Airport lounges used to be considered elitist and solely for first or business class flyers. Today, lounge access is also open to certain credit card holders, those with an elite air miles status or even travellers willing to pay on the door for somewhere to read their book in peace or enjoy a quiet drink.
But which lounge is available to you, where are they located in the airport and what do you get for your money?
All these answers and more can now be found on LoungeBuddy, a new app designed to help travellers find a suitable lounge wherever they are in the world.
Launched in September by a San Francisco-based team, the app has already become one of the most comprehensive resources for airport lounge information thanks to its user reviews, ratings and photos.
The app covers more than 250 airports and more than 1,200 lounges worldwide, and finding the nearest lounge available to you requires just a few taps. Simply select your airline, departure and destination airports and the app will supply a list of lounges. Then, by also inputting any elite statuses, such as Airmiles Gold membership, credit cards or lounge memberships you hold, it will outline which lounges are free to access or require a one-time fee.
Available via the Apple App store free of charge, LoungeBuddy is a visually attractive and extremely user-friendly app. It is crammed with relevant information all assembled in an easy-to-read format.
As well as information on the lounges in each airport, the app also details what each lounge actually offers.
At Dubai International Airport, for example, there are 20 lounges available to its departing travellers. However, they all come with different access rules, amenities and quality. Whether a casual traveller or a frequent flyer, the ability to sift through which lounge you can access and on what terms can only add to the overall airport experience, as well as saving a lot of time before take-off.
With plans to launch an Android version this year, this app could soon become an essential companion for all travellers.
Brent Griffith, co-founder and vice president of marketing at LoungeBuddy reveals more about this lounge-finding app.
Why did you develop LoungeBuddy?
As global travellers ourselves we’ve experienced first-hand the pain of a multi-hour delay at airport terminals. Lounges offer so many amenities to help pass the time, be productive, freshen up and relax. LoungeBuddy provides a resource for people to find, review and access airport lounges around the world.
Who is the app targeted towards?
Our goal is to help all travellers, whether road warriors or casual travellers. When you’re flying in a premium class of service or have a top-tier elite status, Lounge-Buddy helps you find lounges that you are entitled to access, and for all of the other travellers out there we show you the hundreds of lounges accessible for a one-time fee.
How does the app work?
We’ve compiled a database of hundreds of elite statuses, credit cards and lounge memberships. By telling us about your current trip and filling out your profile, our “Lounge Access Wizard” combs through thousands of access rules to display the lounges that are accessible to you on each leg of the journey.
When do you anticipate LoungeBuddy becoming available for Android users?
This is one of our top priorities at the moment and we anticipate an Android version available by mid-2014.
Top five busiest airports in the world 2013 (by passenger volume)
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (95,462,867)
2 Beijing Capital International (81,929,689)
3 London Heathrow (70,038,857)
4 Tokyo International (67,788,722)
5 O’Hare International, Chicago (67,091,391)