Airline rewards programs

The Value of Airline Lounges

IMG_1810A few months ago I signed up for a great points deal with American Airlines which involved spending $10k in 3 months on their executive platinum card and getting 100,000 points in return. In addition, this card comes with free access to the AA airport lounges. This is a feature that I get a ton of value out of.  Airports are not comfortable places to spend time. And as someone who is chronically early everywhere I go, I almost always have time to spare after getting through security. And using points to fly internationally, I often have wait time in connecting airports.

What’s different about spending airport wait time in a club lounge? So many things. The space is comfortable and relatively quite, there is free wifi, the bathrooms are very nice, there are often showers and they offer free drinks and snacks. But possibly most important, there are tons of outlets, enough for everyone to have at least two.

IMG_1815Compare this with the waiting area for my recent connecting flight out of Dallas, when my laptop was at less than half charge and I had a 9 hour flight departing in an hour.


I was lucky to secure a wall outlet at all, and had to sit on the floor to watch it charge. Not shown are the 8 (seriously 8) children under 5 running around dangerously close to my laptop, and the fact that every seat and every other outlet in this waiting area was taken.

The comfortable lounge charging picture above is how I spent most of my wait in Dallas, but I decided to top off the laptop during the last 10 minutes I was waiting to board so I was able to capture the contrast all in one layover.