Bring Your Bathing Suit to This Amazing Priority Pass Lounge in Punta Cana
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Unless you are flying international first class, airport lounges today are pretty routine.
There are some snacks and cheese cubes, free drinks and a place to escape the madness of the terminal.
Then there is the VIP Lounge in Punta Cana Airport's Terminal B. It's one of the nicest Priority Pass lounges I've ever been to.
It has an outdoor deck overlooking the tarmac and runway -- clearly an AvGeek heaven -- but the real highlight is the outdoor pool with views of the jets. Yes, you read that correctly: an outdoor pool, post-security at the airport, a last chance to soak in the sun and take a dip while you're still on vacation.
Our party of nine got into the lounge thanks to the Priority Pass Select membership we all have from The Platinum Card® from American Express. (Four family members have the card or are authorized users with their own Priority Pass membership.) For those who want more information on how Priority Pass works and what other credit cards will get you in for free, check out our full guide here. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Before you get too excited about the pool, make sure you are flying out of the correct terminal.
The newer Terminal B (it opened in 2014) is home to the VIP Lounge with the pool. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Allegiant Air are the US carriers flying out of that terminal. Other airlines there include Copa, British Airways and Air France.
JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines fly out of the older Terminal A that has bus gates. Sorry, that means no pool for you.
Related: The Best Credit Cards for Airline Lounge Access
The VIP Lounge in Terminal B is after security and after the passport control. It's about halfway down the concourse. An elevator or stairs lead you up a flight.
Once inside, there is a pretty standard spread of small sandwiches, snacks and treats. The hot food isn't worth noting but the sandwiches are good enough and there are plenty of options.
Soft drinks, coffee, basic liquor and beer (limit of two per person) are included in your visit. The bartenders were friendly and helpful.
There is plenty of seating and the furniture is modern and clean. Our large party of six adults and three kids found a corner with space to spread out.
The bathrooms are clean, modern-looking and had plenty of space. This is the exact opposite of the horrible Wingtips Lounge at JFK's Terminal 4.
Now, let's get to the exciting part -- the pool.
It's an outdoor rooftop pool with views of airplanes and the runway. And it's close to the bar. Do I need to say more?
Most flyers were just dipping their toes into the water, but you could go for a real swim here. Not an Olympic-sized lap, but at least splashing around with the kids. One side has an "infinity edge" for unobstructed planespotting while swimming above the terminal.
There is a separate set of bathrooms and showers so that you can rinse off after you swim before boarding that jet home. Knowing this now, I would have gotten to the airport earlier so we could have all gone for a pre-flight swim.
At the end of the day, this was far from the best lounge I've ever been to. However, the unique nature of the outdoor deck and the pool plus the clean, well-maintained space make this one of my favorites, especially for Priority Pass.