The terminal is the best place to relax if everyone is in the lounge.

Airport lounges are at their best when...

  • It’s not too full. You want ample space to graze.
  • There’s quality beverages worth actually imbibing.
  • Food is of restaurant quality, even if it’s really simple.
  • Wifi is really fast and there are power ports everywhere.
  • There are adequate facilities to shower, change or freshen up.

I have heard stories of celebrities hiding in plain sight at airports.

For a celeb, there are plenty of bars and restaurants at the airport where you can eat and drink for less than $50 per person. The cover is good.

The fundamental problem of pay is money. It is a competitive business advantage for airlines to open invitation only lounges.

These lounges are not important if they are full or empty. Customers enjoy them more when they are empty, so airlines keep access rules tight in order to create that exclusiveness. It isn't necessary to have it full all the time because they need to be there.

It's not the same in "Pay as you go" lounges.

As a money making business, the more people in the lounge, the better the business is. The lounge operators want it to be rammed to the rafters. The entire point of an airport lounge is ruined by that.

The cheaper the alcohol, the more profit it makes. They make more money when the cost of food is low. What is the value creation in that?

If I want champagne, I can spend $25 on a great glass in the airport and still come out better than paying to enter an airport lounge and have a third rate glass. I don't know.

Plane Food by Gordon Ramsay is a great place to eat great food for less than the sausage and bean buffet. It is another tick box if it is less crowded in the restaurant.

It is fair to say that the appeal of exclusiveness is more substantive than the offer inside. People will pay for things they think will be more exclusive than others.

I have had great experiences in pay as you go lounges, but they are not about the food or drinks. They are about a place to relax and have a good time.

Everyone can get in if they want to. It would be more so if everyone is in. The question is how much is it worth? This is a draw which never made sense to me and a model which never has either.

It is time to look away from a place that makes money by packing in people and finding the cheapest alcohol.

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Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington Dulles

The thought of sitting in an airport is a big deal for a lot of people. When you get through airport security, you are greeted with the prospect of fighting for a seat by your gate. That's worse if you have a long flight. We see...

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