On a few occasions where I have had long airport layovers I have purchased “aftermarket” passes to airport lounges. They ran about $20 each and were in every case completely worth the money.
Earlier this week I flew from New York City to Austin with a layover in Dallas. At the suggestion of a flyertalk forum member I decided to try a new tactic. I walked right up to the American Airlines Admirals Club doors and took out my cell phone so I wouldn’t look too sketchy. Within 30 seconds someone walked by. I said:
“Excuse me, sir. I believe that you are allowed to bring a guest into the lounge for free. Do you mind if I accompany you through the doors?”
The guy didn’t say a word, but gave me a “come on” nod. I dutifully followed and was soon sitting down to breakfast. Sweet! (That guy never spoke a word to me. Whatever.)
When I arrived at the Dallas / Forth Worth airport I learned that my connecting flight to Austin was over an hour delayed. Same tactic! This time it took about sixty seconds for someone to show up, but the first person I asked said “Sure!” In the elevator he vented about his long day, and five minutes later I was indulging a chocolate craving on one of Ayo’s most favorite snacks.
I am sure that, as long as I dress presentably and smile, this tactic will work 100% of the time. Not necessarily with the first person I ask, but I am certain that I can be in any lounge within ten minutes.
Buying passes? Never again. Try it yourself and report back!
posted by yair