Lonely Planet Writer

Why paying for a premium airport lounge experience can actually save you money

They bring us to amazing places, but there is no doubting that airports can be busy and expensive places at times. As a result, passengers tend to spend money on refreshments and alcohol to alleviate the stress or boredom. If you think you can’t afford the luxury of chilling out in an airport lounge before departure, new research has indicated otherwise. It suggests that paying for premium airport lounge experiences can actually save you money.

A new report says that paying for premium airport lounges can save you money. Image: Hero Images

According to flight comparison site, Netflights.com, delays, queues, strict suitcase weight limits and expensive food options can get people agitated before a flight. It found that the average person will spend £58.77 (US$77.95) in the run-up to boarding, and most of this cash goes on food (53%), hot drinks (44%) and alcohol (28%). In addition, 46%  also admitted to purchasing items they didn’t need before jetting off.

The average person will spend £58.77 in the run-up to boarding. Image: Image Source

With this in mind, Netflights.com examined airport lounges around the world, to see what you can expect to pay for visiting them and what you get for your money. It concluded that as the average cost of accessing an airport lounge is only £37.32 ($49.50), with free Wi-Fi, inclusive drinks and premium food all available, paying for a premium airport lounge experience could actually save passengers money.

Airports can be stressful experiences. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Despite these low prices, the research revealed that 87% of travellers have never booked themselves or their families into a lounge as they presumed it was too expensive (4o%), only for members (23%), or they just didn’t know how to do so (20%). To help avoid these airport blues, Netflights.com has compiled a list of the best value airport lounges, all of which will give you free Wi-Fi, inclusive drinks and premium food for under £50 ($66.32).

The 10 best-value public lounges in the world

  1. Al Ghazal Lounge by Plaza Premium Lounge Terminal 2, Abu Dhabi International Airport: £21.45 ($28.45)
  2. Strata Lounge International Terminal, Auckland Airport: £28.15 ($37.34)
  3. Lounge @ BTerminal 3, Dubai International Airport: £28.86 ($38.28)
  4. 1903 Lounge Terminal 3, Manchester Airport: £40 (€53.06)
  5. Plaza Premium Lounge (Lounge B) Terminal 3, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi: £19.98 ($26.50)
  6. BGS Premier Lounge Terminal 2, Beijing Capital International Airport: £21.46 ($28.47)
  7. Loyalty Lounge Terminal 2, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai: £22.20 ($29.45)
  8. Clubrooms North Terminal, London Gatwick Airport: £50 ($66.32)
  9. SkyTeam Lounge Terminal 4, London Heathrow Airport: £40 (€53.06)
  10. Neptuno Lounge (AENA VIP Lounge) Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport: £26.40 ($35.02)
Gatwick Airport
Passengers tend to spend money on refreshments and alcohol to alleviate pre-flight stress. Image by Getty Images/Philippe TURPIN

To check out the full list, please see here.