airport lounges

Airport Lounges: Seattle's Delta Sky Club (SEA)

One of the best perks of credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card or the Ritz Carlton Visa by Chase is access to airport lounges via Priority Pass and other partnerships. Delta Sky Clubs are part of this deal but you have to be flying on Delta to get free access (whereas all other lounges are open to members regardless of the airline you fly that day).

Seeing as the AMEX Centurion lounges set the gold standard at nearly every airport, it’s rare to venture beyond them at places like DFW, MIA, SFO and SEA. But it was on my way and closer to my gate than the AMEX Centurion, so I figured why not check it out. At the least, I could skip out and head to the Centurion if it was terrible.

To my surprise, it was incredible. This two-story behemoth felt like a breathe of fresh air - huge ceilings and a wall of glass windows give you the space to feel at ease during the usually claustrophobia experience of being at the airport.

Food was excellent, as was the selection of free alcoholic beverages. It was clean, service was fast and friendly, the wifi was speedy…what more can you ask for? Although the AMEX Centurion’s still hold the crown for best lounges - for the most part - this particular Delta Sky Club was well worth the visit.

Verdict: Sweet! (8.5 / 10)

Airport Lounges: Honolulu's Admirals Club (HNL)

This was a desperate purchase, which fortunately could be used towards an airline credit on an AMEX card's annual benefits.  The local cuisine was surprisingly unique and tasty, but it was not well stocked and it was hard to fight through other visitors to get any food.  Views and seats are unspectacular.  It's branded as an American Airlines Admirals Club, but is really run by Japan Airlines (JAL) as a Sakura Lounge. Go if you can get a discount but don't pay full freight

Verdict: Definitely not worth the price (5 / 10)

Airport Lounges: Sydney's Qantas Club (SYD)

As a Platinum member with American Airlines, I hold Oneworld Sapphire status and get into Qantas awesome lounge in Terminal 3 at SYD.  The breakfast food is so-so, but there is tons of space and strong wifi.  At the end of the day, having space and better chairs is about all you ask for at airport lounges with the trend towards lounges being packed to the gills.  It's bright and well-staffed too.

You may not get quite the same luxury as the AMEX Centurion lounges, but it's a step up from the Priority Pass "lounges" that are just restaurants here, and I'll take the space and comfort over amenities every time.

Verdict:  Solid (6 / 10)

Airport Lounges: Honolulu's IASS Lounge (HNL)

It's hard to look a gift horse in the mouth when you get free access to an airport lounge and don't have to sit outside in ripped, unclean and nasty chairs with no access to power cords or basic amenities.  But this one is hard to get to and doesn't have one bit of charm or extras to make it worthwhile.  It's part of Priority Pass, so go if you refuse to spend a dime to get away from the airport cattle.  But don't expect anything more than a quiet space.

Verdict:  Hilariously Bad (2 / 10)

Airport Lounges: Edinburgh's Aspire Lounge (EDI)

It's always nice to get into a lounge and get a better seat and more room than amongst the commoners.  So you won't hear a true complaint out of me.  But the food was uninspired and you had to go outside just to find the toilets.  It was kinda drab.  Nothing special.  Don't show up early to the airport expecting to enjoy your wait like you might in other lounges.

Verdict:  Weak (2.5 / 10)