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TPG reader Gagan asked me on Facebook:

“What is the best option to get airport lounge access throughout the U.S. and internationally? I’m not a member of any frequent flyer club and have no status. Will I have to buy a pass?”

Lounge access is nice to have when traveling. Not only can you get free food and beverages, but if you’re flight is canceled, a lounge agent can help you get re-accommodated. This clearly beats waiting in a long line to get on another flight. If your flight is delayed, it’s also nice to have a more comfortable space to wait in.

TPG reader Gagan wants to know the best way to get lounge access without having elite status or being a member of a frequent flyer program.

Airport lounge access can making waiting for your flight a pleasant experience. Shutterstock.
Airport lounge access can make waiting for a flight much more pleasant. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Gagan has many different options, none of which are free. The first is to look into getting a Priority Pass, which gives you access to a specific network of lounges. Another option is to just pay for access, but most lounges charge around $50 to enter the lounge. Depending on how often you need access, this can be pretty expensive.

You could also consider getting a credit card that gives you lounge access. The American Express Platinum card gives access to Delta and Centurion lounges, as well as Priority Pass Select membership. The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard gives access to American Airlines and US Airways clubs. Both of these cards come with hefty annual fees, but those fees are easily justified if you make regular use of your lounge benefits.

There are a lot of options out there; I would first consider how often you travel and plan to visit lounges prior to signing up for any memberships. Getting a membership with any one airline will limit you to that particular set of lounges, so if you fly on several different airlines than that may not be the best plan.

In some cases, like if you don’t travel that much, I’d forgo the lounge all together and instead use that cash to buy yourself a nice meal or a WiFi membership.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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