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Enhance Your Family Travel Experience With Airport Lounge Access!

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Enhance Your Family Travel Experience With Airport Lounge Access!

Million Mile SecretsEnhance Your Family Travel Experience With Airport Lounge Access!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Family travel is a huge part of the miles & points world.  Lots of folks get into this hobby because they want to visit family, or they want to vacation with their family.

David, author of Wise Flys, is a family travel expert.  So I asked him to share with you his top tips for traveling with a family each week!

After traveling to 10+ countries with a young daughter, I know spending time in airports can be stressful.  But there are a few ways you can make your pre-flight experience more enjoyable.  For my family, having complimentary airport lounge access puts us at ease and helps us save money!

Airport Lounge Access For Family Travel
The Sakura Lounge in Osaka, Japan Had A Quiet Corner for My Daughter to Play With Her Toys. We Got in Free Thanks to Having a Certain Rewards Credit Card!

Airport lounges are terrific for families because they have free Wi-Fi, snacks, less crowded restrooms, entertainment for kids, and comfortable seats.

To access lounges you typically need elite status with an airline or a Business Class or First Class ticket.  Some lounges give you access if you purchase a day pass.  But it’s possible to get entry just by having a certain travel rewards credit card.

Getting a credit card with complimentary lounge access can actually save you money!

Airport Lounges Are Excellent for Family Travel!

Most airport lounges offer amenities targeted toward frequent flyers.  But many perks are great for families too, like:

  • Beverages, like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
  • Snacks (and sometimes full meals)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Showers to refresh before or after a long flight
  • Magazines
  • Sometimes beds for sleeping
  • Entertainment rooms for kids

From experience, I know that hanging in lounges has really helped my daughter rest and relax during long layovers.  And it’s helped my wife and I save money because we don’t have to pay for overpriced airport food.  In certain lounges, we have enjoyed buffet meals, which can even satisfy a toddler’s picky eating habits.

Airport Lounge Access For Family Travel
The International Business Lounge at the Los Angeles Airport Was A Great Place to Spend Family Time During a 4 Hour Layover

Some lounges even offer a kid’s entertainment room.  My daughter was having so much fun in the Number 1 Lounge in London, that she didn’t want to leave for a connecting flight to Portugal.  She still asks if we can go back to the lounge!

Airport Lounge Access For Family Travel
The Number 1 Lounge at the London Airport Has a Kid’s Movie Room

As a tip, if you’re planning on spending time in lounges with your young ones, be sure they are respectful of others.  Think of the lounge as a nice restaurant.  Other lounge guests will definitely appreciate if your kids don’t run around and make lots of noise.

Airport Lounges and the Cards That Can Get You In

Even casual family travelers might consider a travel rewards credit card to get complimentary lounge access.  My family enjoys getting access to Priority Pass lounges.  This is an independent lounge network with over 1,200 locations around the world.

The benefit of Priority Pass lounges is that you can fly on any airline and access them on the day you fly.  But not all Priority Pass memberships are the same.  Each one has slightly different rules.  Here are popular travel credit cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:

It’s a good idea to organize your Priority Pass cards if you have multiple memberships.  You don’t want to accidentally use the wrong card and end up having to pay for bringing guests!

For folks who fly with friends or family, the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer the best Priority Pass lounge access.  Because you won’t have to pay guest fees!

Airport Lounge Access For Family Travel
The Aspire Lounge at the London Airport Is Part of the Priority Pass Network. We Enjoyed the Buffet When We Visited!

The cost of a Priority Pass membership can range from $99 to $399.  So getting a free membership is a great credit card perk!

Keep in mind, your location is important too!  You’ll want to check if there’s a lounge at your home airport.  And if it’s located close to the airline you normally fly.

Airport Lounge Access For Family Travel
Did I Mention That Lounges Are Relaxing? Here’s My Daughter and Me at the Taipei Taoyuan Lounge, Which Has Full Body Massage Chairs!

Bottom Line

When traveling with your family, having airport lounge access is an excellent perk.  You can relax in a quiet environment away from the hectic departure gate.  And you’ll enjoy amenities like snacks and drinks and Wi-Fi.  Some lounges even have dedicated areas for kids.

When traveling with my wife and daughter, I like to use my complimentary Priority Pass membership.   There are more than 1,200 lounges that are part of the Priority Pass network.  And you can get a free membership just by having a certain credit card!

Be sure to check the guest policy for lounge access with your credit card.  Because some cards like the Citi Prestige and Chase Sapphire Reserve allow guests to join you for free!

Do you have a favorite airport lounge that’s ideal for family travelers?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Update: Using Chase Sapphire Reserve card Priority Pass Select membership does *not* give you unlimited number of guests to get lounge access. I contacted Chase, they indicated that a cardholder can only bring 2 guests in for free to get lounge access, but it is dependent on the individual lounge on whether they will honor that. Experience confirms this yesterday in MAD Neptuno Lounge in Terminal 4S, was told only one guest permitted and each additional person was 35 Euros. By contrast, was able to enter the Luxx Lounge at FRA terminal 1 with family of four, no extra charges, and no problem at all.

Thanks for the post! I thought with a CSR card you have to pay for your guests? Hubby and baby travel with me; all 3 get in free with the one $450 card?

Yes, all 3 of you can get in for free. But you’ll need to activate your Priority Pass membership first and get your Priority Pass card (or use the app). You won’t be able to get in with just your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

This post can help you with that:

My son and I are traveling first class on Alaska Air, next month, from O’Hare, does just having a first class boarding pass offer us access to American’s Admiral Club or ANY other lounge? Thanks.

Alaska Airlines does give all First Class passengers lounge access on all paid tickets (cash or points, but not if you’re upgraded), but that’s only for their lounges. So you won’t be able to get into a partner lounge with only a First Class ticket and O’hare doesn’t have an Alaska lounge.

I agree that lounge access via credit cards is great. I travel primarily internationally. Priority Pass has lounges in many/most of the airports I visit. Unfortunately, there are far fewer lounges in the USA.

David Streisand

Hey Oliver, that’s great you get to use your priority pass for a bunch of different lounges.

do you just show the AMEX card for access? Or do you need to sign up with Priority pass also?

Million Mile Secrets

Hi Kevin – You have to enroll in Priority Pass and show your Priority Pass card and boarding pass (just showing an AMEX Platinum card won’t suffice). Here’s the link:

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