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My Review of LoungeBuddy: The TripAdvisor for Airport Lounges!

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My Review of LoungeBuddy: The TripAdvisor for Airport Lounges!

Million Mile SecretsMy Review of LoungeBuddy: The TripAdvisor for Airport Lounges!Million Mile Secrets Team

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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.

LoungeBuddy Is a Great Tool for Folks Looking to Find the Best Airport Lounges, Like the Virgin America Loft Lounge in Los Angeles

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 Guide

Link:   LoungeBuddy

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

You can use the LoungeBuddy website or mobile app to research and book airport lounge access.  But the mobile app offers more features, like linking your travel itinerary.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the LoungeBuddy app.

Step 1 – Download the App

To get started, download the LoungeBuddy app from your eligible Apple or Android device.

After you open the app, click “Get Started” to start exploring.

Click “Get Started” to Start Using the LoungeBuddy App

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.

The App Has an Optional Log-In Feature

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.

You Can Search by Airport

I searched Austin airport (AUS) to see the available lounges.  And the results show the 2 lounges that are at the airport.

When You Search by Airport, You Can Scroll Through the Results to See All Lounges at a Specific 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“.

Click View Lounge on an Airport Lounge to Learn More Information, Look at Pictures, and Read Reviews

I clicked on the United Airlines lounge at Austin International Airport (AUS).

The Detailed Airport Lounge Page Shows Hours, Amenities, and Much More!

On each airport lounge page, you’ll see information like:

  • Cost
  • Directions within the terminal
  • Hours of operation
  • Lounge amenities
  • Lounge reviews
  • Photos

Step 5 – Apply Filters

A neat feature of LoungeBuddy is the ability to apply filters to your lounge search.

After Searching an Airport, You Can Apply Filters to the Lounge Results

You can filter lounges by access type, terminal location, and amenities.

For example, I clicked on the amenities filter.

You Can Select All of the Amenities You’re Looking for in a Lounge

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.

Get Access Means You Can Use LoungeBuddy to Purchase a Lounge Pass

Then, you can proceed to purchase a pass.

Then, Click Get Access Now to Purchase a Lounge Pass

The last step is to schedule your access to the lounge, set the number of guests, and pay for the pass.

Choose a Date and Time, Number of Guests, and Payment Type

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

Link:   Low-Cost Ways to Earn 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 (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:

Bottom Line

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.

You can purchase day passes to some airport lounges through the LoungeBuddy website and app.  But remember, certain credit cards can get you free access.

Have you used LoungeBuddy?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

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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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I just had a truly awful experience with LoungeBuddy. The booking was screwed up, putting me in a lounge in a different terminal. When I tried to cancel, their website wouldn’t recognize my booking or confirmation numbers. When I tried the live chat support option, the wait was so long that I was no longer inside the 30-minute cancellation window, so he said “nothing to be done” and closed the chat. Appalling customer service.

@Shea – Glad to hear!

@lairdb – Thanks for sharing your feedback!

@Brian – Thanks for sharing the tip! The app can still be useful for folks who don’t have elite status and want to purchase a day pass to an airport lounge.

@Diana – Great to hear you found LoungeBuddy useful!

I used the app on my three week trip to Poland and France. I had stops in Philadelphia and San Francisco too. It showed me some lounges I didn’t know about, so that was cool. The only problem I have with lounges themselves is that at times, the lounges were noisier and more crowded than the airport by my gate. Everyone can get in now, so it gets overcrowded. SFO United lounge told us to go to a different lounge 5 min away because they were full. No app can tell you what the chance is for getting turned away, but I found the Lounge Buddy helpful.

This review is missing an extremely important step.

After setting up your account, launch the app and press the Profile button (upper right hand icon of a person), then go to settings (gear icon in upper right corner).

Scroll down the settings and under Access Methods, add all of your possible tools that may get you into a lounge: Airline Elite Status, Lounge Memberships (i.e. Priority Pass), and Credit Cards you own.

Lounge Buddy doesn’t go out and verify these – so you can actually play “what if” scenarios and don’t need to give up private account info.

Once these are in place, the searches will let you know which lounges you can get into for free.

Without this all-important step, the app is pretty useless.

Like the LoungeBuddy — but disappointed in the direction it has gone over the years. Willing to accept the up-sells; they need to support the application — but the UI has become a mess of useless hero images and reduced functionality.

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