip: Accessing Airline Lounges Without a First Class Ticket

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swanky lounge chairsEven if you’re not holding a first or business-class ticket that gets you into an airport lounge for free, there are still ways to get inside the place.

At least half a dozen U.S. airlines will let you buy an annual or day pass to their lounge. The price ranges from $250 to $400 for annual passes, and $25 to $50 for day passes.

You can also buy lounge access from a third-party company called Priority Pass, which gives you access to more than 500 lounges in 270 cities worldwide.

Even your credit card may get you access. Certain American Express and Citibank cards entitle you to use some airlines’ lounges.

But you have to read the fine print—lounge access doesn’t mean freebies.

You still may have to pay for food, drinks and in many cases, wireless Internet.

Furthermore, Delta, United and US Air have all closed a number of their lounges in the past six months to cut costs.

Which means that even if you get access, the door might be closed.

For more information on air travel, check out our Airlines & Airports section.

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