To be honest, the airport portion of the travel journey is often brutal. You may get to your gate and find that there are no available seats for waiting, or maybe you’re hungry and there are massive lines at the chain cafes that aren’t even that appetizing. You might wish you had a soft bed to nap in, or a shower to wash off your first connecting flight. Luxurious airport lounges are usually tucked away, out of sight, so as to appear too exclusive and expensive for regular flyers. Travelers are breaking the elite illusion by sharing viral TikTok airport lounge travel hacks that include little-known privileges for gaining full access for free, or at a fraction of the cost.
Getting access into an airport lounge may be a good idea if you’re exhausted from flying and have more travel ahead of you, need a quiet and clean place to do work between flights, or just because you simply deserve to live the good life — and it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. While fancy airport lounges may seem like they cater to celebs and super rich people, there are a few different strategies for gaining free or cheaper access to all the amenities, such as unlimited drinks, gourmet food, workspace pods, and even gyms. Whether you’re jet-setting to visit family over the holiday season or looking forward to some unforgettable travel plans in 2023, bookmark these TikTok airport hacks to live lavish the next time you fly.
Buy A One-Time Pass
For some airports, gaining access to a luxury lounge can be as simple as buying a ticket. You won’t be able to do so for each lounge in a given airport, but you can browse and purchase tickets ahead of time on the Lounge Buddy app or at loungebuddy.com, as recommended by @worldtraveladventurers on TikTok. The homepage allows you to search any city or airport name and then you can filter to results to “Book Online” to give you a list of all the lounges that are accessible with a one-time payment. Be prepared for a price tag around $50-100, depending on the airport lounge, but it just may be worth it.
Enter With A Travel Credit Card
It’s possible that you already have access to elite airport lounges, depending on the credit card you use. @travelwithpat explains in a TikTok that premium credit cards or airline parter cards, such as AmEx Platinum or Delta Reserve AmEx, grant you a Priority Pass that is included with your annual card fee. The Priority Pass can get you in hundreds of VIP airport lounges across the globe, so no matter where you fly, there will always a posh place to rest and refresh. Depending on your program, you can also cash in your credit card points or flight miles for free or discounted entry.
@loulouexplores showed how you can also access some lounges if you’re a Delta Sky Club Member or Fly Delta 1. You’ll see in this TikTok by @worldtraveladventurers, that you can enjoy a bar, buffet, workspace pods, an exclusive Starbucks, and lots of sofa seating. If you have the AmEx Platinum card, you’re cleared to visit the Centurion Lounge through the Priority Pass Membership. Inside, you can dine on food made by award-winning chefs and enjoy Equinox spa services. You might forget that you’re actually in an airport and not a luxury hotel spa.
Travel Insurance Perks
@loulouexplores shared that through her travel insurance with her bank, she’s gifted six free lounge entries per year. It’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance anyway, even if you’re a pro traveler, so you might as well get one with great perks.
Free Secret Lounge In JFK
This cool lounge won’t require any finessing to enter, you just need to know where to find it. @luxury_traveler showed how to escape the JFK crowds by taking the elevator downstairs from the Jet Blue terminal and entering the connected TWA hotel. There’s a totally free mini museum of 1960s airline history you can browse, which includes a flight attendant uniform exhibit, plus a Jean Georges cafe, plenty of seating in The Sunken Lounge, and stunning mid-century modern interior design. If you have a few hours between flights, don’t miss out on this free lounge.