There has been a lot of international travel in my career, primarily to Manila for the last few years. I have been lucky enough to be upgraded for most segments. I have also been Platinum with American for six years straight. However, last year since I couldn’t travel for six months due to being pregnant and taking maternity leave, I only got Gold status. Certainly, Gold is better than nothing!! But there are a lot of benefits to having Platinum status that I miss.
One of these benefits is lounge access when flying internationally. For my most recent international trip, I was so bummed that I was going to have to pay $50 each way for lounge access. To me, though, it’s totally, completely worth it for the quiet space and the showers, not to mention the free food. For my flight out to Tokyo, I had gotten upgraded to business class, which was super exciting, but I knew I still wanted lounge access. So once I got to the airport that morning, I headed upstairs to the Admiral’s Lounge, ready to hand over my credit card. However, the lady at the desk looked at my ticket and said, “You don’t need to pay—you get lounge access as part of your business class upgrade.” Woohoo!! All these years I thought it was just a bonus of being Platinum, but evidently First and Business class also get lounge access on international flights with American. Awesome! I probably should have known this, but it never occurred to me to even check. I was certainly glad to take advantage though!
Of course, coming back I knew I wouldn’t be so lucky, as I hadn’t gotten upgraded. When I arrived in Tokyo, I again headed for the Admiral’s lounge with credit card in hand. But while riding the train between terminals I looked at my ticket and noticed that “Lounge” was printed on it. Could it be true? I thought to myself. Could I possibly get lounge access for free again? I showed my ticket to the Admiral’s lounge agent, and eagerly awaited her response. Which was, “Ma’am, I do not know what this “lounge” means, but in order to have access today you will need to purchase a day pass.” Bummer. But still totally worth the $50!!
Readers, do you think lounge access is worth $50 when you fly internationally?
Also—tomorrow I will be hosting the National #GoLikeAPro tweet chat at 1pm ET!! The topic will be Travel and Technology, and Gary Leff will be joining as a special guest. I am super excited, and hope you will join!!