We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Airport lounges are a great way to make your travel experience more enjoyable. Lounges can vary by airport, but they usually offer perks like free Wi-Fi, drinks and snacks (or even full meals!), and comfortable chairs.
Often times, there are several airport lounges in the same terminal. So how do you decide which lounge to visit?
There’s a terrific website and app called LoungeBuddy, which provides details like specific airport lounge locations, cost, and featured amenities. And folks can even share personal reviews of their experience at the lounge.
A few years ago, I interviewed Tyler, the founder of LoungeBuddy. Since then, there have been many enhancements to the app!
I’ll explain how you can use LoungeBuddy to improve your travel experience!
LoungeBuddy is a one stop resource for travelers researching airport lounges. This can be a huge time saver if it’s your first time traveling to or from a certain airport.
With LoungeBuddy, you can also purchase airport lounge passes and read first-hand lounge reviews from other travelers, similar to TripAdvisor.
Currently, the site has information for 80+ airports throughout the world.
I like that LoungeBuddy ranks airport lounges by categories so you can quickly see what to expect. The 4 categories include:
- Basic – modest lounges with limited extras
- Solid – reliable lounges with expected amenities
- Fresh – stylish lounges with unique features
- Luxe – upscale lounges with deluxe amenities
Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the LoungeBuddy app.
Step 1 – Download the App
After you open the app, click “Get Started” to start exploring.
Step 2 – Log-In (Optional)
Next, you’ll have the option to log-in to the LoungeBuddy app using your Facebook account or through email.
On the bottom of the page, there’s also the option to continue without logging-in.
Step 3 – Search Airports
Now you can begin using all of the features of the LoungeBuddy App.
For example, you can search airports to find available airport lounges.
I searched Austin airport (AUS) to see the available lounges. And the results show the 2 lounges that are at the airport.
I like that the search results shows basic information about the lounge, like the price of a day pass and the LoungeBuddy ranking.
Step 4 – View Lounge Details
To learn more about a specific lounge, click “View Lounge“.
I clicked on the United Airlines lounge at Austin International Airport (AUS).
On each airport lounge page, you’ll see information like:
- Directions within the terminal
- Hours of operation
- Lounge amenities
- Lounge reviews
Step 5 – Apply Filters
A neat feature of LoungeBuddy is the ability to apply filters to your lounge search.
You can filter lounges by access type, terminal location, and amenities.
For example, I clicked on the amenities filter.
You might use the amenities filter if you have a long layover. For example, you can filter lounges with showers only to find a place to freshen up.
Step 6 – Purchase Lounge Pass
Depending on the airport lounge, you can use LoungeBuddy to purchase an access pass.
For example, the Club Airport Lounge at the Atlanta airport (ATL) offers passes through LoungeBuddy for $39.
When you search Atlanta airport lounges, you’ll see the option to “Get Access” on the results page.
Then, you can proceed to purchase a pass.
The last step is to schedule your access to the lounge, set the number of guests, and pay for the pass.
Note: You must use the LoungeBuddy pass at certain lounges within 1 hour of purchase. So be sure to set the correct date and time.
Use Certain Credit Cards for Free Lounge Access
Before you purchase a lounge pass with LoungeBuddy, remember there are many credit cards that grant you free access to certain lounges.
American Express Platinum cards (The Platinum Card® from American Express (personal) and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN (small business), get you free lounge access to:
Note: You must have a same-day Delta boarding pass to access the Delta lounge using an AMEX Platinum card.
You’ll also get free membership to Priority Pass lounges as a benefit of these cards:
Other airline-specific credit cards give you lounge access to airline lounges like:
- AMEX Delta Reserve for Delta lounge access
- Chase United MileagePlus Club card for United Airlines lounge access
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® for American Airlines lounge access
LoungeBuddy is a great resource for researching airport lounges. The detailed lounge pages include first-hand reviews and a list of all lounge amenities.
Currently, LoungeBuddy has information on 150+ lounges throughout the world. In the future, I’m hopeful more lounges will be added.
Have you used LoungeBuddy? I’d love to hear about your experience!