How to Fly Round-Trip to Japan for ~$100 in Business Class: Part 3 – Airport Lounge Access Isn’t Just for Elite Travelers

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How to Fly Round-Trip to Japan for ~$100 in Business Class: Part 3 – Airport Lounge Access Isn’t Just for Elite Travelers

Million Mile SecretsHow to Fly Round-Trip to Japan for ~$100 in Business Class: Part 3 – Airport Lounge Access Isn’t Just for Elite TravelersMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Using miles & points, I recently flew round-trip from Austin, Texas, to Japan for ~$110 in Business Class.  The retail cost was ~$11,000!  And for 3 weeks of lodging (including some fancy hotels), I spent ~$450!

Japan is a beautiful country, filled with a lot to see and do.  You’ll find everything from high-rise skyscrapers to old temples and hot springs.  I loved Tokyo’s energetic neighborhoods, shopping, and delicious restaurants.  And Kyoto is a fantastic place to ride bicycles, and to explore the bamboo forest and monkey park.

Participating in a cooking class and meeting new friends was the highlight of Osaka.  And a day trip to feed the deer in Nara was unforgettable!  Plus, Okinawa is known for its beautiful beaches and scuba diving.

Japan Trip Report
Having Lounge Access Is a Great Perk, Especially During Long Layovers!

Wherever you go, you’re sure to have an amazing time!

In this part of the series, I’ll tell you about my experience at the British Airways Business Class Lounge at Chicago O’Hare!  In future posts, I’ll share more about things like the flights I took, the places I stayed, and how you can plan your own trip to Japan!

How to Fly to Japan for ~$100 Trip Report Index:

How to Get Lounge Access

We had access to the British Airways Terraces lounge in Chicago because we were flying Business Class.

If you have Sapphire or Emerald Oneworld elite status, or are flying in Business or First Class with British Airways (or one of their Oneworld partner airlines like American Airlines or Cathay Pacific) you’ll get lounge access.

First Class passengers have access to British Airways First lounges.

Even if you aren’t flying in Business or First Class, having the right credit card in your wallet can get you lounge access too!  And don’t forget to check out this post for other low-cost ways to get access to lounges.

Why I Like Airport Lounges

Since we had a ~4.5 hour layover, being able to hang out there was really nice.  Plus, it’s open 24 hours a day, which is perfect if you’re there during off-peak times!

I love lounges because you get free internet, drinks, and snacks.  And sometimes you can even get free dinner!

It’s also a lot quieter than the main airport, where thousands of people are rushing to their gates.

Japan Trip Report
The British Airways Terraces Lounge Is in Terminal 5 Near Gates M11 & M12 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

British Airways Lounge at Chicago O’Hare

It was simple to get in.  I just showed the attendant my boarding pass and was welcomed into the lounge.  As soon as I found a spot to sit, I checked out the food offerings.

There was fresh fruit and cheese and crackers.  They also had plenty of chips and other savory snacks, so I helped myself.

Japan Trip Report
Don’t Forget to Grab an Extra Bag of Chips for the Flight!

But the hot food selection was lacking, so we got dinner in the main airport.

Japan Trip Report
The Terraces Lounge Was Full of Snack Foods, But Nothing I’d Consider to Be a Full Meal

Some lounges definitely have better hot food selections than others!  So you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to fill up on pretzels and M&Ms, or grab something a little heartier elsewhere. 😉

Bottom Line

Getting lounge access anywhere is a treat!  I like free Wi-Fi and having a comfortable place to sit.  And the free snacks and drinks are also a perk!

We had access to the British Airways Terraces lounge during our layover in Chicago because we were flying in Business Class.  And travelers with certain elite status or those flying First Class can also get lounge access, too.

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Generally the lounges seem to have a policy that items such as food and magazines. newspapers etc are not to be taken out of the lounge – so the extra bag of chips for the flight may not be in accordance with their policy – however I am sure that no-one would make an issue of it!

Also, if you are flying first or business class, they problem is generally too much in the way of food and snavcks being available on the flight rather than too little!!!